Challenges to speaking English
'like a native speaker'
We know that learning to speak a new language is a journey.
There are usually challenges along the way – and learning English is no different.
But with patience and a little effort, most of us can grasp the basics of another language quite quickly, whether through school, studying textbooks, watching films, or via courses online.
However, for most people, there are two main difficulties:
speaking English in a way that sounds natural... and then
being understood when they speak!
Using English skilfully, with accurate pronunciation and appropriate intonation for IELTS, for your job interview, or when giving a presentation can be tricky. However, for Nurses, Doctors and other Healthcare professionals, when it comes to communicating effectively in English, this brings a whole new set of challenges.
Picture the scenario:
You're ready to give critical news to your patients in English... Maybe you have to provide key information to your English-speaking clients, colleagues or patients over the telephone... or deliver a presentation at a conference...
So, you've prepared what you want to say, and you can hear the words clearly in your head. Then, at the crucial moment, when you speak, something rather different comes out – and you can sense the confusion felt by your colleagues, patients or audience.
They might smile politely, but
your colleagues, patients, audience etc do not understand what you're saying!
Worse still, you might cause offence, through your poor intonation or inappropriate choice of words.
You're trying to build a good rapport, but you achieve the complete opposite.
This is a very familiar story, so if you recognise yourself here, you are not alone.
I hear this regularly:
You feel reasonably comfortable about your reading and writing skills, but less confident about your listening skills. But when it comes to speaking, that's another matter entirely.
It's speaking in English that causes the biggest headache, and when you feel the greatest anxiety.
Why is speaking in English more challenging?
Because often, you don't have time to consider or practice what you want to say before you speak – and you certainly don't have time during a conversation!
People usually haven't spent enough time speaking and practising with native English speakers; what's more, they typically try to get everything perfect and are frightened of making a mistake, which creates hesitation.
Frequently, they have never learned the nuances of the English language; and frequently, when working in areas such as Healthcare, many professionals have not fully considered cultural and social norms, or understood the critical English vocabulary and phases required to achieve effective communication.
So, how can you speak better English and become a more effective communicator?
During your online English lessons and 10-week programmes, firstly, you'll soon overcome any fear of getting it wrong or of feeling embarrassed.
During the one-to-one sessions and programmes that I offer, you'll realise as you practise, that making a mistake will be your golden opportunity to learn, improve and make progress, because you will learn from your errors in real-time.
Our time together will be your golden opportunity to receive corrections, constructive feedback, and
encouragement in real-time.
In your 10-week programme, you will receive the pronunciation and intonation guidance, key vocabulary and essential phases you need to engage better with your colleagues, patients or clients, whilst you develop your communication skills.
I will support you in your learning challenges, when and where you need the help, so that you finally understand why you're making mistakes, and then learn from them, to help you become a better communicator.
I will also provide you with effective methods to help you continue improving, in between our lesson times.
How I'll help you improve your spoken English and communicate more effectively
You'll learn alternative ways to express yourself more easily and clearly, initially through vocabulary and expressions you already know, but then building on these to meet the needs of your particular speciality.
You'll produce more accurate English – with better pronunciation and sentence structure – to help you express your ideas more coherently.
Crucially, you'll also learn about intonation, rhythm, accurate word stress and how to use interjections appropriately in different situations.
Not only that, but you'll better appreciate the fascinating, subtle world of the English language – with all its idioms, colloquial expressions and many nuances – to achieve more effective communication.
We all have different accents, and in the UK we certainly have many wonderful regional accents and dialects; but regardless of your accent, you'll learn to speak more naturally like a native English speaker, and so make yourself better understood.