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English Speaking at Workplace    

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Two international corporations active in India, Thomson Reuters and Unisys have invested in Business English and have seen significant results in their employees’ skill sets, career development and communication abilities. A study identified an increase in English language proficiency across the country within the past two decades, from only 11% in 1991 to approximately 20% by 2005.

A person can make rapid strides in his career if besides the mandatory skills that are required, he also can speak English fluently and effectively. If you do not possess this most sought after skill set, it is considered as a serious handicap for any aspiring professional. Due to globalization, using English at workplace has many benefits, like the success of the organization you are working with, building and improving relationships at work, enhancing and developing your own skill set etc. It’s considered to be a huge asset to be able to speak good English, especially if you are associated with a Multi-National Company.

Most of the companies believe that better English improves the productivity of employees. Proficient English language skills can give you more opportunities to expand your career prospects. This language is essential if you want to get ahead in today’s fast-paced global economy, whether you are looking to secure your ideal job, or to be more productive at work, or simply to increase your chances of promotion.

Companies need a language strategy, especially if they have global aspirations. Companies are finding it easy to adapt English as a common language of business. Good English allows one to communicate effectively with international clients, helping them to trust the company that results in strong and lasting business relationships. Multinational companies need to interact with clients and business partners across the globe, and those who ignore the need for a language strategy limit their growth.

People who regularly use English at workplace, use it for various purposes like meetings, negotiations, report writing, presentations, training, sending e-mails, making sales calls, social gatherings etc.

It is estimated that over 50% of the pages on the internet are written in English which means that more online information is available to people who can read English. Having access to so much more information can make a real difference to your professional life, even if you don’t work with colleagues or clients who speak English. You may find that information from a website written in English may help you to understand a project better or provide some useful information for a report.

It’s said, ‘Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we think about.’

There are many benefits for proficient employees as well. As employees become more fluent in the language, they develop confidence and feel more secure at a time when jobs come and go. Being proficient in English could open doors for them; they can take on more and more roles that require English speaking ability. Career advancement and a fatter pay cheque are among the many benefits. English communication is of paramount importance in today’s globalized workplace.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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English Speaking in Social Gatherings

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Anyone using English in social gatherings should refrain from an academic approach and strive to give it a living interest by keeping the attention of others on English as it is spoken today. The idea here is to communicate so avoid using jargons and difficult words.

Communication, a word of Latin origin, means sharing. In a social gathering, people interact with each other either to exchange pleasantries, share some information or good/bad experiences. We all know that the most common medium of communication is English language, especially in the gatherings where you get to interact with the upper middle or high class. Even the middle class doesn’t seem to remain unaffected by this trend.

Conversation in social gatherings should be highly confident yet speech should be highly courteous. The gestures used while conversing in English is a reflection of one’s involvement in the interaction. A few examples can be-smile, nod, wave our hands, etc. These non-linguistic symbols keep the attention of the other person on what we say.

In any social gathering, communication involves two parties who interact on a common topic.  Without a common background or interest there can be no effective communication. Here comes the most important factor to remember which is to be cooperative and be a patient listener while communicating. If we speak to someone in a social place without paying heed to the other person’s interest, then there is a possibility that he/she will get totally lost  in his own thoughts and in no time communication will stop.

English has developed as a common medium of communication in social functions also. Hence it is the right strategy to keep ourselves updated with the recent developments and changes in English language. English language used in a social circle can differ a lot from business communication. We need to be sensitive about using suitable gestures while addressing different people who might speak distinctly.

It is very important to respond appropriately when a sender transmits a message. The response should be immediate and favourable. This is important because the person in front of us will naturally be interested in knowing how his message has been received. Immediate feedback is possible very easily in a face to face interaction. An advantage of such communication is the adjustment of the length of communication. Knowledge and usage of correct English can reveal the inner strength, upbringing, nature and much more about a person’s personality.

