Regardless of the field of higher education, it is a safe bet that English will play an important role. However, by the time students leave high school, there is a level of heterogeneity in this area. “Some grew up in an international environment, traveled a lot; Others, not at all”, relates Nathalie Taylor, English teacher at the EGC business school network at the Rodez campus (Aveyron). He gives us great advice for quick progress before the school year starts.
Jobs and Travels
Best solution for beginner English level? “A summer job in an English-speaking country,” answers Natalie Taylor. Sure can be found, but not necessarily the majority of baccalaureate holders… That’s okay: in July and August, once you get to the more touristy areas, France also speaks English.
Whether in a professional environment or not, you need to communicate. “Not daring to communicate in English is the first hurdle. We hold ourselves back for fear of making a mistake,” says the professor. Mistakes you make, and cute ones, “but with a smile, everything will pass”, she guarantees. To avoid this embarrassment in speaking, there is no miracle: you need to talk to people of all ages and all nationalities to get used to different accents. “Maybe you don’t have your friends next to you at first? It can prevent it,” suggests the author.
When it comes to language learning, Google is your friend. There are apps or content for all levels and all tastes. “Find videos or tutorials on topics that interest you, not just because they’re in English. Your curiosity will help you assimilate the language without even realizing it,” advises Natalie Taylor, citing Chanel. Easy English is available on YouTube, or Dead-Ed (an abbreviated version of the popular Dead Talks conferences). These offer minute formats on various themes, with the option to select English subtitles and read the full text of the video. Other easy-to-find content is British Council online resources On the LearnEnglish Teens website. Or 6 Minute English PodcastsProduced by the BBC.
Rather than creating an unbearable rhythm for yourself, work on it daily. “Twenty minutes a day is enough, different areas from day to day: vocabulary, a podcast or a video the next day, then grammar, etc. Also, don’t hesitate to write down words you hear many times and read them again from time to time. “When you’re young, you think you remember everything, but so many things elude us,” observes Natalie Taylor in her own classes. In two months, you won’t be bilingual, but you will have worked on your ears and your confidence. Enough to rub shoulders with another type of English: professional vocabulary.
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