English as a Second Language: A Workplace Communications Primer

“A different language is a different vision of life,” said the Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. Employees who use English as a second language demonstrate great commitment and skill in learning a language other than their native tongue. There are subtle differences between languages because of social influences and workplace demands that can create or strengthen the language barrier for employees who have learned a language other than English in their formative years. That barrier is an obstacle for both employer and employee, severing what could be productive relationships with co-workers and clients.

This course will identify any gaps in communication as the result of cultural language differences, and provide exercises to help connect those gaps. This course is written for employees with intermediate competency in English as their second language. Exercises will explore the four main categories of communication: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

Learning Objectives

After you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Acknowledge existing skills in the areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing
  • Recognize gaps in skills compared to workplace communication needs
  • Understand cultural and workplace influences on communication and how to function within them
  • Learn and practise effective skills for oral and written communication, including technical forms such as email and videoconferencing
  • Develop an individual Action Plan for continued skill reinforcement and growth

Session 1: Course Overview

  • Learning Objectives
  • Pre-Assignment
  • Pre-Course Assessment

Session 2: Self Awareness – Skills of Self and Others

  • Skills, Influences and Environment

Session 3: Words and Positive Workplace Culture

  • Language in the Workplace
  • The Tone of the Message
  • Reflective Journal

Session 4: Productive Conversations

  • Productive Conversations
  • Defining Emotional Intelligence
  • Productive Word Choices

Session 5: Telephone/Videoconferencing Review

  • Telephone/Videoconferencing
  • Telephone
  • Videoconferencing

Session 6: Wordsmith’s Toolbox

  • Bones of Good Writing
  • Parts of Speech
  • From Words to Sentences
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar Guidelines

Session 7: Putting Words to Work

  • Good Communications
  • Ingredients of an Effective Email
  • Ingredients of a Good Proposal
  • Selling your Brand and Ideas

Session 8: Individual Action Planning

  • Setting your Intention
  • Building Your Plan
  • Building Your Team
  • Decision Wheel Method

A Personal Action Plan

  • Starting Point
  • Where I Want to Go
  • How I Will Get There

Course Summary

Recommended Reading List

Post-Course Assessment


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