English language has virtues which are unparalleled because greeting, thanking, apology, respect, farewell, etc. can be expressed very beautifully in English phrases. Correct English is always appreciated in social gatherings by the ones who are well versed in the usage of the language. In many cases the message may fail to receive the desired response because of a semantic gap between the people interacting. This failure occurs because the sender may not be clear about what is to be conveyed and may use inappropriate English to convey his ideas. It may also happen if the listener is not able to understand and interpret the meaning of the conversation. Therefore it is important to acquire and apply correct skills of English language in social gatherings.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid In An Interview

Shalini was interviewed for her dream job last Monday, but she showed up late, wore the wrong attire and as a result she couldn’t put together a sentence or two. She fumbled, looked unprepared and guess what? She couldn’t make it. It happens to the best of us, when we go unprepared. It is not just knowledge and experience, we need to understand the importance of so many things, be it our dress sense, confidence, body language, attitude etc. Understand that, keeping a few things in mind will definitely help you do fairly well in your interviews.

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Show them you would be a great hire and avoid making these common mistakes:

Negative body language and inappropriate behaviour

If you never smile, have a limp handshake, and don’t make eye contact with the interviewers, you’ll come across as too shy or too strange or simply not interested. Show your interest in the position you are applying for.

So, smile, say hello, look them in the eye, and shake hands as though you really are happy to meet them.

Restrict yourself from being too entertaining or amusing. Inappropriate behaviour leads to its adverse effects.

Appearing uninterested

If there is one vacancy, then there is no dearth of people applying for the same. That means, the employers have enough choice, therefore, if you don’t show interest in being a part of that company they certainly aren’t interested in hiring you.

Ask intelligent questions that indicate that you have done some research, if you don’t seem prepared and diligent; it shows you’re unprepared and lack of preparation is an opportunity crusher.

Preparation will help you demonstrate your interest in them and the job. You will also perform better in the interview when you are prepared.

Sharing inappropriate information

Sometimes, people have a whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mind-set in a job interview, so they “spill their guts” in answer to every question. Not smart or useful! It’s not recommended that you tell lies, but avoid boring the interviewer and blowing an opportunity by sharing too much information. If they want more details, they’ll ask.

Unprofessional questions

To an employer, no question means lack of interest. During the first interview, asking questions only about raises, promotions, vacation, and benefits are not usually well-received. Those questions apparently indicate that you are just interested in specific personal benefits rather than the job.

Instead, ask for details about the job like, what an average day is like, if the job is new or being filled because the previous employee was promoted, etc.

Not enough research

Do a thorough research on the profile of the company by visiting their website, Research about their missions and aims, locations, if they are a part of a larger organization, their subsidiaries, and work of the subsidiaries.
Note the names of their products and/or services and get familiar with what each does.
Research about the officers named on the website, their location, any common background with any of them. (Hometown, school, previous organization, etc.)

It’s easy to make these mistakes without even realizing, and many of them are more common than you might think! Take the time to prepare, so you don’t have to stress out about blunders after the interview. Good Luck!

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Tips To Crack A Job Interview

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Know Yourself- Skills, Accomplishments, Goals

This is the first step you need to take to prepare for an interview. Just as successful salespeople must know everything about the product they sell, you must know your skills and be able to “sell” them to an interviewer. It is what your skills, accomplishments and goals actually are.

Usually, one of the first questions you will encounter in a job interview is, “Tell me something about yourself.” By making a list of your skills and accomplishments that match the employer’s requirements, you can answer this question with ease and start the interview on the right note. The closer your skills and traits are to the job description, the better chance you have of landing the job.

Preparing for an interview  

Self-Assessment

An important part of knowing yourself is having an accurate assessment of your qualities and skills.

Identifying these before your interview is important, you will want to use some of these traits to “sell” yourself in the interview. Using the scale below, rate your perception of your competence in each quality and skill.

