My name is Mario, and I’ve been a sales and marketing manager at Berlitz for the past six years. At this point, I have no problem speaking and writing in English with clients and colleagues, but years ago, it was a struggle I thought I would never overcome. [Contributed by Berlitz]
One day, I met a colleague from Denmark. Christina spoke five languages—all of them fluently!
I was impressed and intimidated, but I overcame my fear and asked her in my broken English how she had accomplished such a feat. She smiled and said, “By doing what you’re doing right now. I got out there and spoke each language.”
We went for a coffee—which, admittedly, had been one of the reasons I approached her in the first place—and she gave me a few tips on how to learn English. Tips that really work.
1. Jump into language learning feet first
My first problem was that I was afraid to use my language skills outside of my language course. I didn’t think I had a high enough level of English to use in my daily life. Christina, however, told me to dive right in!
By leaving my comfort zone, my skills improved significantly because I actually put them to use. It was the only way I could improve them.
2. Learn relevant vocabulary
Christina suggested I concentrate on marketing vocabulary, so I could express my ideas and opinions clearly and precisely—but it didn’t stop there. I enjoy cooking, so I focused on words relevant to the culinary arts.
It didn’t take long before it was easy to talk about what was going on in the kitchen. I find the topic to be a great conversation starter, both in my personal and professional life.
3. Watch movies without subtitles
Subtitles can be a big help, but forcing myself to really listen to the dialogue vastly improved my ability to understand and use English vocabulary.
4. Sing out loud
Admittedly, I have a horrible singing voice. But singing along with my favourite songs helped me gain a better grasp of English pronunciation. With no one around to listen, it doesn’t matter if my I’m off key!
5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
I now realise that, as with learning any other new skill, you will make mistakes at first. If you don’t make mistakes, however, you will never learn to correct them, and you will never be able to speak with confidence.
And that’s what these tips are all about: learning to speak a new language with confidence!
The Berlitz Method® entails total immersion in your target language. You are given the tools you need to build confidence in your ability to express yourself in your new language.
Berlitz language courses cover a variety of topics to ensure you’re learning the aspects of the language that are most useful to you in your private and professional life. For more information, contact Berlitz.
Contributed by Berlitz