Take your English skills up a notch

door Regina Coeli

For global citizens, it is becoming the norm to speak English as fluently as their own languages. Young people grow up with English all around them, and their higher education is taught in English increasingly often, almost to the point that they have a better command of writing in English than in their mother tongue.

Yet, let us be honest—you are setting the bar quite high if you want to communicate as easily in a foreign language as in your native one. Asking for directions in London or ordering from a restaurant in New York may be easy enough, but can you reasonably expect to be able to negotiate a complex contract in English as well as you can in your own language? Or give a powerfully persuasive presentation to a group of Americans and then lean on a different set of skills to have the upper management of your company enthusiastically nodding along in agreement during a social chat? You not only need to have the right words and phrases at the ready, but you also have to make a cultural connection.

The answer to the question of where to start if you want to improve your English lies within you. Ask yourself what you need. It could be for your job, where you are in life or where you want to be in the future. Another point for reflection is what level you currently speak English. Perhaps your English is so good that you can focus on improving very specific skills.

Here are a few tips to help take your English skills up a notch:

Tip 1: vocabulary
Expand your vocabulary with words that matter to you. What words are often used in your industry or to talk about a hobby you or your loved ones have? Are there any words you use again and again that might have some good synonyms? Listen carefully to the people around you. What words do they often use, and can you use them as well?

Tip 2: persuasion 
Immerse yourself in the art of being persuasive in English. It is undoubtedly a least a bit different to your mother tongue. Get help from a specialised trainer or Regina Coeli.

Tip 3: skills
Tackle a specific skill in English. People often seek to improve their English skills in the following areas at Regina Coeli:

  • Presenting
  • Writing (e.g. reports, articles, e-mails)
  • Meetings
  • Negotiating

See improvements straight away by focusing on a skill or two in a short training course.

Tip 4: immersion
Perhaps the most effective way to improve your English is to have others correct you while you immerse yourself in the language for a few days. After all, who tells you that your English is not entirely correct when you are at work or living your everyday life? And are they always qualified to tell you how you should say it instead? When these things happen as you are going about living your life, it can even be a bit unsettling or disruptive. After a few intensive days at Regina Coeli, on the other hand, you will know your strengths and weaknesses and how you can go on improving your skills. At least, if that is necessary, because by the end of your week of Regina Coeli, you will be eating, sleeping and breathing in English…
Read more about the intensive individual language training English

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