I teach at many international companies here in Budapest where many employees must have a good knowledge of English. The main areas that students always say they would like to improve in are :
1. To be more confident when speaking in English on the phone .
2. To write professional emails.
3. To be able to understand native speakers and all their different accents.
4. To be more productive in meetings when meetings are in English.
5. To understand fast speech.
So let’s take a look at these five areas, for now, one by one.
How can we become more confident when speaking on the phone?
Well the first thing to remember is that it is ‘NOT A PROBLEM’ if at first we don’t understand what the person we are speaking with said. What is more important is to know and use expressions to show we need time, more information or simply to have the person repeat what they have said so we can understand.
Even native speakers don’t always understand eachother when speaking on the phone, but what they CAN do is quickly use expressions to clear confusion or misunderstanding.
So we don’t have to just say ‘ eh.. eh ..I.. I… don’t understand sorry.
We can be professional and protect our professionalism by using quick expressions.
So we can say things like :
Sorry I didn’t quite catch that…..
Could you repeat that…
Could you speak a little slower please..
Let me just check, so you mean….
I’m not quite following you…
I think it will be better if I give you my email address and you can send me the information….
So these are just some expressions that allow you to feel confident even if you are not understanding the other person. You maybe having a conversation with a native speaker with a strong accent or fast speech or maybe someone foreign who’s English is not so good or clear. But by using these expressions you can keep in control of the conversation without feeling uncomfortable.
Anyway more on this topic to follow in my next blog.
So once again, good luck with your English language Learning.