If you hope to succeed in business, then you will need to learn to speak and write proper English. Being able to communicate in different languages can be important, but with businesses of all sizes competing in the international marketplace, a common language had to be established and it was English. An estimated two billion people use English to communicate on a regular basis.
The Dominance of English
American businesses and entertainment have a huge influence around the world. Apple and Microsoft are the two most dominant high-tech companies and anyone hoping to do business with them should be able to communicate effectively in English.
Hollywood films and television shows are very popular throughout the world. Although they may be translated into different languages using subtitles, many people quickly become familiar with the English language by watching them. In fact, people in some countries have learned the language through such media.
In addition, in most countries English is taught as a second language because of its importance in the business world. Over 50% of all content published online is in English, so to promote your business or yourself on a global scale, reading, speaking and writing in English is a necessity.
The Importance of Fluency
Although English is not an easy language to learn, it is important to be fluent in it in order to effectively communicate. It can be easy to spot web pages and other published information written by people who are not fluent in the language. Along with spelling errors, context errors are the most prevalent problem when non-native English speakers try to write in English.
To be able to get your point across in a written form, you have to use the language effectively. Words or phrases used incorrectly can give your email or letter an entirely different meaning than the one you meant. A well-written email or memo will allow the reader to understand the message you were trying to get across to them.
For practical reasons, the better you speak and write English, the better you will be able to negotiate with others. Even if you do work in another country where English isn’t the dominant language, you may need to negotiate on the telephone with vendors, clients or colleagues in other countries. In this case, English may be the language you use since it is the international business language.
Your level of fluency will impact your career as well. If you can speak and write in fluent English, the more your employer will depend on your skills in negotiations for the company. In addition, you will probably be paid better and given more responsibility within your company. You may also be given the chance to travel abroad to attend meetings as a representative of your company or to meet in person with clients.
English Fluency for Business
When you are looking for job opportunities, you may see advertisements asking for employees who know English to have “business level fluency.” This means they want someone who can read, write and understand the language well enough to do business in English.
The hired employee will need to be able to converse in English with staff in other locations around the world, as well as vendors and clients. They should also be able to read business documents and emails, as well as be able to write them in English too.
Levels of Fluency
In Europe, there are six levels of English fluency that have become the accepted standard for determining an individual’s proficiency in the language. These levels were set by the Council of Europe in order to establish learning, teaching and assessment methods for all languages on the European continent. The English proficiency levels include:
Basic Level – Breakthrough and Elementary
These first two levels indicate that a student can interact on a simple, or basic, level with an English speaker as long as they speak slowly and clearly. At this level, a student should be able to introduce themselves by name and answer, as well as ask, basic questions.
Independent Level – Intermediate and Upper Intermediate
This level will allow students to interact with native English speakers naturally and without too much difficulty for either party. The student would be able to communicate well when travelling in a country where English is the predominant language. At these levels, the student should be able to understand complex written texts, ideas and thoughts in the English language.
Proficient Level – Advanced and Master of Proficiency
At these proficiency levels, you will be able to speak English without stopping and mentally translating from your native language into English. You will be able to read, write and understand more complex texts fluently. You should also be able to understand just about everything you hear when it is spoken in English.
Where to Learn English
If you attend a university in a country where English is the official language, you will be able to take English as a Second Language classes. You can also find free English courses online. However, if you wish to be fluent, especially in business English, you can attend classes at schools that specialise in teaching English courses, such as the Delfin Language School in London.
Most of these schools teach general English courses that will help you learn the basics of the language in order to attend school or work in an English-speaking country. They also have business English courses so you can become proficient in writing and reading business documents, emails and other necessary communications. The courses will help you learn to speak English proficiently.
If you hope to succeed in the business world on a global scale, you will need to learn English. It is the international language of business and without being able to communicate in English, you will not be able to do business internationally. While it can be hard to learn any second language, especially as an adult, persistence in learning English can help you succeed in many ways.