At this point in typical business culture, most employees have been through the experience of team building activities. It might have been an obstacle course outing, playing Jenga, dropping an egg from a 4-story building, or organizing a picnic or a 3-legged relay race. The jury is out: team building group activities have been shown to foster creativity, motivation, better communication and trust among members. In today’s market, it’s important to maintain a competitive edge, and having a team that works well together gives your company the advantage of higher-level problem solving abilities. This is one reason CORE Languages offers on-site class language classes for employees at your business. Learning another tongue builds skills in communication and cultural sensitivity, but group classes are also a fantastic form of team building and bonding. Think about it: a language classroom is an environment in which employees learn together, find new ways to communicate with each other, compete, and acquire skills applicable in the global marketplace, all at the same time. Here’s a brief sneak peak into a CORE classroom:
- Warm-up: A CORE Language teacher will begin a lesson with an ice-breaker to get the creative juices flowing and bring people’s minds into the classroom. This could be an informal game of trying to remember previous vocabulary, sharing something about your day with the class in your target language, or listening to and discussing a song that comes from a country where the language is spoken.
- Review: Next, the class will spend some time using the structures and concepts they have already learned through practice speaking with different partners, in an activity led by the instructor. Language learning is a cumulative process. Making sure that everyone is clear on previous topics will make the acquisition of new material much easier. Teachers often encourage a variety of speaking partners (often switching multiple times within a few minutes) to enable more socialization and to keep students on their toes.
- Studying new topics: A new vocabulary topic will be introduced along with the building of grammar concepts. Lessons will often center around a theme like family, a particular holiday, different ways to get around, or a particular favorite: different kinds of food. This doesn’t necessarily mean a break, however: practicing pronunciation with one-on-one feedback and questions and answers with peers is an essential part of the lesson.
- Using new concepts: To solidify what has been taught in the previous 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the length of the class), students often play competitive games to remember vocabulary in randomly-assigned teams. Competition accelerates the learning process, and only being able to use the foreign language forces students to be resourceful with the skills they have acquired thus far.
- Looking to the future: understanding why they need to know about the topic of the day is a good way to help employees see how they can use what they’ve already learned in day-to-day life. Informal, low-pressure assessments and comprehension checks are also often given at the end of a lesson to make sure everyone is on the same page. Finally, a task is often given to the language learners to use a particular piece of the lesson in their interactions with classmates in before the next class.
Globalization is bringing the world closer together. Investing in team building activities through on-site language classes is one of the best things you can do to enhance the strength of your employees’ communication and motivation. When your employees are savvy enough to be able speak another language, their competitive edge is strengthened in a way many corporations still lack. The combination of a team’s strength with its abilities to connect globally will give your company the extra push you’re looking for. The sense of accomplishment and empowerment that comes from learning a new skill will also be an asset evident in the firm’s day-to-day operations, and that’s all not to mention the research which has found that learning a second language enhances memory, the ability to multi-task, as well as decision-making abilities. It goes without saying that language classes are a fantastic way to invest in the future of your employees professionally and personally.
Like what you see and want to learn more? CORE Languages is your resource for Language services across the country. We pride ourselves on hiring high-quality teachers in group and one-on-one settings, taking care of all your business’ linguistic and cross-cultural needs. Reach out to us today to learn more about what CORE Languages can do for you.