Imagine a majestic elephant – let’s call her Bella – wandering the savannah with her family and friends. She’s grazing peacefully, yet is alert to any problems with the little ones or any prowlers in the vicinity.
Now, how can Bella steer you to mastery in English?
Choose a direction
Bella uses her elegant trunk to sniff and sense, helping her to find her route and destination. Her trunk symbolises progressing with purpose, rather than aimlessly ambling.
To move to mastery in English, you also need to know where you’re going and to stay on track.
What do you need to do better and faster? Write emails, call clients, prepare reports, deliver presentations? What’s your first priority?
Once you’ve decided, then:
Bella’s sturdy legs hold her steady and grounded. They represent four effective pillars of mastering English for work:
1. Active copying is copying a text for about 10 minutes and focusing on the phrases, grammar and style that are used and analysing why. This helps to develop a feel for the way English works, making you sound more natural.
For more advice on active copying, read my post “Is writing in English to grow your business your next step”.
2. Speedwriting is free writing under time pressure to activate your vocabulary and grammar. Producing English becomes a painless habit. Regular bouts (sessions) of intense writing on the topics you want and need to deal with can show your gaps, help to fill them and accelerate the writing process.
Read my post “How to speed up your Business English writing” for guidance on speedwriting.
3. Relaxed reading is spending 15 to 30 minutes a day reading an enjoyable novel, letting your subconscious soak up new words and reinforce grammar structures. Talking about what you’ve read boosts the benefits of reading for pleasure even more.
For more ideas, read my posts “How to enhance your Business English writing by relaxing” and "Do you have a relaxed reading routine? Here's mine".
4. Feedback helps to speed up the learning process, especially when it’s focused feedback from an expert. Getting guidance helps you to build up your know-how and learn tips and shortcuts for better English at work.
Check out my post “The #1 way to fast-track your English writing skills (painlessly)” for feedback options.
Can you see Bella swishing her tail in the breeze and swatting at insects?
She’s enjoying herself – and you should too on your way to mastering English.
Make sure your active copying, speedwriting and relaxed reading are all about what interests, intrigues and engages you. This makes it so much easier to keep going.
Remember that training in short stints (periods) on most days tends to be more doable and valuable than one long session once a week.
Bella’s floppy ears that she can flap are a reminder to listen to the news, podcasts, TED Talks, TV shows and movies as often as possible. Again, go for topics that interest you.
And Bella’s impressive tusks?
Well, sometimes you need a gentle yet determined shove (push) to get you moving.
So let Bella lead you to mastery in English for work.
Do you need a shove to get you going?
© Christina Wielgolawski