Let’s face it. By the time we’ve carved out a career for ourselves and are putting in the hours, effort and dedication that it takes, learning or improving our language skills may be a necessary evil.
What you DO NOT want, then, is a course that is filled with:
– abstract rules of grammar and sentence construction
– archaic or irrelevant vocabulary
– extensive homework geared to learning the above
– that it takes too long.
Of course not. That would be boring, tedious and quite honestly not conducive to quick, effective learning.
That’s why, when I decided to teach English to professionals I first thought about what was important to me when I entered the business world in the Netherlands and experienced at first-hand what it was to integrate and fully function in a foreign environment.
The bottom line is that it all comes down to: Communication
Verbal, non-verbal, culture-specific, cross-cultural all contribute to getting the message across and contributing to a company’s activities. Though it might seem odd, the bottom line is always language. If you have good verbal skills, this will also be reflected in your non-verbal communication. Your body language will reflect your confidence which in turn will support you in getting your message across. By learning the language, recognising that some things cannot be translated literally (remember my example of the wise guy, instead of wise man) you are less likely to make culture specific or cross-cultural blunders.
It’s not about grammar.You are not expected to speak the language flawlessly. Believe me, you will be forgiven for the odd mistake. Speaking the language flawlessly (as an academic exercise) is no guarantee that you are ‘tuned in’ to your foreign counterpart. It is still possible to insult someone in a perfectly constructed sentence.
So what is it about then?
And what does Write Away offer when it comes to teaching English?
My experience has shown me that a good course in professional English should:
– be relevant. In other words, you should have a specific event in mind. It might be an up and coming international conference where you will be giving a presentation. It might be a first meeting with a potential foreign partner. Or it might be that you are outsourcing your services temporarily.
– be goal specific. If your goal is to penetrate new markets then it is important to know and understand your potential customer. If you are hosting
– be tailor-made. Following the previous point, the workshops will be tailor-made to facilitate your objectives and to ensure that as much industry-specific vocabulary is incorporated. The goal will determine the approach. Preparing a presentation is not the same as preparing to spend some time abroad. Welcoming potential business partners to the Netherlands and entertaining them is again a different ‘ball game’.
– be simple. Learning through doing rather than plodding through rules and abstract exercises. Grammar and technical aspects of the language will be dealt with and explained if and when they arise. The emphasis is effective communication with your potential customer or visitor and getting your message across and ultimately with achieving your objective.
– be consistent. That simply means, not losing track of the set objective.
– be practical. I remember when I was learning statistics that it was only when I had put the formulas to use in a practical case or situation, that’s the penny finally dropped. It’s the same with language; the more practical and applicable, the better you’ll remember it. Then I was capable of applying the formulas repeatedly when the situation arose.
– be fun. The Write Away approach is to encourage learning through creating a relaxed atmosphere, one in which learning becomes fun. This will speed up the learning process and ensure that what is learned, sticks.
And that’s what Write Away offers and provides.
Have I forgotten anything? Just ask me in the comment box below.
Anyone who signs up for English course in response to this article, will receive a 10% discount.
Remember at Write Away we believe that FIRST IMPRESSIONS ALWAYS COUNT