As an English learner you’re certainly familiar with the phrase “Business English”. Do you know what it really means, though? This term is used for the kind of English needed to effectively communicate in various professional contexts.
Just speaking English often isn’t enough as doing business requires specific terminology and a higher register than most of your everyday conversations. In other words, there are certain words, expressions and rules that you need to know not only to make a good impression but also to convey your message.
How can you improve your Business English? A Business English course is always a good idea. There are, however, some quick hacks that can help you get started before you do that:
1. Make New Habits
Effective language learning has a lot to do with consistency. This is why to get the best results, you should develop habits beneficial for your Business English skills. What could they be? Here’s a list of ideas:
- Send emails to service providers in English and note how they communicate with you to improve your own business writing skills
- Buy a copy of The Economist or Time magazine monthly (digital or paper) and read an article per day, expanding your business vocabulary
- Listen to the Bloomburg radio or a similar channel to work on both listening comprehension skills and your vocabulary
2. Read Books about Business
If you’re interested in the world of business, you probably read topical books out of your own free will. These days try to go for the original English version rather than for the translation of it, in your own language.
On the other hand, if you’re not very interested in reading about business,try to find books that are both fun and can help you improve the vocabulary you need for your professional purposes. An example of a lighter book to read would be “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris or “The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard.
Be careful – not everything about business will be relevant to you so don’t overburden yourself early on with a lot of excessive words and expressions to learn. This leads me to the next point…
3. First Things First
Ideally, one day you should be able to give a speech in flawless Business English even without using your notes. However, as Rome wasn’t built in a day, your English fluency won’t appear overnight.
Focus on your most immediate goals first. English for Business Professionals is a very vast term. Your objectives are different when your goal is to make a presentation for a client in English and when you want to take up job in an English speaking country.
4. Look for Opportunities to Practise
When I was exchanging emails with one of our LAL students in her native language, she asked me to change the language of communication to English as she’d like to practise it with me. That’s exactly the attitude you should strive for!
It’s always a good time to work on your professional English skills, be it on the phone, via email or in a face-to-face conversation. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more vocabulary and improve you grammar.
Listening to native speakers or speakers with a higher level than yours is a great idea and so is reading what they write. You can start out by joining a professional forum in your area of expertise or by reading English speaking blogs of companies similar to yours.
5. Watch Movies, Series and Shows
…and YouTube videos and documentaries! Watching the right materials is a good way to get acquainted with the way people speak in the world of business. You’ll have to get creative here because only you know what‘s truly relevant to you:
1. Are you interested in the advertising industry? Watch “Mad Men”.
2. Do you want to learn more about the legal industry? “Suits” to the rescue!
3. Your turn to come up with a suggestion!
There are many ways for you to master English for Business Professionals!
Just one word of warning: be mindful that the vocabulary differs depending on the English version. If you need to learn a specific variation of English e.g.British English, American English or Australian English, make sure that this is the one used in the videos you watch.
Use our tips and take a Business English course in one of our schools to see the results you want. Most importantly, practise what you learn whenever you can.
Thanks to the development of technology, learning languages is now easier than ever. New apps are springing up like mushrooms after the rain and sometimes it’s difficult to choose the ones that are really useful. How to find the best English learning app? We’re going to have a look at a number of them and hopefully help you make up your mind.
Remember that as helpful as apps can be in your learning process, they’ll work best when combined with a good General English course.
5 Top English Learning Apps
1. Hello English
One of the first words you learn in a new language is “Hello!”. Fortunately, Hello English will teach you much more than that in 475 interactive lessons. It’ll help you speak as well as teach you grammar and vocabulary. What’s more, you don’t need to know English at all to use it, as it’s prepared specifically for speakers of different languages. You definitely won’t get bored when using it, due to its numerous functionalities such as games, daily news practice and discussions with teachers.
Can it get any better? Yes! This language learning app is also free to use!
What’s the catch?
The app will only work for speakers of the following languages: Arabic, Assamese, Bangladeshi Bengali, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Kannada, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Portuguese, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish and Urdu.
This language app isn’t designed specifically for English learning but allows its users to learn numerous languages. What’s interesting is that the languages that you can learn, depend on the language(s) you speak.
Thanks to LingoDeer you can work on all main language skills, namely, listening, reading, speaking and writing. The grammar notes will prove invaluable during your time spent with the app. You can also count on LingoDeer to take you all the way up to the intermediate level.
What’s the catch?
Learning English is currently available for speakers of: Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese. The app is no longer free to use.
3. Rosetta Stone
This English learning app is quite different to others on the market. Any user who knows the Latin alphabet can use it to learn English, even if he or she doesn’t speak a word of it. How is that possible? Rosetta Stone is an example of intuitive teaching. You’re first taught simple words and concepts in order to prepare you to guess the meaning of more complicated expressions later on.
