Welcome to the Startup your English blog by The Business End.
This blog has been created to give anyone the possibility to expand their knowledge of the English language and find new ways to express themselves in a world that is becoming more and more “English”.
The scope of the The Business End project is to help SME’s and startups become more confident with the English language through professional guidance and tailor made solutions to the problems that are commonly faced by businesses trying to make those giant steps into the international market.
I am often asked for advice on many matters concerning the use of English in business and so I hope that this blog will be a way in which I can share everything that will help you in your quest for world domination 😉 .
In this post I would like to give some general advice to people who are either learning English or have already arrived at a comfortable level of competence:
Read anything and everything. In order to expand your vocabulary you have to absorb as many different words and phrases as possible. These must come from various sources from instruction manuals to cereal boxes, otherwise you may find that you can only talk about one subject making conversation a bit boring for the others.
Keep a personal vocabulary. The idea of keeping a personal vocabulary is that you will be able to remind yourself of words that you already need in your day to day activities. The best way to compile this vocabulary is to use an address book with separate pages for each letter. Here’s an example:
You hear a word or phrase during a call or a meeting that you don’t understand. Let’s say that the word is “challenge”, you go to the “C” page and write “challenge” then, next to this, write the translation in your mother tongue. On a second line write a short phrase that is both relevant to your needs and a good example of the use of the word (you can use a thesaurus for help here). In a short time you will find that you have started to compile a vocabulary that is both useful and tailor made to your needs.
Talk as much as possible and with as many different people as you can. During every stage of learning a language, from the basic to advanced levels, if you do not learn to put into spontaneous action the rules that you learn in the classroom you will forever be stuck at the same level. I am sure you have already noticed that some accents are almost impossible to understand at first but, once you hear them a few times, it gets easier and easier. Talking to people from many different countries/ regions / walks of life will help you get used to the myriad of different and diverse accents that exist in English.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes. This is the most important advice I can give to anyone. When we are learning something new, it is obvious that we are going to make mistakes, some small some hilariously large. I could tell you about some of the many mistakes that I have made / make during my struggle to learn to speak Italian that would make you roll over laughing. Making mistakes is good. Nobody is born running, we fall, we get up and we try again.
To close, I would like to say something that has helped me a lot during my studies and my life.
There is no such thing as a person who is incapable of learning something new. There is, however, such a thing as a method of learning that is incompatible with a person. If you feel that you are getting nowhere even though you have studied all the grammar rules and know them inside out remember that you could speak before you could read.
I hope this blog will be useful to everyone who reads it. Please feel free to comment, share your ideas and make any suggestions you like.
‘Till next time