Speak Better English

Heinz Alvarez

Do you want to become globally competitive? Speak better English.

Especially if you are aiming to land a job from a company outside yours, it is very important to enhance your English communication, both written and spoken. And because speaking is more challenging than writing, not to mention that good command in spoken English creates a good impression, here’s how you can improve in this aspect.

Watch and listen. When I was a communications coach, I would normally recommend watching American movies and TV shows regularly to call center agents. That is an effective way to (1) develop the “American ear” in them, (2) to teach them good pronunciation, and (3) to help them neutralize their accent. I recommend the same to you - regularly watch American movies, TV shows, series, or short videos; and when you do, listen very well and pay attention to how they move their mouths in order to pronounce their words.

Read aloud. Couple watching and listening with reading aloud. Many coaches do suggest reading aloud in front of a mirror to see if your mouth moves correctly when reading the words aloud. Inject fun - imagine and mimic Ryan Seacrest of American Idol when you read! Better if you can record it, and then listen to it later so you could tell if you pronounced the words correctly. In case of doubt in your pronunciation, consult www.m-w.com.

Write it down. Let me tell you a secret - I would normally write down possible job interview questions and my answers to them as part of my preparation for my job interviews. Writing down things is like inking it on your brain so that when the time comes when you need to say them, you could say them correctly and with full confidence because you already know it by heart.

Think in English and speak up. Challenge yourself to prefer thinking in English everyday. Eventually you will notice that your tendency is to react and to speak up in English. And yes, speaking would be your “practicum”. Don’t be afraid to speak in English to yourself and with your family and friends. Remember the saying - “practice makes perfect”.