Did you know that English is the most spoken language in the world? According to Berlitz, if you combine native and non-native speakers there are approximately 1.132 million English speakers in the world.
Although there are over 7,000 languages worldwide, English is considered a universal language and those who can converse in English have a distinct advantage when it comes to careers in the international workplace.
If English is not your native tongue, don’t worry. Here are a few tips to help you boost your career and achieve more as a non-native English speaker.
Both native and non-native English speakers can enhance their careers with further education and gaining relevant qualifications.
In particular, enrolling in a career-specific degree program taught in your native language can help you gain a deeper understanding of your area of study.
Excelsior College’s ¡Adelante! the program offers college courses in Spanish. This program can help boost your career while improving your English language skills.
Break Down That Language Barrier
Non-native English speakers who work in a predominantly English-speaking business can probably attest to the fact that communication with colleagues can be difficult at times.
Depending on a worker’s English language proficiency, misunderstandings can occur from both written and oral communication in the workplace.
From everyday small talk to technical jargon, a lack of skill in the language department can be a huge, professional hurdle. Not only can it directly affect work, but it can also lead to poor relations with colleagues. It is important that you take steps to break down this language barrier.
People who have a good understanding of the English language but are shy to actually put it into practice should push themselves to speak up at work. In addition to chipping in at meetings, try to make conversation with your colleagues during breaks. As a non-native English speaker, it is natural to make mistakes during conversations.
However, this article suggests that native speakers are actually the worst communicators and are often to blame for misunderstandings in conversation.
Many native speakers are monolingual, which could mean that they are less aware of the impact of the words they use during conversation.
This could lead to the use of colloquialisms, abbreviations, and references and jokes relating to their own culture, which non-native speakers may not understand.
With this in mind, don’t be afraid to ask colleagues to repeat themselves if you don’t quite understand what they mean the first time round.
Place Focus on Your Existing Skill Set
Although good communication is essential in most businesses, there are many other key skills that can help you shine at work. Whether your organizational skills are top-notch, you work well under pressure or you can produce fantastic results in a short space of time, make sure your employer recognizes your key skills.
In addition to a good grasp of the English language, an excellent set of skills and your knowledge in your field can get you far.
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