Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Leaders run into obstacles every day and still we forge ahead. A clear, concise, and succinct definition of what restrains us makes us strategise, plan, implement, and overcome that challenge. Barriers run a spectrum in size, importance, and consequence. The ability to communicate the task proficiently enhances the ability to manage seamless changes or adjustments.
Eloquently communicating in a second language is an obstacle for professionals and executives working within industries with international footprints. Preparing for a presentation, a meeting or a simple phone conversation in a second language can be distracting, frightening, or at worst paralyzing, limiting the availability of certain markets to advance towards our business goals. The self-doubt, insecurities, and uncertainties we experience when negotiating in any language other than our first language are real tests and not to be ignored. Labelling the actual deficits and addressing them with information, instruction, and guided focused practice will disrupt the usual cycle of arriving at the moment where those skills are necessary only to find that the deficit gets in the way, again or as expected.
Using programs that begin with material that you already know is demotivating and can derail the initial motivation to improve your skills. It is also wasteful of limited resources, i.e., time and money. Better off are the executives and professionals who take the time to find programs that design curricula on an individual basis that reflect relevance to the learner and address specific issues as they arise. Using the learner’s goals as the overall metric of success, the work to be done in the four pillars of language study – reading, writing, listening, and speaking – can be addressed within the constraints of the immediate application of the skills being presented. Using mission and vision statements as tools for reading and writing, short presentations based on podcasts for speaking and listening, with relevance to the interests and daily routines of the learner are signs that the instructor is utilizing creative methods to address that learner’s skill gaps.
Any second langue speaker needs to find a training service and instructor to match their language needs. Holistic approaches are uncommon but can improve outcomes and help the learner with greater precision, omitting mastered skills and focusing attention on the gaps and needs of the individual learner.