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Essential Tips for Beginners at Business English – Get Your

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Joined: 01 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Essential Tips for Beginners at Business English – Get Your Reply with quote

For those who are just starting to study English as a foreign language, life can seem pretty tough. Especially if you are a beginner. As many say, beginnings are always scary Now, for beginners who need to study English in order to be able to work or function in a business environment in general, things seem even scarier. The added pressure students feel to achieve as much as they can in as little time possible is so great it ends up having the contrary effect. Frustration is never a good companion when learning. Well, here is some good news. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s all a question of setting the right priorities. Want to know what they are? If you do you should definitely read on.

Priority 1

Identify exactly what vocabulary you should be learning first. What area of business will you be functioning in? What types of situations do you think you will be in? Keep in mind that although we can narrow things down to a selection of phrases needed for specific business related situations some general vocabulary is also important. After all, there are also social situations in the business world. Learning how to greet someone properly is just as important as knowing the specific words you will need to discuss business-related topics. Also, take into consideration there might be business lunches and dinners where the conversation might very generally be social.

Priority 2

Balance out fluency and accuracy activities so that your performance is both fluent and precise. Just studying grammar will make your English more precise, but it will also make your performance slower. If you’re too concerned with being accurate it might take you too long to think of and produce a sentence. On the other hand an excess in fluency-based activities may not be enough to correct mistakes or even learn new grammar. This can also be a problem since some grammar mistakes can affect what you’re trying to express. A good way to increase fluency is to use the language as much as you can outside the classroom.

Priority 3

Just relax. Keep in mind that English is not your native language and that you are allowed to make mistakes especially where pronunciation is concerned. Very often pronunciation can be a huge barrier to overcome. You shouldn’t set your expectations too high. It is not very likely you will be talking like a native speaker of English if you just started to study. Your main focus is to be understood as well as to understand. Everything else will come naturally with practice and exposure to the language. The use of audio tools that allow you to hear the language are very useful in helping you to learn proper English pronunciation easily. Audio tools (like the ones used in ESL classes- such as CDs, cassettes, and downloads to your MP3 players are effective and convenient to use as you can listen to them in your car or while completing other tasks at the same time.

Rachel Clarkson
Rachel Clarkson is an English teacher at LCI English and blogger at the ESL Blog.
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