How to train non english speakers for the workplace

English in the workplace

English opens doors, enhances careers and creates opportunities because it connects people around the world. Today's market and business scene clearly follows a network model. Connections and communications are fundamental to create new opportunities and close deals between partners, clients and suppliers. More opportunities and more prospects means more competitive activities and better projections. English in the workplace has become an invaluable asset, most times indispensable to get beyond tight local limitations. Learning english and training your employees in the use of this language is one of the most important investments you can plan. You will see returns in short and long terms, and the possibilities for your activities will multiply exponentially.

English should be taught to workers all around the world, regardless of the language of the country where they are. Let's break it into two main categories: English for non-English speakers in English speaking countries, and English for non-English speakers in non-English countries.

Non-English speaking countries

In a non-English speaking environment, whoever is fluent and proficient in English will immediately have a comparative advantage. This isn't limited to the workplace, of course. Communications with people abroad and connections with international sources of knowledge are commonplace today, especially with the use of the Internet. English is today's universal language, so you can apply your knowledge in a wide range of situations and for many different purposes. You can access education, training and specializations in different fields that are only available in English. You can establish relationships with people from different cultures and backgrounds and make something together the world has never seen before. You can learn and share experiences that would be out of your reach if you weren't proficient enough in the English language.

English in the workplace sets you apart from your competitors and even your colleagues, and can get you on the spotlight quite easily, especially if you are more proficient than people around you. If you are in charge of a group of people or even own a business yourself, training your employees in English will give you a huge competitive advantage. 

Plenty of English schools have been created in non-English speaking countries in order to train their population and help them develop English skills for a variety of purposes. From the New English School in India to thousands of institutes in Latin America and China, there is the generalized agreement that increasing the population's English proficiency, especially in the workplace, will boost national economy and activities, resulting in a possitive impact in the whole community.

English speaking countries

The best way to learn a language is to get immersed in an environment where native speakers use this language all the time and therefore you are not only constantly exposed to this input, but also forced to put it to use and practice it once and again just to get by every day. For this reason, many non-English speakers travel to English speaking countries in order to further develop their English skills. Among the most popular countries, you can find those in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. If you take a look at the list in Australia of English schools, you will find countless institutes and schools of all sizes, created to absorb the massive amount of foreign students that go to Australia to perfect their skills. If you go to the United States, the numbers are even more overwhelming.

Many schools even take advantage of the generalized interest of immersive experiences, where students get in contact with native speakers in real life situations. Casual learners could be interested in contexts such as a restaurant, a shop or the street. Professional learners prefer to be exposed to the use of English in real life work environments, in order to perfect their skills in a place just like their own work environment. Schools like TotEnglish at Ireland offer this kind of experiences and are very successful because of it.

And of course, there are cases where non-English speakers want to learn English in an English speaking country, not as an educational trip, but because they are immigrants that want to settle down in said country. Many people arrive to English speaking countries in the search for a better life and better economical and social prospects. The quantity of non-English speakers in schools across England is a sign of this; learning English in this cases is about social inclusion, social success and even mental health. Learning English in an English speaking country is in some cases a need, and this knowledge will be later used in the workplace.

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