Creating Better Spoken and Written English for an Audience
English learners often feel like they have acquired a good knowledge of English after immersing themselves in the language. However, native speakers often comment that non-native speakers use language in the wrong context, or don’t capture their intended audience. Here are some tips to avoid the embarrassment of using the wrong type of English for a targeted audience.
Non-native speakers should consider their intended audience carefully. It may be more appropriate to use another word or phrase in a specific context. For example: ‘Jane viewed the movie with animosity,’ may sound appropriate in the context of talking about poor entertainment in Hollywood. However, it may be better to write ‘Jane viewed the movie with negativity’ for a less intense use of the language.
How does a non-native English speaker refine their understanding of the English language in the correct context? The obvious way to avoid embarrassment, is to listen to many different variations of English used in a number of different settings. Movies, business conversations, interviews, songs and pop culture all demonstrate the use of spoken English in different ways.
Another more practical way to improve the use of written English, is to use a text to speech program when creating written documents. This gives the writer an oral perspective on what has been written rather than focusing on the written word. For those writers needing more help, it may be appropriate to ask another native English speaker about the success of using the language for an intended audience.
With patience, curiosity and a long-term view on English language learning, it is possible to improve the use of English language for an intended audience. Refining listening skills, using the right tools, or asking for help when required, will make the use of English more appropriate. Understanding certain settings or an intended audience will improve a language learners perspective on English.