By Tom Wells on Jul 16, 2019 11:34:00 AM
Talaera’s mission is to help non-native tech professionals improve their English communication skills. We believe that improving your English skills can open many doors, and maybe even land you your dream job. Many of our students are software developers at top companies like Google, Check Point and PayPal. So today we are sharing just a few simple yet effective tips that we use with our top students to help them excel in their roles.
The following tips are an excerpt from our recent English Guide for Software Developers. Check it out to learn how to build a roadmap for boosting your communication skills.
Have you ever tried any of these strategies before?
1. Always learn English in context
We believe there are two main reasons why people struggle to learn a language: 1) lack of context; and 2) focus on language ability not on communication ability.
Firstly, traditional teaching methods are unable to offer you any context, as learning materials usually revolve around artificial and generic situations. But you need to create your own learning context. Take a problem you already want to solve and try solving it in English. For example, you could watch coding tutorials in English. This means you learn specific vocabulary in the context you will use it in later.
Secondly, focus on communicative ability. This goes beyond grammar and vocabulary. Communicative ability is how well you can describe a situation and express your opinions and views. Focus on learning phrases that help you describe a situation or an opinion. Spend more time practicing expressing yourself than worrying about minor grammar mistakes.
These tips will give structure to your learning and you’ll also be more motivated to get through it.
2. Find a learning partner and create an English learning #channel
Just like you may have a gym buddy, drinking buddy, yoga buddy or movie buddy, you can benefit from having a learning buddy to improve your communication skills. The key here is to find someone who has very similar interests to you. This gives you common ground that you are both very motivated to learn. Perhaps there is someone on your team that is in the same situation as you. Why not get together help each other improve your English? We would also recommend joining a Slack channel or group with other English learners. And if you don’t find one that suits your needs, then why not create your own? This is a great way to find and share interesting learning resources.
3. Get your talent manager to invest in language training
Investing in language training pays off and companies know it. Software developers at Paypal, Google, Gett, Check Point are already enjoying Talaera’s custom English training for tech professionals. We focus on communication ability: the ability to communicate with colleagues and solve real-life problems - big picture stuff. And the best part is, you don’t even have to pay for the training yourself. Win-win.
So why not tell your talent manager to add English training to the list of personal development opportunities? If they need some convincing, refer them to this ebook.
At Talaera we offer individual online business English for international companies that need a personalized plan that can adapt even to their busiest employees. If you are interested in finding out more, click here.
4. Audio shadowing using the power of the podcast
Do you enjoy listening to podcasts? If so, try and find some podcasts that you can listen to in English. Once you have a few podcasts downloaded try this super quick tip to improve your pronunciation: Find a phrase in the podcast (a relatively simple phrase) and repeat it out loud right after you hear it. Just imitate the voice without thinking about the meaning too much. Repeat this a few times. Try and do this every morning and over time you will train your ear to pronounce words more accurately. And if people at the metro stop to look at you weirdly, just tell them it’s for a good cause!
The reason podcasts work so well is because there is no visual to distract you. But feel free to try this simple method with all audio or even TV shows you like.
Commit to boosting your English skills today
The importance of English in the tech community is increasing all the time. It has become a must-have to land a job at one of the top-paying companies, so commit to boosting your skills today and give yourself an edge over the competition.
Our brand new English Guide for Software Developers combines our own expertise and key insights from our students to provide practical strategies to help you improve your communication.
Downloading this guide can help you make a roadmap to landing your dream software development job. The guide includes:
- The key communication challenges for non-native software developers
- The benefits of great communication skills
- Practical strategies to overcome these challenges from our experts
For any additional information or questions, you can also reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in getting the best offers and receiving free content on Business English communication? Subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you in the loop with offers, free events, and development materials!
If you enjoyed this article, keep reading:
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- 13 Things We Learned On Effective Communication From Microsoft Senior Product Manager
- Tips on Effective Communication That Actually Work [Podcast