Proper communication is one of the most necessary tools to function well at your workspace. Your office will often consist of individuals who come from different regions with various native languages. In most such workspaces, English is used as the common language that the whole office uses to communicate.
Even if you were hired to your current position due to your expertise and knowledge in a particular field, you might find yourself struggling if you lack the necessary English skills. Of course, you will be equipped with the basic knowledge to carry out simple conversations and provide personal details, but this is not going to be sufficient at a workspace filled with proficient employees.
When considering English levels that determine the proficiency of a speaker, a person has to get to the B2 level from the B1 level to be adequately equipped to communicate in the workspace. Though this might seem a bit challenging, it can be achieved with the right strategies.
How does a lack of sufficient language proficiency affect you at work?
Most offices rely on the fact that there is constant communication between different departments and various employees. High levels of coordination are required among those who are part of a project team. If you are not endowed with relevant language skills, you will struggle to properly convey your ideas to the rest of the group. There are also chances of miscommunications occurring, leading to errors. If you do not have a strong, confident voice in your office, others are less likely to listen to your words or pay attention to your opinions. But, once you can clearly convey your messages with no hesitation, they will recognize you as someone who knows what he’s doing.
Office work will also consist of report writing in which you will have to provide extensive information regarding specific events, products, projects, etc. In addition to being able to speak proficiently, you will also have to be an expert in writing in the English language. All your reports and documents must be appropriately structured, with easily accessible information given in professional yet easy-to-understand sentences. Reports are often sent to higher-ups, and when they see the quality of the texts you have created, they will take note of you when considering any promotions or additional perks at work.
Apart from the fact that you need good language skills to function at optimum levels as an employee, this proficiency can also help you build good relations and connections with your coworkers. Appropriate communication with your colleagues will enable you to become a part of communities and support systems which can assist you at times of crisis.
Improving your English language skills
As an employed adult, you might find it difficult to enrol in a class at a language teaching institution. So, you will have to be a bit more creative about improving your language proficiency.
An easy thing you can do is to learn a few new words each day. You can easily download a mobile application that will give you an unfamiliar word, explain its meaning, tell you how to pronounce it and provide examples of how it is used in a sentence. Try to learn at least three new words each day and use them in your daily conversations.
When you call your family members or friends on the phone, talk to them in English. Explain why you need to do this and ask them to correct you if you made any mistakes.
One of the biggest issues non-native English speakers face is the amount of time it takes for them to translate each sentence in their heads. This can make things a bit frustrating for both the speakers. The best way to overcome this issue is by practising thinking in English. Get started on this by maintaining a journal and writing down all your thoughts at the end of the day. The translation process will soon become much quicker.
Identify a difficult topic and challenge yourself to write on it or speak about it. This can significantly reduce the difficulties you face while trying to convey your opinions at work.
Lastly, imitate native speakers of the language. Don’t worry, you don’t have to emigrate to do this. Put on your favourite movie or podcast featuring native English speakers. Pause after they utter each sentence, and try to say it out loud, exactly the way they spoke it. This technique can help reduce your accent, improve the way you emphasize certain words and give you the right rhythm while speaking in the language.
It is always best to address workplace issues as soon as you can. If you are struggling with your communicative abilities, get started with these simple tips that can take you on a path of improvement. In a small amount of time, you will find yourself speaking like a professional whom everyone listens to. If you still find it challenging to communicate adequately, you can seek help from an English tutor who will teach you for a couple of hours each night.