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Practising your English at work: 4 simple and effective techniques

At last! You have finally embarked on that English training you needed. Thanks to the lessons and advice of your trainer, you hope to reach your target level quickly. To improve even faster, you can also continue working on your English in between your lessons. Sounds difficult with your busy schedule? With the 4 techniques that we reveal to you in this article, you will see that the task is much less demanding than it seems. How canyou practise your English at work without even realising it? Here are our tips.

1. Configure your work tools in English

To start with, you can get acquainted with the vocabulary of information and communication technology by changing the language of your work tools. Choose English as the default language on your mobile phone and computer.

Configuring your work tools in English is aform of language immersion that is very often neglected… and that’s a shame! For example, if you spend a lot of time on your computer, this is a great way to maintain almost constant contact with your target language.

So why deprive yourself of it?

Don’t forget to make this change on the different software you use as well: office suite, e-mail, accounting software, etc. The more varied the tools, the more diverse your vocabulary will be.

2. Speak English with your colleagues

Our second technique for practising English in the office is simple: speak English with your colleagues. Of course, this tip is much easier to carry out if you work in an international company with foreign colleagues. This idea may even seem preposterous to you if you only work with French speakers.

Nevertheless, there may be colleagues in your company who also aim to improve their English. So why not chat with them in the language of Shakespeare? The idea is to vary the topics of your discussions as much as possible. For example, you could:

  • tell each other about your weekend during a coffee break;
  • give them a brief report of your last meeting;
  • discuss your upcoming business trip …

Of course, don’t switch to French as soon as you run into a difficulty with grammar or can’t find your words. In order to make this exercise productive, you must try to find another way to express your thoughts.

3. Use the “downtime” of the day to revise

the meeting room to be free? In the course of a day, you probably encounter little hiccups that waste your time.

What if instead of really wasting those precious minutes you use them to revise your English?

Take this opportunity to:

  • review the vocabulary you learnt during your last online lesson;
  • take a little quiz on your 1to1PROGRESS platform;
  • read a news article in English;
  • watch a video from the BBC language learning page (if you are allowed to);
  • etc.

You will find plenty of language activities that will only take you a few minutes and fill in this downtime in a useful way.

4. Take notes in English

During a meeting, a phone call or even a discussion with your manager, whether it is formal or not: there are many opportunities to take notes . If you feel comfortable enough, do it in English!

This exercise is slightly more difficult than the other tips mentioned in this article. You need to be at an intermediate level to be able to write your notes in English quickly and without having to translate them in your head first. However, it is a great way to practise English at work. Moreover, since you are transcribing information heard in French into English, it’s a great way to train your brain to switch easily from one language to another.

Practising your English at work: points to remember

Even if your days are more or less hectic, it is possible to practise your English in the office without adding to your workload. You just need to do some of your tasks (taking notes, writing e-mails, working on a software, etc.) in English.

You can also find colleagues in your company who could become your language partners. Expect discussions in English in an atmosphere of conviviality. It’s a great way to take your mind off things when you need a break!

Finally, when something unexpected prevents you from continuing your work for a few minutes, consider making the most of this downtime with revisions, for example.

By putting these 4 tips into practice, you are likely to progress quickly in English.

If you want to stack the odds in your favour to learn even faster, you can check our article: How to learn a language effectively?