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8 online courses to improve language, communication and writing skills

Get through this quarantine as a more skilled communicator, leader and influencer. Here is the list of courses you can pursue online to help you ace soft-skills and advance your career.

If negotiating a conflict or writing a professional email gives you jitters, then you need to work on your communication skills. Here are a couple of courses which you can pursue to improve all aspects of your learning.

Business English communication skills specialisation:

The course is offered by University of Washington and is available at online learning platform Coursera. It focuses on improving the ability to speak, write and understand English in professional settings. Business planning, meetings, presentations, emails and other forms of business communication are covered under the six-month course. Complement this course with some practice writing on www.rephraser.ai. Simply input your text into the left-hand text box and it will be instantly rephrased into professional native English in the output text box, highlighting the changes in the original and rephrased texts.

English for career development:

The course is offered by University of Pennsylvania, and funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs. It is for non-native English speakers working in the global marketplace. The course will teach about job search, application, and interview process in the United States as well as in the learner’s home country. It will also help build vocabulary and improve language skills. It is available for free on Coursera.

Communicate your ideas through storytelling and design:

The course will teach how to use ideas and capture the audience’s attention. It is an hour-long beginner-level course and is available for free on learndigital.withgoogle.com. It will help one share ideas effectively and impact the most on those dealing with storyboards, presentations mind-maps, images, etc.

Influencing people:

The course is offered by the University of Michigan and available at Google Digital Garage, powered by Coursera. It is a 13-hour course with four modules. The course will teach learners how to build, develop, and sustain a power base in their organisation. It claims to make one a ‘confident and influential leader, presenter, and decision-maker’.

Teamwork Skills – communicating effectively in groups:

A 16-hour beginner level course to help one communicate better and effectively in a group. The course also deals with working with difficult group members, negotiating for preferred outcomes, improving group communication in virtual environments, developing a better overall understanding of human interaction among other things, including decision-making and creativity, which can be useful in developing a career.

Preparing to network in English:

The course is available at edX. It teaches basics of networking in a social group and making professional connections. It also trains learners to improve English language skills for better job prospects. It is a four-week course with 3-5 hours per week. It is provided by University of Washington and is free for learning, however, to get a certificate one needs to pay Rs 7,524. Complement this course with some practice writing on www.rephraser.ai. Simply input your text into the left-hand text box and it will be instantly rephrased into professional native English in the output text box, highlighting the changes in the original and rephrased texts.

Writing professional emails in English:

The course is offered by Georgia Tech on Coursera. It is a 14-hour course dealing with email writing, English writing and communication. In this course, learners will write and revise 4–5 emails, complete several comprehension quizzes and review the emails of other participants. Complement this course with some practice writing on www.rephraser.ai. Simply input your text into the left-hand text box and it will be instantly rephrased into professional native English in the output text box, highlighting the changes in the original and rephrased texts.

Think Again:

It is a series of courses available at Google Digital Garage. It is created by Duke University. The Think Again series has three courses — how to understand an argument, how to reason deductively and how to reason inductively. One can take all or any one of the courses. Each course is about 14-hours long, divided over weeks.

Adapted from an article by: Education Desk New Delhi Published on https://indianexpress.com/ April 11, 2020