If you answered, “they’re all technology companies,” you’re right!
But if you answered, “they’re some of the many global technology companies that have made English their official language,” you’re right too.
It’s interesting to note that Lenovo is based in China, SAP is based in Germany and Samsung is in South Korea. They’re in very different parts of the world, but they all have the English language in common.
Indeed, it’s true—the official language of these companies, and many more, is English.
Many IT professionals who are non-native English speakers may be technology experts, but lack the English language proficiency needed for communicating effectively with companies like these. According to Business Insider, the CEO of Lenovo, Yang Yuan Qing, only began learning English after Lenovo bought IBM’s personal computer division in 2005.
Seeing that it’s becoming a trend for international businesses to use English as their official language, the benefits of learning English for IT are clear.
How Will Learning English for Information Technology Benefit You?
English for IT shares the same basic language structures with the English language. If you learn general English lessons, they’ll help you with IT.
However, there are also many specific terms and expressions for IT that have special meanings.
So, even if you have an understanding of regular English for business, you may struggle with understanding computer jargon—or the terms and expressions which are used only in the IT industry.
IT is a fast-moving industry with new devices (such as mobile phones and tablets) and apps being created and released all the time. You need to keep up with the latest technological developments—and the language to discuss them—in both your business and personal life. If you don’t want to be left out, that’s another good reason to learn English for IT.
In your business travels, you need to keep communications open with coworkers and business contacts via email, online video chats, messaging and other technological means.
Plus, no matter what country you’re visiting or what business situation you’re in, it’s likely that you’ll touch on the topic of IT. For instance, you’ll need English for IT to talk about the Internet connectivity in the country you’re visiting, to share data with your coworkers back home or maybe even to get technical support for your laptop that suddenly refuses to work.
Businesses everywhere use IT these days, even if they’re not tech companies.
In other words, you don’t have to be in the IT industry to use IT language. It’s useful for anyone in business! So, no matter what your current or future career plans are, there’s good reason for learning to communicate in English for IT.
5 Key Jobs in the Information Technology Industry
Have you wondered what it is that IT professionals do in their jobs?
Are you in the market for a career in IT?
Here are some common IT job titles that might interest you.
The word application, in IT, refers to a software program that’s designed to perform (do) a certain function (task). Some common applications that you probably use every day are the apps on your mobile phone. So then, an application developer would be an IT professional who develops (designs and writes) the software code for applications.
In IT, the word web is generally used to refer to anything related to the internet. In fact, another term for internet is “the world wide web,” or simply “the web.”
So then, a web administrator would be an IT professional who’s in charge of managing and maintaining an online network or system. A system administrator is someone who manages any kind of technological system, and may be referred to as a system admin for short.
The word network is used to refer to a system of computers, telecommunications equipment and other devices such as printers and modems that are linked to each other and/or to the internet.
So then, a network engineer would be an IT professional who designs, implements (puts in place) and maintains computer networks.
Information Technology Manager
An information technology manager is an IT professional in charge of planning, implementing and maintaining a company’s network of computer systems, as well as the IT personnel (staff) responsible for the company’s IT functions.
Chief Information Officer
The chief information officer, or CIO for short, is an executive title given to the most senior IT professional within an enterprise (group of companies). This officer is responsible for developing and implementing the IT strategy (plan) to support the enterprise’s goals and objectives.
If you’re interested in any of these cool, modern jobs in IT, then you should definitely try learning more from the courses and resources below.
The Top 7 Courses and Resources for Learning English for Information Technology
Here are seven of the best online courses and resources to get you off to a great start with mastering English for information technology.
“English for Information Technology” by Pearson Longman
This set of “English for Information Technology” books combines grammar lessons and IT vocabulary lists to give you the strong foundation (background) you need to communicate effectively when discussing technology and other relevant work topics. The topics were all chosen and written based on the latest developments in the IT market.
The books come with CDs containing the coursebook audios and interactive tasks, so you can use all the materials together for well-rounded study sessions.
FluentU offers its very own English for IT learning program, complete with videos, audios, downloadable transcripts, interactive subtitles, flashcards and more great tools. It’s as high tech as the IT industry itself, offering a cloud-based program that’s extremely easy to start using.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like business dialogues, inspiring speeches, news and more—and turns them into personalized English lessons.
It has a huge collection of English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try it out on your computer, iOS or Android device!
The English for Information Technology Course by English4IT
If you’re someone who prefers to study at your own speed, this self-paced “English for Information Technology” course may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Its online textbook format makes learning fun and interactive. It focuses on real-life English used in international business settings with topics relevant (specific) to many areas of IT.
The Professional English for Information Technology Course by ATC
This is a 170-hour “Professional English for Information Technology” course by the Advanced College of Languages and Training in Canada, and it’s specifically designed for those studying or working in the field of IT.
This online course is divided into four levels from basic to advanced, all with a strong focus on the IT-specific language and vocabulary you’ll need for everyday communication.
You’ll have unlimited access to the course modules (units), a personal instructor to support and assess your progress, and you’ll receive a certificate for the successful completion of the course.
The English for Information Technology Course by InTuition
This professional “English for Information Technology” course focuses on IT-specific vocabulary and language to build your confidence in business communications and presentations.
This course is offered in several locations across the world such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and Malta. You also have a choice of the course length that best suits your busy schedule.
This downloadable student e-book focuses on real-life English for IT in all four language areas—reading, listening, speaking and writing. The course material is based on the latest developments in the IT industry.
This audio CD “Oxford English for Information Technology” course is designed for students and IT professionals at an immediate level of English and above. It focuses on computing and IT language skills with discussions, dialogues, interviews and listening tasks.
I hope that with these courses and resources, I’ve inspired you to find out more about how you can begin or move forward with learning English for information technology.
Like I said earlier, there are many good reasons and benefits for taking up this challenge.
I hope you have great success learning about and working with IT.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.