English has been embraced as the lingua franca for business globally. This creates challenges for second and third language users who need to convey information, persuade and influence in English. My Pocket Coach has developed a unique approach towards refining spoken English. This is vital since the education system tends to focus on the written skills and leaves second language speakers lacking confidence and impact when using the spoken word in a business context. A practical communicative approach that addresses speaking and listening is therefore crucial.

It is also important to assess an individual’s language skills and style carefully before conducting coaching as not all speakers from the same first language groups will make similar mistakes. People also develop individual styles of using a language and pick up expressions and habits from their environment. An individual assessment allows us to identify exact needs in the areas of syntax usage, vocabulary, tone and register.

Coaching can be conducted at three levels : Basic, Intermediate and Advanced

An assessment should include the following:

  •         A listening and written comprehension test
  •         A written syntax test at the appropriate level
  •         An auditory perception test to establish the ability to discriminate between speech sounds.
  •         A language assessment in the form of a conversation to establish habitual errors and language lapses

The outcomes of Assessments would determine the programme content. A coaching programme should be conducted over a period to allow application and should be relevant to the delegate’s work environment. Such functional instruction secures immediate application. We have also noted that many fluent second language speakers are able to express ideas effectively in their work environment but find it hard to interact in social contexts. To overcome this we explore ways in which to enrich vocabulary.

Another growth area is developing advanced language skills. Many second language speakers are able to use English fluently but find it hard to manipulate language exponents to achieve outcomes. For examples in situations where persuasion or diplomacy is required they would find it hard to use expressions that would accurately match their intentions. To overcome this we explore specific structures and sequences that promote more diplomatic expression.

A final challenge is carrying language skills over into spontaneous speech as all people find it hard to change habits. Our practical approach aims to provide delegates with specific strategies to promote carry-over.

Clarissa Diedericks

Clarissa Diedericks Executive Image Coach, Business Language Specialist and Voice and Speech Practitioner. Baccalaureus Technologiae (BTech), TUT: Dramatic Arts. National Diploma (NDip), TUT: Dramatic Arts. Diploma (i-to-i): Teaching English as…

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Business English Communication

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Tips and Guidelines for Business Communication As you develop in your career, your ability to speak, listen, question and write efficiently and effectively becomes an essential skill set. The ability…

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Kylie Janssens

Senior Executive Leadership Coach (BA Hons) in Educational Publishing Studies, WITS; (BA Ed) WITS; Plan and Conduct Assessment of Learning, Skills Development Facilitator, Learning Performance Link.) R 1,000.00 per hour…

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