Often, we tend to believe that language learning is reserved for children and school years and that this requires too much time, so much in fact that adults don’t think they can or should continue learning languages. However, the reality is quite different. When learning a new language, you will usually work on four skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Here is how these four skills can have a positive impact on your work.
Developing your reading and listening skills helps you improve your analytical skills. Every time you read a text or listen to a recording in order to answer some questions, you are in fact scanning a document for information. This means that you need to analyze all the information and select only those that are important for the task at hand. This skill can be of great use at work. No matter the profession, you will sometimes need to analyze documents, information or situations and extract relevant facts from this corpus. Therefore, it is no coincidence that those who are learning a foreign language tend to excel at this sort of tasks and stand out from their colleagues who are not working on these skills.
Speaking practice help you organize and express your thoughts in a more coherent way. The second skill that can be handy for your career and not only for a language class is speaking. When you practice speaking in a foreign language, you will often adopt a certain pattern or style of organizing your ideas. When you address a certain topic, your teacher will advise you to follow a pattern and talk about it in a coherent way. Developing this skill will help you reflect on your thought process and adopt an organized way of expressing yourself. Coherence is highly appreciated in the workplace, especially when you need to pitch a project, make new business connections or apply for a new position.
Writing is not only useful for language learning, but also for professional correspondence. The most obvious skill that can be practical for your career is writing. While working on your writing, you will learn proper expressions you can use in a formal letter. Moreover, when learning how to write essays, you may come across useful tips that can be applied to writing a blog post or a text for your company’s website for example. This knowledge will make you feel more confident in situations where you need to send emails and letters to your business associates or if you need to help with your company’s social media or website.
Language learning build strong bonds between colleagues. Language classes can create a special bond between coworkers. If a company offers language classes for their employees, it can benefit in at least three ways. Firstly, employees will work on their language skills, which is beneficial if the company has International partners. Secondly, language learning helps each individual (re)discover their identity and personality traits that may not be obvious in usual everyday situations. Lastly, language classes can be a great bonding experience because students can not only learn a language, but also learn new things about each other and establish a closer relationship.
When we consider all the ways that developing language skills improves one’s general capacities and productivity, it is clear that language classes can be an interesting way for employers to help their employees make improvements at work, but also progress on a personal and interpersonal level. So, if you are not sure of whether you should introduce this in your company, think no further, now’s the time!