If you’ve always wanted to work overseas and find that dream job that ticks all your boxes, what will give you the edge over other applicants? The ability to speak the language of the company and the country in which it is located.
So, you can:
- Write your job application in their language, which will immediately give you extra brownie points
- Be able to speak with the interviewer in their language – and get your points across effectively (the equivalent to dressing to impress)
- Hit to the ground running in your new role
- Better understand the company’s objectives and how your role will play its part
- Better understand the company’s expectations of you
- Communicate effectively with your colleagues and your company’s clients or customers
- Take part in meetings and get your point of view across
- Apply for that early promotion!
According to language experts, you can learn basic communication skills in weeks and get to grips with the basics of a foreign language in a few months. It will take much more than that to become fluent, especially if your new role is particularly technical or has other demands and cultural nuances like working in an embassy, but you’ll certainly be on your way if you don’t give up and keep working at it.
Phrasebooks and online tutorials can prove useful at the beginning, as they can give you the vocabulary and confidence to have basic conversations with native speakers, the crucial first step in learning a language. At The Language Guru, all our teachers are native or bilingual speakers and are used to making our students feel at home from the very first lesson.
“Of course, you’ll make mistakes at first,” says Carole Jacquet, owner of The Language Guru. Carole is French and speaks fluent Spanish and English. “Your confidence will grow, and you have to take the plunge and do as much speaking as possible, either in class or as part of 1-2-1 tuition. One of the tricks to fast learning is to immerse yourself in the language and read, listen to the radio, podcasts, watch videos, and talk in the language as much as possible. Even if that means translating everything you put in your shopping trolley at the supermarket in your head or going to a restaurant and speaking with the staff in the language!”
You’ll need to check on your pronunciation but once you get that job of your dreams, you can ask your colleagues to help you. Use the language first and focus on the grammar later. Watching foreign movies can be invaluable, especially if they have sub-titles, although these are often edited. You’ll get to the stage when you’re able to spot when this happens.
Read foreign newspapers too and use Google Translate or other software to help with difficult phrases or words in between your lessons.
7 top tips to learn a new language:
- Be confident and speak the language whenever you can
- Read children’s books and comics in the language
- Consume foreign language media
- Learn as much as possible about the culture
- Make use of free foreign language podcasts and apps
- Don’t practice in isolation; get feedback from native speakers
- Don’t worry about making mistakes, we all do!
To find out more about The Language Guru language courses in French, Spanish, Italian, German and English, call 01273 222900 or see the relevant pages on our website.