Creating that team feeling through language training
What do you do if you want to take the language level of the entire company to a higher level because your customer base is internationalising more and more? Jürgen Schuijren of VEGA measurement and control technology knew what to do: reach out to the Nuns of Vught. All his employees came to the language institute in Vught for English language training. Their programmes consisted of a blend of private lessons and lessons with a team of colleagues, a combination that’s increasingly in demand at Regina Coeli.
Jürgen himself had been to Regina Coeli to check and brush up on his English when he made his first international business trip to the United States more than 20 years ago. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted his employees to experience the same thing. ‘I see it as a sort of reward to get to go to an institution like Regina Coeli for your work. Not only is it a unique experience, but it’s also useful to speak better English in your private life.’
In the meantime, of course, the office in Amersfoort had to keep running. ‘Regina Coeli came up with a concept plan that we fine-tuned. Groups of people could leave the organisation at a time to attend their language course. Individual levels and the learning objectives of different departments were taken into account when the groups were formed. That worked really well. What I like about the cooperation with Regina Coeli is that there’s a lot of flexibility. We identified the pros and cons of the various options together and were able to make the right choices in the end.
"Al snel gaat het over meer dan alleen taal"
Internally, we also talked about feeling safe and comfortable beforehand. If you’re in a group with the director, it may feel uncomfortable to make mistakes. We talked about this beforehand, and in the end, I was in a group with internal and external sales colleagues. By broaching the subject in advance, everyone felt comfortable being open to everyone’s stories and feedback. It soon became about more than just language.’
Angelique Ummels works in VEGA’s sales support department and took a three-day course with colleagues at Regina Coeli. ‘I really enjoyed alternating between the private lessons and the groups. You gain a lot of confidence from the language trainer in the one-on-one sessions. During the sessions with the team, you also learn from colleagues. When I heard someone say something beautiful in English, I resolved to use it myself. Learning together is really enjoyable.
Beforehand, I was rather reluctant to be in a group with colleagues from other departments. You have to open up and be vulnerable in English. That was what really surprised me! Everyone dared to falter in English. In a way, the foreign language made us even more open towards one another. Because we didn’t speak the language very well, we often had to resort to using simple alternatives. When you fall back on the simplicity of the language, you bring things across in a basic way, without frills, and quite directly. That was really funny but at the same time also very beautiful. It allowed us to quickly get down to the heart of the matter and to see sides of colleagues we hadn’t seen before. We also talked about very different things than we normally do. I went home with a more collegial feeling than I’d come with.’
Bond over the unique, shared experience
During a language course, you don’t get typical team-building assignments like constructing spaghetti towers or rafts. Nevertheless, the team-building side of things is clearly present. You communicate with each other about slightly less obvious things and bond over the unique, shared experience. ‘We hadn’t anticipated the team-building aspect of the programme. That was a surprising outcome of the training,’ says Jürgen. ‘I really liked that the groups were cross-functional. Not every position in our company requires the use of business English, but mixing everyone from assistants to salespeople added an extra dimension to everyone’s level.’
The ultimate goal—speaking better English—has also been attained. ‘The biggest step people made was gaining confidence in themselves. That worked out really well,’ says Jürgen.
A team training at Regina Coeli
Are you looking for language training for a number of employees? You can book team training at Regina Coeli for as few as two people! Your employees will take lessons together at our institute, following their tailor-made programme, which is always designed according to our unique teaching method. This gives them the focus and return on investment of a Regina Coeli language course, but at a better price and with the added value of team building.