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Learning A New Language is Embarrassing! How Can I Speak English Confidently?

Consider this a public service announcement for anyone who is feeling negatively about their language learning experience. Here we want to provide you with 3 simple methods for getting your mind out of a rut about your abilities.

learning new language
Learning New Language

3 Essential Confidence Boosters:

1. Create an environment

The first step is to create an environment that does not encourage negative feelings about your learning. If people are embarrassing you for making mistakes when learning something new, then you have the wrong kind of people in your life! Never tolerate a teacher, a pupil, or a colleague that will belittle you for trying to improve yourself! The first step towards feeling more confident, in this case, is to surround yourself with an understanding group of people, like fellow learners and English teachers, who will see your mistakes as steps towards becoming a masterful user of the English language. Give yourself the space to make mistakes, mistakes are steps towards improvement.

learning new language
Learning New Language

2. Look silly before looking Professional

The second step is to accept the fact that you have to look silly before you can look professional! It is absolutely essential to remember that no one starts as a professional. Everyone starts as being bad at something before they can become good at something. Feeling embarrassed is perfectly normal. You, and every single adult learner, will feel silly or ashamed for not knowing something. And that is perfectly okay. You have to feel silly before you can feel good! The silly and embarrassing feelings will pass, and we are here to help you through it! Keep persisting, persevere, and know that you are building yourself up towards competency. It just takes time!

learning new language
Learning New Language

3. Tangible forms of evidence of Progressing

The last step is to give yourself tangible forms of evidence that you are progressing and improving your English language abilities. In a classroom, if you have a good teacher, they will make sure that all their learners are aware of how much progress they are making. You will receive marks, praise, and feedback from a teacher who will keep track of what you are doing. If you are an independent learner, you can produce marks for yourself! Find activities that you will do on a regular basis. Just like in a classroom, and make sure you keep a record of the fact that you did those activities.

Sometimes the way you feel about your progress contradicts the reality: you might feel like you are making no progress at all, when in fact, you are steadily learning. A physical mark or tangible record of this fact will help your mind see the reality of your progress and make you a more confident speaker of English.

By Thomas Marais

Thomas is a native English speaker from South Africa, who graduated cum laude and uses his honors bachelor’s degree in the Humanities to provide professional English tutoring to children and adults. He is a TEFL certified teacher and teaches teach both children and adults at any language level.

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Myths About Learning English: Faellis Wollard

When learning a new craft, naturally we tend to take all the advice we can get. Learning English is no exception. But could it be that somewhere along your English learning journey, you might’ve run with some not so true ideas? While having as many resources available at your disposal, to finally get that fluency and pronunciation you so desire, is great. It is possible that you might be entertaining ideas about learning English that are myths. Let’s discuss three myths about learning English that could be holding you back from reaching your full potential.

English learning

Myth #1 – High English level= Effective communication

It’s easy to believe that the higher the English level, the easier it should be to get a clear message across. However, this often proves untrue because of one key factor; attitude. For a lot of high-level English learners, the fear of being judged causes them to hyper focus on the correctness of what they’re trying to communicate instead of the clarity of their message. This being the reason why lower-level English learners who are not afraid to embrace mistakes, can communicate their message with more clarity and effectiveness.

Tip

  • Instead of focusing on yourself and how you sound, focus on the person with whom you wish to communicate and the message you wish to make clear.

Myth #2 -It’s necessary to move to an English-speaking country

 Undoubtedly, moving abroad to immerse oneself in the language and culture of an English country could be an awesome resource. Needless to say, it is not an option that every English learner can actively explore; for various reasons, such as having responsibilities where they currently reside, not wanting to leave family and friends behind or simply not having the budget for it. I’m sure you’ll find relief in knowing it’s also NOT necessary. You can make English learning a lifestyle without going to live abroad.

Tip

  • Use the resources you do have available, such as English learning communities with like minded people who also wish to sharpen their skills.

Myth#3 – Grammar is not important

No, Grammar is not the key to learning English and communicating effectively. It’s no secret that grammar is not the most fun part of it either. It can seem boring and tedious to have to go over rules that admittedly sometimes seem to not make sense. However, combined with the other areas of English Learning, grammar is an excellent tool to achieve fluency and effective communication. So, don’t be so quick to kick grammar to the curb!

             

Tip

  • Grammar is another resource. It will help you in achieving your goals of Learning and communicating in English like a champ.

So, there you have it, three English learning myths debunked. Surely everyone’s experience is different, but that’s the beauty of it. This is the key to do what’s best for you with the resources you have available and you will be on your way to success!

Faellis Wollard

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Writing the perfect business email in English

To whom it may concern –

Sending an email in the modern era is more casual and convenient than it has ever been before. Making plans with friends and keeping in touch with loved ones from across the world is only a few button presses away. But there exists a clear line between personal and business emails, a line that needs to be defined.

