I have just come across your blog and was interested in earlier problems about deaf people and their English. I was brought up by lip reading and attended hearing schools. I have always struggled with written English and have missed loads by not understanding etc. I have been working for over 20 years and am self conscious about written English in the workplace. This has stopped me going for promotion.
I am aware this is common for deaf people who use sign language as their first language and affects their written English. Is this the same for people like me or is that am just behind like all other hearing people?
Also I have been told that deaf people are in senior roles and I thought their English must be good. Could you tell me how they do it and where they get support?
I have been looking for one to one tuition through emails to give me advice to help me what is my main problems are and had no success. I even attended evening classes on basic English but gave it up due to not hearing and got tired of lip reading. I did do learndirect but unfortunately this didn’t met my expectations for what I was looking for. Another one I went through distance learning hoping I get one to one but unfortunately I didn’t get the support I needed just telling me to read copies of The Telegraph on a daily basis to increase my vocabulary. I still don’t know how or where to start on improving and building up my confidence in writing for work etc.
Hope you could advise me.
All I can say is your English is much better than many of my ex colleagues in the workplace! I wonder what it is you are really worried about? Is it your command of English or is it about feeling stuck? You say you’ve worked for 20 years. You also say you’ve avoided promotion. Maybe this is what we could be looking at instead?
You are probably halfway through your working life (of course I am only guessing) and feeling ‘I need to get a move on.
Maybe if I improved my English, things would get better’. I agree with you that online courses and LearnDirect really isn’t for us (I asked on my Facebook last week for people to recommend online courses – zilch, nada, nothing).
It is true that reading newspapers (maybe not the rightwing Telegraph though) does help or reading novels (I adore Agatha Christie I’m sorry to say). Writing a daily or weekly blog on a subject you like and getting someone to proofread it might build up your confidence.
I think what might be even better is to find yourself a life coach. Yes! It feels to me that you need to take a step back and think about what you want to do next (or even to stay where you are and expand your work horizons even more) and integrate your English worries within your new game plan.
If you can’t afford a life coach there are several good books and ‘life direction’ websites you can look at which are helpful. I’d love to know how you get on.