How to Address People in Formal and Informal Settings – Part Two

A few years back, I got in touch with one of my high school teachers on social media.

When I told him to say hello to my favourite English teacher back in Manchester, he said, “I’ll be sure to tell Sheena McGowan.”

Her name is Sheena? I thought. I never knew! What a lovely name indeed!

I’m very conservative so I can never imagine calling Mrs McGowan by her first name! She will always be Mrs McGowan to me.

In today’s episode, which is part two of How to Address People in Formal and Informal Settings, I talk about the differences between addressing teachers and lecturers in the UK versus in Malaysia.

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How to Address People in Formal and Informal Settings – Part One

I received a message the other day from an old friend. After catching up on life, I then congratulated him on completing his PhD.

I said, “Congratulations! So it’s Dr Fadli now, isn’t it?” (not his real name).

He replied, “Thank you! But please drop the title!”

It’s great to be able to be informal with friends and peers. It’s equally important, however, to know when it’s appropriate to be formal. This is about being respectful.

In this week’s video, I taught ways to address people in formal and informal settings. 

Watch part one here.

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Phrases to Use in Group Discussions

Have you ever attended a group discussion and felt bad because you could not contribute to it confidently?

Maybe you felt overwhelmed and didn’t know how to begin the discussion or interrupt the flow of ideas coming back and forth!

Yes, I have been there myself. Sometimes I had nothing much to say, I was ill-prepared or worse, I just wasn’t listening to the discussion at hand!

Listening and contributing to a discussion go hand in hand.

That’s why in this week’s live session, I taught simple phrases that you can use to be actively engaged in a group discussion. You can watch it here.

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5 Ways You Can Train Yourself to Think in English

Back in my corporate days, I had a friend, Linda (not her real name), who I had lunch with every day.

Our first language is Malay, so as we enjoyed our steaming rice and chicken curries under the shade of a hot zinc roof, we would laugh and share stories in Malay.

Back in our (freezing cold) air-conditioned office, we didn’t speak to each other much because we were in different departments. We were our professional, English-speaking selves when it came to work.

The language used for communication in the office was English so it was normal for us to write and speak to other colleagues in English. 

One time, Linda called me up to ask about something related to work. Since we were used to speaking Malay to one another, we started the conversation in Malay.

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