English is my second language, yes.
The real learning began during my professional career in a global Chemical Company, based at Dallas, Tx. First thing to understand were the multiple idioms and what they really mean. “It’s not rocket science”, “in a nutshell”, “ballpark figure”, “no-brainer”, “on the back-burner”, just to name a few.
Having the wonderful workbook in my hand from the authors below, Z and K, it fell like scales from my eyes. Either I discovered topics that I did intuitively the right way or I spotted items, that I should have done the way described. And in addition, I found the list of idioms, a lot, including those mentioned above (page 57ff).
Some of my favourite quotes:
Recognize what filler words you use. Avoid the temptation to fill every gap in the conversation. Adding pauses is a good way to adjust the pace of your language (pages 10, 13).
If using an idiom, try to paraphrase to make the meaning clear, for example, “Shall we call it a day?” means “Shall we stop?”, (page 17).
By including rather than excluding other languages, non-native speakers have the chance to express ideas or concepts that they may have difficulty articulating in English (page 32).
Sharing a joke can seem like a good way to defuse a difficult situation or just put people at ease. Be aware, though, that different cultures find different things funny (page 46).
This workbook contains much more valuable examples. Very handy and concise, it is written for busy leaders. Like me when I was leading a team with members spread from eight different nations around the globe. I can highly recommend it.