One step at a time

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Learning English online with



    1st June 2013

    One step at a time

    By Sanj SaigalSpecific needs require a spe-cific approach. The English language is not just for finding a new job or for a business need. We understand that there are people who need to learn the language for social or basic use.There are a growing number of stu-dents who want a native speaking perspective on the English language, by this I mean that simple tasks we take for granted like ordering a cof-fee, enrolling children into a new

    school or telling a taxi driver where you want to go.

    The good news is that there are simi-lar sentence constructions that can be modified and adapted to different situations.

    Role play tasks add a degree of real-ism to the learning process, where the student is forced to think in Eng-lish rather than using lexical sen-tences that can be used out of con-text. From a teaching perspective, there is great premium for a student to be able to practice this way, as it develops both listening and speaking skills.

    MotivationSelf motivation is one of the most important features of learning a second lan-guage. It is a key ingredient for the learning process to work.There are some very useful tech-niques that you can use, time blocking and goal setting are es-sential but listening to your own voice is a basic task that stu-dents often overlook.

    Its often very difficult to practice with other students as you dont necessarily learn from their mis-takes, on the contrary you may mimic or copy them in the belief that they are using correct grammar structures or voice tones. This can cause confusion unless this scenario is overseen by a teacher.

    Every language has its own street version as I call it. An ac-ceptable version of a language used socially, this is very hard to learn from books and relies on practicing the language with a native speaker who will help you to modify structures.

    English as a second language has never been so important, particularly because of the eco-nomical situation, but you can be assured of one thing and that is that this language will help create opportunity.



    Fresh Start By Sanj SaigalThere are a growing number of students who have opted to learn english in order to move country. Its very challenging to move coun-try, especially if you have children. I have been in this position myself so I know first hand just how many tasks there are to complete.

    A step by step approach is neces-sary, my advice is that you target specific areas of the language and use this approach to enroll children into school, register at a doctor, know how to manage an interview process and navigate around find-ing accommodation.

    Prioritising your needs for a lan-guage is the most important task. Here you must develop your ability to listen. This skill forms the basis of a conversation.

    As I have mentioned in previous articles, students are often in a position where they are answering questions not asking them. Prac-

    ticing, is the only solution and no amount of surfing the net and lis-tening to pod casts will help. From my perspective interaction is the only way to develop your conver-sational skills.

    Research is key, and if you are moving then this is where the internet is useful but only if you know exactly what you are looking for. Employment is key and there are a number of good international recruitment agencies who will be happy to help you.

    Normally they will contact you ei-ther by Skype or by phone to find out more about the position that you are searching for and more importantly the area that you have selected to live in.

    Unfortunately everything revolves around money, so try your best to secure a position before you move as it will help and give you a struc-ture to work within.

    If you are unable to find a position then try not to get a long term con-tract in terms of housing as a job may influence where you will be

    living and you may find that you have to change location again.

    Its important to view a job as a career as this will help you to de-fine your goals, so dont take the first job that comes along.

    Reverse your line of thinking, sometimes it is better to search for the jobs that no body wants to do rather than the jobs that everyone wants to do. This may increase your ability to secure a position faster.

    Goal setting should carry three elements and these are short, me-dium and long term. If you are a person who lives for the moment you will probably look at learning a second language with a very pas-sive attitude.

    Try your best to plan, it will pay off especially with learning English as a second language. A structured approach will produce results. Try and compliment free resource with a good teacher and you will see light at the end of the tunnel.



    Finding a job By Sanj SaigalThe first step in finding a new job from my perspective is to realise your value. I spent five years in the recruitment industry and met some fascinating people from all walks of life. When you are not working it is very easy to forget that you have a value, however big or small it may be. Its this value that will help you to iden-tify exactly which type of position you should be looking for. I have met a lot of candidates that have used bad CV formats, cover-ing letters that looked like essays and even at the highest level had little confidence. Fortunately there is something you can do about it. The first step is translating your role into English, every single as-pect of your working experience is important so try not to leave any-thing out.

    Once you have completed this task, find a teacher who will help you to put your work history into a format where you can learn how to discuss various aspects. This will help you to overcome the fear of an interview in a second language.The next step is to realise your market value, you can use the internet to do this, there are a number of very good websites that will help you to establish your worth. Once you have these two key fac-tors established, get your teacher to role play an Interview scenario so that you can become accus-tomed to answering questions about both your educational back-ground and your work experience. Its important to do this before you attempt to look for a job so that you can become proficient.Humor is an important subject, the things we find funny in one lan-

    guage we may not necessarily find funny in another. Try and find a teacher with a balanced approach to study with. In reality it will help you to express in English in various situations. Not all formats of interviews are conducted in the boardroom, and you may find that your interview is in a coffee shop and that in order to break the ice they use humor as a tool to get you to demonstrate your personality.How you will fit into a team is one of the key issues for any inter-viewer. Remember that an inter-view is just based on questions and answers and your ability to prove what has been written on your CV.

    SearchInternet search engines work in every language, but if you are searching for information try and use English key-words. You can get your teacher to help you identify the key-words that you need and this will speed up the process for sourcing information on this topic.Finally, try and find a teacher that doesnt just provide you with text books. Its impor-tant that you shorten the learning process by specifi-cally targeting the parts of the English language you need the most.



    Every student has their own method of learning, to be honest teachers also have their own way of teaching. I think its important to realise that technology has interfered with both processes.

    No one knew that it would have such a profound effect on the way that we learn Eng-lish and I am sure that it will evolve even by todays stan-dards.

    Using modern techniques will help you to achieve your ob-jectives.


    If you are new to Skype, its a fantas-tic concept. You can use it for free, you just need to set up an account and your away!. Using this technol-ogy can help you to speak to native teachers anywhere in the world, something that was simply not possi-ble in the past.

    LessonsUsually classes via Skype range from 45 minutes to an hour. There are a number of websites that put you in touch with native speaking teachers. The concept is amazing and could produce some really effective results. Flexible and low cost they offer an alternative to traditional forms of learning.

    If you are still unsure about this type of learning method, try and do some research online. There are numerous websites that specialise in fusing teachers and students together.

    Usually you will find that an academy online and in the real world share one thing in common, a course. Just like in the real world, you have to commit

    to a course. There is more flexibility with design online simply because there are less business costs, but generally you can choose what part of English you would like to focus on.

    FunTry and have fun with the lan-guage, its a fantastic way to learn and you will produce the best re-sults. Speaking like a text book wont do you any favours, so try and experiment with it.




    By Sanj Saigal