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English Bites!

engbites1English Bites! are practical, bite-sized tips to help you improve your English for work. Published twice a week, the articles include useful advice covering different aspects of business English including grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking as well as fun topics. It'll take just a few minutes to read each tip. You can subscribe to English Bites! from the Newsletters link above. After that, you'll receive notifications of all new tips by email.

English Around the World: Japan

04 Jul 2022

japanwomanThis month we spoke to Naoko Koyama who is a Japanese national working for an American bank in Tokyo. Naoko works as a supervisor in the current and savings account department and often has to deal with foreigners face to face. This is what she had to say about her use of English.

"Quite often, the tellers working in our branch have difficulty in understanding foreign customers and explaining our services and procedures. When this happens I am called upon to help. I don’t really have problems explaining banking procedures and giving basic advice about banking matters.

My main problem is listening. Perhaps it is my lack of vocabulary or that the customer’s accent is strange. Sometimes I need to ask customers to repeat what they are saying several times before I fully understand their meaning. This often causes embarrassment and frustration to the customer. And, it makes me feel incompetent.

I guess the best way to improve my listening is to find English-speaking friends so I can get used to the way it’s spoken in real life at real speed.

I don’t find classes very useful and they never prepare you properly for the day that you come face to face with a foreigner. I’ll have to keep trying!"


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