"Develop communication skills by practising with others as much as possible!"
From facing issues in presenting themselves with confidence to handling communication in a second language with ease, British Council myEnglish students share the secrets of their success.
We’re in conversation with Bhavana, Nupur, Sayed, Ashvina, Siddhant, Saba, Priyanka, Ramchandra and Ritesh who want to share their experience of taking the online myEnglish course, and how to make the most of it.
1. Know your motivations
Communication, career and confidence are the common threads that motivated our interviewees to learn.
Bhavana, a homemaker, shares a common problem: “There are times when I have to respond to queries or write a small note, and I find it hard to express myself. I find I can do it in Hindi but not in English – if I can feel a little more comfortable with English it will be a big help”.
Nupur, an artist, agrees: “I used to think people will make fun of me if I did not speak properly”.
Ramchandra, an engineer, Siddhant, a content writer and Ashvina, an assistant professor wanted to improve communication skills for their career. Sayed, who works in IT, says, “I could read and write well, but speaking was a major impediment”. As Priyanka, an entrepreneur, says, “I have to deal with a lot of delegates from all over the world on a daily basis and speaking English was my biggest hurdle”.
Saba, a post-graduate in English literature explains: “[English] is how you communicate. Therefore I developed an interest in learning the language”. Ritesh, a chartered accountant, says “I love reading books, travelling across the world to understand varied cultures and it’s been quite some time since I wanted to improve my language”.
All of them decided to take an online English course. This may seem unusual, but Siddhant says: “Initially I was a bit hesitant choosing this course as it’s online, but I went on to enrol on myEnglish after examining the pros of having an online class – like avoiding travel and saving time”.
2. Communication is the key
Develop communication skills by practising with others as much as possible.
Bhavana says “I could use the course to interact with my fellow students in English and not feel bad about it. For me, this was of great help because it showed me a good way of expressing myself in day-to-day situations. The other big merit is the chance to interact with fellow students who have the same problems”.
Saba agrees: “You learn to take turns, talk, have a discussion. Now, wherever I go for interviews, maybe I’m sitting in a team, discussing anything in a cafeteria, it helps me with the pattern that should be followed. This is not just about formal conversations; it is also about informal chat and everything else”.
3. Course design is crucial
Look for progressive structure and useful content. Having fun also helps!
Ashvina tells us: “Grammar topics were covered really well during our virtual sessions. These helped me in the successful completion of weekly activities. My writing skills improved significantly as well”. Ramchandra adds “The course is a nice combination of traditional and modern methods. Apart from language learning, it develops the skills of interaction, presentation and study with ethics”.
Saba says “I enjoyed the different types of topics taught to us via the language. I learned a bit about crime and law, health, sports, and media. The topics were unique, the way it was taught was unique”.
This impacts learning even after the course: “I have stopped reading books on grammar, even after all the hard work it’s difficult to grasp many rules. Instead, I visit the web portals advised of and do exercises with more comfort and enjoyment” says Sayed.
4. The teacher is a facilitator
A good course is not a one-way experience.
Sayed explains “It was not a ‘learn by rote’ methodology. I learnt many valuable things with fun, and I have always felt motivated as the teachers never dented my morale”.
Nupur adds: “My tutor has been friendly, helpful and effective in her teaching”. Ashvina agrees: “Our instructors were always ready to support us. They gave timely suggestions and feedback”.
5. Don’t be afraid to step into the unknown
Take risks and accept challenges when you are learning – embrace new ways of doing things.
“I was hesitant to join the course when I came to know that it’s online learning” admits Saba. “Obviously, the fun is about taking up challenges. I talked to many people from British Council, and they always maintained ‘It’s easy, you can do it’. There was a lot of support”.
Siddhant adds, “Virtual classes were something I was most hesitant about, but that ended up becoming the best part of the course. It was as good as a face-to-face class in the comfort of my house”.
“I got handy with the tools and technology” continues Saba. “That is one of the things which is much needed in whatever areas you want to apply them in, regarding your job or maybe even in your everyday life.”
6. Hard work pays off!
Taking a course makes a difference and effort yields results.
Saba notes “Now, if I go for an interview, I’m quite confident. The interviewer sees my CV, and the first question would be about ‘Oh! Have you done the British Council course?’ So it adds a lot of weight to my bio-data”.
Ashvina says “The results are amazing. I can read, write and converse in English with better fluency and confidence”.
7. The self-motivation factor
You get out of a course what you put in, and being independent and motivated is a success factor.
Bhavana warns “There is a lot of work to be done by the students on their own and there are no shortcuts”. Ramchandra counsels “Choose suitable resources, be honest to the trainer and work hard. It definitely leads to success”.
Ritesh echoes that: “Show perseverance. Complete the course with dedication, and you will soon see the difference”.