English Language tips for Indian ESL speakers & professionals
We have the privilege of teaching some very smart and successful professionals from India who are ESL speakers or any Indian who wants to improve their English skills. On this page we will share some helpful tips based on observations that we’ve made in class. This will be a dynamic page (always changing) so please check back often, refer it to your friends if you want and ask us any questions if you need further clarification.
And, here are 2 websites that we appreciate and recommend for English language grammar and general information:
The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) – Grammar focus
Slow it down!
Many of our students have a very high comprehension level. However, it can be difficult to understand them. Why? They speak too fast! One of the first things that will greatly improve your overall communication skills is to stop, take a breath and simply slow down your speech. Take a breath before you begin speaking or when you start a sentence during a presentation or one of our reading in class. Start that thought or sentence on a higher note, then follow that sentence rhythmically while paying attention to the spaces between the words. Let’s not mush things all together or run over our words as if we were driving 100 mph down a country road. Let’s take our time as if we are driving a nice convertible car though the countryside on a fine Spring day taking in the scenery and minding the winding road. Then when you’re ready to conclude your statement or end a sentence at the period, go down in tone. We don’t want to speak like a line of computer code, rambling off line after line. That won’t work. The English language requires feeling & thought, and the better we deliver it, the better it will be understood by others.
Here’s a sample line, repeat it using the above advice:
Hi, thank you for meeting with me today. My name is Deepak (or, your name) and I’m from Bangalore (or, your city). I’m an IT specialist with the company Omni-Cool. I’m here today to tell you about our services. I think that you’ll find that we have some wonderful solutions for your business that will speed up workflow, reduce help desk tasks and cut down costs.
Use Simple Past and Present Perfect correctly
Whenever we include an expression or reference to time, use simple past:
This morning I woke up.
This morning I’ve woke up
Last year we were in Toronto, we worked on a big project there.
Last year we’ve worked …
Over the weekend I watched TV and shopped with my wife.
Over the weekend I’ve watched TV and we’ve shopped …
If an action has NO time reference and implies that it may happen again some time in the future, use present perfect. Hint, it’s a little like having one foot in the past and one in the future. It may include words or phrases like: so far …, up until now …, just, never (ever – for questions), recently, already, yet …
I’ve already finished the main part of the project, but there are a few tasks that remain.
She has been to Russia and wants to return.
I’ve never studied medicine, but I’d like to one day.
Have you eaten yet?
Here’s a helpful link.
Use Present Simple and Present Progressive correctly
Use Present Simple when stating facts, habits or things that don’t change.
My wife has a headache.
She’s having headache
The dinner tastes good.
The dinner is tasting good
My brother and his wife have 3 children.
They are having 3 children
Use Present Progressive/Continuous when the action is still happening, or happening temporarily
My wife’s cooking us a wonderful dinner, it’ll be done in 15 minutes.
It’s raining now and the wind is blowing.
We’re fixing the network now, I’ll call (future) you back in an hour.
Here’s a helpful link.
Don’t forget or drop articles unnecessarily!
Almost all nouns in English need an article: a, an or the It is a common and easily fixable mistake among many of our ESL students to either drop (omit) articles or use them unnecessarily. We hope that this helps!
I have a dog.
I have dog
I am a systems engineer.
I am systems engineer
I live in New Jersey.
I live in the New Jersey
There is a lot of traffic at rush hour.
There’s a lot of the traffic at the rush hour
I am in pain.
I am in the pain
This web page goes into more detail that one of our teachers can explain further to you in class.
Verbs: Say, Tell, Talk, Explain – Use these properly and you’ll sound so much better!
These verb need proper construction, if not – they are wrong.
to say + that – Ex: They say that they’ll be done by 5 PM.
They’re saying to be done at 5 PM
to tell + pronoun – Ex: He told me that he got promoted.
He’s telling that he is promoted
to talk + about Ex: She’s talking about her vacation in France.
She’s talking on her France vacationto explain + to Ex: He explained to me how to fix the server.
He explained me how to …
Correct use of since, from & during
Since arriving in the U.S., I’ve started jogging.
I’ve been at my company since 2006.
Since she took over the project, everything’s running smoothly.
I’ll be in the meeting from 8 to 9 AM.
Right from the start I knew this would be a tough job.
I’m taking a train from D.C. to NYC.
During my presentation the client asked several questions.
I slept during the entire flight to India and didn’t eat anything.
I was texting during the movie.
There’s much more to it that this, ask your Bolder English instructor for more examples and practice exercises for all of these points, including proper pronunciation of the ‘V’, ‘W’ and ‘ZYA’ phonemes.