Writing the perfect business email may seem like a daunting and frightful task, but fear not. Addressing official recipients does not require a pocket-sized thesaurus (although I’d imagine it would certainly help!). One of the most important considerations when sending emails that are more official in nature is the language used. Slang words, colloquialisms and inside-jokes should be avoided at all costs. A note of formality is something that should be foremost. Politeness is key!

email
Writing the perfect business email in English

Professionalism is something that transcends language. Ensure that mentality is reflected throughout any business email you may send. Address the recipient with their full name and title, ensure you have signed off with your full name and credentials. Be concise, informative. Do not beat around the bush, this email ought to have a clear and defined purpose. This ideal should be reflected in the basic outline of any formal email:

  1. Subject
  2. Greetings
  3. Main Text
  4. Signature

And of course, check thoroughly for any grammatical and spelling errors.

Tonally, it is important to remain neutral. Do not let the subject matter sway you, emotionally. Allowing that to seep into the language you use and the emails you send can be quite problematic. You could potentially come across as hot-headed and extremely unprofessional.

This sort of neutrality and formality is all indicative of the unspoken law of Corporate email. Personal emails have a completely different set of standards and etiquette. Would you speak to the Queen of England in the same way you would speak to a childhood friend?

Yours sincerely,

Sadun Chamira Perera, B.Eng

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Taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam? 5 reasons to consider a test preparation course

If you’re planning to take TOEFL or IELTS exam, maybe you’ve wondered, “Do I really need to take a test preparation course before my exam? Can I get a good score just by studying on my own?” It’s possible to get a good score studying alone, but there are several reasons a test preparation course might be worth your time!

1. You’ll improve faster with more feedback

There are several TOEFL and IELTS preparation books on the market with practice exam questions and answers. Working through these questions and checking your answers can be a good way to study on your own, especially for the reading and listening sections of the exams. But what if you don’t understand some of the answers in the book? And what about the practice questions for the writing and speaking sections? A test preparation book can’t give you feedback on your writing and speaking. This is where a test preparation course is very helpful. In a course, you’ll be able to ask your instructor questions when you don’t understand, saving you a lot of time and frustration. Your instructor can also review your answers to the speaking and writing practice questions. Your instructor’s feedback will help you know what you’re doing well and how you can improve.

2. You’ll know what to focus on while preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS exam

You know that to keep improving your language skills, regular English practice is a must—and there are so many exciting ways to practice English! But when you’re preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS exam, some methods of practicing are better than others. For example, watching a popular film in English can be a great way to develop English listening skills, but it’s not so helpful for the TOEFL. This is because popular films usually don’t have a lot of academic vocabulary and phrases, but the TOEFL is full of them! To make the most of your practice time, you need to focus on the knowledge and skills required for the exam you’re taking.

A TOEFL or IELTS preparation course gives you exactly this—specific English practice for success on the exam. Your instructor can recommend specific exercises and activities based on your abilities that will help you increase your score in as little time as possible.

3. You’ll have accountability

Studying on your own can be great, but let’s admit it…sometimes it’s difficult to stay motivated! We all have times when we don’t feel like opening a book or sitting down to write another essay. A test preparation course can help you commit to preparing for the exam. Your instructor will expect you to attend class and complete assignments. He or she will be there to encourage you. And if you attend a class with other students, they can be great source of encouragement and support, too. If you’re not sure that you can motivate yourself to practice and study consistently on your own, a course can make all the difference!

4. You’ll gain confidence for taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam

If the thought of taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam makes you nervous, you’re certainly not alone. Thankfully, a little nervousness can actually enhance your abilities! Too much anxiety, however, can hurt your score and make the test a negative experience. If you’ve successfully taken a test preparation course, you’ll know that you’ve practiced and studied consistently, completed high quality exercises and activities, and received useful feedback from your instructor along the way. You’ll also be familiar with the exam format, including how long you have to complete each section and the types of questions you’ll be asked. This should help calm your fears as you approach the exam and give you the confidence you need to do your very best on test day.

5. You’ll be putting your best foot forward

Your TOEFL or IELTS exam score is important. Universities have strict score requirements, so even a small improvement in your score can be the difference between a university acceptance or rejection. You want to “put your best foot forward”—in other words, you want to give universities the best possible information about yourself. You’ve worked hard to develop your English skills, so you owe it to yourself to make sure that your TOEFL or IELTS exam score reflects all of your hard work. A test preparation course can help you do this in all the ways listed above. So, if you know that the TOEFL or IELTS is in your future and you like what you’ve read here, sign up for a preparation course and get ready to ace your exam!

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Strengthen Your Accuracy or Fluency for the IELTS Speaking Test:Tip # 5

The speaking portion of the IELTS test makes some students particularly nervous. It is unlike the other parts of the test. The speaking part involves talking to an actual person who will ask you questions. But there is no need to fear this part of the exam! You can think of your examiner as an acquaintance who would find out about your life and opinions. Imagine that he or she is a colleague at school or work. This can help you to speak naturally and spontaneously as you would in any other conversation.

