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Improve English Skills Online as a Freelancer

Прочети на Български ==> Read in English (US)

In this post, I want to focus and give you insights on how to improve English skills online while freelancing at the same time. We will explore helpful apps and tricks that will help you speed up your learning experience.

When you start working remotely you will quickly realize that most jobs require good English proficiency. The reason for that is that the biggest companies offering multiple projects hire people from different nations.

To be able to communicate with people from different cultures, you must work on improving your English skills online. If your skills are already great, you can still benefit from this post as I'll mention resources you can use to practice.

improve English skills online

However, the focus of this article will be on helping people who have a native language different than English build and maintain effective communication skills.

Why Should You Improve English Skills Online?

If you start looking for a remote job in your native language, like I did, for many years, you will end up with a discovery. The online "local" jobs are limited.

If you want a variety of offers to choose from, and to broaden your chances of landing projects, English skills are a must. Further, even if you work on a project in your native language, if the company is multinational, you will have to communicate by email, chat, or phone in English.

Most of these conversations will happen online as written communication proves to be more efficient. But you still need to learn some basic rules of dealing with clients, how to approach issues, and discuss solutions.

Using a translation tool is a possibility for email and messaging, but it might lead to misunderstandings. Effective communication will help you achieve your goals faster and thrive as a freelancer.

Learning Through Online Apps

The apps that you can use to improve English skills online are getting more comprehensive, and include different techniques that proved useful in language learning.

For English, you will find various mobile and desktop apps to help you grow and get your lever higher. What's even better is that many of them are free, and you will manage to achieve amazing results without any investment.

Another advantage of online language learning apps is that they offer an interactive interface with fun examples and animations. It looks more like an interesting game than a boring learning experience.

Let's have a look at some of the English online platforms for learning:

Duolingo

It's my personal favorite app that I used for many years to learn the basics of five different languages. Duo is a green owl that will assist you throughout the language course you choose by correcting you and providing feedback.

Our mission is to develop the best language learning education in the world and make it universally available.

~ Duolingo principle

The examples start slowly by practicing common words, and basic grammar rules. Then as you pass different levels, the sentences become longer, and more complex language examples are introduced.

You will collect gems as you progress through your learning, and you can purchase items from the shop. Duolingo makes it motivating that you keep a streak (i. e. interact every day), and you can protect it by purchasing a Streak Freeze.

Memrise

Memrise is yet another impressive interactive option for English language learners. They provide listening and speaking activities to strengthen your skills and boost your confidence in communication.

You will also get a weekly plan on how many words you will increase your vocabulary with, and how many practical examples you'll explore.

It's a unique way to get you deeply interested in the learning process, and you will quickly learn many new expressions.

Busuu

Busuu is an app that gets you intrigued by challenges. You earn stars for completing lessons, and you have the option to turn on daily reminders to help you protect your streak.

They have many courses to choose from, and some of them are paid. However, a 7-day free trial is available to help you decide if it's the right tool for your English learning efforts.

The Bussu community is a fantastic option to interact with natives and improve English skills online faster. You can make new friends and have a lot of fun with their interactive courses.

Using Courses on Online Platforms

A notable advantage of online course platforms compared to regular apps for learning, is the certifications. You can use the document you get upon completion of the course in your portfolio to let your clients know you possess the necessary skills.

English courses online

If you search online, you will find many opportunities to start a free or paid course, but here are some of the most popular ones:

Udemy

Udemy offers an enormous selection of English courses of different types. You can find beginner, advanced, speaking, grammar, etc.

Udemy instructors are real people who are passionate about sharing what they know with students all over the world.

~ Udemy

If you have a particular area to work on, you can type it in the search bar and browse through the available options.

As a hint: look through their Business English courses as this is a skill you will need in your online work environment.

Coursera

By the time of writing this blog post, searching for "English" on Coursera brought me 10,216 results. Many of the courses are completely free, and you can choose the one that best fits your preferences.

Coursera is a large platform with a variety of courses, and you will find a good match to improve English skills online.

