Spanish at Work: The New Niche

By | 2015-03-17T13:18:32+00:00 July 7th, 2011|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: , |Comments Off on Spanish at Work: The New Niche

A direct outgrowth of diversity training in the workplace – the desire to learn Spanish for work – is slowly finding its way into the corporate psyche. The benefits of workplace Spanish seem to be well worth the effort, since efficient communication on the job is critical when there exists a large number of Spanish-speaking employees who have difficulty communicating in English.

Of course, workplace English classes help bridge the communication gap tremendously too, and many companies are choosing to incorporate English language instruction on the job. However, far less examination of language training has been placed at the other end of the communication spectrum, i.e., learning Spanish to communicate back!

The benefits are wonderfully surprising

What a sense of camaraderie is fostered when employees learning Spanish finally realize how difficult it must be for their fellow English learners! Employees are suddenly less frustrated by the extra time it takes a company employee to explain something. In addition, employees learning Spanish begin to develop a new sense of excitement and curiosity towards their Spanish-speaking co-workers. No longer is there that same sense of fear or disengagement when communicating with employees who don’t speak English very well.

For company employees learning Spanish, a heightened affinity for understanding another’s culture also begins to emerge. In fact, a whole new feeling of confidence, teamwork and trust begins to develop among workers – a great asset for any company looking to increase work quality and worker productivity. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

So what’s the best way to start conducting Spanish classes at your workplace?

First, get an interested group of employees together. Set up a time – twice a week is recommended; lunchtime seems extremely conducive to avoid interfering with everyone’s work schedule. Find an instructor or staff trainer to lead the class. Lastly, use a Spanish textbook written specifically for the workplace – preferably not one that asks you to memorize sentences in hopes that those will be the exact sentences you need. Instead, find a textbook that approaches learning from a second/foreign language point of view; one that allows you to create your own sentences based on helpful vocabulary and minimal grammar hints.

Discover the joy of learning another language and one that will be useful at
work!

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About the Author:

Michelle Buehring is the author of Work into Spanish, a textbook to learn Spanish written specifically for the workplace. An ESL teacher of more than 30 years, Michelle has authored three textbooks; Work into Spanish is her most recent. Visit www.workintospanish.com for a "peek inside" Work into Spanish.