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Boosting global collaboration through English lessons

The fastest and easiest way to communicate on a global level is using English. With this in mind, SHV Energy runs English classes within our business units, enabling us to leverage the collaboration advantages of working in a global company. Yaprak Orkide Cancan, HR Specialist at our Turkish business unit Ipragaz, explains how Ipragaz designed and ran these courses.

“While designing our English lessons, we applied a methodology based around ‘learning by living and experiencing’. Participants’ assignments included doing homework, watching videos and speaking only in English throughout the course. They also took specialist modules for Business English.

"We applied a methodology based around ‘learning by living and experiencing’. As a result, we improved our communication and language skills"

As a result of these lessons, participants not only improved their language skills but also our communication skills. For example, we began to interview candidates in English during job interviews. In addition, we also began chatting more confidently with our foreign colleagues during the day.”

Refining our approach

“As we all know, the human brain learns through repetition. Unless you repeat the information you learn within 24 hours, you forget 50% of it. If you don’t repeat it within a week, you might even forget it all! As such, our English learning methods don’t only facilitate the learning of a foreign language, but also improve our knowledge acquisition skills in general.

One of the most important things we considered while planning the training sessions was how to address the different needs and skill levels of the employees participating. By doing so, we managed to make progress on a personal level very quickly.”

Taking training one step further

“In addition to these classes, we started English speaking clubs within Ipragaz. We have beginner and intermediate groups that each meet twice per week. Our aim is to socialise and practice speaking English informally together as a team. One of our goals for 2020 is to continue speaking English throughout our own internal training sessions.

In the upcoming period, we hope to organise an English-speaking weekend activity with the support of our teacher, available to anyone who wants to join. There will be games, chats, movies, meditation and other practices throughout the day, all in English. And speaking Turkish obviously will be forbidden...

According to the latest research, learning any foreign language improves brain development at the highest level. For this reason, we think that every company should provide their employees with language training, because participants are not only learning languages, but also developing their brains. And this is incredibly precious, even priceless. As one of our mottos in our English classes says, “Together we stand, divided we fall!”