Tag Archives: English Communication Assessment

3V English Communication Assessment (ECA) Template

I have been invited to speak at TESL Canada on the topic of Business English Fundamentals, and how to teach them in the classroom or at the office.  Assessments are a key player in communication coaching and corporate training success.  Simply speaking, the formula is “Assessment = Training Program = ROI measurement.”  When choosing or designing your assessment, please consider the needs of the person/organization that hired you.  Ensure the assessment is Client AND/OR company needs-based, as sometimes you need to cover both needs in one assessment tool.  What does “writing” mean to them? Or ‘speaking’ or ‘communication’? We need to be clear and specific in the assessment so it’s accurate and effective!

Here is a sample of a 3V ECA, previously used in our corporate training programs:

Part One: Grammar – identify the spelling, grammar and/or punctuation mistake(s) and correct them (ten sentences)
1. I have study English for 7 years now, so far.
2. You need to working on your accent man. Its thick!
3. Did you know that the cats can see in the dark? A animal like that is great!
4. I board a plane last night at 3 in the a.m. And so, now, I’m so tired.
5. What is your area of expertize? Can you help me with this calculations?

Part Two: Everyday Idioms – what do these expressions mean? Please write short definitions. (fifteen)
1. The real McCoy
2. The cat’s out of the bag
3. We’re up the creek
4. He works like a dog
5. Bookworm

Part Three: Humour – explain why these jokes are funny. Short answers please. (three)
1. A horse walks into a bar. The bartender asks “why the long face?”

Part Four: Short story – Please write a short story explaining in detail what you do at work, and how communication plays a role. Minimum 3 paragraphs.

Part Five: Interview – short Q & A to evaluate comprehension, pronunciation, conciseness etc.

If you have any questions about designing or using assessments in your training, or if you are part of an organization that would benefit from communication skills assessments, do not hesitate to contact me!  🙂

Acronyms for Crime and Policing

To continue from a previous blog entry, here are some popular acronyms that you may hear on cop shows or cop films. Plus, if you apply to become a police officer, you should be aware of these acronyms. Our company proudly helps YRP – York Regional Police – with communication skills assessments and training of their recruits and officers.  Some are immigrants and we believe that having English as a second language should not stop you from enjoying dramatic shows or applying to serve your community!  Feel free to share this with those you know are applying to become a police officer in their community too.

E.T.A. – Estimated Time of Arrival
D.O.A. – Dead On Arrival
M.O. – Modus Operandi – Latin for mode or style of operation or the way a ‘perp’ performs crimes. The pattern s/he follows.
C.O.P. – Citizen or Constable On Patrol – “cop” is the common nickname for a police officer.
D.U.I. – Driving Under the Influence (of drugs or alcohol)
B & E – Break and Enter – burglary
P.I. – Private Investigator
C.I. – Confidential Informer/Informant – someone the police use to get inside info from the streets or criminal gangs.
B.O.L.O. – Be On the LookOut for – notice to all officers to search for or be aware of a particular person.
A.P.B. – All Points Bulletin – also known as a citywide – same as BOLO.
C.Y.A. – Cover Your Ass – Do the job right, by the book, and document everything to prove that you did everything correctly.
S.W.A.T. – Special Weapons And Tactics team/squad – highly trained paramilitary officers, used in hostage situations and other dangerous events. On TV and in film, they are always dressed completely in black.

That should be enough to give you a better English base for policing.
Memorize them and then incorporate them, and stay safe.

Cop Talk – Learning the Idioms and Slang of the Police

Do you enjoy watching police TV shows like COPS, CSI, Law & Order etc. and police films in English? There are lots to choose from for sure. Or perhaps you want to apply to become a police officer? I have the pleasure of working directly with a local police service (YRP – York Regional Police) to offer English communication assessments for new recruits and also to train current officers in communication skills required by the job.  You NEED to learn a lot of idioms and slang, whether English is your second language or first.  You need to know a lot of ‘everyday idioms’ like “It’s pouring rain” (raining really hard – do not use the old idiom ‘raining cats and dogs’), it came from “out of the blue” (surprising, unexpected) and “The real McCoy” (genuine, the real deal, not a fake) but you also need to learn more industry-specific slang and idioms to do with policing and crime. For example:

There’s a “wino” in the alley – Wino means stereotypical alcoholic homeless person.

“Reefer. Blunt. Chronic. Mary J. Grass. Weed” – These all refer to Marijuana. There are many more too!

“Cuff him and stuff him” – handcuff the perp (perpetrator or suspect) and put him in the back of the squad car.

“Something’s going down right now!” – means some illegal action like a drug trade is happening right now.

“Hooker, Pro, Lady of the night, Streetwalker” – all refer to a woman who is a prostitute.

“I smell bacon” – bad guys say this when cops are around – refers to old nickname of calling the police ‘Pigs’.

There are literally hundreds more, and I will add a few acronyms for you next entry.

If you want to improve your English in police slang in order to apply to be a constable or just to further enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies, take a little time to improve your Cop Talk first!

Coach Ric