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Begbroke Science Park Promotes Successful Global English


Alison Haill, CEO and Managing Director of Oxford Professional Consulting brought the BSP International Business Seminar series to a close, sharing her secrets to speaking successful global English. With non-native English speakers expressing reluctance to do business with Brits, it is a topic that will continue to grow in importance.

The seminar kicked off with delegates discussing their current techniques for making themselves understandable to non-native speakers, for example making clear points, using exaggerated body language and fewer colloquialisms.

Alison shared seven secrets about global English, picked up from a combination of teaching English, her experience as a foreign language user and concerns her clients have voiced. Major issues include the difficulty of listening in a foreign language, the misconception that one syllable words are easier to understand and the fact that foreign numbers can take much longer to process.

Counteracting these issues are her tips for successful global English, such as building relationships based on sincerity and using visuals to aid speech. Building close working relationships allows people to recognise whether they are being understood, whilst using flipcharts or diagrams can help process acronyms and figures.

Alison also stressed non-native speakers worry of losing face and the need to ‘level the playing field’, often by being willing to make your own mistakes in their native language.

She commented ‘I was very pleased to see how much interest the topic stimulated and I had some very good discussions with individual attendees afterwards. BSP promoted the talk very professionally. I always like speaking to both academic and business audiences; the subjects are often identical but the viewpoints can be very different. It’s important to reach professionals in both areas’.

Delegates left the seminar armed with tips to improve their communication skills with access to a free download on the Oxford Professional Consulting website.

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Ben Roeves