Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin
People who can speak good English have a better chance of getting higher paying jobs.
We cannot disagree with this, because we usually tend to look up to people who speak good English. We consider them as intelligent, confident, and respectable. Rightly or wrongly, they are regarded as professional, affluent, and decent.
Being good in English also gives you the opportunity to land a good job. Most of the in-demand jobs require you to be proficient in English. These are the call center agents and account executives.
There is also a high chance of getting a career abroad, because there is a sure likelihood of passing the interview, as well as the examinations given such as the IELTS, TOEFL, and TOEIC.
Furthermore, competing in the global economy and doing business abroad has given companies the need to hire employees who can competently communicate with foreign buyers.
Being proficient in the English language translates to having an advantage in the travel industry, advertising, publishing, communications and research.
Being good in English can open up employment opportunities that you would not have had otherwise. If you want to improve your chances, then improve your English.
Below are some ways by which you may improve your English skills:
• Be a wide reader. Read books, magazines, or even comics written in English. If some words are difficult to understand, grab a dictionary and learn their meanings. This is one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary.
• Watch English movies or cartoons. This helps you not only as to how English words are spoken but also as to the proper context to use them. You get to learn the proper pronunciation and intonations. It will also help if the movie has official English subtitles so that you also can learn the spelling of certain words.
• Practice a lot. Tell your family and friends that you are practicing your English. Talk to them in English and this will surely give you positive results. Ask them to point out errors in your speech so that you can improve faster.
• Sign up in an intensive course. You will benefit a lot from the help of professionals. Usually they have pre-course evaluations that will assess your needs and prescribe the proper programs to take.
• Connect with foreign friends. The internet now allows you to communicate inexpensively with those in other countries. Just connect a microphone to your broadband connected computer and you can chat with foreign friends in English.
• Join a Toastmasters Club. This is one of the best ways to gain public speaking skills. Unlike the usual speech clinics, Toastmasters Club offers a continuing educational program that teaches both language and leadership skills.
• Learn a new word a day. Rome was not built in a day and so does having a rich vocabulary. Try to learn at least one word a day and you will see a steady improvement.
• Check out websites that offer free English lessons. If you have a computer with broadband internet then you can choose among many websites that offer free English lessons. Some of the sites even have a native English speaker who you may converse with online.
• Accept speaking engagements. Public speaking terrifies most people but if you force yourself to do speeches then you will eventually gain proficiency and confidence.
• Record yourself. Hearing yourself talk in English will enable you to know not only what grammatical or pronunciation mistakes you are making but also the overall manner of your delivery.
These are just some of the ways you can improve your English. Pick what suits you. You can be creative and develop your own ways. What is important is that you are persistent. Always remember that your future may depend on how well you learn the language.
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