It is no longer a secret that some UK immigrants including black Africans miss valuable opportunities because of their inabilities to speak good English or perhaps communicate appropriately.
Why is speaking important in this environment? We are minorities and particularly for those who were not nurtured in the UK, speaking poorly may just be a reason why poverty breaking opportunities are limited. Recently, a black African was shortlisted for an interview as a functional manager. After the interview, one of the interview panellists who coincidentally was an African director, was not surprised to hear the comments from the other panel members around the interviewee’s lack of confidence and inability to converse adequately. This is just one of the many examples from the Director whose pain continues as our people continue to miss out on some available opportunities. It would not be surprising to hear that you have similar examples too.
At the first event convened by Connect4Better back in the summer of 2015, one of the participants highlighted that he learnt how to speak good English as a means of breaking through in the UK. He emphasised that he was able to draw strength from a book where he read about how Margaret Thatcher – a one-time UK Prime Minister had taken lessons in the 1970s to make her voice firmer and more powerful in the process of becoming a successful politician. Little wonder why this participant who speaks quite uniquely as a black African in the UK, despite migrating to the UK just over 10 years ago has now become a senior manager in the health sector. This fact was attested to by other participants who confessed that they were quite impressed by his spoken English and motivated to improve.
Whilst many are now being encouraged to practice for job interviews including paying coaches to help build confidence, what may be missing is the advice for the need to improve beyond and above job interview preparation. In line with our purpose to provide solutions that might break us out of poverty as black Africans, we suggest the use of free online resources like the one accessed through this link. You may already know this fact, but you may be able to encourage a fellow African around you who may be affected. Advise them to practice some of the steps if only the first of the 33 listed steps in the link above – ‘record yourself speaking English’.
Some people may want to go further by paying for personal coaching or training, if a prime minister can pay for learning to be successful, there is no reason for any black African to oppose the idea of making such an investment and avoid missing poverty breaking opportunities. And should you have the chance to give feedback to others about how they speak, please do it without hesitation though in humility, you may just be opening a closed door of opportunity for someone and their children.
‘Connect4Better’ (Cee4Bee) life Chances
Get involved, join our campaign, let’s connect to help less opportuned Black Africans in UK and future generations will be grateful. Like/share this post; drop your comments and ideas. (This post was written by AOA, contact – firstname.lastname@example.org)