November 13, 2023

English language in IT


English language – an inseparable part of the IT and Tech industry, almost to the point where it does not even need to be mentioned. Work emails with international teams? In English. Code writing? In English. LinkedIn bios? Well, better it be in English. Most technical interviews? Yup, you guessed it – they will most likely be carried out in English, just to check your spoken and written abilities. In addition, knowing all of the above, what’s the best way to polish up your skills and break through the so common listener to speaker barrier?

And in that case what is the most desirable and adequate level of English one has to possess to freely roam the global technological business and corporate reality? Let’s jump in into the rabbit hole. 😉


B1, B2, Proficient, Advanced, Fluent – what’s put down on your CV?

Up until 2023 various studies and research had revealed that English language proficiency can have a significant impact on career advancement – and hence, and impact on generated income. Those who possess a strong command of the English language are often perceived as more competent and capable in their professional lives.

Regardless of the industry requirements, it is not uncommon to come across individuals with limited English language skills in various fields of information technology. Since the use of English as a measure of intelligence in business circles is not a new trend, unfortunately this often leads to negative perceptions, which can hinder career growth. A powerful vocabulary has been associated with intelligence and authority, while poor diction and language command are viewed as a sign of incompetence, regardless of one's technological or mathematical capabilities.

Therefore, English language proficiency in a professional setting is crucial in negotiating for better opportunities, expressing expectations, highlighting past work experiences, achievements and other relevant skills.

How much English will I really have to use on a daily?

This entirely depends on you work environment – however, it is crucial to be prepared for any opportunity in the vast-changing IT world. One day you may find yourself in a local project, and next an opportunity to work remotely on the other side of the world may appear. Hence, a good command of English is not just to be put down on your CV – it is good to be truly prepared for whatever may come. A daily meeting with an international company does require all participants to communicate their ideas in English, but it if far more beneficial for personal growth to actually participate in these conversations with a human-to-human approach – to initiate small talk, engage in topics relatable but not necessarily just work related if the situation allows. This is the genuine language experience which if you allow yourself, will shape your own language skill and command. Noting down any new phrases and vocab will help you in a long run too. As for written communication, there are many tools to help you yet an organic, handwritten message always remains on top of any AI. Just like with any craft – practice makes perfect. Writing often, or maybe even journaling, writing down ideas in English instead of your mother tongue is a great way to train your brain. And why not switch it up and hange your devices system language to English too? Many of the commands may be already well known to the user, therefore muscle memory plus new words will get remembered quickly, adding to ones vocabulary.

How to learn (and where to learn from)?

Learning a language becomes much easier when it becomes a part of our daily routine – therefore just like with any habit forming it is necessary to make reading, listening and generally using the language a routine. When use of English to communicate at work is essential, adding an extra hour or two per week dedicated to learning and practice will enable to chisel and polish up one’s vocab and command of the language.

So what’s to fit into those two hours of your weekly schedule?

  1. Socials – whether it is Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or some other platform instead of devoting your time to doom scrolling why not give a chance and follow and subscribe to some accounts with fun and accessible English content. Just by viewing few reels, shorts or posts with new vocab, phrases and useful grammar you’ll be adding to your knowledge bit by bit.
  2. Educational institutes and publishers websites - British Council (especially for listening!), Macmillan, Pearson English, Oxford English Hub.
  3. Apps – Elsa Speak, EWA English and Duolingo can be a handy learning aids if used regularly – with Duolingo being the most known and free for those with more advanced English it might just be too easy – it’s perfect to add basics of any other language though. As for more advanced learners EWA English has a great means of delivering knowledge – through known movie and series. Quizzes base around known scenes and quotes, making it easy and catchable for the users.
  4. English Teacher’s blogs and materials – now there are so many it is hard to point out one – all one must do is google and find a blog to your liking. It is best however to follow a blog that is adequate to your needs – if your vocab is great but you just need a breakthrough to speak more freely a podcast or a YouTube channel will do you much more. Yet if we are looking to fill in gaps on grammar completing a sheet task (can do a pdf, no need to print), here are some of good recommendations:
    - Tutor Blog – vocabulary practice and useful communication practices
    Perfect English Grammar – lots and lots of clear and easy to use grammar practice sheets
    - ISL Collective – aimed at those who teach and learn English as a second language, worksheets and presentations

All in all, there is not denying that English had become a Lingua Franca, as much as a tool also but an undetachable part of the tech world, worldwide companies and business environment. As a language it is a skill many already possess, but when not used regularly, as with any skill, it may become rusty.

We hope our tips may allow you to change up your routine a little and benefit your skill array. 😊