Posts Tagged ‘business English’
“Acadia is the right place for successful immersion, and Camden a nice and friendly place to visit. That’s why I went there four times!” Jean-Marc, a small business owner in organic products, talks about his Acadia Center experience from his home office in Paris, France.
Only have a short time – 1 or 2 weeks – for an English immersion course? Want to maximize learning with individual attention all day 6 days per week? Want a mix of classroom lessons and real-life practice, exploring our friendly community and practicing your English conversational skills with a teacher by your side?
Many executives and professionals from Mexico and Latin America have found Maine, with its friendly people and distance from any Spanish-speaking populations, to be the perfect place to study English in a total immersion environment.
In this video, Rosario, an accountant from Mexico, talks about her experience in a 3-week intensive English immersion course at Acadia Center.
Old Orchard Beach – for many, many generations of French speakers from the province of Québec, those three foreign-sounding words have meant sun, surf, sand, fried food, and fun family holidays on the beautiful coast of Maine. Beginning as long ago as 1842, even before there was a train connection between Maine and points south like Boston and New York, the Grand Trunk Railway was bringing summer visitors from Montréal to Maine’s beaches.
Today Old Orchard Beach is as popular as ever with visitors from all over Québec, and French speakers are also starting to discover a small English language institute further up the coast that combines unique English language immersion courses with the kind of outdoors fun Québecers have long associated with Maine.
Only five hours by car from Québec City or Trois-Rivières and six hours from Montréal, Acadia Center’s home town of Camden is closer than Toronto for most Québecers.
The beaches are more rugged and rocky north of Portland, Maine, but our students from Québec love the beauty and friendly hospitality of this part of Maine’s Atlantic coast.
Click on the video at the top of this post to watch a video interview with Marc-André, a health and safety management consultant and author from Trois-Rivières, Québec, who explains how Acadia Center helped him learn the everyday conversation and business communication skills he needs for his work.
Business communication – in e-mails, presentations, conference calls, meetings, and social media – has been the subject of a series of business English seminars for Acadia Center for English Immersion students, offered by business executive and university business instructor Larrain Slaymaker.
Larrain has extensive experience working for both small businesses and multi-national corporations and as an entrepreneur. She has taught business administration at the university level, and she has taught English in China.
“When we communicate in a professional environment, we need to be clear and concise,” said Larrain in describing the focus of her seminars. “But how do we do this? How do we decide how to say something? How do we know we are listening and reading effectively? Cross cultural communications, business styles, vernacular, acronyms and a variety of business environments all add to the challenges of professional communications.”
Seminar discussions have included strategies for improving writing ability, people skills, and the capacity to think critically and strategically in English.
“Seminar participants include a health and safety management consultant from Quebec, an accountant from Mexico, and a supermarket executive from Colombia,” said Acadia Center director Brian Boyd, “and they all have benefited from Larrain’s tips on such subjects on the importance of tone and clarity in e-mails. They have also really enjoyed her interactive games and role-playing that allow for plenty of practice with the new vocabulary and idioms she is teaching.”
Read business newspapers, magazines, and websites. Choose articles that interest you and are related to your business. If you work for a bank, read the latest news about banking. If you’re a stock broker, read about the stock market. If you work in information technology, read about the IT sector.
Maybe you are already in the habit of reading the business news in English every day. If you aren’t – and your excuse is that you’re too busy – consider this: you can make a big improvement with your English in just 10-15 minutes per day.
If you don’t have time to leisurely unfold the Wall Street Journal while sitting at an outdoor café, go to one of these websites:
The Economist – a venerable British magazine with a very global reach. In the online version of The Economist, Try: Business this week, a weekly summary of the main business stories; People, profiles of people in the news– a great way to learn both business and everyday vocabulary; and the Opinion section – whether you agree or disagree you’ll learn new words that will help you explain your position on the issue.
Slate – an exclusively online news magazine with elegantly-written and often witty articles and extensive links. Try: Today’s Business Press – Slate‘s daily business news highlights; Moneybox – Slate‘s commentary on business and finance; and Slate‘s Technology column on the latest tech news.
Bloomberg – offering lots of technical information on the business and financial world, and therefore a strong infusion of useful business terms.
Or you can just go to Google News (in English!), enter the name of your country, region, or business sector, and click on one of the many business articles that pop up.
Once you have chosen an article, follow these simple steps:
1) Read through the whole article and try to get a feel for the general meaning. Read the headline (title) and photo captions but don’t give up if they are hard to understand. To save space, headlines omit prepositions, articles (the, a, an), and auxiliary verbs and often use words that are less common just because they’re shorter (eg, vow instead of promise; vie instead of compete). Also, don’t give up if the first paragraph seems very hard. In the first paragraph, the writer is usually trying to catch your attention by saying things in a colorful way or by telling a story or even a joke. Keep reading to the end of the article and chances are it will get much easier to understand.
2) With the general meaning of the article in mind, now go back to the beginning of the article and start to read it again – this time slowly. Take notice of any new words or phrases that are unfamiliar to you. Try to guess at the meaning from context – how the word or phrase is used in the sentence. Look it up in an online dictionary. Because most words have more than one meaning, look for the meaning that best matches the context.
In 10 or 15 minutes, you may only have time to read one short article. But if you read it slowly and with care, and search for new words and phrases and look closely at how they’re used in context, in just a few weeks you’ll discover that the dictionary is becoming less and less necessary while you read. And you’ll be happy to find that it is a lot easier to participate in conversations on business topics.
If you have a business news website that you like, or a tip on learning business vocabulary in English, leave a comment here!