Learning English for a Successful Internship
The ability to communicate your thoughts, desires, and needs in English can make your internship much more successful. One of the biggest reasons interns experience less than stellar results during their internship is because of their inability to speak English. The time you put into learning English has a direct correlation to the time and effort you put toward learning in general. To set yourself up for the best internship experience, you need to immerse yourself in the English language as much as possible.
Attitude is everything when learning English. Before you can set a goal, you need to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself why you want to learn. Is it just to come to America on an internship? Or do you really want to learn the language?
Lack of desire to want to know the language will pose major problems as you begin learning English. You will lose focus easily. You’ll find reasons not to practice every day. And before you know it, you’ll be on a plane to America knowing only a handful of English words.
If you want to simply learn enough to get by during your internship, you can certainly do that. But keep in mind, the less you know coming into your internship, the harder your job will be. Even if you can recite kitchen terms and food names, if you can’t communicate beyond the basics, you will create added tension between you and your coworkers.
Learning English in 4 ways
The first thing to remember when learning English is that it is one of the toughest language to learn. Even native English speakers get confused with grammar rules and spelling at times, so don’t be too hard on yourself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself to be conversation ready by the time your internship begins.
While learning English won’t be as easy as learning kitchen skills or hospitality terms, there are a few ways you can increase your retention in a short period of time. Immersing yourself in the language through reading, speaking, writing, and hearing are the best ways to build your speaking skills while learning English.
Reading is one of the simplest ways to learn vocabulary and basic grammar rules. However, it can be frustrating to read text books or novels in English when you’re just starting out. Children’s books, however, are usually full of smaller words that are easy to pronounce. They also contain root words that will help you build your vocabulary as you learn prefixes and suffixes. If you begin learning English with children’s books, your word retention rate will increase and your experience in learning will be more positive.
Speaking English occasionally is not a good way to improve your skills. You need to surround yourself with people who are either learning English or are fluent in the language if you want to succeed. Talking with fluent speakers allows you to hear how the word sounds. That may seem silly, but hearing yourself say a word increases your chances of retaining the word. Conversing with fluent speakers also helps to catch words you may be mispronouncing or using incorrectly.
Just as saying words aloud aids in word retention, so does writing. When you learn a new word or phrase, write it down in English multiple times. Carry a journal around everywhere you go so you can write down new words, new phrases, or even words you may hear and want to learn more about. The more you write, the more you learn. A great way to start learning English through writing is with Post It notes around your house. Write the English word for your furniture, appliances, foods, and anything else around your home. Say the word aloud each time you pass by or grab and item. Before you know it, you’ll easily be able to recall every household item with confidence.
Hearing words in English is completely different that simply reading them. Some people learning English retain words better when they read along to the sound of the words. If you feel this is the best way to learn, pick up an English copy of your favorite book as well as the audio book. You can follow along as the narrator reads aloud. Listening to English speaking podcasts on your favorite topics is another great way learn English through hearing. If you know the topic well, you can easily assimilate the English word to the item or topic being discussed. Choosing the novel or podcast you’re most interested in will keep you more engaged in the conversation.
How will you learn?
There are a host of programs, books, and tutors available to help you. It’s up to you to decide what will work best for your learning style and goals. Learning English should be a fun experience and something you do daily if you want to succeed. If you don’t want to do the same thing every day, mix up your learning patterns. Read a book one day and listen to a podcast the next. Whatever method you choose, if you have a positive attitude going into the process, you will set yourself up for major success.