(Larry now has a podcast,The Expatriate Manager. Look for it on your podcast provider)
Managers Need to Use English Well
Ok, so you have heard a lot of people say that you need better English. You are tired of hearing it. But, how can you improve? You are busy. Where is the time for this along with everything else?
Analyze Your Needs
First, I suggest that you analyze your need for English on the job. For example, if you have trouble listening to telephone conversations or in meetings, you need to work more on your listening.
If you have to write reports in English for the home office, then you need to work on your writing. Be very practical. Zero in on your needs. Don’t try to do everything at once.
I find that students who have no specific goals, get discouraged. They need something that will make the time and effort worthwhile. A clear, measurable goal gives you a purpose.
Once you have identified your needs, think about how you can improve.
What are the resources available to you?
Perhaps you need a good teacher. A one on one relationship with a teacher is often the most effective to meet your specific goal.
Or it may be possible to do the work on your own. For example, to improve listening skills you can start listening to newscasts in English.
Many resources are available on the internet. Most of them are free. Or you can use some of the many apps developed to help with English on the cell phone.
Whatever you do, it is important to allocate time for this and do it consistently. Even if it is just a few minutes a day, you will see results. But it must be every day.
Here are some more specific suggestions on what you can do to improve your English:
Learn English on-line
A variety of resources are available which you can identify by going on You Tube or using a search engine. You need to shop around to find one that fits your learning style and budget. If you want personalized instruction, individual tutors are available, but at a cost.
Find a Good Teacher
For a manager I believe it is important to find someone who understands business and knows how to teach English. The teacher should also be willing to adapt the course to meet your needs. In addition, a good teacher student relationship is important. This means that you have respect and liking for the teacher. It is not easy to find this combination, but it is worth it. Be ready to pay more for a really good teacher. It is worth it because I believe that this is the most effective way to learn so you will accomplish your goals in a much shorter time.
Use your commute time
Time to practice English may be limited. However, most of us do have a block of time travelling to and from work. If you are going in a crowded bus or train, you could use the time to listen with earphones to English newscasts or podcasts. If you are driving by yourself, you can listen, sing, or talk in English and no one will complain.Even if you are working at home now, you can allocate some extra time to do some fun practice with English
Connect with resources in your company
Within your company, you may find support for your desire to improve your English. Maybe they will pay for your lessons. Perhaps there are some native speakers of English in the company that you could chat with. Look around and see what is available.
Relax and enjoy
I believe that we learn best when we are relaxed and enjoy what we are doing. Try to connect English with the things that you like. For example if you like tennis, read magazines about tennis, watch matches in English, look for native speakers of English who also like tennis.
⦁ Analyze Your Needs for English
⦁ Look for the most efficient strategies to learn English
⦁ Look for resources easily available to you
Learn to be efficient and effective in learning English. Here are some suggestions in greater detail.
Larry is a Business English Coach who works with clients who need to perform well at critical points in their professional life: interviewing for a job,applying for an MBA program, presenting at an important meeting. You can contact him at email@example.com