      4              3            2            1          0

Excellent  Good  Average  Weak  Poor

Personal Qualities

  • _____ Enthusiastic/Energetic
  • _____ Resourceful
  • _____ Goal Oriented
  • _____ Competitive
  • _____ Responsible/Reliable
  • _____ Effective Team Member
  • _____ Analytical
  • _____ Creative
  • _____ Ability to teach/train
  • _____ Motivating
  • _____ Effective communication.

NOTE: Think of examples for each rating of 3 or 4. You can use these examples during your interview.

Research the Company – Learn as much as you can beforehand

Just as in learning any skill, successful interviewing requires preparation and practice. This is not the best time to try and “wing it.” A successful interview is very much like a sales encounter. You must demonstrate your interest by finding out everything you can about the company and the position before the actual interview. The kinds of things you should know about the company include:

  • How long has the company been in existence?
  • What services does the company provide or what products does it make?
  • Who are their major competitors?
  • Which is the parent company?
  • What are the company’s assets and earnings?
  • Does the company have any international operations?

Prepare Your Questions­­­­­­

Know the purpose of asking questions

  • Questions demonstrate interest, preparedness, critical thinking, and desire to achieve.
  • Good questions reveal your knowledge about the job, show that you pay attention, and establish a personal connection with the interviewer.
  • Allows you to learn more about the position and the organization. Helps you determine if the position and organization are right for you.
  • Gives you the opportunity to further “sell” your qualifications by gathering specific information from the interviewer. By listening to the interviewer’s responses to your well thought-out questions, you may learn more about the organization’s needs and prepare accordingly.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When preparing for an interview, practice in front of the mirror and work on your voice modulation and clarity in speech or you may even record your voice and do the self-evaluation.

During the Interview

Be Prompt and Prepared

On the day of your interview you should plan to arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Be sure to ask for accurate directions and take into consideration the distance you must travel to reach your destination, you might encounter traffic, parking issues, and even time zone changes if it’s a long trip and remember to carry all the important documents and of course, a copy of your resume.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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English – Foundation for Young Kids’ Future

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English is one of the most important languages in the world because it is the only language that truly links the whole world together. English bridges the gap and connects multi-cultural and multi-linguistic people. The presence of English as a universal language assumes importance in the fact that more and more people leave their countries not only for the sake of business and pleasure but also for studying. So, education has increased the role of English.

Being confident in English can give a child an early advantage at school, helping him make the most of his education, qualification and career opportunities that lie ahead. Therefore, English plays a significant role in shaping a child’s career. Young children pick up languages more easily because their brains are programmed to learn their mother tongue which also facilitates learning another language. At a young age, children are enthusiastic and curious to explore and learn new things. We cannot underestimate the role of English as a medium for education.

Whether your child is at primary level or at post graduate level, English as the medium of learning cannot be neglected. Your child will be able to excel in his or her studies if he or she has a good command over English.

Internet, which has come up as an advanced tool of imparting education is confined more to English which emphasizes the importance of the language again. A kid who aspires for a bright future, dreams of a high profile job, needs to have a strong foundation in English. One can prove one’s capabilities only through language and the potential to use English efficiently is in fact necessary for effective communication. Although, internet facilitates every forum in many languages, still English is the universal language and there are many sites which are only accessible in English and no translations are available. Books, which are another medium of teaching and learning, are mainly published in English. Sometimes, the translated version misses out on conveying the real message. This ultimately proves that English has become a inseparable part of our lives.

India is a land of competition. There are millions of candidates who possess similar qualifications but may not have effective communication skills in English which is almost mandatory to carve a niche for themselves in this cut throat competitive world. So we should ensure that the kids get ample opportunities to polish their communication skills.

Having good command over English opens up various avenues including the opportunity to work overseas. The future of your child with a strong foundation in English will definitely be bright because of the additional confidence it infuses in him/her.