Jump-start your Speaking Fluency and Accuracy

In order to speak English well, both fluency and accuracy are important. Fluency refers to your rate of speech. Some people speak very slowly and frequently take long pauses to think about grammar or vocabulary. That person is probably not very fluent. However, this same person may be very accurate. Accuracy refers to how often you use the correct grammar and vocabulary for the ideas you are trying to express. Usually, a language learner is stronger in one of these than the other. You can improve your speaking ability by focusing your practice on whichever is weaker for you.

Find out whether you are stronger in fluency or accuracy. A trained English teacher or tutor could help. However, you may not have an English teacher or tutor. You can explain these two terms to an English speaker that you know. The English speaker you choose should at least speak English at a higher level than you. A native speaker would be best. Then ask this person to evaluate your English after a conversation with you. You could find some practice IELTS speaking questions online and ask the English speaker to ask you the questions. Ask this person to consider the question, “What is more distracting or difficult to understand in my English? Is it a problem with fluency (stopping frequently, speaking slowly) or accuracy (wrong grammar or vocabulary)?”

After your conversation, ask this person to honestly answer this question for you. Even if you think you already know the answer, try this activity with a few English speakers. You might be surprised at their responses!

Clearly identify whether your fluency or accuracy is more problematic, then you can take steps to strengthen whichever is weaker.

speaking

For improving fluency:

If your fluency is weaker, it can be helpful to practice. Try answering the same IELTS speaking practice question a few times while recording your voice. Each time you try to answer the question, try to give the same information. Do not change the basic idea of your answer. By the second or third time you answer you might see improvement. You should notice that you are able to say the same information in less time and with less pausing. This repeated process is very important! You may not be able to answer your IELTS question more than once on the day of the exam. Practicing the same question more than once helps you to know what it feels like to speak English more automatically and fluently. With practice, you’ll find that you will speak more and more fluently even on your first answer.

For elevating accuracy:

If your accuracy is weaker, it’s important to pinpoint specific vocabulary or grammar that you are using incorrectly. Then create a new habit of using that vocabulary or grammar in the correct way. To do this, the feedback of a teacher or tutor can be very helpful. But, you can also improve on your own if you can learn to recognize your own errors. To do this, record yourself answering a question. Then with a piece of paper and pencil, listen to your recording. Do you hear any errors? If you aren’t sure, it can also help to try to write or type the words you recorded.

If you hear or see an error, think about why you made that error. Is this error a habit, or in other words, an error that you make often? If this is an error that you usually don’t make, you can ignore it. If it’s a mistake that you make often, you want to work to correct it. Write down the corrected form and then practice speaking your answer to the question again. This time repeat with the help of your written notes. Repeat this until it becomes natural to use the correct form. Then brainstorm other questions you could answer. They should require you to use the same grammar/vocabulary, and continue to record and listen to your answers. Make the word or the grammar principle you are trying to correct your new favorite part of English! Try to use it in conversation with other English speakers—and when you do, ask, “Did I use that correctly?”

Improving your speaking accuracy or fluency will not happen overnight—it takes time and consistent practice. However, it’s absolutely possible! And when you do, you’ll feel well-prepared. You will be ready to give a fluent and accurate answer to any question your examiner might ask!

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A Message from the Founder

Hi, my name is Toni Parks, and I’m the founder of World’s English. I think I already know a little about you—let’s see if I’m right. First off, you want English lessons that are at your English level. The lessons should have topics important to your goals. They need to challenge you and keep your attention. You also want an English teacher who is experienced, compassionate, and a native English speaker—a teacher you feel comfortable with, should have a clear plan for exactly how to improve your English in the shortest time possible. You also need to have lessons at times that fit your busy schedule. Online lessons are best for you because you can study from anywhere.

Founder
Founder of World’s English



Does this sound like you? If so, I have great news—you’ve found what you’re looking for! World’s English is an online language school with specialized courses in business English, exam preparation, medical English [you can insert a list of the courses you’d like to highlight here.. can end with “and more” if not all of them are listed]. When you sign up for a course with us, you’ll take an exam to determine your English level. Then you’ll receive a detailed plan—called your Personal English Action Plan—that shows exactly what you need to work on to improve your English. In your lessons, your teacher will use the plan to teach you exactly what you need most–so you’ll see real improvement from every lesson. I customized the Lessons what you need. If you need to progress very quickly, your teacher will assign homework so you can practice what you learn outside of class. If you don’t want homework, that’s okay too. At World’s English, we believe your English course should fit your needs.

I love helping people improve their English because I know it can make such a difference in their lives. It can open doors to better educational opportunities, higher paying jobs, and more confidence in English-speaking settings. As a World’s English student, you’ll have our 100% support in reaching your goals. We believe in you and want you to succeed!

So, this is my personal invitation to you—don’t wait to make this commitment to yourself. If your English is holding you back, sign up for a World’s English course today and let’s get started! See you in a lesson!