You’ve just spent a rewarding and intensive week not only receiving Business English training but also ‘living’ the language on a total immersion course. You’re more confident about speaking in English and feel you’ve made significant progress in your listening skills.
But now it’s time to return home and get back to real life.
- How are you going to maintain this level of fluency you’ve reached and even build on it?
- How will you fit in practising and improving your English among all the other things you have going on in your daily life?
Firstly, don’t despair! There are many ways to keep up your English. Below are just a few:
- Find a friend
Perhaps there is someone in your office who’s a native speaker of English. From now on why not communicate with him or her in English? Or maybe friends of friends come from the UK or the US. Seek out opportunities to speak with them to practice your new English skills.
- Use the internet
Today there are so many resources online that there’s really no excuse not to listen or read in English. The key is ‘little and often’. We like TED.com as well as the BBC Learning English website. But why not try looking at an English language newspaper website to check the news each day? Or start tweeting in English and see what conversations develop?
- Take notes and keep lists
If you’re exposed to English in your working life – or in other situations – be mindful and make mental notes of what you see and hear (Why did he say ‘make’ and not ‘do’? What other word combinations can I find in this article which I haven’t seen before?). Make written notes too. Keep a notebook for new vocabulary and phrases which you think you might use yourself.
- Plan and set objectives
It’s easy to put off something that’s not urgent so actively allocate time for practising and learning. Again, ‘little and often’ is key. Do you have ten minutes in the car or on the train each morning when you could listen to a podcast or try a quick grammar quiz? Regular practice will help!
- Review your learning
If you’ve come back from your immersion training with pages of notes, use them! Did you examine language for speaking on the telephone during your course? Yes? Then have the notes to hand next time you make a call. Or review your notes on meetings before your next conference call.
- Enlist help
If you need a bit more of a push to keep working on your English, find someone to hold you to account. Maybe your trainer from the immersion course offers online support and follow-up training. Or you might want to compare progress and share learning material with a colleague who is also developing his or her English skills. A short catch-up once a month may be enough to give you the impetus you need.
To find more resources to help you improve your Business English be sure to review our blog where we feature many helpful articles, from tips on pronunciation to helpful phrases to use on conference calls.