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Importance of English in Career Growth

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Why do young professionals, be it a graduate or a post graduate (B.Tech, M.Tech, MBA, MCA etc) take up courses to polish their communication skills in English? Why are organizations these days engaged in training students and employees on effective communication skills in English? Why do parents leave no stone unturned to make sure that their children are sent to the best of schools? Years ago, the choice used to be between a good public school and a convent school. Today, the choices have extended to the international schools following IB curriculum. Whatever be the reasons for the different choices that parents make but one thing that is not debatable is the fact that almost all parents want their children to have the ability to communicate confidently and effectively in English

Ever wondered why? Well, one need not wonder because the answer seems quite obvious. Good command over English opens up various avenues for a bright career.

You may ask “Why English?”

People have been moving to different countries for better job opportunities. One of the most important aspects in getting a good job abroad is the command over English. TOFEL/ IELTS/PTE must be cleared in order to get good opportunities overseas. More than 2 billion people all over the world use English to communicate on a regular basis. Research shows that English is the business language across the globe. With globalization, all cross-border business communication is usually done in English. It’s presence in the global market place cannot be underestimated.

English is spoken across the globe due to Great Britain’s expansion during the colonial age. People in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and parts of Africa, India, and many small island nations speak English. English is the commonly adopted second language in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Moreover most of the content produced on the internet is in English, many of the world’s top films, books and music are also published and produced in English. So knowing English will allow you access to an incredible amount of information which may not be otherwise available. Research shows that English speakers in the world earn more money than non-English speakers. Being a comfortable communicator in English can help you land that first job in your new career and ensure a positive future. It can also make you better than other applicants and help you be a more effective employee. In fact, English serves as a stepping stone to leadership responsibilities and career advancement.

As the saying goes, ‘Whatever you are, be a good one.

If you can communicate well in English you can explain your ideas to others in ways that make sense and are easy to understand. You’ll be able to tell your supervisor what you need to do your job well. You’ll also be able to talk with co-workers to make sure you’re all working together for the benefit of the company and its customers. English is required for communicating in a variety of professional fields including: business, information technology, science, medicine, aviation, entertainment, radio, diplomacy and more.

So, if you have a good command over English, your opportunities for a well-paid and interesting career increase manifold. You’ll be able to work for, or deal with, international companies and organizations around the globe, which in turn may lead to opportunities to travel and broaden your outlook. English, when spoken with confidence and finesse, not only adds to the charisma, but also helps one accomplish their personal professional goals.

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Tips To Write An Impressive Resume

Writing a resume is often the most arduous activity of the entire job application process and one which requires painstaking attention to detail. EnglishMate, English speaking institutes from Hindustan Times, lists a few points that one should consider while writing their resume.

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How long should a resume be?

Most recent graduates should confine their resumes to one page. If your resume goes to a second page, make sure your margins are not too wide (no more than 1” left and right and as little as ½” top and bottom). If the headings are on the left, stack the words (e.g. “TEACHING” with “EXPERIENCE” under it, rather than next to it).

What should one include?

  • Name: Start with your NAME (we suggest upper case bold for name only), and complete contact information (address, phone and email address).
  • Certifications: List professional certifications and licenses with dates received. (Chronological Order)
  • Education: Summarize your education in reverse order, starting with your last degree or the one you are working on now. Include school name, city, state, degree, major, date degree was – or will be – conferred and honors.
  • Courses: To tailor your resume to a specific job, you may include a list of “relevant courses.”
  • Honors/Awards/Activities: Use one or more categories as appropriate, highlighting achievements such as scholarships, Dean’s List, leadership roles in clubs, campus/community organizations, sports or other accomplishments.
  • Research: If applicable, you may include special projects or research, highlighting significant relevant classroom learning experiences such as research projects, independent study, special presentations, and major papers.
  • Experience: Your experience, regardless of how you acquired it (full time or part time jobs, internships, and community or college service) is usually of chief interest to the reader. For each position, include: Job Title (followed by dates of employment), Employer, City, and State. Emphasize (put first) either employers or job titles, but be consistent! Describe responsibilities, duties and accomplishments, preferably using list format with bullets.
  • Skills: Of great interest to employers! Indicate computer hardware and software knowledge, fluency in foreign languages, or other technical skills. If you have several of each, use separate categories.
  • Interests: List interests only if you are really knowledgeable about something or very good at it.

