by Paul Smithson on May 22, 2012

posted on boyce recruitment updates,

Language expert urges companies to offer language support

Companies should support their employees’ efforts to improve their language skills in order to develop the organisation’s communications, it has been claimed.

Simon Wright, marketing manager for Strategy Unit at the University of Cambridge ESOL, wrote on hrmagazine.co.uk that this approach will expand the skills a firm can call upon, as those people in bilingual jobs will be able to speak with a greater number of individuals in a business environment.

In his opinion, English speakers should be encouraged to learn a foreign language, while those who speak English as a foreign language should be subjected to benchmarking tests and ongoing training to ensure standards are maintained.

Mr Wright said: “Languages strategies implemented in the workplace also need to recognise the critical role multilingualism plays in today’s globalised business world. The UK attracts people from all over the world who can often speak one or more languages in addition to English.”

The importance of learning a second language appears to have been recognised by the Scottish government, which commissioned a study that suggests children should begin such studies when they first start school.

According to bbc.co.uk, minister for learning Alasdair Allan highlighted the way the world is changing and suggested the government has a duty to prepare young people for the multi-lingual world around them.