Improving your command of the English Language for postgraduate studiesChen Wan Lim
Most, if not all business related postgraduate courses are conducted in English as the English language is the lingua franca of the modern business world. As such, having a good command in English is vital in successfully taking and completing a postgraduate course. If candidates are from non-native English speaking countries or communities, extra effort has to be given in order to elevate the command of English language to an acceptable level – sufficient to read, speak and write business level English. These are some helpful tips for candidates from non-native English speaking backgrounds to master the English language to successfully complete a postgraduate course:
Tip 1: Newspapers
The easiest and quickest way is to read the business section of a good reputable English language newspaper. Emphasis must be given on the business section as it will help readers familiarise themselves with business related jargons and also teach readers how to properly convey business related news using the English language. Besides that, you can keep abreast with the latest in business development which is crucial if you are an MBA student.
Tip 2: International blogs
Reading international blogs is also a good, albeit slightly tougher step in your pursuit of mastering the English language. As international blogs often have in-depth complicated articles covering a wide range of topics, a non-native English speaker could find it a challenge to understand the complicated sentence structure at first. But continue to preserver and try looking up unfamiliar words using the dictionary.
Tip 3: Business magazines
Business related magazines are also a great way to start as it does not only touch on business news but also on regional and international political news. Not only do readers improve their command of the English language by reading business magazines but readers are also exposed to a wide range of topics which will be useful in the postgraduate course – especially during classroom discussions and case studies.
Tip 4: Listen to English language podcasts
Apart from reading, candidates interested in improving their command of the English language should listen to business podcasts online to learn how to speak English in a business setting. Unlike listening to English language news, podcasts are usually conducted in a conversational setting where there are discussions, opinions, questions and debates all happening in a single session. Listening to good English language podcasts will help candidates build confidence in conversing in English while learning how to engage in a proper conversation.
Tip 5: Speak with proficient English language speakers
Apart from the methods stated above, one of the best ways is to practice speaking English with proficient English language speakers. Try getting in touch with friends who are proficient English language speakers and set up regular meetings with them. Even a one hour weekly coffee meeting discussing current issues from a newspaper can help candidates build confidence in holding a conversation while discussing current issues with another person.
Tip 6: Adult English language classes
Assuming that your command of the English language is below the required proficiency level as advised by the course director or postgraduate adviser, then perhaps a prudent course of action is to sign up for English language classes for adults, with a focus in written and spoken business English. There are numerous English language courses available in the market for candidates with different course durations.
A good command of the English language is essentially crucial for your success in completing a postgraduate degree. Not only does it help in your studies but it will help with your career, especially when you move up to managerial positions where you will need to interact with people from different organisational layers. Get in touch with STUDYMASTERS.MY and get their professional advice on the best step in fulfilling your dream of getting a postgraduate degree.