Making Email Writing Easy – For Non-Native Speakers
Posted On: July 30, 2021
“I’m alright when I speak, but I am afraid to write in an email… it may not look good, it may not influence my reader, I can’t convince him or her in writing, it may have grammar problems, it may… (the list goes on)…”
So many have said this to me during email writing workshops – and in those workshops 90-100% of the participants (of the over 2,000 or so) are using English as a second, third, fourth or other language.
A few underlying currents of thought that resonate here are:
- We overthink to write, but not to speak
- Native learners/speakers don’t face this, it must ONLY be me because I am not using English (or the target language) from birth
Well, guess what… both of these thoughts are false narratives.
The stories we tell ourselves are not always true.
Why? Well… I am taking a copywriting course today. This course is designed generally for native American English speakers.
The facilitator said this:
“Why do we freak out when we are to sit down and write? Why do we think it has to look perfect? If you were going to meet that same person in person that you would write to, would you worry to that same extent before having a live conversation?”
Typically the answer is no.
What he is saying here is NATIVE SPEAKERS who use English from birth are ALSO SCARED TO SEE THEIR WORDS WRITTEN DOWN ON PAPER.
What does this mean as a native speaker?
What does this mean as a non-native speaker?
There is a large group of native speakers (not just of English, but any language) who feel they should not write anything down because they are afraid they don’t have good writing skills.
But, what does that mean for those I train?
“I never imagined that by changing my emailing skills I could save time in getting work done. I was often frustrated as my U.S. colleague was not answering my emails or turning in work on time, which delayed my work as well. I often had to escalate these problems to my manager, who would email and call the colleague to sort out the issue. I never realized that changing a few simple approaches to writing email subject lines, using a few American English words and making small talk in emails would be so helpful. Within a month of applying Jennifer’s tips, my manager received about 75% less escalation requests from me, making it possible for him to spend his time on more productive work.”
~Global Team Member at EY, Kochi, India
Most of those I train are intermediate to upper level language learners (we ascertain that through a CEFR language assessment). And because they are trying to learn and a improve, they are a step ahead.
The step anyone can take to get out of their comfort zone is to learn something to take you to the next level.
I’m taking a copy writing course – as a native speaker – and as a facilitator of an email writing course!
This helps me to help all my clients – just like you – better, too!!
Keep going forward and remember, we are all in this together!
Author and Coach, Jennifer Kumar, has created the course Mastering Email & Digital Communication which has helped over 2,000 global professionals to confidently sit down and write emails and other communication from SCRATCH (no more copy pasting!). Professionals just like you have learnt to use English more effectively and impactfully to get the job done efficiently, with clarity and confidence. See the course overview here or our other Business English programs.
Get in touch with us for 1:1 personalized coaching, coaching for your team or company to take your communication to the next level!
Wondering how we have helped others like you to make email writing easy?
Which one of these outcomes are you looking to achieve?
“This training helped my team members to write with more clarity and purpose.”
~Bangalore based financial team lead
“Now I am able to write emails with American style pleasantries and not come across so terse. I have been able to build better relationships with my US counterparts because of the coaching.” Bangalore Based Financial Analyst
“I am now more confident in writing and editing emails. The sessions covered vocabulary, synonyms, importance of active voice, articles, punctuation, editing skills, and how to rewrite sentences and paragraphs. Implementing these skills has improved clarity and response times with our distribution partners, improving relationships. In addition to implementing the email strategies, I am also able to now mentor my employees on the same.”
~ Nishanth, Logistics Manager, Kochi~UST Global Participant, India
“I’ve learned to get the attention of my US client through catchy subject lines and to-the-point emails.” ~Software Engineer with 15 years experience
We can help you achieve these results as well! If your ideal outcome is not here… get in touch
and we can help you to make your ideal outcome easy to achieve as well!
As a side note, upon taking this course, and hearing this module, I sat down and was instantly inspired to write this in a few minutes! The part that took time was formatting it and adding in the image, well, of course, posting it, too!
Photo credit: nakaridore at freepik