5 Tips To Rapidly Improve English To Advance Your Company, Career Or Cause – Forbes

Genady Knizhnik
If you want to land right-fit clients in an English-speaking country and English is not your first language, it pays to truly learn the language.
Once at a university I taught business idioms to engineers from Asia who were assigned to work in America. Phrases like “let’s run this up the flagpole and see if someone salutes” or “this is going to be a real David-versus-Goliath battle” can be highly confusing. If you are from India, a phrase like “there are no sacred cows here” can be downright insulting.
But as the play Hamilton states, “immigrants get the job done.” A key is acquiring language skills beyond a basic understanding of the language.
“I understood that a single well-connected conversation with someone can open doors, close deals, or even put me in the driver’s seat for that well-deserved promotion,” says two-time immigrant Genady Knizhnik.
During his career in technology and sales, Knizhnik emigrated from Israel to Belgium to Canada and faced many language-learning challenges.
Today he co-leads an English language-learning company in Toronto that helps intermediate to advanced learners to excel with practical, proven learning techniques and methodologies through the use of artificial intelligence tutors.
“As an immigrant, I was determined to become proficient in English,” said Knizhnik. “I wanted the ability to effectively communicate in order to have a deeper, more meaningful connection with my colleagues, customers, and peers.”
During a phone interview he shared five tips for rapidly improving language skills:
Get a native speaker as a tutor or friend. “One of the best ways to learn or improve your English is to have a tutor or friend who is a native speaker,” says Knizhnik. “Not only can they help you with your pronunciation and the understanding of words and phrases, but it also provides an opportunity for you to speak English in a safe environment without judgement or ridicule.”
Immerse yourself in English. “If you are not living in an English country, try watching English TV shows, movies, or listening to music or audio books,” says Knizhnik. “Reading is one of the most recommended ways to improve your English. Reading will not only help you learn new words and phrases, but it will also give you a better understanding of how the language works. The great thing about reading books or articles is that you can read what’s important to you or your career.”
Use technology to your advantage. “There are countless apps and websites that can help you learn or improve your English quickly and effectively,” says Knizhnik. “Although some are constrained by predefined material, you can utilize these resources to help you study vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation.”
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. “One of the biggest barriers to learning a new language is the fear of making mistakes and being judged,” says Knizhnik. “But the truth is, we all make mistakes when learning something new—so tap into your inner child and put fear aside. Be sure to track the words and phrases that are difficult or important to you and return for practice regularly. The important point here is to work on your mistakes and not let fear get in the way of your progress.”
Practice, practice, practice. “Learning English takes time and dedication,” says Knishnik. “Have a plan and consistently execute. Be sure to seek out new opportunities to speak English as often as possible. Remember, the more you practice, the more fluent you will become, and the faster you will achieve your hopes, dreams, and aspirations.”
Bottom line: Knishnik says only reading provides the repetition of words that is needed to learn without becoming boring or feeling like a chore. Find a book or an interesting article and read aloud to yourself for 15 to 20 minutes every day. “Become comfortable hearing the sound of your new English voice, which will in turn provide you the confidence you need in the real world,” he adds.

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