How do you make your resume look professional?

  • Include no personal information: age, health, marital status, height, weight, religion.
  • Never use the first person “I.” Do not use full sentences. Eliminate all unnecessary words (a, the).
  • Never lie or exaggerate.
  • Add to the eye appeal of your resume by varying the typeface for emphasis: bold, underline, italic, UPPER CASE, etc. (Use italics for emphasis only – perhaps your job title – never for the entire resume.) Use an attractive legible typeface such as Times or Arial, not an old-fashioned font such as Courier.
  • Use “bullets” (•, ♦, *, −) for listing items under a heading description, such as experience.
  • Proofread carefully. Grammatical, content and typographical errors may eliminate you immediately from consideration for an interview. Ask others to proofread the resume as well.

What is the most important feature of a successful resume?

Here are some pointers:

  • Use action verbs to describe your duties and accomplishments, depicting yourself as someone who gets the job done: one who “created . . . published . . . solved” – not one who merely “participated in” or was “responsible for.” Avoid using “assisted” – say what you did. Vary the vocabulary. For present jobs, use present tense verbs and for past jobs, use past tense.
  • Emphasize skills and experience related to the job you want and to the employer’s needs.
  • When describing your experience, use detailed descriptions that give the reader a picture of you as an individual (“Adapted lesson on dinosaurs to learning styles of autistic children”) rather than vague descriptions that make you sound like everyone else (“Followed the curriculum of cooperating teacher”).
  • Quantify accomplishments by citing numbers, percentages, etc., where appropriate.
  • Put the most related and impressive accomplishment first within each job description.

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Six Golden Rules To Ace A Group Discussion

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As each sport and game has its own rules and tips to help you navigate it successfully, the same goes for group discussions too. The general tip is that you follow the rules, gauge your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, work around their strengths, tap into their weaknesses and you can sail through with the perfect image in group discussions.

Rule 1: Prepare

Work begins long before you sit for the group discussion. Your performance is as good as your preparation. Half the preparation is about knowledge. If you think you can wing it with aggression, you are mistaken. Find out the kind of topics that are given at the institution or company you are applying for.

Prepare well in time on as many topics as you can, not just the ones given in the past, but related ones too. You never know when the subject would be changed. Get into the habit of active reading. It’s different from passive reading. Passive reading is where you read merely to understand the subject. Active reading is where you not only understand the subject, but also begin to raise questions and voice your opinion – positive, negative or neutral about the subject. This is critical in the group discussion to counter or support others’ points of view.

The next part of rule 1 is to have mock GDs, preferably with differing groups of friends. The point is to train your mind to think of any given topic’s pros and cons in a dynamic situation where you can’t predict the person’s response. More importantly, it is about looking at all the possible angles to the topic. This shows your logical mind, creativity and also your ability to think on your feet which comes with preparation.

Rule 2: Know the Participants

Carry a notepad and pen to note down your discussion points as soon as the topic is given. Most people who attend GDs are as focused on their performance as they tend to be. Take a deep breath and when the team introduces itself, note down the participants’ names. In the heat of the discussion, calling out the person’s name is a good way to get his attention. All of us respond instinctively when our name is called out, so use this technique. Not only does it get you their attention, it also shows your people skills and presence of mind.

Rule 3: Take Care of your Posture

Your body posture reveals your state of mind. At the same time, it conditions you to a particular way of thinking. Don’t lean back or lean forward. Find the balance.

