The World of Business Language Training in 2018
English is no longer a foreign language in the Netherlands
English is no longer a foreign language in the Netherlands, says Alison Edwards of Leiden University. ‘If you can walk down the street and the hairdresser speaks to you in English, and the bus driver, and the taxi driver, then functionally it is a second language not a foreign language.’
The Dutch speak, it is claimed, the best English in the world. They often prefer speaking English even when foreigners try to practise their Dutch, and the higher education sector is rapidly being anglicised, with more than half of all university courses now taught in English.
Universities must prepare for a technology-enabled future
Automation and artificial intelligence technologies are transforming manufacturing, corporate work and the retail business, providing new opportunities for companies to explore, and posing major threats to those that don’t adapt to the times. Equally daunting challenges confront colleges and universities, but they’ve been slower to acknowledge them.
At present, colleges and universities are most worried about competition from schools or training systems using online learning technology. But that is just one aspect of the technological changes already under way. For example, some companies are moving toward requiring workers have specific skills trainings and certifications – as opposed to college degrees.
You are more likely to deny the truth in your second language
Whether you’re speaking in your native tongue, or in another language, being understood and believed is fundamental to good communication. After all, a fact is a fact in any language, and a statement that is objectively true should just be considered true, whether presented to you in English, Chinese or Arabic.
However, research suggests that people who speak two languages can accept a fact in one of their languages, while denying it in the other. Bilingual people often report that they feel different when switching from one language to another.
Mobile Learning in 2018
The smartphone has helped to revolutionise learning both in and out of the classroom, from using it as a simple translation device to apps which help you remember vocabulary. In particular, podcasts can be great to develop listening skills in an area that is of interest to you (making it more motivating). Teachers can help to select an appropriate podcast and there is often a supporting website to go deeper into the subject area. The advantage of podcasts is that they are frequently updated (and therefore relevant) and have short episodes (under 15 minutes) which means you can commit to building up your listening skills on a regular basis. Plus, you can slow the speed at the beginning or to listen in more detail.
We all start somewhere – Bobby Robson tries to speak Spanish
Bobby Robson tries to speak Spanish at FC Barcelona, with Jose Mourinho looking disgusted.
Capital Languages – here to help.
Investing in the Local Community is Important
When you live in a city like London, with all its international residents living side by side, learning English together can help to integrate the different communities, and build positive relationships.
Capital Languages is committed to investing in the local as well as the global, and we run FREE ENGLISH LESSONS for low-income residents in our area.
FREE ENGLISH LESSONS in London E17
Programmes: run in 8-week blocks
Practice job interview skills: speaking / listening / reading / writing
Level: A1/A2 Elementary English
What is the easiest language to learn for a native English speaker?
According to The Foreign Service Institute, the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers are:
- Afrikaans – and English both derive from the Germanic language family.
- Dutch – linguistically it is the closest language to English.
- Danish – the grammar is relatively easy for English speakers.
- French – a Romance language. French’s Latin derivations make much of the vocabulary familiar.
- Italian – another Romance language, Italian is easy to read, and is written as spelled.
- Norwegian – similar to Danish, but with pronunciation more familiar to English speakers
- Portuguese – interrogatives are easy, expressed by intonation alone.
- Romanian – closest language to Latin
- Spanish – pronunciation is fairly easy for English speakers
- Swedish – a Germanic language, with vocabulary in common with English e.g. kung for king
Of course, a lot depends on your motivation, your first language, and any language you speak or you grew up listening to.
What are the pros and cons of taking on-line language lessons?
• Flexibility and convenience – no need to leave your desk. You can take lessons whenever you want.
• More teacher choice – tutors from all over the world
• Reduced costs – less spent on travel time and study materials.
• Isolating – a lack of human interaction during the lessons.
• Computer based – yet more screen time.
• Internet connection – reliance on technology.
In the end, language learning practices comes down to personal preferences and motivations. Ask yourself, why am I learning the language? How much time can I commit? What works better for me?
Then, when you commit to the lessons, just keep at it. Persistence is the key to language learning. Persistence, determination … and picturing yourself ordering from the menu at a restaurant in Val d’Isère.
The English language training market in China
This is expected to grow at a rate of over 19% during 2018. The growth will come from individual learners preparing themselves for higher education in other countries such as the US, the UK, and Australia. Consequently, many English language training institutions are offering training courses for entrance examinations for graduate schools, including training for IELTS and TOEFL.
Students are also taking English lessons to enhance their skills in the business world.
What helps a tutor deliver a great Business English class in-company?
How is in-company Business Language tuition different from teaching General Language courses? Here are five points the Business Language teacher needs to do:
1. Find out from the student what he/she needs to achieve.
2. Get a clear idea of the contexts in which the student uses the target language.
3. Be business like and keep energy levels high.
4. Choose materials that are appropriate to student’s job role and needs.
5. Be flexible and try to anticipate problems e.g. cultural awareness issues.
Teaching languages in-company requires a variety of skills and techniques, but good preparation and a professional approach are extremely important.