Khan Academy

At Khan Academy, you can select a course, and complete its units to collect mastery points. The interactivity is impressive and you will receive encouraging popups as you answer correctly.

The website is owned by a nonprofit organization and courses are free, but you can choose to make a donation and support their cause of spreading knowledge.

Improve English Skills Online through Platforms and Communities

Use Freelance Platforms

Dive into communicating with clients and fellow freelancers. You can practice your writing by contacting them directly and observing any feedback they give you.

Build online connections with people from the freelance field who are native English speakers, and learn from their writing style.

To get an idea of what great business English communication looks like, you can sign up with some of the biggest work-from-home providers, like Appen, Telus International, and Sutherland Global.

Pay attention to how they structure their emails, and use what you've learned to create your own professional-sounding emails.

Use Forums and Online Communities

Forums can be used to strengthen your reading and understanding skills, and also provide answers to many of the questions you will have in the beginning.

The more you engage with others, the easier it will become for you to grasp different writing styles and cultural diversity. As a bonus, you might get the support to push you further in your freelancing career pursuit.

Immerse into the English Language

You can use immersive techniques to speed up your learning journey. They can require additional effort in the beginning, but the results supersede the difficulties:

Reading Exercises

One of the best ways to learn about basic sentence structure and how the language feels like in writing is by reading from different sources.

As a beginner, start with articles on common topics, and as you grow, you can include technical or business literature and terminology.

One of the options is to read blogs regularly as the language they use is approachable and easy to follow. Try Medium or Feedly to set up an account based on your reading preferences and needs.

If you are more advanced, you can also explore books. Choose topics that are useful and interesting to you to combine learning and growing.

Listening to Podcasts and Audiobooks

If you've already built your English reading and writing skills - that's awesome. Depending on your job, you might not need any additional knowledge to successfully complete your assignments.

However, listening with understanding is an essential part of the English learning path. You might need it for educational video courses, to communicate with clients and managers by phone, etc.

You will learn about accents, colloquial speech, and pronunciation, and build another layer on top of the basics. Listening to audiobooks is the opposite of interactivity. You will not participate directly, but learn and analyze from hearing.

Be Consistent

The only way to achieve a goal is by not giving up. Set a routine for your English learning habits, and follow through.

Whether you are struggling with grammar or vocabulary, choose what you'll focus on and set time aside for practice. Participate in quizzes on platforms like Cambridge English or EnglishClub.

The language learning apps I mentioned above have the functionality to remind you by email or other means to keep your streak. Make it a habit to consistently engage in the daily activities.

Daily participation in English learning activities will help you dedicate a space in your mind for the growth of this skill. What you learn will remain stable, instead of being easily forgotten and pushed away by other tasks.

Networking for English Language Learning

We all have individual learning styles, and you may find that you have a preferred method. One of the most effective ways to learn a language that has proven its worth through the years is by practicing.

Find an English Language Exchange Partner

Other people around the world have similar goals to yours. If you want to learn English through talking, find a native speaker partner on platforms like Tandem or HelloTalk.

English exchange partner

You will learn first-hand from the culture of real humans. It's easy to sign up and start chatting with a language exchange partner of your choice using your mobile phone.

Seek Feedback from Experts

Find a mentor or a professional in written communication to help you clear confusion and improve English skills online through practice.

You can hire a professional offline or online, and it's worth the investment if you have very specific questions whose answers are hard to find through research.

Learn to value constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to grow your knowledge of the language.

a pin about how to improve your English skills online as a freelancer

Conclusion

Whichever method you decide to apply, consider your learning style and character. For me, talking with an exchange partner is the quickest way to learn. What is your top learning approach from the above-mentioned?

To improve English skills online is a fun game, and you can learn the rules by participating regularly in the platforms and the communities.

Be honest about your English level, and start building your understanding of the language from there. It's a rewarding activity that will better your lifestyle as a freelancer and grant you more work offers.

As a remote worker, your most important asset is your value. Being fluent and professional in business English will raise your value and bring you closer to your dream job.


Comments

  1. I love how you gave so many options on enhancing English skills. No one has an excuse to say they can't find learning material. Great post!

    ReplyDelete

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