Nowadays, learners have high motivation to improve their level of proficiency in English in order to perform professionally well in an international work environment. The question is, how can we help students reach this level and show the benefits in their own lives and careers? Here are some critical steps to achieve language proficiency.
1. Nurture students’ motivation
Teachers have to be a cheerleader and encourage students to get out of their comfort zone and push themselves to new heights. The reality is that mastery of a language is a lifelong process. Advanced level language learners need a high degree of motivation because a superior level of English offers a competitive edge in the international job market, opens up career or promotion opportunities, and gives them greater self-confidence in their abilities in the workplace.
2. Broaden their vocabulary range
Learners may have a passive knowledge of many phrasal and collocations but still avoid using them as part of their active vocabulary. Draw their attention to useful phrasal verbs in reading and listening texts and video content. Vocabulary is much easier to learn in context. Students must practice using the target language in speaking and writing, the more personalized the tasks, the more memorable. Review and recycle phrasal verbs that come up through revision exercises and quick tests, to help students incorporate these into their active vocabulary.
3. Improve business writing skills
Practice them in the genres much needed in the workplace (emails, reports, proposals, minutes). In addition, they will need to be able to understand writing conventions (how to structure a proposal, using subheadings in reports). A collaborative writing approach works well here. Focus on the writing process during the lesson: brainstorming, planning, and prioritizing tasks. Provide model texts, do collaborative writing tasks using shared google docs. Use opportunities for peer assessment and self-assessment as well for teacher feedback.
As a result, regular application of these critical steps will help students to achieve language proficiency.