30 Days to Better English for Professionals

Would you be interested in a course that promised “30 days to better English for Professionals?” 

4 young people looking at a computer.
Text: The fast way to build your professional vocabulary, speaking, & interaction skills in English

You may be thinking, “There’s no way I can get my English to the level I need or want in 30 days!”

Maybe you use English often at work but still feel uncomfortable about speaking up in meetings.

You may feel unsure that you can express yourself well enough in English to convince coworkers or managers of the value of your ideas. You might even wonder if they understand you!

How could 30 days make a difference?

You’re right that mastering any language is a long process. But if you can address your problems systematically, you can make real progress. The difference it can make may surprise you!

I know that you’re busy! But can you find 1/2 hour a day 3-5 days a week? Then in about two months you can finish these 30 short-- but carefully designed-- lessons. You should see a real improvement in your English!

30 days is time enough to overcome most pronunciation problems. It's enough to master the use of essential professional vocabulary-- & strategies for learning more. Most importantly, you will gain the confidence to use what you already know. 

How Can I Be Sure that 30 Days Can Make Such a Difference?

I’ve been helping people learn English for years. For more than a year and a half I've also been coaching international scientists in English using a program very much like this course.

Most can read English fluently, but many have struggled with pronunciation and speaking skills. (Some still find them difficult after living in the U.S.-- or using English in their work-- for years!)

They also want help in increasing their English vocabulary, and in choosing the right words for their needs.

Using this step-by-step program has made a real difference for them. It's especially helped their confidence, vocabulary, and the clarity of their pronunciation. I’m confident that if you'll invest the time, these lessons can do the same for you.

If you'd like, go directly to the course information summary. You can sign up to hear about it when it's ready. Thee ar more details on what's included in the course immediately below the sign up form..

Why Now?

This past two years it’s been inspiring to see people pulling together to try to protect and help each other. Scientists, health care providers, & other essential workers have pushed themselves so hard! They have not only cared for the sick and kept economies going, but they created a vaccine to help control the virus.

At the same time, it’s been frustrating to see unnecessary obstacles, confusion, and misguided --or false-- claims. They have made the pandemic so much worse than it had to be.

The importance of good research and clear, honest communication has been so obvious! It’s a global problem. We can’t solve it without working together across borders, cultures, & all the things that can divide us.

We desperately need the best efforts of everyone who can help. So good communication matters more than ever—not polished, perfect speech, but a willingness to share and to listen and work together.

It matters more than ever that you contribute your research and ideas to the global effort. If I can help make that any easier, I’m so glad to do it!

How This Course Can Help

If you’re reading this, you already have a good understanding of English. What’s important is to work on whatever is blocking you from sharing your thinking effectively in English.

It might be a pronunciation problem. (Most likely it's at least partly related to word stress or vowel sounds.) There are some simple checks and exercises that can help.

It might be a need for a few relevant words that express your ideas more accurately, so they’re not misunderstood.

It might be uncertainty about the "rules" & expectations for writing in English.

It might be a lack of confidence that holds you back from speaking up.

You can overcome many of these communication problems  in less time than you think. All it takes is a well-planned program and an understanding of where to focus your efforts.

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • learned the sounds of American English & some rules to recognize the most common ways to spell them.
  • learned English word and sentence stress patterns that will make your English easier to understand.
  • practiced "small talk" and meeting conversations enough to feel comfortable using English in most social situations.

(I can't promise that you'll feel comfortable if you get invited to meet the president or speak at a major conference, though! Many native speakers are nervous in those situations, too!)

Businessman giving a presentation & answering questions

You will have:

  • rehearsed persuading your boss, team, or client of the value of an idea or process you want them to adopt. (You might have practiced ways to convince them to avoid a bad idea instead.)
  • practiced writing emails, meeting summaries, & short reports using English business writing formats.
  • practiced the English for giving feedback, interrupting politely when necessary, & working on a team.
  • learned and used common business phrases including phrasal verbs & very common idioms.
  • learned enough about English word formation and context clues to recognize (or make good guesses) about the meaning of many new words.

