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All of us in our working lives increasingly need to work with people from other cultures or those whose native language is foreign, or we may have to go to another country and work as a foreigner ourselves. This free course, Languages at work, is about how to understand differences in culture and how to make the most of existing language skills. It is aimed at all adult learners, whether in FE or in the workplace. The sections are independent, and can be studied in any order and any combination. They are linked to NVQ assessments at Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2.
Once you have completed this unit you should be able to:
- Learning outcomes
- describe the status in the world of the English language, compared to other widely spoken languages
- identify the reasons why people should study another language
- make best use of existing language skills, no matter how basic, in a practical situation
- present language skills in a written CV
- give examples of critical differences between cultures across the world, including eating habits, etiquette and politeness, and daily routines and working patterns.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Languages at Work
In this course, you will learn how to understand differences in culture and how to make the most of your existing language skills. This will be helpful to you whenever you work with someone whose native language is foreign, or when you go to another country and work as a foreigner yourself. You do not need any knowledge of foreign languages in order to begin.
There are eight sections. You can choose which ones you want to study and you can work through them in any order.
Section 1: Languages in the world – an exploration of the status in the world of the English language and other widely-spoken languages.
Section 2: Why study languages? – reviews the advantages of studying languages and refutes some common preconceptions (such as that everyone speaks English anyway).
Section 3: Foreign communication – an exercise in understanding and communicating, without needing to be fluent.
Section 4: Selling your language skills – how to present your language skills in a CV and at a job interview.
Section 5: World tour – an exploration of the diversity of cultures across the world.
Section 6: Let's eat! – some examples of what people eat in different countries, starting with Britain.
Section 7: Etiquette, please – how to be polite when meeting and greeting.
Section 8: 24! – daily routines and working lives across the world.
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Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 1st July 2011
Last updated on: Thursday, 6th September 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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