The Art of Networking in English
Networking and making new business contacts is hard enough as it is, now imagine having to network in English when it is not your native language. Often language barriers in the business world limit the business professional’s ability to develop productive business relationships here in Argentina and abroad. If you’re learning English in Buenos Aires you’ve probably taken a business English course either in-company or on your own time. Studying English formally is an excellent way to gain English skills for the business world.
However, mastering English also requires practicing with native English speakers – so Bridge Argentina and Spanglish Exchange have collaborated to create E3 – Networking in English. Launching in January 2013, E3 is a networking event that combines a challenging English curriculum inspired by relevant situations, guided activities with native English speakers and conversations with visiting business professionals. In this interview about Business English, Spanglish Exchange Director Maya May talks to Carlos Pizarro, Director of BridgeEnglish Argentina about the challenges Argentines often face when trying to improve their business English skills.
Q. Are Argentine business professionals prepared to use their English in a dynamic and professional setting such as conferences abroad?
A. Many Argentines have done a lot of language studying during their lives. However, when attending conferences or going abroad, they find they lack the fluency needed to sound natural.
Q. What is the biggest challenge for non-native speakers when immersed in all English business situations?
A. Most of our business skills have to do with our personal way of using our native language. This native intuition leads us to sound natural and convincing. Hesitation, using the wrong word, or even words that are not wrong but aren’t as effective in other languages, are all things that stand in the way of effective communication.
Q. Many students study English with private tutors or at language institutes such as Bridge. What’s the main difference between business English and colloquial English?
A. The structure is the same, pronunciation is similar. However the words we use and the contexts we deal with change drastically. There are also specific areas such as writing emails, telephoning, or giving presentations that deal with some very specific aspects of language that are not used in our everyday speech.
Q. Any recommendations for advanced level English students to achieve native proficiency?
A. Never lose your passion for learning. I have seen several students feel they “know enough” and of course, the learning process stops the minute you lose your motivation.
Q. What is the best way for professionals to improve their business English prior to a business trip abroad?
A. Come and join E3, of course!
The first E3 will be held at Urban Station (Microcentro) – Monday, January 28, 2013 at 6:30pm. Space is limited – you can reserve your space online for AR$225.
E3 is brought to you by Bridge English Argentina and Spanglish Exchange.
About Spanglish Exchange
As featured in Fortune Small Business, Forbes Argentina, Buenos Aires Herald and La Nación, Spanglish Exchange has brought together more than 17,000 language learners through its events in Argentina and Spain since its inception in 2008. Spanglish Founder Maya May was listed as one of “50 Entrepreneurs Breaking the Mold” in the April 2012 issue of Apertura.
About BridgeEnglish Argentina
BridgeEnglish Argentina is part of Bridge, an international company founded in 1983 dedicated to providing innovative services in language, education, and travel. Every year, Bridge’s centers in Chile, Brazil and the US provide quality language instruction, teacher training, and professional development to thousands of people across the globe and has been featured in iEco, Cronista and La Nación.