Tales From The Office – Episode 4

In the last episode of Tales From The Office, Lisa was struggling with business English writing. Specifically, she was having trouble completing a new customer form for Steve from Samphor Industries. Lisa’s manager, Samantha, found a company called Skill House Learning to help Lisa improve her professional communication skills. Let’s see what happens in this episode…

After researching a training provider who could help Lisa, Samantha found a company called Skill House Learning. She decided to send them an email. The letter she sent looked like this:

Hello Daniel,

I am a customer service manager at Crodain Corporation, a manufacturer of chemical coatings in Los Angeles. Recently one my staff members has been struggling with handling customers on the phone and inputting information into our system. She has developed a reputation for difficulty in communication over the phone. Customers avoid dealing with her on the phone which has resulted in an increased workload for myself and her team members.

We are looking to develop a program that can help this employee, Lisa, with improving her customer service abilities, listening and speaking on the phone, and also improve her written and spoken grammar.

Please let us know if this sounds like a program you could develop for us.

Best regards,

Samantha Barendo

Daniel and Samantha set up an initial phone conversation to further understand the problem and put together an idea of what the program would look like. After the phone call, Daniel created an initial ESL for Business program proposal for Samantha and Crodain Corporation. The next step was to show the proposal to the president of the company.

Tales From The Office - Episode 4 - Business English Writing

The president of Croidain Corporation, Ross Johnson, looked over the proposal and gave the approval. Samantha and Daniel prepared the final version of the proposal. Lisa was going to start an ESL for Business program with Skill House Learning.

See how Daniel and Skill House Learning help improve Lisa’s business English writing in the next episode of Tales From The Office…

3 Reasons for High Language Standards in Professional Social Media

3 Reasons to Have High Standards with English Usage in Professional Social Media

Good writing is reflective of your credibility as a professional. Increasingly, I see poor English usage in written communication on professional social media such as LinkedIn and professional websites and blogs. When we post a comment in the professional realm or reply to a post, English should be used correctly with proper grammar. Here are three reasons your written English communication needs to be of high quality:

English that is not correctly written will make you look unprofessional and unable to have professional correspondence. Any time you post content publicly, you are showing the world who you are by how you communicate. If you have poor grammar when posting a response, you are displaying a lack of allegiance to high professional standards. However, strong written English skills reflect high professional standards.

If you are a leader in an organization, you set the standard for your employees. If your written English is sloppy, this gives your employees the green light to drop standards for English communication. When your employees deal with customers, vendors, and colleagues, they will be representing your organization. As such, leaders should demonstrate and cultivate professional writing and communication.

A strong command of English written communication will help you articulate your ideas more accurately and stand out from those that have poor written communication. Unfortunately, the colloquial nature of social media does not always lean towards professional writing standards. By displaying strong English written communication skills in professional social media, you will stand out from other professionals. By continuing to improve your written English skills, you will be able more and more to express your intentions with expanding clarity. This has an effect on you and your company’s bottom line.

Find out more about how we help employees to develop high level business writing here: http://skillhouselearning.com/making-training-programs-effective/

The Importance of Skills

The concept of acquiring skills is one of the reasons I founded Skill House Learning. In a big way, skills define who you are. Skill are one thing no one can take away from you. For myself, skills not only provide practical application in one’s life but also direction and a foundation of one’s purpose. For me, developing skills is a lifelong journey. High level ability does not come easy, but with practice and dedication we can all achieve great things through developing skills.

Teaching Methodology

Teaching Methodology at Skill House Learning

Based on my observations, beliefs, and personal experience as a teacher and language learner, I have developed a unique teaching method. Essentially, I look at learning a language with three components: vocabulary, applied vocabulary, and language patterns. Vocabulary is the base level. One needs to develop an understanding of individual words as first step. When moving up in language ability levels, one component is increasing the size of one’s vocabulary. For instance, I will be taking the HSK Chinese language fluency test this December, testing at level 4 out of 6. In order to advance to the next level, one of piece of that is continually working to expand my vocabulary in my target language.

In addition to expanding vocabulary one needs to know how words fit together with other words. This is grammar and it is also roots, prefixes, suffixes, as well as verbal tenses. Knowing how words fit together makes it easier to infer and recognize meaning when approaching new vocabulary.

Thirdly, after acquiring vocabulary and an understanding of how the words fit together, the next step is language patterns. To understand language patterns is to understand natural communication. When I first moved to China, I would learn language patterns in Chinese by riding with cab drivers and having them ask me the same set of questions each day. I developed automatic responses to each question. I knew that when I would here that, I should say this. This automatic response is the work of understanding language patterns.

Motivation in Language Learning

How many times have you heard: I used to be able to speak Spanish, Japanese, French? The question really is: why can’t you speak the language now? Where did the skills go? When we leave regular language practice, be that the classroom or the native country, it is much more difficult to continue to develop language ability.

This makes sense, right? When we are in the classroom, we have our fellow students to practice with. We are regularly using the language. Similarly, when we live in a foreign country, we have the culture and entire population to engage with. But when we move to real life outside the classroom and back in our home country, what happens to our language ability? As you probably well know, our language ability tends to wither away.

However, this does not have to be the case. You can maintain your language ability and even keep progressing while moving beyond the classroom and entering the daily grind in your home country. The key here is getting yourself to stay motivated with a personal connection to the language you are learning. Find bands that sing in your target language. Eat at restaurants where you can practice your language skills. Play a sport or train a martial art in the target language. Find your connection and you will be motivated to learn and continue to progress in language ability.

Stay tuned for more language learning tips from Skill House Learning!