The English language is not quite homogeneous – there are a number of dialects and differences in spelling, accent, vocabulary, and grammar, according to the region. The most popular example is between UK English and US English – there are numerous words that mean the same thing but there are differences in the culture (such as holiday/vacation, apartment/flat, elevator/lift, etc).
These differences need to be addressed by business because of customers who speak the global business language – US English.
With the help of technology, we have access to a customer base we could not imagine several decades back. Today it is important to speak the customer’s language not only to increase sales but to build trust and loyalty among your customers, to avoid miscommunication, and to gain advantage against your competitors.
English language proficiency is important for customer-facing roles such as sales representatives, customer service, stakeholder management, and such. These are the people who represent your business and it is a must that they speak the global language of your customers.
If not, there could be different complications, such as your team members not being able to understand and follow exact instructions, are not capable of communicating with stakeholders, and can not interpret documents and provide value to them.
How as a business you can access your employees’ and candidates’ English language skills? There are several benchmarks to evaluate.
The three main factors you should assess are spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. There are simple ways you can evaluate your employees and candidates such as:
- Vocabulary: The main difference between UK and US English is in the vocabulary. There are hundreds of words that are used differently and some words can mean different things. There are nuances that need to be understood so that your employees can comprehend profoundly what your customers are speaking about.
- Spelling: The main thing to remember regarding spelling is that in US English spelling is more closer to pronunciation. For example, in UK English it is colour, honour, and labour, while in US English it is color, honor, labor, etc.
- Grammar: Switching between US and UK English can create inconsistencies and lead to loss of information and miscommunication. There are grammatical differences that need to be taken into account and to avoid complications. For example, in US English collective nouns are viewed as one unit and need singular usage (‘is’), while in UK English both ‘is’ and ‘are’ can be used.
KillerCoder can help you assess your employees and candidates English language skills
To access your employees’ and candidates’ English level skills, you can use KillerCoder’s English tests, that can help you evaluate business language proficiency with a single test.
There are different parameters for assessment such as grammar, spelling, vocabulary, sentiment analysis, email writing, oral fluency. You can determine whether the skills of the testee fits the benchmarks. The test’ structure consists of four parameters: listening, speaking, writing, and reading, so the results are holistic and well-rounded.