I hate to break it to you, but just signing up for a weekly business English class is probably not going to be enough to see the results you want. Sorry! The thing is, for the human mind to really integrate new information to the memory bank, then you have to use it every, single day.
I’m not saying that you have to attend a class every day– but it is really important to dedicate time to learning and practising English throughout the day. You can easily create a learning program that fits in with your life and includes different activities every day. Even if these only take 20 or 30 minutes in total, it will make all the difference to your progress.
First, let’s look at ways to create a routine and then we’ll look at some great (and quick!) activities you can easily slot into even the busiest of schedules.
1. Put Reminders in Your Calendar
We can all get a little forgetful from time to time, and when you’re a busy CEO or business executive, you have plenty of other things to worry about. But, this is still no excuse for neglecting your language learning– you’re not getting out of it that easily! Start to think of your business English as important as any other business task. Block off the time in your schedule, be it for 10 or 15 minutes, and give it your full attention.
2. Pick the Right Time
Consider when you’re your most productive and alert. If you’re a morning person, then try to do your business English practice first thing. If you’re more of a night-owl, then dedicate some quality quiet time to your study before you go to bed.
3. Ask Someone to Check In On Your Daily Progress
It’s a good idea to get someone else involved to help motivate you. It could be a colleague or a friend outside of work, but someone you trust and who cares about your progress. Ask them to give you a friendly nudge by email, call or text each day, to make sure you’ve done what you’ve promised to do. This is especially good for those who aren’t so self-motivated.
4. Change All the Language Setting on Devices
A sure way to encounter English every day is to change the language settings on all of your electronic devices. Mobiles, PC, laptop, iPad, if it has an English setting– start using it. Just think about how many times you check your phone a day!
You’re Ready to Go
Following these 4 steps will help you integrate business English into your daily routine. Now you know how to form good language learning habits, here are a few quick and easy activity ideas.
By the way, the language activities don’t necessarily have to focus on business English. It’s more about being exposed to the language regularly, in order to improve your understanding, fluency, and vocabulary.
1. Download Mobile Apps and Games in English
There are multiple language learning mobile apps out there to chose from. You can access mini-lessons wherever you are, on the go, in the office, or on a train. Got five minutes to spare before your next call? Open an app and engage.
2. Listen to Music in English
This is something which takes no effort at all but can be really beneficial and enjoyable. No matter your musical preferences, there is something out there for everyone.
You can find many music videos online which have the lyrics, so you can even sing-along! Or just download some of your favorite English speaking artists to a device, and listen when you’re travelling or on your lunch break.
3. Listen to Podcasts
Like music, you can download podcasts and listen when you’re on the go. They are a great tool for language learners as you can listen and get used to natural speech, which can, in turn, will improve your own conversational style.
Plus, it’s a fun way to learn. With so much choice out there, and you can find a podcast on almost any topic, in any style– factual, financial news, industry related, drama, or comedy.
Or, why not download an audiobook or business English lessons? They are another great way to improve your listening skills on the go.
4. Read Aloud For Five Minutes
Some people feel a little silly when they read aloud, thinking it’s something only children do. Children do it because it’s an excellent way to learn and commit information to memory.
When you read silently to yourself, you may understand all the words, but reading aloud starts to engage other parts of your brain. Now you need to think about the pronunciation of the words and the fluency as you say them, as well as trying to understand.
It’s more difficult than you think! But it’s where you should aim to be and the more you practise this the easier it will become.
5. Watch a Business English Video Course
The great thing about the digital age is that we have access to endless resources at the click of a button. There are some excellent business English video tutorials online to stream or download an watch later. This would be a great activity for your 15-30 minute slot for English which you scheduled into your calendar.
When you get your reminder, just go online and click ‘play’ on a video lesson. The great thing about video lessons is that you can pause to take notes or rewind if you need to listen again.
6. Watch TV or Movies in English
Studying English doesn’t have to be hard or boring! Watching TV or films in English is a great way to discover new words, phrases and expressions which will help enrich your business English conversation. You can also find authentic business-related media which can expose you to more vocabulary and teach you the correct usage and pronunciation.
7. Read English Material
There are a whole host of materials you could get your hands on, from industry related magazines, online news sites, or any type of book, fact or fiction.
Reading industry material in English is a great idea, not only to keep you up to date with current trends, but it will also help to improve the vocabulary for your field.
Create an English Environment
The idea is to try and create an English environment which will enable the growth and steady progress of your language skills. For more tips on how to improve your business English why not join the Business English Community?