For about a year I’ve been working with a French company teaching spoken English to professionals from around the world. My students are people who are already successful in their careers, and who read and understand English just fine, but who still struggle to communicate effectively in spoken English.
I have developed a rather effective approach to teaching spoken English that helps my students progress rapidly toward their goal of being able to speak spontaneously using good grammar and syntax and a solid vocabulary – especially using words and terms from their field and pronouncing them correctly.
My “trade secret” is that I am a member of several dozen forums worldwide that are dedicated to the exchange of knowledge among people in specific professions. I use these internet resources to extract relevant ideas, topics, questions and answers, and problems to be solved for discussion with my students. In this way, each of my students is able to practice spontaneous spoken English while focusing on ideas from their own field of interest. I use both Skype and Hangout for giving lessons by webcam.
One great example of an internet resource that I find very useful, in case you’re curious, is www.quora.com which is a very large site for people interested in any area of Computer Sciences. I have had several students in Computer Science whose native languages ranged from Chinese and Russian to Portuguese and Hindi. Using resources from Quora.com gives my students an opportunity to challenge themselves and express their ideas using English-language vocabulary and syntax from their own field of interest.
I also do a lot of work with my students helping them to improve their English-language writing skills, and have worked as an editor on their user manuals, presentations, reports, proposals, dissertations, and technical papers.
I am posting this here because it occurs to me that there may be those among my LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter networks who know a friend, colleague or business associate who could benefit from improving their spoken and written English skills. If you know someone in this situation, please refer them to my tutoring website that is located here.
Knowledge Is Power - Pass It On
When I was a child I moved around the world with my military family, always traveling by ship in the days before aircraft could cross oceans. I would spend hours on deck writing messages, sealing them with candle wax in bottles I snagged from somewhere on board, and then consigning them to the sea knowing in my heart that they were on their way to someone, somewhere who would read them. Sometime replies arrived at my grandparents’ house years later, and they would forward them to me wherever I was living. From these contacts I developed pen-pals who I stayed in touch with for many years. I was fortunate to develop, very early in my life, a sense of the network that invisibly but seamlessly connects us all. Thank you for picking up this message in a bottle, dear reader. We are all here together.
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