9:31 pm - Thursday April 17, 2014

The Economist Magazine

Build your Confidence Before Attending an MBA Course

For the those wishing to brush up their English, and build/maintain high levels of language confidence before commencing any course of study overseas, finding the right material to keep the language fresh is a must.

Unfortunately, there are not many textbooks that cater to such students, since by the time they are ready to study overseas it is assumed that they are already advanced and proficient enough with the language in which they will be studying.  Yet, there is a lot of good material out there that can do the job just as well as a text book, if the students knows where to look.

One such thing that I highly recommend is the Economist Magazine, and I encourage all my business/MBA students to become subscribers.

From my contact with students of all ages and experience levels, confidence is an all-consuming issue.  Even those with a score of 900 plus on the TOEIC test grapple with personal demons that try to convince them they are still not good at English.

The key to defeating these demons is to continually expose yourself to the kind of language and vocabulary that can be expected on a course such as an MBA.  This will make processing new material, ideas and concepts much easier, and The Economist is updated daily with fresh content, of the kind that all pre-MBA graduates will find useful and valuable in challenging and ultimately killing those demons.

Of course, this kind of advice is also relevant for native speakers, since it will instill a good foundation ahead of starting the course.

The problem for non-native speakers however, is that they are not always comfortable with ambiguity.  If they don’t understand something right away the tendency is to blame an apparent lack of English ability, rather than unfamiliarity with the topic of the article or book.

I think that this fact alone is the cause of a lot of pre-course anxiety for non-native English speakers, and realising that even native speakers can get confused with certain topics is important for a foreign students’ confidence levels.

Economist articles are available in either digital format or print, with different subscription rates for each, and they also have facebook and twitter profiles, which are updated multiple-times daily with current and relevant articles;  you do not even need to be a subscriber to get great articles.

Naturally, they also have smartphone, and iPad applications available for download from the App store which come with word-for-word audio files available for each article offered in the print edition, though these are offered to subscribers only.  It is possible to buy a single edition of the magazine through the app as well.

The Economist is a great companion for the Academic Writer

The Economist is divided into about 20 sections (depending on the issue), covering international news (divided by region) and sections devoted to economics and finance.

The writing is of particular interest, not least because it is of the highest quality around, but because the topics of such a magazine which can be very dry and boring, are always interesting and often imbued with humour to boot.  More importantly, they are always very informative.

Each article is written like an essay, and provides great structural examples, as well as creative and descriptive use of vocabulary, which should be noted by all those wishing to take an academic course like the MBA.

Naturally some of the articles are very long, but there are many shorter articles, the perfect length with which to start building confidence, in both reading and writing.

The readings in this magazine will challenge, inform and entertain and, more importantly, prepare the student for the challenges of an MBA.

You can access The Economist through the links below:

http://www.economist.com/ 

http://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist

https://twitter.com/#!/TheEconomist

Filed in: Studying English

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