Help for a French Rep Writing to a Chinese Customer in English

When I asked for suggestions of what to include in our upcoming revision of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents, a number of people suggested adding content to help non-native English speakers who respond to customer e-mails in English.

Sheila Wilson, a teacher of business English in France, framed the problem particularly well: “Many of my students have to send e-mails in English to customers around the world. It is no mean feat for a French customer service agent to keep a Chinese client happy and informed, I can tell you! Conditions are ripe for misunderstandings on both sides.”

We do hope to address this issue in our revised workbook. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share some ESL—English as a second language—resources to help non-native English speakers write better e-mail.

 

  • Dave’s ESL Café
    A comprehensive ESL resource for students and teachers. The website includes extensive material on idioms, slang, confusing words, and grammar.
  • Stickyball.net
    Includes handouts, worksheets, and lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced adult ESL learners.
  • ESL Mania
    A comprehensive ESL resource with content specific to business English, including:

And don’t forget to take a look at my previous post Idioms: Should You Bend Over Backwards to Avoid Them? Both native and non-native English speakers will enjoy the Idioms by Kids website, which features kids’ drawings of the literal meaning of idioms.

— Marilynne Rudick (guest blogger)

Be the first to comment