Learning English has become the most popular self study topic in the world today. English as a Second language learners include children, high school students, university students, professionals, world travellers, and anybody looking on the world wide web (internet) for entertainment, general interest, research or to communicate with people in other countries. They are all wanting to speak better English.
Companies Require Fluent English
Many occupations today require fluent English from their employees. If you cannot pass the required English exams you will not be hired by that company. Oil companies all require their engineers to speak fluent English so that they can travel to other countries and share information with other oil companies.
Technology companies need to source components for to manufacture their products. Then the manufacturing company turns to the marketing and sales departments to advertise and sell their products. This all requires fluent English language speakers in order to accomplish their objectives.
Many companies are international corporations with offices in multiple countries. They have frequent meetings with their counterparts around the world. All of the participants speak their own native language and therefore they all need to speak a common language in order to communicate with each other. They all speak English as a Second Language.
Can you imagine what a dangerous position you would be in if your pilot spoke Italian and the air traffic controller only spoke German! Nobody would want to fly anywhere because there would be airplane accidents every day. Probably every hour.
And the man on the oil rig yells ” Watch out, there is danger overhead!” But nobody could understand him because he is speaking Arabic on an oil site in North America. Of course they all need to speak fluent English. And I do mean fluent. This is not a time to hesitate while finding the correct words. The words must come to you quickly or someone might get hurt.
Doctors need to speak and read in English to study medicine in University. Most of the text books they study from are written in English and contain medical words and terms in English.
I recently spoke with a man who was a police officer in his country. He wanted to immigrate to Canada and be a police officer here. When he made inquiries into the criteria to become a Canadian police officer he was informed that he needed an IELTS score of 8.0! That us very, very high. Almost impossible for a student learning English as a Second Language to attain such a high score. He asked why was such a high score needed? He was told that a police officer needs to be extremely fluent so that when he gives an instruction he is clearly understood even if the other person is not good with English.
How to Learn English as a Second Language
The difficulty in learning English usually lies with the teacher, not the student. Each student is an individual and needs to be taught in a manner that the student can learn. Many English tutors are not teachers, and therefore have no formal education related to teaching English. They can speak clearly, but not instruct a student how to speak clearly. Many tutors do not even know what “Phonics” is!
Phonics, means sounds. And in order to say words properly you must be able to make the sounds associated with the word you are speaking. Many students have trouble with the sounds of “r”, “l”, “th”, “ch”, “th”, “sh”, “gh”. Combinations of these letters in the same word can be extremely hard to pronounce clearly. Tutors are used to teaching words; but teachers will teach sounds. If you cannot make the sound properly, how will you ever be able to say the word properly.
To learn more about Phonics and how it helps with pronunciation go to Phonics for English Students.
See you there!
Mary and David