By Robby Kukurs
If you are new here please read this first.
Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself!
On 9 occasions out of 10, foreign English speakers don’t consider their English skills good enough for their professional life and career development.
Statements such as the following one: “I would really like to try and get a job in another industry, but my English isn’t good enough…” can be heard so often that it’s become somewhat like a mantra.
In other words, foreigners tend to sell their English skills short big time, and it’s all because of them being ashamed and being afraid of sounding stupid. As a result, people who otherwise would be having promising careers, are instead leading lives of quiet misery.
But it shouldn’t be that way.
For as long as your English is good enough for you to be able to convey the message and to understand what you’re being told, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep trying and aiming for that better job, for that promotion, for that training course – no matter how crazy it may sound at that particular moment in time.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of non-native English speakers working across the industries with intermediate spoken English skills!
So, if you’re one of those foreigners secretly dreaming of starting something new in your life and never taking any action – read this article, this may turn out to be the best advice you’ve ever received!
Customer Support Needs Perfect English? BS!
There are more and more customer and technical support related positions becoming available by the minute, and this trend is not going to change anytime soon. It’s quite the opposite actually – considering the way technology is going these days, we can safely assume that the industry is going to grow just as fast as it has been, if not even more.
So, the simple observation that anyone can make is that what matters most in the industry is your technical skills. Yes, just like I pointed out before, you have to be able to communicate effectively and be understood, however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be done by using impeccable English.
For as long the support person can speak fluently enough, it’s fine, and please bear in mind that repetition here plays a massive role.
The simple fact of the matter is that 90% of spoken English what you’re going to use in your daily life is going to involve the same industry specific phraseology, and you’ll get comfortable doing that pretty fast.
There have been occasions when I’ve encountered support specialists who make a lot of spoken English mistakes when providing technical support, however, in the bigger scheme of things it doesn’t matter for as long as you can get the job done right.
Let alone positions such as shop assistant roles – you can get away with an awful lot more when it comes to those!
Working In a Shop? You Just Need to Stop Being Afraid and Start Speaking!
It’s no surprise that in any English speaking country foreigners would be typically working in service industries dealing with customers, and guess what? Again – your English just has to be good enough to understand what you’re being asked and to be able to respond and provide the required information, that’s all!
Nobody’s going to ask you to put on a presentation on a subject that you haven’t got a clue about, all you’re going to have to do is to put the most commonly used industry specific phrases to good use.
There are, however, a lot of foreigners, who wouldn’t even try and get a job working a till in a fast food joint, and all because they believe that in order to do that, you would have to possess excellent spoken English skills!
Well, I know how much rejection can hurt.
Been there, done that.
I’ve been told that my English isn’t good enough for a position I was going for at a time, and it was a massive blow to my self-confidence as a foreign English speaker.
But guess what?
No matter how many times you’re knocked down, you just get up and fight again, just like Rocky Balboa in the movie.
Excellent English Skills Doesn’t Always Mean Native-like Fluency!
Sure enough, you have to be able to speak quite well during the job interview.
You have to convince your future employer that your professional skill-set is next to none, and that you are also a good communicator when it comes to the English language.
More than anything, however, it comes down to doing a lot of preparation for the job interview itself, and more often than not, your future employer wouldn’t expect you to speak at a near-native level.
Just because it says – excellent English skills – doesn’t mean you can’t try.
Brush up your English prior to the interview.
Prepare your answers for all sorts of questions – phrases such as these would come in handy.
And just go for it – what’s the worst thing that can happen? You can only get a refusal, that’s all, nothing worse will happen.
Obviously, within the confines of this article I will assume that it goes without saying that I’m not talking about high-end jobs here where you would indeed have to possess near-native-like spoken English skills.
If you want to work in a banking sector as a mortgage adviser, for example, I can’t really imagine you getting away with average spoken English skills, it simply wouldn’t meet the customers’ expectations and wouldn’t help to sell the company’s product.
When it comes to lower-end entry positions widely available in the service and the customer support industries, however, the standards are way more flexible and more realistic even for those foreigners who wouldn’t rank on the very top of the English fluency scale.
So, the bottom line is – be realistic, but at the same time aim for something higher, raise the bar a little bit and you may just find yourself in a position a few years down the line which you can only dream of right now!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!