By Tess Taylor, Industry Dive.
English is considered to be the preferred language of business. In many workplaces, it’s the only way that a growing diverse population of employees can communicate ideas and collaborate on projects. However, while it’s been determined by census that some 375 million people consider English to be their native tongue, it’s actually third in line behind Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
The untapped global consumer market is estimated to be worth around $30 trillion by 2025, up from $12 trillion from 2010, based on McKinsey & Company research. It makes sense, then, that companies may want to gain an edge in foreign markets by providing language learning opportunities for employees.
Why language training is better than other options
In an attempt to address language barriers in other countries, organizations have turned to a variety of costly methods, including:
- Hiring translators to be present during all interactions and document reviews
- Bringing on employees who speak other languages to act as liaisons
- Only doing business with companies that have English-speaking employees
These options aren’t particularly sustainable, especially when it comes to expansions into regions the company doesn’t yet have a foothold.
Making the case for language learning
There are a number of reasons why adults should invest in learning new languages, especially if their employer offers this opportunity. A University College of London study conducted by Cathy Price, a neuroimaging researcher, indicated that people who are bilingual have more gray matter in a portion of their brain that’s associated with vocabulary. As this part of the brain is used, cognitive function is enhanced, a factor that can help adults learn other skills and become more proficient on the job.
Language training also enables people to connect on a higher level that benefits their appreciation of diversity and collaboration in the business world. There are many studies that indicate diversity is highly beneficial for organizations. When companies have more socially-diverse groups of employees, customers, and vendors, they are more innovative than other organizations.
One study from a team of researchers at Kellogg School of Management showed that just the mere presence of multiple cultures within a company can give it an advantage. This includes people coming from other nations and speaking other languages who bring new ways of thinking to the organization that help with making more strategic decisions.
When employees immerse themselves in the full cultural perspective of a new language, it enhances the experience and facilitates the learning of the new language. These lasting skills can enable any business to move forward in confidence in any global interaction.
On-demand English language learning is here
This is where online learning offers significant advantages, and our Online English Language School is campaigning for a more joined-up approach to delivering and promoting English language training in the workplace.
We provide LIVE ONLINE English language tuition with fully qualified and experienced British native teachers, with a wide range of English courses suitable for individuals, groups and businesses. Our target audience includes migrant workers living in the UK, and also overseas learners.
We are the only Online English Language School in the UK with live online English courses, currently, to have achieved accreditation by the CPD Standards office.
Courses can be taken individually or in groups, and customised to learner’s availability, level of English, job role and industry, e.g. for Construction, Hospitality and Tourism, Accounting, Banking and Finance, IT, HR, Marketing, English for Restaurant and Bar stuff, Engineers, Sales and Purchasing, Legal English, Medical English, English for Carers etc
Our one-to-one online English classes have always been popular but a year ago we also launched online English tuition for groups, to make it available to a much wider audience. This is a highly cost effective way to deliver English language training without compromising on the quality. It enables learners to access a live online lesson with a British teacher from their own computer, as part of a privately organised group of four or more. This distance learning method offers greater flexibility for students, enabling them to fit learning into their lives and increasing motivation, completion and success.