I was talking with a new friend (Palm) I met at a network get-together in Bangkok and she asked me what I do for work/business... my answer of course was: I'm a "Strategic English Communication Consultant".
Palm asked... is that like a Situational English language teacher? My answer was yes and no (at the end of this article there’s more information on this answer*).
I explained that situational English focuses on the vocabulary and communication techniques needed for specific industries like pharmaceutical, logistics, HR, call centres, airlines, legal, accounting, and work skills like email, sales, marketing, telephoning, presentations, meetings and negotiations. However, situational English communications also includes many strategic communication skills.
Strategic English communications is focused more on creating the tools and learning strategies you will use to communicate successfully.
I would say it's like using the English language you know and some strategic communications skills to fill the gaps for the language you don't know or to put it another way; it is using tools and skills for problem solving to produce the results of successful communication.
Strategic English Communications (SEC) has two basic forms: risk-taking strategies and risk-avoidance strategies.
Risk-taking strategies are often employed by high level users of English as a 2nd language (E2L) and risk-avoidance strategies are employed more by low level (E2L) users.
These are some of the strategies that (E2L) users use to expand their language resources to meet communicative goals.
fluency-oriented strategies emphasising communicative clarity;
accuracy-oriented strategies for paying attention to forms of communication language; and
help-seeking strategies such as asking for repetition, clarification or confirmation.
These are some of the strategies that (E2L) users use to adjust the message to match their language resources.
message abandonment strategies for leaving a message unfinished;
message reduction and alteration strategies to allow the substitution of familiar words; and
time-gaining strategies consisting of delay tactics, unnecessary questioning and sometimes "no response" in hopes of keeping the communication open in times of difficulty.
I believe the two main issues that hinder people using English for communications are cultural and social.
Infrequent use of nonverbal strategies (hand gestures and body language) may be explained in terms of cultural influence as some cultures consider some gestures as impolite.
Another problem facing speakers of English as a 2nd language is in the context, some people want to avoid ‘loss of face’ as a result of making mistakes. Thus, they are likely to employ risk-avoidance strategies to maintain or to end the conversation.
The "yes" and "no" answer at the beginning of this article is simply this; a Strategic English Communications Consultant works with you to develop situational and strategic communicative learning programs and techniques so that your staff and your company can communicate effectively and efficiently in English language.
Combining strategic communicative tools and systems; and employing communicative coaching techniques, anyone who uses English language as a 2nd language for work or personal use, will use English language for successful communications with skill and confidence.
A Strategic English Communications Consultant will create and provide the necessary tools and learning programs for high level and low level users of English as a 2nd language, so that they can improve their English language communicative skills for speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Every person and every company will have different requirements. A Strategic English Communications Consultant can find the information and skill gaps; then create the day to day tools, strategies and learning systems needed to fill these gaps and create an ongoing learning environment.
I can help you with your situational English needs for:
Would you like to know more about Strategic English Communications? Send me a message and let’s see how I can help you or your company!