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The English language has become essential for success in many industries that drive innovation and growth and operate in a global business landscape.
According to Statista, English is the largest spoken language in the world, with around 1.5 billion English speakers.
Businesses in finance, information technology, and customer service require professionals with strong spoken English proficiency. This is because English is the preferred language for international trade, tourism, and diplomacy, thus, fluency in the language increases business opportunities. It enables professionals to expand their networks and reach new markets.
The food and beverage industry relies heavily on creating a positive first impression for its customers. This entails a delightful guest experience and affable conversations. Spoken English skills enable professionals in this industry to interact with customers from various backgrounds, comprehend their preferences, and provide superior customer experience.
In this competitive and labor-intensive industry, English fluency also allows individuals to negotiate, express their ideas clearly, and build positive relationships with key business stakeholders.
The retail industry focuses on selling products by staying ahead of the competition and convincing potential customers to choose the brand repeatedly. However, the key retail priorities, customer experience and delight are driven by personalized communication. English communication skills play a critical role in finding products, advising on purchases, and handling complaints. Professionals with strong English-speaking skills, industry knowledge and company information create positive customer experiences.
The diversity of workers and tourists from various backgrounds, languages, ethnicities, and cultures makes English the lingua franca for effective communication and improved customer experience. The English language use extends to providing tourist information, promoting destinations and activities, and arranging accommodations and transportation for travelers.
Another fundamental part of the tourism industry, the hotel and restaurant sector, is also diverse and caters to guests from various backgrounds.
IT professionals work with multiple business stakeholders from different regions. Spoken English proficiency helps them communicate with each other and document technical information without challenges. They use it to write software and hardware manuals, product descriptions, and troubleshooting guides accessible to a global audience.
In customer support, the primary language for troubleshooting problems, whether the customer is local or international, is English. Therefore, strong English language skills are important for providing clear and concise information, resolving customer issues, and building trust and confidence. It enables customer support representatives to successfully handle customer queries, reduce response times, and improve customer experience.
In the healthcare industry, English communication skills are essential for working in teams with foreign specialists and collaborating with global healthcare institutions. From a regulatory standpoint, strong English language skills are also imperative to understand and comply with policies.
Professionals who can speak and understand this language empathically communicate with clients, provide correct information related to illnesses, and talk to global teams without challenges.
Home care is a subcategory in healthcare where professional caregivers provide supportive care in an individual’s home. Home health nurses help patients with daily activities. For example, they monitor patients’ vital signs, execute physician orders, draw blood, document their tasks and health status, and communicate with the patient, family, and physician.
Speaking fluent English helps nurses to communicate effectively and convey vital information, promoting better patient outcomes.
Financial institutions seek individuals with effective English communication skills to serve customers from different demographics. For example, bank customer support in English is vital to meet customers’ expectations for quick, easy, and reliable services.
Therefore, banks are hiring and retaining employees who can overcome language and cultural barriers through strong language skills. They need professionals who can understand the terminology, participate in financial discussions, and write financial reports.
Specialized firms and consultants offer companies various types of support and advisory services. These services include marketing, advertising, human resources, financial management, information technology, and general consulting.
Spoken English language is crucial to communicate with business partners and stakeholders. It also helps improve business services, such as advertising, marketing, etc.
For example, a company that offers marketing services to a global firm requires professionals proficient in English. Social media, digital channels, and the advertising industry majorly utilize English to cater to a large global audience.
The sales department is the primary revenue-generating function for any business. Therefore, it involves dealing with domestic and foreign clients who primarily communicate in English. English communication skills and meaningful conversations are essential in establishing rapport with customers and convincing them to close a deal.
Sales professionals who communicate well can promote business products and services, address objections, and close deals. They can understand clients’ requirements, convey crucial details without confusion, and improve global sales.
English is widely utilized as an instruction medium in several countries. It helps access educational materials and participate in academic discussions and collaborations.
Strong spoken English skills allow educators to communicate with students, colleagues, and other professionals in the field. They can participate in international conferences and workshops, expanding their knowledge and network.
Mercer | Mettl’s SpeechX is an English language assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence to prevent cheating and identity theft. The smart tool auto-grades native and non-native English speakers’ ability to speak and understand English. It is an entirely machine-run assessment that evaluates perspective hires’ English fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and listening comprehension.
It also conducts para-linguistic voice analytics to assess the clarity and quality of the candidate’s statements.
The importance of the English language in this highly interconnected world can’t be undermined. During group discussions, presentations, or business meetings, strong English language skills help individuals translate their ideas clearly, concisely, and convincingly.
Therefore, top industries emphasize the importance of English for workplace communication. They rely on AI-based tools such as SpeechX to assess candidates before hiring to ensure global business success.
The main components of the English language include: i) Reading - The ability to understand written English and comprehend its meaning, ii) Writing - The ability to express oneself through writing, using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, iii) Speaking - The ability to articulate ideas and thoughts through speech, using clear and confident pronunciation and intonation, iv) Listening - The ability to understand spoken English and respond appropriately.
Most workplaces are a homogenous mixture of people from diverse cultures, languages, and backgrounds. English is a common medium of communication. Strong English skills help employees convey their ideas, thoughts, and opinions clearly and precisely. Using English at the workplace also opens opportunities to participate in international business and engage with professionals from different backgrounds.
Originally published February 20 2023, Updated February 20 2023
Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.
An English proficiency test software is used to evaluate the English-speaking and comprehension skills of an individual. Customer-facing industries like hospitality, retail, BPOs, etc., often used some variant of an English proficiency test software to assess the pronunciation, fluency, accent, intonation and grammar of potential employees.