Is your English level adequate for the startup scene? — Need a Slap?

Let me recite you my story as far as the English level is concerned, of a man who grew up in Greece in an environment, where education is public and it seems like a total chaos #andItIs #YesOffence.

Basically this prototype in English learning is followed by more countries thank you think and consequently the majority of people, endorse the widely known concept of

“ It is time for our kid to start attending English lessons”.

The goal of course is to complete them by acquiring the proficiency diploma (the Michigan one because the Cambridge is so much more difficult). Coming back into my storytelling about the English education in Greece, in general most of us reach at the age of 17 with a proficiency degree that we had acquired since the beginning of high school and we ended up having the feeling that we know everything because, Da ahh! We got a proficiency you fool!

But, thank God, life brings up university and university by itself brings so many opportunities, either travelling abroad for a world wide competition or just for amusement, or studying in a foreign university or just going somewhere as an exchange student for at least three months. All these aggregated experiences for me are called “Slaps”.

Let’s have a briefly glance in some of them:

#SlapbulletingIsOn
  • You finally achieve to qualify for a multinational competition, where there is the opportunity and sometimes it is mandatory for you to network with bunch of people and present your idea or just learn more information about them. That means, you will have to talk and have lots of quick conversations with different kind of individuals in roughly five to ten minutes.
Is your proficiency degree that you have acquired approximately six years ago, sufficient for you in order to accomplish all these things? At the end, how good was your performance? How easily was for the rest of the people to comprehend your arguments and how easily could you understand them?
  • You are having an intense brainstorming with your foreign team members about a potential idea that you have to present to an investor in order to acquire money for the initiation of your future venture.
What is your English skills? Are you able to speak up when it needs to be done? Can you be explicit and specific in your arguments? Do the other group members seem to listen to you carefully? Are they paying attention to you or are they just ignoring you whenever you speak. Last but not least, do you find them nodding you in a positive way and are they doing that in order to be polite and pretend they understand what you are talking about? Have you been the dominant person in this conversation or you were just sitting there silently?
  • Sometimes it is crucial and maybe necessary, when you study abroad to have a meeting with your professor. Thus, this means that you need to be a part of a situation where you have to talk in a formal way (not that formal sometimes) with someone that has enormous influence in your academic career. As a result, an effective and efficient one hour conversation can enable you to make important leaps forward regarding your academic future.
So, you need to ask yourself. Are you ready for this? Do you think that this is something like the ten minute speaking examination you sat once for your proficiency test? Are you sure about the topic you chose to talk about? Are you well informed? Have you done your research? Do you really know what you want to gain from this discussion anyways?
  • Whether it is a scientific paper or your thesis either just a five minute elevator pitch for a startup contest, a lot of times in your life you will have to make and successfully deliver a presentation. Moreover the audience will not be consisted of only five people, but it can reach a peak of a larger amount such us one hundred or even above a thousand. That means you should be able to prepare yourself in order to remember stuff and have the ability to speak up in front of many people, without having trembling hands or a trembling voice during your speech.
Do you think you that got the prerequisites, the skills and the knowledge in order to achieve that? Can you really speak English?

To reach my point, there are tons of different situations where you will have to face the most common question most people avoid to answer.

Is my English level adequate enough for what I want to achieve in my life?

There is a common belief in my country that says “English is not that hard! Whenever you going to need them your will improve them immediately! It will not take that time. It is just the fact that you will have to learn the jargon. Don’t worry”.

Do you know why this a total bullshit? Because, that time when you will have the chance to prove yourself and third parties that you actually worth it and that you are the one that they were looking for, you will not be ready. Believe me, you are going to be far behind other people that the right moment will have the right skills needed for the potential job interview or whatever you can think of.

In conclusion, there is no point where you manage to complete a language. There are no prerequisites that need to be achieved. It is only you that can judge and tell whether your skills are sufficient or need improvement. It is the reason you need a language for that implicates the effort you have to put in learning it. There is no English package for becoming a journalist at BBC, nor a successful entrepreneur or either for just being able to order your favorite dessert in a famous restaurant in the UK.

You are the one who sets the barriers and forces himself to constantly improve or not his knowledge at a particular language.

Never settle,

Anestis Tsoukalis

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