250 adults took English classes at CfBT last year

National 2 minutes, 3 seconds


ADULTS who want to improve their English language skills by joining English classes should not feel embarrassed to do so.

Robert Tunnell, Training and Learning Centre manager at the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), said being ashamed should not be a factor in hindering adults from coming forward to improve their language skills.

“You might, as an individual, feel that you’re not happy about your English (ability) and feel ashamed about it, but I don’t think that you should be ashamed of improving it.

“You’re taking affirmative action to make your life better - we all have shortcomings, and taking action to fix them is a brave move and people respect that,” Tunnell said in an interview.

He said that English language ability has “gone from being something that’s desirable to something that’s become fundamental in almost every business”.

“Even in a field where you’ve got an individual talking to another individual – if there’s no common ground between them, they’re going to revert back to English,” he said.

English has a tremendous role to play, especially with the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, he said.

“Now that we’re all part of ASEAN, English is our common language as it’s the one thing that binds us all together.

“And if we’re all going to be doing more business together and grow together financially, English becomes more and more important – though never to the detriment of the local languages,” Tunnell added

According to numbers provided by the CfBT, about 250 adults took English language classes at the centre last year.

The centre offers modules involving statistical analysis and report writing in English, communication via emails, letter writing and speaking over the phone. They also offer modules on presentation skills, meetings and interpersonal dynamics and English for hospitality and tourism.

Adults who visit the centre usually opt to take the communication module to improve their skills in writing emails and letters, as well as to become more confident when speaking on the phone, Tunnell said.

“There’s no one who can’t write an email but it’s about being better at writing an email.

“If an email that is poorly-worded is sent out from a company, it reflects not just on you but also on your company,” Tunnell said.

Adult learners at CfBT comprise civil servants, as well as employees from small and medium-sized companies, he said.

The Brunei Times