Being bilingual essential in today's world

Azadeh Nafissi is from Iran and her first language is Persian. I first met her at University when she was doing post graduate studies. We became firm friends and I saw first-hand how difficult life is when you are not a native speaker of English. Not only was she dealing with a course that demanded scholarship and intellectual rigour but she began to think in English before producing assignments that made sense to her markers. It was a huge task and all credit to her she got through. She persisted because of her belief that if she was going to do well in her career (Writing and Film-making) she had to be bilingual. Her blog talks about the importance of being able to ‘convey your thoughts in several languages.’

She considers that this is not a choice but a necessity.  

Recently I went to a local language school and took a session with four students preparing to enter business school. Before they can do that they have to improve their mastery of English writing. We used the Style Guide™ and I demonstrated how, by changing a few words in the same sentence the style could go from being analytical to emotional or from descriptive to imaginative. We also identified where on the Style Guide™ grid certain pieces of writing should sit. For example a letter supporting a job application would land in one section towards the right where persuasive or sales writing sits. Describing an exciting destination would be written in a different style and would land somewhere else.

I also got the students to give me some words that would fit with the style the writer was aiming for. They agreed that this helps a writer to prepare scripts that will get a positive response from readers.

Our goal at the Language School is to measure the students’ writing competency now and then run the same test in a month’s time to see if by using the Style Guide™ the students have improved their  writing more than if they had not had access to the Style Guide™.

Azadeh expects that the results will support our argument: that using the Style Guide™ speeds up people’s writing mastery.

"The style guide is amazing, very helpful and fun. It encourages you to write several drafts and work on your particular voice." Azadeh Nafissi

language school. Style Guide