Are you a fast talker and your wpm rate (words per minute) is high? Can you compete easily with Steve Jobs who was considered an average speaker often ranging between 153 and 168 wpm? Or are you faster? Audiobooks tend to stay in the range of 150-160 words per minute as this is supposed to be easiest for listeners.
English as a Lingua Franca – what does this mean for me when learning Business English? - Part III
Is English simply a tool to communicate with global partners?
If yes, take a pragmatic, multi-norm, multi-method approach that tolerates inaccuracies for the sake of communication. It is therefore important to understand how other cultures communicate.
English in native-speaking communities of practice – what does this mean for me when learning Business English? - Part II
Blending with the locals
Speaking like a native speaker means identifying which form of English you wish to learn – is it American English, British English, Australian English or one of the many other forms of English? This is called learning “English as a Foreign Language”.
Am I a cannibal if I say: “let’s eat Grandma” ...
... or do I mean something else?
Speaking clearly also means pausing when you speak. A short break in a sentence not only gives the speaker time to understand your statement, it can also clarify or even change its meaning.
Did I really intend to eat Grandma or was it only an invitation for lunch: “Let’s eat, Grandma!”?
The CEF or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Initiated in the early 1990s the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) was created to define a common basis for language learning in Europe. It aims to improve the recognition of language qualifications, to help the design of learning materials, the teaching of languages and the assessment of learners.
Being an expatriate is not easy, but moving to another country, learning a new language and living in a different culture can be very exciting and is often a career jump too. Nevertheless, it helps if you know a bit about the challenges you might face in advance. One of these challenges is culture shock. Defined as the disorientation a person may experience in a new cultural or foreign environment it can lead to information overload, homesickness, a language barrier and loneliness. When employees are sent on foreign assignment their families often accompany them.
merle & sheppard are currently working with Oxford University Press and doing Placement Test pretesting with some of our language learners.
Being able to communicate in a second language, especially in English, is essential in a globalized world. Not only do learners want to know what language level they have, but the Human Resources department and managers also need to know how best to develop their staff.