So, why are we learning English again?
Of all the staff development courses that a company can choose for employees to follow, language courses are often the hardest to motivate.
For many people, language skills are kind of personal and a bit off-limits. There is often a lot of baggage involved with language learning from our childhoods and subsequent experiences. It is rare that you’ll find a whole group of people who are really enthused by the thought of doing a language training course at work.
It’s not that they don’t get it, but rather that they fear being exposed, have old fears they are carrying with them, or quite simply just don’t like the idea of having to speak a language other than their mother tongue at work.
Most Spoken Language In The World
So why do it? Why insist that your staff improves their English skills? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. The figures are constantly changing, but research has shown that over 1 500 million people world-wide speak English to some extent. The staggering aspect of this huge number is that only 375 million of these English speakers are native speakers
Compare that to 1 100 million Chinese speakers, of who 982 million are native speakers! The reasons for this growth are varied, but most cite the ever-increasing impact of the internet and the digital age where the lingua franca is overpoweringly English.
The International Language of Business
English has also become the international language of business. Companies as diverse as Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor, and Microsoft in Beijing are mandating English as their common corporate language… and many others are following suit.
Many more industries other than business also rely primarily on English as an international language. These include the fields of science, aviation, computers, diplomacy and tourism.
For any international company English has become part of their ability to compete globally and to deal with the fact that many tasks and resources are not located within the borders of the company’s home country. No English means no global network and no ability to compete in an increasing number of market sectors.
Benefits for Staff
On a personal level, learning English translates into greater personal confidence at work, the ability to travel the world with a second language and all the benefits that learning a new language bring such as a new perspective, new cultural understandings and mental flexibility.
So why are we doing this again?
- To become globally competitive
- To give ourselves employment options
- To excel in our careers/markets
- To develop ourselves personally
- To enjoy the global village (movies, TV, internet) better
At TalenInstituut Nederland (The Dutch Language Institute) we understand the needs that companies face as well as the fears individual learners feel. This is why we offer flexible, fully customised Business English training to businesses and individuals. Through a process of interviews and meetings we establish the unique needs and competence of our clients and design each and every course around those.
To find out more about our Business English and other language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote: www.taleninstituut.nl
By: David Chislett
Trainer Business English
© Taleninstituut Nederland