I’ve been working with corporate clients for more than eight years. I’ve trained and coached junior and senior staff, specialists and managers. Ladies and Gentlemen, foreign language learning can be easy! Of course, as long as you:
- have time for learning,
- focus on job-specific training, and
- find the right language parent.
‘It drives me crazy that I have to spend so much time on something which I should already know.’
‘You know, when I read my work stuff in English, I understand it very well.’
‘Mario, when I talk to you, it seems so easy. But then after the class things get a bit more complicated.’
What do these comments have in common? Apart from the fact that most of my new corporate students keep repeating them, they illustrate three common language problems.
The biggest enemy of corporate language learners is, of course, time. They are always snowed under and hence behind time. But time is quite fair; it is as much my client’s problem as mine. Why? If I don’t quickly work something out to help them, they will fail at work and lay me off.
So what can be done? If my client has to be proficient, say, in English to do their job or to get promoted, we start from figuring out what exactly the job or the promotion involves, and then we make the timeline, i.e. how many hours they can invest in the training.
‘I’m about to get promoted for a manager and I have three months to learn how to give presentations and chair the meetings in English. Mario, get real! This can’t be done!’ By the way, this is what one of my clients told me recently.
So, what did I do? Gave her some lame motivational speech and hoped for the best? Nope! Instead of playing a smart language coach, I shut up and just stared listening to her. It turned out that my client was a pharmacist with almost 15 years of professional experience. She has seen it all in the pharmaceutical business! It just happened that she had never had to give presentations or chair meetings in English.
I shaped the training program around her job and industry. It made the training so much more relevant and engaging. The words virtually started coming out of her. Actually, my only job was to organize the structure of each class in such a way that she could practice the skills, which she had been developing for many years, and the language necessary to participate in her business meetings.
You can have the best self-paced training course, but if you don’t give studetns proper feedback, it is hard to go on and improve foreign language. Working with a professional trainer creates engagement and gives learners some good reasons to keep trying.
Foreign language – it can be done! Solve these problems immediately and enjoy the world of new possibilities.
PS. Małgosiu, this post is for YOU! I’m so happy that you’ve made it.