You learn about the culture alongside the language

door Regina Coeli

Even if you speak a language completely correctly when it comes to grammar, the approach you take can often be vastly different to what you might do in your mother tongue. This has everything to do with cultural differences.

Consider, for example, the Dutch, who are very direct and exchange few pleasantries. Or Germans, who would likely prefer a detailed explanation of a product’s ins and outs and warranty conditions to an enthusiastic sales pitch.

Language and culture are so closely intertwined that during language courses at Regina Coeli, we also teach you a great deal about the culture associated with that language. The trainers—who are all native speakers—pass it on to you almost imperceptibly.

Here are a few examples of how, as a learner, you absorb aspects of the culture during a language course.

‘We would say that a bit differently’

During your individual lessons, the focus is on you speaking. Your trainer will always give you feedback on how you’re using the language. You might hear things like ‘That’s not quite how we would say it’, or ‘That’s a bit too direct’. Of course, you also get to hear how you can say it better and why.

How do you persuade others in a different culture?

If you’re working on a presentation or sales pitch, your trainer will tell you how best to build it. Germans generally like to hear facts and evidence of why the quality is high, while a French business partner usually needs a thorough analysis more than a pragmatic solution. Our language trainers know what works and what doesn’t.

Table manners

During the ‘language tables’ (lunches or dinners during which you speak the target language), a language trainer shares with you insights into customs and appropriate conversation topics at the table. For example, in many countries it’s not fitting to discuss politics, your work or your children, while football, art and food/drink are generally well received.

To help you gain a better feel for the language and culture, you always have lessons from at least two trainers at Regina Coeli. Not only are you then exposed to two accents, but also to two different perspectives on the culture with which you want to be successful.

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