The app also offers special training to help you improve your pronunciation as well as offline lessons to allow you to practise in the air and in other situations when you have no access to the Internet.
What’s the catch?
Only the demo version is free. It allows you to get full access to the app for 3 days.
Duolingo is one of the most popular language apps. It’s very easy to use and has a friendly interface. It’s also a great tool, if your level of English isn’t too high. It’ll help you get some basic vocabulary down very quickly. You can choose how much time you want to use it every day. There’s a lot of drilling to help you remember the words you’ve already learnt.
The app offers English courses to speakers of many popular languages. The current offer includes English for speakers of: Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Turkish, Chinese, German, Italian, Polish, Indonesian, Japanese, Romanian, Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, Korean, Thai, Greek, Punjabi, Tagalog, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.
What’s the catch?
The app works best for beginners and pre-intermediate students but isn’t really suitable for higher levels. The exercises may feel repetitive after long-term use.
Beelinguapp is based on quite an innovative concept, which allows you to use audiobooks and stories to learn a language. You’ll read various sources ranging from fairy tales to news in two different languages and learn through this process.
It’s a very entertaining method and it’ll work great for intermediate students who would like to achieve more fluency. The texts are available in 12 languages (German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Turkish) so as long as you speak one of them, you can use the app to learn English.
What’s the catch?
This language app won’t work for beginners.
Which app do you like the most? Let us know in the comments’ section. To get the best out of these apps it’s good to use them as an addition to a structured learning programme such as a General English course. Are you ready to take your English skills to the next level?
Everyone knows that the language of communication in aviation is English. Flight attendants all around the world know how to effectively communicate in this language. Nevertheless, the vocabulary used by cabin crews attending to passengers differs significantly from the lingo that pilots and traffic air controllers use. If your ambition is to become one of them, you should think about learning Aviation English at LAL Fort Lauderdale. To give you a sample of what awaits you, let’s have a quick look at the most common aviation terms:
Pilots do not say “yes” but “affirm”. You may be also familiar with the term “affirmative” but in reality, it’s used mostly in the military. In aviation radio communication the right term for confirmation is “affirm” and the acceptable pronunciation of the word is “AY-firm”.
The acronym stands for “Above Ground Level”. It’s a measurement of altitude.
“To approach” means simply “coming in to land”. Pilots will also use a related term “final approach” for the last stage of this process.
I’m sure you’ve used the term “on autopilot” in your life to say that you’re doing something without thinking about it. In aviation, autopilot is an automatic control system of an aircraft.
Many airlines do not allow pets on board so you may wonder what’s a cat doing on this list. The acronym means Clear-Air-Turbulence.
A circuit is an established path for planes coming in to land. It’s important because it allows pilots to make all the necessary pre-landing checks and helps organise the inbound traffic.
What comes to your mind when you look at the word “deadhead”? Make a guess and read on. Rather surprisingly, this interesting term is used to refer to an aircrew member sitting in a passenger seat.
8. Ground control
It means air traffic control. The term has been popularised thanks to the lyrics of a David Bowie’s song about Major Tom, “Space Oddity”.
This word is the bearer of bad news. It’s only used by pilots to ask for help in life-threatening emergencies. It needs to be repeated three times as I’m sure you’ve heard in the movies. The term has a French origin and is derived from “m’aidez”, which translates as “help me”.
“Pan-pan” is another aviation term used for expressing a cry for help. It’s not as serious as “mayday” and communicates the existence of a problem which is noticeable but not life-threatening. Similarly like “mayday” it needs to be repeated three times and comes from a French word. “Panne” means “breakdown” or “failure”.
It’s a different term that you’ve definitely heard in the movies. “Roger” is used to let the other side know that the message was received. However, it’s not an expression of compliance. If a pilot wants to say that he or she “will comply”, he uses an abbreviation “wilco”. “Wilco” on its own is enough and it doesn’t have to be used in combination with “roger”.
This word is used when an air controller or a pilot is too busy to reply or help you. In standard English, you’d probably say “hold on” to express the same idea. If you hear “standby”, you don’t need to answer anything. The right thing to do is wait until the person is ready to assist you.
A term used to define air speeds.
These are just some of the most important terms to help you build your aviation vocabulary. Successful communication is necessary for safety and well-being of passengers as well as the crew. Being a pilot is a very exciting but also a very responsible job! Fortunately, learning aviation terms can help you excel in your assignments.
A good way to start your learning process is to enrol in an Aviation English course that you can take in our school in Fort Lauderdale. Apart from teaching you the right vocabulary, it will help you understand the interactions between pilots and air traffic controllers on the basis of real-life examples. What do you say? Are you ready to take off?
If you keep wondering how to improve pronunciation in English, you should try watching these British series.