Learning to speak another language is a difficult task, especially when you have such a busy daily life with work and family commitments. Learning English for business can feel like an additional pressure since there may be a lot more relying on your progress.
It’s easy to get discouraged in the beginning and feel like you’re not progressing at the same rate as your peers. People progress at widely different rates and the main reason for that, is because they go about it in different ways. How can you ensure massive progress? Here are 6 easy to follow tips to maximise your business English progress.
1. Positive mindset
Having a positive attitude toward learning is probably the most important thing when approaching any new skill. Learning a language is a challenge, but if you start off with a negative mindset then you’ll slow down your progress or even quit.
Instead of saying, ‘I can’t speak English’, you should be saying, ‘I’m learning English’. Start by replacing phrases like, ‘this is impossible’ or ‘I’ll never get the hang of this!’ with more positive and motivating phrases such as:
- I can do this
- I am doing this
- Yes, it’s difficult, but I’m taking it one day at a time
- I’m so much better than I was 2 months ago
You can do this and you will! It’s just not going to happen over-night. It’s a process but with consistent effort, you’ll be making progress every day.
Persistence is the key to success in whatever task we undertake, whether it’s professional or language learning. It’s the continued effort in the face of a difficult task, and constantly striving to overcome all obstacles to reach our goals.
Think about a successful business person you admire. Did they give up when things got difficult? Or, did they push through and keep going until they got what they wanted? Exactly!
There is a great idiom which says, ‘slow and steady wins the race’. If you try to go too fast or take on too much too soon, you’re more likely to fail. Instead, take it ‘slow and steady’, step by step and consistently. Do that, and you’ll get to the finish line a winner!
The reason some students fail in their English language learning because they don’t believe they are making any progress. But, how do you know you’re not progressing if you don’t measure?
Being able to see the progress you’re making can be a great motivational tool, as well as giving you indicators for the areas and skills you may need to focus on for further improvement.
Here are a few different ways to measure your business English progress:
- Keeping a language diary for all the new business idioms, phrasal verbs, and words you learn– a great way to gather evidence of your vocabulary progress
- Set yourself goals and reward yourself in some way when you achieve them
- Read English material – underline the parts you don’t understand, and as you continue and practice, you’ll soon see there are less parts underlined
Of course, if you are enrolled in a business English course, you’ll be able to measure your success through regular tests and quizzes. If you’re learning independently, there are also a whole host of English tests online that can help you keep track of your progress.
Remember, this is a slow and steady race, and progress takes time– don’t be tempted to test yourself too early or too often, as you’ll start to feel discouraged.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are an essential and unavoidable part of learning. The best way to learn is through taking risks and just giving it a go. If you don’t try, then you will never be able to improve.
When learning any new skill we just have to acknowledge and accept that it’s not going to be perfect first time round, or second, or even third! This is an important part of having a learning-English mindset and not allowing the fear of failing hold you back in your business English learning.
Just like in life, we learn from our mistakes. Try, make mistakes, and welcome correction. Which takes us nicely onto the next tip!
5. Correction and Feedback
Whether it’s in our professional life or language learning, we all need someone to point us in the right direction sometimes. Equally, we need someone to give us advice and to tell us when we’re doing a good job.
Without feedback, we would never know if what we are doing is right or wrong. Then our learning process becomes like running on a treadmill, lots of good effort but we’re going nowhere.
When someone corrects our mistakes and gives feedback and encouragement, it acts as a guide keeping us on the path to our intended goal. Stay on track and keep going!
6. Interaction With Others in the Same Boat
Whether it’s in a class or an online forum, communicating and sharing your learning experiences with others can be a great confidence boost. Just the simple fact of knowing that you aren’t alone in this journey can be enough to keep you motivated.
Other advantages from peer interaction include:
- Study tips and ideas that you might not have thought of
- Sharing knowledge, discover words and phrases from other business settings you may not have come across yet
- You can support and motivate each other
- Why not introduce a little friendly competition to spur on your efforts?
Massive Progress is Possible!
Remember learning a language is a process and progress is absolutely possible. If you want to take your business English to the next level, then sign up to receive FREE tools and resources at the Business English Community!