Thursday, May 26, 2011

Motivating Factors & Solutions for Learning a New Language

At inlingua, we meet people everyday who have a very specific need for learning a new language.  Today we will take a closer look at some of the factors that motivate Chicagoans to learn new languages and the approaches that they take. 

Many students who participate in language classes have a short term goal in mind.  Below are some examples of short term language learners.

  • Vacation/ Travel - Whether its' a spring break trip to Mexico or a family vacation to Europe, it's much more fun to order your dinner and ask for directions in the native tongue!  Many students participate in our 4 week Language for Travelers program which provides an introduction to some survival language skills prior to traveling.  For travelers with a bit more time prior to departure, an 8 week option is also available.
  • Test preparation/ Supplemental tutoring - High school and college students work with inlingua language trainers prior to an upcoming test to help improve their scores.  Other students require TOEFL preparation or assistance with country specific examinations for college admission requirements or immigration purposes.
  • Preparation for Relocation - Many professionals in Chicago find that they are given a short turn-around time prior to an international move.  Our center starts them towards accomplishing their goals. A number of program solutions are available for this category.  Choose from intensive training or create a flexible schedule.  Many relocating professionals continue with further training at another inlingua center in their destination after completing the move.
Now let's examine some of the reasons that motivate our long-term language learners.
  • Professional Advancement - A rising number of professionals in Chicago have identified a need for adding language skills to their resume to give them a competitve edge in the workforce.   Spanish, Chinese and Japanese are among the most popular classes to take for this category.  Many of these students are taking classes with specialized vocababulary that is relevant for their professional field. 
  • Business Travel/ Interaction - Many professionals in Chicago work for organizations with an international reach.  To improve their relationships with their counterparts and customers outside of the United States, many companies are investing training dollars to give employees valuable communication skills.  Many corporations, non-profits and government entities coordinate with inlingua to offer programs that take place at the workplace so that employees have a minimal interruption to their work day.  In Chicago, we have seen a high demand in this category for Spanish classes, Chinese classes, Japanese classes and Portuguese classes.
  • Family and Heritage Learners - A large percentage of our students have been motivated to take a language class because they want to share in the linguistic and cultural heritage of a loved one.  We also have cases where a learner has grown up speaking another language in their household but has never studied the language formally. Many of the people in this category wish to formalize their language skills, expand their vocabulary and/or improve their communication skills for a specific vocational need.  
This, of course, is merely a partial list of motivating factors.  Whatever the reason, inlingua has proven programs to meet the needs of language learners today.  Feeling motivated to start learning a new language?  Email us for more information at: