Do you ever find it hard to communicate clearly in English with international business clients or colleagues?
Like any skill, English takes a while to get good at. But it’s the universal language of commerce – and (more importantly), it can help you to unlock new opportunities and advance your career.
Let’s explore some of the ways you learn business English effectively, starting out with setting clear goals, to immersing yourself in an English-speaking environment.
Why is business English so important?
In today’s global economy, businesses are more interconnected than ever before. For complex historical reasons English has become the language of the internet, of international trade, and of business communication. So, by improving your language skills, you’ll be establishing yourself as a skilled and valuable asset in your workplace.
The role of business English in the global market
There are approximately 1.5 billion English speakers in the world. The vast majority of them speak it as a second language. If you think of English as a key, it can open doors to new international markets, allowing companies to increase business revenue.
How exactly does this work? Well, imagine that you work for an international company that deals with clients from different countries. A solid grasp of business English can help you communicate more effectively with your clients and build a stronger relationship with them. This can lead to increased sales and a better reputation for your company.
What are the benefits of mastering business English?
When it comes to applying for jobs, being able to speak business English can help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of getting hired. Additionally, if you are looking to advance your career, having a strong international network of colleagues and clients can lead to promotions and other career opportunities.
Business English can be useful outside your job, too. English is the language of travel and study. Being able to talk to people while you’re traveling will make your experiences more enjoyable and enriching. And, if you need to study for a professional qualification, you’ll be able to attend a course (almost) anywhere in the world.
So, how can you boost your business English? Let’s take a look at three important strategies:
1. Set clear goals for learning business English
Learning English can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Setting clear goals is essential to make the most of your learning experience and set yourself up for success.
Identify your specific needs
Ask yourself why you want to learn business English. Do you want to pursue an international career? Or maybe you want to communicate more clearly with your English-speaking colleagues?
Once you have decided on your specific goal, you can tailor your learning experience around that. This will help you stay motivated and focused.
For example, maybe you’ve got a big presentation to give to your colleagues, and your goal is to do so in English. You’ll need to learn the vocabulary related to your themes and work on your English speaking skills in order to achieve this goal.
Create a realistic timeline
Some goals, like the example above, come with a built-in deadline. But if your goal is simply to improve your business English – well, that’s a long-term process. It’s essential to set a realistic timeline that works for you.
Don’t rush yourself, but don’t let your progress stall, either. It’s better to make steady, measured progress than to try to learn everything at once and burn out.
So, create a learning schedule that works for you, and stick with it. Consistency is key when it comes to language learning. You can break down your learning into smaller goals, such as learning ten new vocabulary words a day, or practicing your listening skills for an hour a week. This will help you stay motivated and make steady progress towards achieving the level you want.
Track your progress
Keeping track of your progress is essential to stay motivated and see how far you’ve come. ELSA Speech Analyzer is a great tool for tracking your English learning progress. It analyzes your speech, and gives you a percentage score on your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, intonation and overall fluency. So, you’ll be able to see exactly where you’ve made progress, and the areas that you still need to work on. It’s a great way to stay accountable and motivated.
So, you’ve set a clear goal, figured out your needs, created a timeline and decided on how you’ll be tracking your progress. Next, it’s time to choose the right resources for your learning style.
2. Choose the right learning resources
With the abundance of learning materials out there, it can be challenging to choose the right ones for your needs.
Online courses and mobile apps
If you’ve got a demanding job, you might find the schedule of an in-person English class too inflexible. So, an online course or English learning app is a great solution, offering you a flexible learning solution whenever you have spare time.
ELSA offers bite-sized English lessons that you can do during your commute, on your lunch break or during your downtime at home. With the Pro account, you get a learning experience that is tailored to your specific needs, with instant, actionable feedback and guided practice for interviews and presentations. It will help you to achieve your learning goals quickly!
Books and textbooks
Reading business-related books and textbooks written in English can improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills. You can also practice your reading comprehension by reading business blogs, articles, and reports written in English.
Business English workshops and seminars
Attending workshops and seminars is an excellent way to improve your business English. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your speaking and networking skills with other business professionals, as well as learning lots of new vocabulary specific to your field or industry.
3. Immerse yourself in a business English environment
Finally, immersing yourself in a business English environment is essential for developing your English speaking skills and building your confidence when communicating in English. Here are some ideas:
- Watch and listen to English business news
Watching and listening to the news on channels such as Bloomberg and CNBC can improve your ability to understand and even use business jargon.
- Read business articles and reports
Reading business-related articles and reports written in English can improve your ability to comprehend complex business concepts, as well as boost your vocabulary.
- Join business English discussion groups
Joining discussion groups on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook can help you practice your writing skills and interact with other business professionals.
These three steps will help you to improve your business English rapidly and unlock new opportunities for your career. Remember that language learning is a continual process, and consistency and perseverance are essential. Best of luck!