Does this sound familiar?
Sometimes when I’m speaking, I will forget some words.
I can write messages to my colleagues or friends without any help from Google translate. But, if I had to speak on a call, I’d probably miss out some important words.
I don’t feel too nervous when I speak English but there are times and professional situations that I’m uncomfortable. This is especially true when I am speaking with native English speakers
You might have also heard this before…
‘We think you as a strong designer, but the area that concerns us and prevents us from offering you a job role are your English skills.’
‘You have a good level of English. But…
There is still some room for improvement.’
The next edition of Beyond English Fluency is here.
If you are new, Beyond English Fluency dives into topics and shares strategies around communication that go beyond language.
Every other Wednesday (twice per month), I share a theme related to communication that goes in depth about one theme, strategy or idea. Whether you are a non-native English speaking Design, Tech or Creative professional or consider yourself a native looking to excel in your communication- you’ll find a strategy that you can apply to your own situation.
Many times we think we need to move to an English speaking country to improve our English.
Sure, there are plenty of benefits of living abroad if you have the opportunity to do that.
Not everyone wants to live abroad.
But living in an English speaking country does not guarantee English fluency.
When I studied Spanish at university, we had to live abroad in a Spanish speaking country for a year as part of the degree.
I lived in Madrid, Spain, for just under a year. I worked in a high school in Spain and lived with a Spanish family in the north of the city. It was a very cool experience to be immersed in Spanish culture.
But I could have had a very different experience.
Before we left for our third year study / word abroad, our professors kept saying things like:
Make the most of EVERY opportunity to speak.
Try to avoid international crowds where you will have to speak more English than Spanish.
Don’t live with other classmates.
Immerse yourself in Spanish in all ways that you can.
This might sound pretty extreme.
I think it was a little. But my professors definitely had their reasons for encouraging us to avoid English speaking zones in Spain.
They knew that many students who went before me had lived in Spain and came back speaking worse Spanish then before they left.
Many had spent their year abroad in a very international and English speaking environment with other European students.
Luckily for me, I took the professors’ advice and made an effort to be around Spanish speakers and develop my language speaking skills.
There were many times I felt way out of my comfort zone but I knew that if I wanted to pass my degree, I had to push through it.
When you have a bigger goal like working for a company or passing your degree, it can help to get you through it.
Not everyone chooses to do that, though.
You can live in a foreign country for years and years and never develop the local language.
If you are living abroad, you have to put the effort in to develop your language and fluency.
Being surrounded by the language DOES NOT guarantee you’ll make progress.
Recently I just finished up a 10 week programme with one of my 1-1 clients who is originally from Spain. She used to live in England and had spent around 10 years there. When I first met her, she hadn’t been back in Spain for too long.
Quite naturally, she was worried that living in Spain and no longer being surrounded by English she would lose a lot of the fluency and her ability to speak English.
I knew that it didn’t matter where she was living in the world, what mattered was her dedication and surroundings.
She was no longer living in an English speaking country, but she was using English in her role every day.
This week she told me:
‘I have improved my fluency despite not living in England. Actually, I think my fluency is way better than what it was than when I was living in England! In England I was surrounded by a lot of Spanish speaking friends, I worked for a company where I didn’t really need to have many conversations with people (it was mostly written communication) and while I heard more English, I didn’t speak it as much as I do now.’
I know there will be some of you reading this and thinking, but she is using English at work every day. I don’t even have the opportunity to so that.
There’s still plenty of opportunities for you to develop your fluency and gain confidence in English speaking without living abroad or working for an English speaking company.
It doesn’t need to take hours of your time each week.
One of the main reasons I started The Fluent Club for Design and Tech Professionals was because I knew how busy they are!
Many Developers and UX/UI Designers tell me ‘I have a main job… within that job I also have another project that I’m doing to support the company… I’m also working as a mentor… oh and I have freelance clients’.
A good friend of mine has two full time jobs PLUS he creates and develops websites and Apps for clients in the US and overseas.
While other creative professionals are looking for more of a work-life balance, I understand that you have so much happening in your life.
Don’t let not living in an English speaking country or working for an English speaking company be the reason that stops you from making progress.
You’ll have to make some effort but no matter how frustrated or far away you are feeling right now from reaching the level of fluency you desire, I’ve seen even the most shy and nervous professionals overcome self-doubt, and learn how to articulate their ideas and decisions with clarity and confidence.
One thing I’ve found is that there is a five step process for Design and Tech professionals to go from feeling judged, awkward, and ashamed using English and scared of not having the right words in an interview or a professional situation to building their professional language skills so they can confidently say yes to more opportunities and feel satisfied using English in their role and life.
When you are part of The Fluent Club, you are supported with training, materials and sessions that follow this exact five step process.
I know it’s possible to improve your communication skills and reach a higher level of fluency even when you have limited time and opportunities to speak.
Create a schedule and dedicate some time each week to practice and develop your skills.
If you’re ready to take it to the next level, put your name on The Fluent Club waitlist.
So many Fluent Club Members have been really wowed by the support and content that they get and the whole experience and are amazed at how much value it is for such a low price.
The Fluent Club has been set up in a way that supports your busy schedule and lifestyle. You might not have 3 different jobs, but time is one of our greatest assets.
Every week there is a new training or session such as a video training, a live masterclass (it’s like a group lesson and they are very interactive), guides and materials that have been specifically created for those working in Design and Tech.
The trainings and lessons are added to The Fluent Club member’s area so you can watch them anytime.
You don’t have to spend hours improving your fluency to make progress.
You don’t even need to be living in an English speaking country.
You just need to follow a proven plan and dedicate some time with trainings and exercises that are tailored to what you actually need.
Join The Fluent Club community and be part of our incredible community.
It is opening next week and only open to those on the waitlist.
This is also the last time in 2022 that The Fluent Club is opening at the lowest price of $12 a month or $120 for the year.
The price will be going up in 2023 so it really is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of it now rather than later.
Feel free to reach out and send me a DM if you have any questions.
Either way, I am here to support you on this journey to taking your English fluency to the next level.
Want to know what tweaks you can make to improve your speaking skills?
Check out the following episodes:
Taking your English Fluency to the Next Level
Click here to read more about The Fluent Club and get your name on the list and be part of our incredible community of like-minded Design, Tech and Creative professionals.