When studying a foreign language with a language training software, corresponding with native speakers and fellow learners online is one of the most rewarding activities you can partake in. Both instant messages and emails will likely be your most frequent mediums for conversation, so we recommend making the best of them.
For emails, in particular, be sure to follow normal conventions, as you would if you were communicating with English speakers. Courtesy and efficiency tend to run the same way regardless of language, so follow standard conventions. Doing so helps you develop a good email habit in the language – one that may come in handy when you decide to use it for business purposes.
- Always sign your emails.
- Always add appropriate titles when emailing superiors and individuals you do not know well.
- Always have a subject. Yep, non-English speakers are not psychics either. So always put a title on the subject to let them know what the email is about.
- Make sure that only concerned individuals are included in the recipient’s list. Again, there is no cultural division – letting other people see your private discussions with someone else is just downright frowned upon.
- Avoid typing in all caps. It carries the same SCREAMING connotation in most languages that use the Roman alphabet as English, so steer clear of the practice.
- Use proper punctuation and capitalization conventions in the language. Despite the informal reputation of email, it is still best read without the formless delivery found in IM and text messages.