How to Build Your English for the Workplace
There are many reasons to learn English, especially if you live and work in the U.S. Speaking English can help you find a job. Improving your current English language skills can help you feel more confident at work and can help you communicate with your coworkers, boss and customers better.
Whether you are a beginning English learner or are more advanced, there are many things you can do to build your language skills for success at work.
Set a Clear Goal
As you start working on your English, it can be helpful to have a clear goal in mind. Why do you want to improve your English? What would you like to do with your new skills?
It can be helpful to make your goal as specific and clear as possible. For example, you might want to work on your business English so that you feel comfortable writing your resume or writing a cover letter to apply for a job.
If you already have a job you like, you might want to work on your English skills so that you feel confident and comfortable making a speech during a meeting or presenting on a project to your coworkers.
The more detailed your goal, the better. Set a deadline, such as by the end of summer or the end of the year. Set down exactly what you want to do. If you hope to write a cover letter, for example, decide how long the letter will be and what you want to say in it. If you are going to give a presentation, pick a topic. Also decide how long you want the presentation to last, such as 10 minutes.
Sign up for an English Language Class
A class designed for English language learners will help you in several ways. You will have a chance to learn more grammar and vocabulary in the class. You will also have a chance to practice speaking with your teacher and with other students in the class.
English language classes are available at a variety of levels. You can find a class that is designed for beginners or people who are new to English. If you have been speaking for a while, you can take a class designed for more advanced speakers. English language classes are also available for students who want to enroll in a college or technical education program or for students who want to improve their English in the workplace.
Find a Conversation Partner
Going to class is just one way to practice speaking English. You can also find a conversation partner to practice with. There are a few ways to find someone to practice speaking with. You can look on a website like Meetup to find casual conversation groups in your area. The Orange County Public Library system also offers English language discussion groups and practice opportunities.
You can also pair up with someone from your English class and meet together once or twice a week to practice speaking more.
Use English Language Materials
As one of the most spoken languages in the world, English is used frequently in movies, books, articles, and more. The internet makes it very easy to find materials in English, often for free.
As you work on building your English for your job, it can be helpful to look at or listen to English language materials that are connected to your interests or industry. For example, you can listen to TED Talks on topics that are relevant to your job. You can also read business articles or the business section of the newspaper.
It helps to find materials that use English the way it will be used in your line of work. That way, you can become familiar with vocabulary or phrases you are likely to see or hear on the job.
Use Tools to Hone Your English Skills
Numerous tools are available to help you build up your English language skills or help you improve your English. For example, if you are working on writing in English, you can use Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab also has writing tips for people learning English. When you are trying to think of a word in English, a free dictionary, such as Collins, can be a handy tool to have.
Orange Technical College’s ESOL program is designed for students who want to improve their English language skills to earn a secondary diploma, enroll in a career certificate program or find a job. Contact us today to learn more about our English language classes.
- “The World’s Languages in 7 Maps and Charts,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/23/the-worlds-languages-in-7-maps-and-charts/