It is clear that the market for language learning is changing in that students now require tangible results in a much shorter space of time than before.
Due to globalization, especially when it comes to the world of business, it is imperative that we communicate in English effectively. It is no longer just about learning the language to use from time to time, but often need to talk in English with colleagues, suppliers, or even with our boss. English learners need to communicate better and more effectively in a matter of weeks, not months or years as was the norm until recently.
The needs of the students learning English today are no longer simply linguistic and go far beyond learning grammar, vocabulary and improving pronunciation. Now certain skills are needed such as being able to participate or even chair a meeting, to negotiate effectively or to conduct a telephone call or video conference with confidence. In NELC we are aware of this requirement and thus provide our students with the tools that allow them to feel secure when facing such situations.
A very clear example of this in terms of language employed in these skills is how we show our disagreement in a meeting. While in Spain saying “I do not agree ‘does not have a negative impact, its English equivalent can do great damage in an English-speaking environment. Saying ‘I disagree’ or ‘I do not agree’ closes the channels of communication even when the speaker does not intend it to have that effect. So instead of unconstructive phrases like “No, I don’t agree”, we encourage expressions like “I see your point, but … ‘or’ I see what you’re getting at but … which tell the interlocutor while we may not agree with what he said , we are still interested in continuing to negotiate and reach an agreement. In NELC we are pioneers of this modular approach in which skills and language are combined to enhance the performance of people’s English in their daily life and professionals´ in the world of business.
We will continue to analyze trends in learning more, but if you can’t wait until then, do not miss the very entertaining interview that was broadcast on English Radio Barcelona with John Power and Cristina Pascual, two of our partners, a few days ago.