From Good to Great: Advancing Your English Communication Skills as an Intermediate Speaker

From Good to Great: Advancing Your English Communication Skills as an Intermediate Speaker

From Good to Great: Advancing Your English Communication Skills as an Intermediate Speaker

As a business professional, you understand the importance of effective communication in the workplace. Whether you’re negotiating deals with international clients, presenting to a team, or simply networking with colleagues, your ability to communicate clearly and confidently in English can make all the difference.

If you’ve reached an intermediate level of proficiency in English, you may feel proud of your accomplishments but also frustrated by your limitations. You may find yourself struggling to express complex ideas, stumbling over vocabulary and grammar, or feeling hesitant to participate in meetings or presentations.

But don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many Mandarin-speaking business professionals face similar challenges when trying to improve their English communication skills. The key is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and develop a targeted plan for improvement.

What is Intermediate Proficiency?

First, let’s define what we mean by “intermediate proficiency”. According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), intermediate proficiency is equivalent to a B1 or B2 level of language ability.

At this level, you can:

  • Understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • Produce simple connected text on familiar topics or of personal interest.
  • Describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions, and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

In other words, you have a good command of the English language, but still have room for improvement. You may be able to communicate basic ideas and understand simple conversations but struggle with more complex grammar and vocabulary.

Why Advance Your English Communication Skills?

So why should you invest time and effort in improving your English communication skills? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Improved career opportunities: English is the international language of business, and fluency can open up new opportunities for career advancement and global networking.
  • Enhanced credibility: A strong command of English can help you build trust and credibility with international clients and colleagues.
  • Increased confidence: Improved communication skills can boost your confidence and help you feel more comfortable participating in meetings, presentations, and other professional settings.
  • A better understanding of culture: English is not just a language, but also a reflection of cultural values and norms. By improving your English skills, you can gain a deeper understanding of Western culture and communication styles.
How to Improve Your English Communication Skills

Now that you understand the importance of advancing your English communication skills, let’s look at some actionable tips for improvement:

  1. Identify your specific needs: Every language learner is unique, and it’s essential to identify your specific strengths and weaknesses. Take an honest assessment of your skills, and work with a coach or mentor to develop a targeted plan for improvement.
  2. Practice regularly: Like any skill, language proficiency requires regular practice. Make an effort to incorporate English into your daily routine, whether it’s through reading articles, watching videos, or conversing with native speakers.
  3. Embrace mistakes: Learning a new language can be frustrating and intimidating, especially when you make mistakes. But don’t be discouraged – mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Embrace them as opportunities for growth and improvement, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification when needed.

Remember, improving your English communication skills is a journey, not a destination. With persistence, dedication, and the right resources, you can achieve fluency and unlock a world of new opportunities. So don’t give up – keep pushing yourself and striving for excellence.

Kelly Seely (PhD, TEFL)
I coach committed Mandarin-speaking business professionals to improve their job performance with advanced English communication and presentation skills