Would you be interested in a course that promised “30 days to better English for Professionals?”
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.
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 with individual lessons using a program similar to this course. (See Develop Your English Speaking Skills.)
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.
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!
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:
(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!)
You will have:
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
The lessons are mostly brief videos, readings (& a few talks), & workbook or partner practice. There will also be live Question & Answer sessions, group message boards, & (if you're interested), study 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 can manage.
Instead, I'll try to offer live sessions several times during week 4 & 6, so that people with different locations or schedules should still be able to attend at least one or two while working through the course. Between launches (when many people start the course at the same time), you can take it as a self-study course, ask questions by email, and schedule a one-on-one lesson with me when you need one for a reduced rate.
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.
You will have the option of taking just part of the course (two or more modules, depending on your specific needs). 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 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.) You will already recognize most of the words. 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.
We'll use and discuss other vocabulary, especially in Module 6. But you'll learn these 120 or so word families well.
The fifth lesson in modules 4 & 6 will be a 1/2 hour live practice session with time for questions & answers at the end. (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:
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.) Then answer a few questions about which sounds are short or long.
L. 4: 'Long' vowel sounds video.
L. 4 Practice with some additional questions and some minimal pairs for commonly-confused sounds like beat vs bit or sheep vs ship.
L. 5 Short & Long Vowel Rules video.
L. 5 Practice: Brief Short/Long Quiz.
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.
Highlights for Module 2: The Common Sounds of Each Letter in American English. This is longer than other videos in the course-- almost 15 minutes, so there is no other assignment for just this lesson. You can review the audio and/or the slides in shorter segments for the parts you need to practice.
L. 2 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. 3 The Common Consonant Sounds of American English.
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 A choice of practice with L & R minimal pairs (and of the consonant blends bl, br, cl, cr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl, & pr, plus sentences and a dictation (& a second set-- 5B-- if you need even more practice)
OR L.5C a video on vowels followed by Rs, with related practice activities.
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.
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. (As noted above, you can also schedule a practice session with me at a reduced rate between course launches.)
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
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.
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, or a lesson on Greek roots between launches.
The full 30-days to Better Professional English course is available now at an "early bird" individual study price of $97. Click the button below to buy it now and get started.
(The course is hosted on the Heights platform, and you can pay by credit card, Paypal, or Stripe.)
I'll also work more closely with you and may make changes in the practice activities if you have suggestions that would make it more helpful to you. The official launch (with a larger number of students) will probably be in the summer-- and the price may be higher.
Meanwhile, starting this summer, I plan to offer a pilot or beta version of the vocabulary part of this course (1-2 lessons from Mod. 1-4 and all the lessons in Mod. 5-- rearranged, with some taught in Mod. 2.) This will be with extra live lessons and an individual call with each student to help you get the most from it.
The full course described above is available now.
If you don't need or have time for the full 30-day course, i offer several shorter versions based on different needs.
You can contact me below if you need a different combination of lessons, and I can probably arrange what you need. I expect the courses to be: