¡Hola a todos! – Hi, everyone!

This post was originally published in 2011. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

by Diana Thiel (guest post), 
Diana Thiel

Diana Thiel

A foreign language is a skill that is always valuable in one’s career, such as when talking on the phone with colleagues abroad. To make sure everything goes smoothly, SMA offers a wide range of language courses.

SMA offers a broad spectrum of language levels, ranging from beginner to business fluency to near native. Each of the levels are very important for determining which course is the best fit based on the participant’s prior knowledge and to determine whether one’s own language skills could be improved. Just like in school, you must first take a placement test to determine the right course for you, but the assessment is exceptionally helpful: it ensures that you’ll end up in just the right course! That, for example, helps prevent boredom or ensures you’re not uncomfortable talking in front of classmates whose skills may exceed your own.

I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, so I enrolled in a one-year beginning Spanish course at SMA in my free time. It was great to be able to learn small talk in Spanish after work. Spain, here I come! 🙂

English also offered

During my working hours, I also take part in an English course once a week. I decided to take the course to ensure my workplace fluency and so that I’m up to any future language-related challenges – an important factor considering SMA is an international company that will continue to grow.
Our language instructor, Justin M. Harrel, is from Virgina. He’s a cool guy who has laid-back yet exceptionally competent English teaching methods. I am enthusiastic about the course; he even makes learning easy! We are given homework assignments, work on grammar, and spend lots of time discussing individual topics tailored to the needs of each course participant. What does that mean? Well, one employee in our course needs a lot of technical vocabulary for his job, another has to write letters in her professional role, and yet another individual regularly conducts telephone conferences with our colleagues in America and therefore needs practical speaking experience.
How wonderful that we get the opportunity to further our personal development!