Welcome to Part 1 of our Basic English Language Skills series, specially designed to help you develop the language skills you need to succeed, both as a distance learning student and in the workplace. This 12-part series will be delivered to you via our blog over the next four weeks.

Part 1: General Language Tips to Get You Started

Grammar is a litmus test

Employers may rule out applications with sloppy writing

When we think about our careers, and what we need to do to establish them, we often forget about the need to develop an essential skill: communication. If you start reading through the job descriptions in any industry, you will find that the vast majority of jobs require one or more of the following:

  • Effective communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Negotiation skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Report writing skills


What all of these skills have in common is that they involve the use of language to achieve a particular purpose. And for this reason, having good language skills is essential in any working environment.

Also read: 5 Reasons Why Soft Skills Are More Important than Ever

In a career context, good language skills can also:

  • Affect your credibility. Poor grammar indicates to a prospective employer that you are sloppy, while flawless grammar indicates that you pay attention to detail.
  • Improve your relationships with your co-workers. If you are able to express yourself clearly, you can eliminate the confusion and misunderstanding that often leads to conflict.
  • Increase your chances of being promoted.
  • Help you to create a good impression.
  • Improve your ability to persuade others (which is a valuable skill in the working world).

General language tips to get you started

In this blog post series, we’ll be helping you to:

  • Develop your basic English language skills.
  • Improve your English grammar.
  • Apply your language and communication skills in a business context.


To start off with, here are a few tips for improving your general language and communication skills:

  1. Read as much as possible. Reading improves your vocabulary, and helps you to become familiar with sentence structure, word order, and the correct use of punctuation.
  2. Invest in a good dictionary. When you are unsure of the meaning of a word, or when you come across an unfamiliar word, make sure to look it up in your dictionary.
  3. Keep a journal. This will give you an opportunity to practise your writing skills on a regular basis.  

If the English language made any sense - Doug Larson

Don’t forget to look out for the next blog post in this series, where we’ll be talking about Parts of Speech!