Getting It Right: Helpful Language Resources for Employers and Employees

Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 9:25PM

In today’s modern workplace, bilingualism is no longer simply a unique trait—instead, it’s growing into a necessary part of business for employers and employees alike. Speaking two (or more) languages can improve collaboration and ease communication, making projects big and small much easier. How can you, an employer or employee at a company of any size, improve your language skills in a way that benefits you as well as your company as a whole? Fortunately, there are several helpful resources available to you—and we’re going over a few of them in today’s blog.

Group training

One of the best resources available for language training in the workplace comes in the form of group classes or sessions that aim to teach the language in a collaborative setting. This type of training mimics the merits of a classroom setting, where participants learn the same concepts at the same time (leading to improved accountability) and can practice with or bounce ideas off one another. If you want to ensure that your team is, in fact, learning and staying on the same page when it comes to a foreign language, group training (in or out of the office) might be something to consider.

Individual practice

There is, of course, something to be said about individual practice as well. This type of instruction will often come in the form of programs or phone applications that require daily practice, even if it’s just a few minutes a day (depending on the specific program and the user’s needs). These programs might be free for employees to use, or they might be provided by the business. In any case, individual practice provides a great foundation for getting to grasp a language—but it might require additional practice and immersion to become as effective as possible. If your employees are using individual programs to better their language skills, encourage them to check in with you or one another with questions or other needs.

Immersion in industry-specific use of language

As we’ve just mentioned, immersion is the key to learning any language—in other words, if the language is not used by and around the learner, it’s not as likely to “stick” in their mind. Encourage employees to practice their language skills at work when discussing job-specific terms which will, of course, vary depending on your industry. Put them in situations where they can collaborate with native speakers on the job so that they can get a sense of how the language should truly be spoken.

We hope that these resources help you and your business grow in meaningful, productive ways. And as always, if you’re looking for an experienced attorney who can navigate the language barrier, call our office today—we’re equipped to help in situations that span across cultural and lingual lines.

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