Let your body posture be of polite intensity so that you come across as a balanced individual with plenty of energy. This also shows empathy and respect to others when they speak and is an asset that brings you additional points.

Rule 4: Take Charge

Take charge of the discussion right in the beginning. It shows your leadership capability. Introduce the topic by setting the framework for the ensuing discussion and state your opening point before leaving it to the group. Further, when it comes to conclusions, many GDs fall through and participants don’t make good use of it although it brings points. Conclude the discussion by summing up if you can. To do this, listen actively throughout the discussion and note down the key highlights – say, in columns of negative and positive points on your notepad or any other format that suits the discussion.

Rule 5: Retain Your Balance

During the discussion itself, give your logical counterpoint without aggression when there is a disagreement. You are not there to prove that your stand is right, but to show your maturity and logical thinking. When the discussion drags over a point, it is time for you to interject and turn the discussion in a new direction, either with a related point or with an opposite view.

Be to the point and intervene when another candidate is taking all the airtime. When he pauses for breath, it is the right time to take your chance, state your point and then, pass the chance to someone who hasn’t had his say.

Rule 6: Follow your Domain

Keep the domain in mind while projecting your image. Let’s suppose you are facing a group discussion for a sales function, you may have to take a more aggressive approach whereas a marketing function could veer towards the creative and the practical approach in assessment.

Group discussions are as much about your knowledge and point-of-view as about how you handle yourself and others. Do these right and you will have projected the right image.

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Proficient English Speaking Can Transform Your Career

Many of us take proficiency in English speaking for granted. People are expected to be proficient in speaking English by default while appearing for any job opportunity and even a slight lag in this skill is instantly taken as a measure to map the potential of the candidate appearing for the interview.

Companies in India today are following a global culture and hence expect the highest level of English speaking proficiency from their existing and new employees. The demand is high at the international level and hence English speaking institutes in Delhi NCR are working to polish students’ capabilities to help them excel at both national and international level.

Proficiency in English language is a necessity worldwide and companies are expecting complete expertise in this as the private sector has become more complicated given the changing world economy. The ability to speak efficiently is very much required to remain employable. Communication skills are exceedingly essential for one’s professional growth. The ability to express fluently in both written as well as oral English is vital for a career growth.

The corporate world is now defining the trends in the job market and English is the most important and commonly used language in the market. The language has become the defining factor in deciding a person’s employability.

So, is expertise in English only limited to the ability to write grammatically correct sentences? Well, not really. It also involves other related skills for effective communication like negotiation and convincing skills, presentation skills, and of course interpersonal skills.

To hone your skills further, leading English speaking institutes in Delhi NCR like EnglishMate, provide students with the best in-class infrastructure and course material covering all essential topics. The institutes aim to turn a person’s weaknesses and hesitations into their strengths by providing expert guidance to help them excel in their endeavors in their professional as well as personal life.

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Turn Weakness In Spoken English Into Your Strength With EnglishMate

English remains the de-facto language of communication in all multinationals, business schools, international and national universities across the world including India. English goes a long way in building one’s personality, developing the self-confidence and polishing the overall image and impression in the society.

The advantages of joining English speaking classes always contribute towards enhancing a person’s personality, these classes:
1. Help bring out your proficient side and help you sail through any form of business or other professional communication like meetings, group discussions etc.
2. English acts as your invisible travel partner. Knowing the language in and out helps you communicate effortlessly wherever you go.
3. For obvious reasons, joining English speaking classes brighten your career prospects. Fluent English speakers stand at an advantage over others, both during interviews as well as handling their work profiles.
4. Customized English speaking classes focus on specific weak areas of the learners and are structured towards eliminating any loopholes that hamper their learning.

Tapping this knowledge of English as a basic necessity, EnglishMate takes you one step above the rest, giving a distinct advantage of a confident and smarter personality that leaves a lasting impression on others – be it your colleagues, friends, seniors or teachers.

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