Estrella Chan, founder of English Around the World.com, makes it her goal to help her clients achieve the English skills they want in as short a time as possible. For some, it is English fluency to converse with anyone at work and in social situations. For others, it is to have their presentations appeal to their American audience. Still for others, it is understanding cultural subtleties to enhance their participation in group discussions.
Estrella works with the learning styles of her clients as well as their interests to achieve their goals effectively. To read about some of her insights gained from her coaching experience, please continue reading this page. Or…
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“5 ways to improve my English” written by Estrella Chan
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English or Culture?
When international professionals first start working in a U.S. company, one of the challenges they face is being fluent enough in English to understand their colleagues and being understood by them. Their American co-workers may speak too fast, so it is difficult to join them in conversation and build relationships.
Another is building their life all over in a new country. Is there a grocery store that sells food from back home? What do I say at a parent-teacher conference? How do I find a good doctor? Where can I go to make new friends?
In many countries, life is more group oriented. You don’t need to make an appointment to see a friend. You just drop by their home and you are always welcome to stay for dinner.
In many parts of the U.S., the culture leans toward individual oriented living. This, combined with English fluency and having no driver license, contribute to loneliness in many immigrants and long-term visitors.
Our professional clients are usually already accomplished in their career back home. However, in the U.S., nobody knows who they are or recognizes their accomplishment. Some find themselves advancing in their career less quickly than they would like. They may wonder why someone less competent gets the promotion and not them. Why does someone who can talk a good talk and knows how to present a good image gets the recognition, while they are the ones who produce high quality work? Does presentation really count that much in this culture? And how can they present themselves in such a way that their ability gets the recognition they deserve?
The socializing, or lack of it, in their U.S. workplace may contribute to a sense of isolation. Often international employees of large companies express surprise that their co-workers eat lunch by themselves instead of dining with colleagues. There are few social gatherings after work. Work life is separate from personal life.
In many countries, co-workers often become friends. Afterall, half of our waking hours is spent with our co-workers. Often, their stay-at-home spouses feel the isolation more intensely. Their friends and families are not around them. They have not yet made new friends in the new country. If they have not learned to drive, they become even more isolated when their husbands or wives are at work. Without enough English skills, conversations can only go to a certain point. This is a challenge in building a network in their new environment.
Our goal at English Around the World is to make the process of adjusting to this culture as smooth as possible. We do this by customizing our work to meet your needs, whether it’s English fluency, how to make presentations at work that appeal to an American audience, or helping you connect with people in your community so you feel supported in your new home.
If you are wondering if our service could meet your English and cultural transition needs, feel free to discuss it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.