08 Feb 10 Reasons to Start Language Learning as a Team
Learning a new language is a unique and exciting experience, one that teaches the individual more about the people from other cultures as they build stronger relationships with them. While learning a foreign language can be quite a challenge, working as a team to achieve a shared goal can help each individual learn more and perform better. Here are 10 reasons to begin the language learning journey together, as a team.
1) Build Group Cohesiveness
Nothing brings a team together better than mastering a newly found skill as a group! The benefits are endless, including the chance to interact and establish new peer relationships with their ‘language learning buddies’. Build in some ‘social learning’ with language learning groups and you have a learning journey that will go far beyond the classroom. Encourage your team to practice together outside of their classroom, email in their target language and set coffee breaks where only their new language can be spoken! You’ll be amazed at the collective enthusiasm of the team to do better together.
2) Improve Communication
The obvious one! Effective communication is essential between individuals, diverse teams or international offices. What better way that to inspire individuals to try out their newly developed skills than with an international colleague? Communicating with the local language of global teams has endless benefits that can improve internal customer service, enhance the bottom line and provide return-on-investment.
3) Understand Cultures
Learning a language naturally develops cultural understanding. Multi-cultural teams can use their team building language programs to feel empowered to express their beliefs in a safe and understanding environment. Cultural barriers can be broken down by sharing their knowledge of localized business practices and traditions.
4) Increase Confidence
Regardless of an individual’s native tongue, learning a foreign language as a team places everyone on a level playing field. Non-native speakers will feel supported, and all levels of the organizational hierarchy can participate and learn at a consistent pace. The feeling of empowerment will inevitably have a positive impact on self-esteem.
5) Gain Respect
International teams will gain renewed respect of their colleagues when communication happens in the company language, or their native tongue. It promotes empathy, and ensures intercultural competence that will provide individuals a broader view on global perspectives.
6) Instill Trust
Understanding language and culture will help establish ethical teams. Throughout the learning journey, team members will learn to be patient with one another and understand common cultural behaviors that ordinarily can be catalysts to eroding trust. New relationships are built, and trust is established from a newly established communication platform.
7) Develop Rapport
Rapport is described as ‘a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well’. Communication leads to understanding; what better reason to support team building than to embark on a language learning journey together!
8) Improve Decision Making Skills
A well-known study by the University of Chicago found that when people speak in a language other than their native tongue, it assists to eliminate their tendency towards loss aversion. Teams are better skilled to be able to navigate the ‘here and now’ to make choices that could support better outcomes.
9) Have Fun
It has to be added in! All team building should be fun! The added advantage of learning a language with your colleagues is the acquisition of sharing in a lifelong learning adventure that enables individuals to develop a skill that will enhance personal and professional relationships.
10) Motivating Results
The results will be countless, and inspiring. Should your company elect to measure the effectiveness of your newly inspired Language Learning Team Building Program, simply measure organizational change based on the above benefits…the results will ‘speak’ for themselves.
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