"30 Days to Better English" Summary

I’ve been working to convert my one-on-one lessons program into a “30 Days to Better English” online course. It will be a less-expensive, self-paced alternative to my program. 

It still teaches

  • core professional vocabulary (including how to pronounce and use it),
  • English vowel sound rules (which also help with spelling),
  • workplace speaking & listening practice in English,
  •  and skills to keep expanding your vocabulary. 

The lessons are mostly brief videos, readings (& a few talks), & workbook or partner practice, (if you have or can find someone to practice with). There will also be live Question & Answer sessions, group message boards, & (if you're interested), accountability partners, plus email support from me & options to have a one-on-one session with me.

This fall I offered a trial hybrid course including small-group Zoom lessons directly with me once for each module. We met once a week for 6 weeks at times each group agreed on.

I don't plan to offer more group lessons unless an already existing group wants lessons. Otherwise, it's quite difficult to arrange meeting times that everyone an manage.

Instead, I'll try to offer live sessions several times a week so that people with different locations or schedules should still be able to attend at least a few while working through the course. Those sessions will provide an opportunity to practice speaking with other students on one or more course topics as well as a chance to ask questions about the course. As mentioned, students can also request an optional 1/2 hour or hour lesson with me.

See the outline below for the basic plan for the course. 

Would You Like to Hear When the Course is Available?

I would love to hear from you if you might be interested in a course like this. Please leave your name and email below.

The main individual study course will probably "launch" in early Jan. 2022, with more students to partner or work with. If you want to be notified when it starts-- OR if you would really like to take it earlier (very possible, but with less other students to work with), contact me below.

Interested in This Course?

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

30-Day Course Outline

You may have the option of taking just part of the course (one or two modules). Then you can continue with any others as you need them. (Of course, if you know you want the whole course, there will be a price discount.)

There are 6 main modules or units in the course. Each includes five "days" of short lessons & practice. The practice includes short written responses (or discussions if you have a study partner to speak with), worksheets, quizzes and some options, depending on your level & needs.

Each module will introduce and practice 10-20 word families especially useful for professionals. (Word families here refers to related words used in different positions in a sentence-- verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.)

We'll use and discuss other vocabulary, especially in Module 6. But you'll learn these 100 word families well.

You will already recognize most of them. The lessons will help you pronounce and use them. You'll practice them in various ways, until you can think of them when you need them, even under pressure.

The fifth lesson in modules 2, 4, & 6 will be a live question & answer session. (There will probably be extra Q&A sessions so everyone can find times that work for them.) You don't have to be finished all the lessons before it to attend a Q&A, but doing 3, 4, or 5 lessons a week-- whatever you are able to do-- is important to get the full benefit from the course. Consistent practice is the key to progress.

Here is the basic plan: 

Module 1: Intro to Communication & Pronunciation in English

Welcome video & pdf: course overview & communication basics

Lesson 1: Module 1 vocabulary with pronunciation & stress.

L. 1 Practice: Record yourself reading aloud the three example paragraphs from lesson 1. Then write sentences using 10-15 of this module's words OR complete a crossword puzzle to practice their meanings.

L. 2: 2-way communication & the importance of listening. Questions, including checking for understanding & verifying assumptions. Introducing the listening/reading practice. 

L. 2 Practice: Read about & watch a TED talk on how to explain anything clearly. Then think  about your own work. Write the key points to briefly explain your work to 2 English-speaking audiences: a scientist in another field & an interested friend of a friend. You’ll use these for networking later.

L. 3: 'Short' vowel sounds video.

L. 3 Practice (for L.3-4): compare & pronounce several lists of similar short words to practice their pronunciations. Read aloud at least the first line (A-U) of the first short & long set on each page. (Example: Short A-U sounds: bad bed bid body buddy; Long A-U sounds: bade bead bide bode booed.)

L. 4: 'Long' vowel sounds video

L. 4 Practice: Continue the lesson 3 exercise. 

L. 5 Short & Long Vowel Rules video.

L. 5 Practice: A. Record yourself reading a list of sentences including the different sounds of English. (Optional but highly recommended: send it to me to review. Then I can recommend practice activities in the next module  based on what you need to work on.)

