Not just in Singapore, virtual communication has globally become a common feature of the modern workplace. With the growth of home-working practices, especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic times, virtual communication has become the norm rather than the exception.
Closer to home, most of the communication is done in English. However, remote communication can be a major problem for Singaporeans who are not fluent in English.
In this blog, we look at how you can ace in emails, video calls, and other forms of virtual communication as an English beginner.
Challenges of Virtual Communication for English Beginners
In a nutshell, virtual communication refers to different channels of communication through which people interact when they are not in the same room. Often used by teams of employees working in the same office environment or in different geographic locations, virtual communication involves the use of different communication channels. This includes email platforms like Gmail and Outlook, instant chat messaging like WhatsApp and Slack and video conferencing software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype.
As communication has a huge impact on productivity and customer satisfaction in every industry, clear and effective communication is important when using virtual communication channels.
Poor communication in business English can be one of the main reasons why things may go wrong in the workplace. If you’re working from home and cannot communicate effectively in English, you’ll not only struggle to converse clearly with native speakers but may also find it quite difficult to perform your tasks as expected.
It is no surprise why most people may consider taking business English classes in Singapore to improve their ability to communicate well in the language.
How Non-Native English Speakers Can Improve Communication in English
If you are a non-native English speaker working remotely or in a virtual environment using email and video calls as the main mode of communication, it will be essential to improve your command of the language.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your fluency in English.
1. Use Body Language and Gestures
If you are at the basic level of English mastery, you will likely find yourself stuck or at a loss of the right words to use.
This may happen in the middle of a video call in which case you can use body language and gestures to get across the message you are trying to relay.
If you are writing an email, you can also use a translation tool such as Google Translate but do note that these tools are never 100% accurate.
2. Seek Help from a Colleague
It is also possible to find yourself unable to communicate a specific idea clearly in an office environment. In this case, you can always seek help from a fellow colleague.
If you are in the middle of a phone call with a native English speaker, you can also ask him or her to slow down and allow you to digest the information first.
One of the problems with speaking English to native speakers is their speed which many non-native speakers find hard to keep up with. Don’t pretend to understand what is being said but request for the other party to slow down so you can keep up with the conversation.
3. Take Business English Classes in Singapore
Lastly and more importantly, you can take a business English class to improve your ability to communicate effectively. When you find yourself struggling to translate everything or failing to communicate effectively in English, it is a good idea to look for a good conversational English class in Singapore. Here at ULC, we provide English lessons for adults that best fits your needs.
Contact us today to learn more about our business English classes!