Do you struggle to understand proficient English speakers at work? If you do, what do you find most difficult?
Grammar? Accent? Speed of speech? Specific vocabulary related to the industry?
I have spoken to many high-level learners and they have said that their biggest challenge was understanding the strange expressions used in English.
These strange expressions are known as idioms. Idioms are fixed phrases which have a specific meaning. What makes idioms difficult is that knowing the individual words in idioms doesn’t help you understand the idiom as a whole.
If I tell you that I like being a big fish in a small pond, what do I mean?
If I tell you that my boss was running around like a headless chicken, what exactly was she doing?
If I tell you that I can’t have a meeting with you because I’m snowed under, how should you respond?
Idioms are not always as confusing and strange as they first appear. The meaning of a particular idiom can often be understood by paying attention to the context. When you are clear about the context, you can often guess the meaning of the idiom by choosing between two or three possible options.
Does a big fish represent an important person or an unimportant person? Would a small pond be an environment with lots of people or few people?
Does a headless chicken run around in a calm way?
If you are snowed under with work, do you have lots of free time or are you busy?
I don’t need to tell you the right answers because I’m sure you have guessed correctly.
In my Business English Idioms course, I teach you lots of common idioms used at work. Knowing them will help you understand proficient English speakers in meetings, presentations, negotiations, and while chatting around the office (small talk in other words).
There are currently about 40 idioms but I add new ones all the time. In each lesson, you hear the idiom used in a realistic context and are asked to choose the correct meaning. After checking the correct meaning, you are asked a couple of questions so you can think about how the idiom might apply to your professional life. Finally, there is another example sentence which may or may not be correct.
Here is an example lesson:
The course is available on Udemy. By using the code HEADLESSCHICKEN (one word), you can get a discount.
Business English Idioms