B. Brief Short/Long Quiz.

Module 2: Pronunciation-2 

Modules 2-6 will follow the same basic plan as Module 1 for the first lesson: It will introduce the theme of the module and its vocabulary. Lessons 2-4 or 5 will develop it and practice the skills required.

Lesson 5 will be a live Question & Answer session in this module & modules 4 & 6. As noted, these will be available at different times, so you may want to attend one before you have completed the module. You can also email me with questions at any time.

Highlights for Module 2:

L. 2 The sounds of vowels before Rs with practice activities.

L. 3 Other Vowel Sounds (AU/AW, OI, & OO, OU, OW when not pronounced with the long or short sounds.) Practice: Fill in a worksheet putting some very common words into columns based on their vowel sounds.

L. 4 Common Homophones (like to, too, or two, for or four, their, there, or there). Recognition & spelling practice. (These are common sources of writing errors among native speakers too.)

L. 5 Live Q&A.

Module 3: Discussing, Reporting, & Writing about Your Work 

L. 1 The vocabulary in this module is 20 verbs (with their related nouns & adjectives.) We'll look at 3 ways to pronounce the regular past tense & when to use each one. In the rest of this module we'll look at how to use these verbs (& the past tense.)

In L. 2, we'll talk about how to adapt your message for different situations & levels of formality. We'll practice explaining what you do and have done in small talk, at a networking event, or at a job interview.

In L. 3 we'll look at giving feedback & discussing work with your team.

L. 4 will look at general English writing skills and the importance of revision & proofreading.

L. 5 will look at good business email writing practices in English.

Module 4: Teamwork & Meetings

Professional woman attending a virtual meeting on her computer & taking notes

L. 1 & 5 will follow  the plan discussed in Module 2: L. 1 intro to the topic & vocabulary (just 10 words module); L.5 a Live Q&A.

L. 2 Teams & problem-solving, along with an article on English business culture.

L. 3 How to develop (& tips to protect) your confidence while speaking in English

L.4 Business meetings: how tos & some useful phrases & idioms-- with more on those + a TED talk for practice

Module 5: Persuasion

L. 1 will follow the plan discussed in Module 1 & 2: L. 1: intro to the topic & vocabulary.

L. 2 Keys to persuasion, including reading a related article (L.2 practice) & practicing some of its ideas after L. 3.

L. 3 Pros & cons & how to disagree without being disagreeable

L. 4 Positive & negative connotations of words (with a worksheet for practice)

L. 5 More work on connotations & synonyms, + learning to use a thesaurus.

Module 6: Word-building & Vocabulary Skills

L. 1 will introduce 15 word families, & the exercise will illustrate English word building using some of those words & earlier vocabulary. In L. 1 we will concentrate on suffixes & how they can change a word's use in a sentence (its "part of speech"--verb, noun, etc.)

L. 2 Prefixes & negative prefixes, including using examples from this & earlier vocabulary.

L. 3 More on word roots. Practice with a word root recognition game.

L. 4 More vocabulary-building skills including using context clues. Read an article using some of the module's vocabulary to discuss some current issues (Covid-19, vaccine research, & the role immigrants played in developing vaccines.)

L. 5 A final live Q&A & a 'graduation' celebration.

100% satisfaction guarantee

30-day money-back guarantee. Please contact me if you have any problems or questions. I'll be glad to help in any way I can. If you are not happy with this course after giving it a fair trial (at least three lessons-- they're short!), please contact me for a full refund.

If you find the course helpful please take a moment to  let me know and to share it. Thanks!

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The initial price of the self-study course alone will be $119 for all 30 lessons, Live Q & A/group practice calls, and a pronunciation check & suggestions. (There will probably be options to add some speaking work one-on-one with me if desired.) That's $20 per module, a low price for the improvement it can help you make, but I want to keep it as affordable as possible, including for scientists & business people working outside the U.S.

As noted above, the individual self-study course should start officially early next year but all the lesson will be available earlier. Contact me if interested to make sure I'll be able to provide the needed support, & for the link to the course site. (I hope to post it here by late November but need to make some changes in the current group structure first.)

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