Now the British and Americans want to learn how to communicate with non native speakers



Last month we delivered a training program for a British company whose  employees wanted to improve their communication when working and communicating in English with Indian professionals of an IT Services Consultancy in Bangalore, India.

Why? Well only 15-17% of the world´s population who use English for business are native speakers. While the average english level of the 83-85% of non native speakers is upper-intermediate. This gap naturally causes communication problems and when added to cultural differences, even more.

What were their problems?

  • How to check understanding and how to clarify key points
  • Cultural issues to keep in mind when writing emails
  • Cultural issues to keep in mind when telephoning
  • How to run effective international meetings (conference calls and web based meetings).
  • How to ensure the message is received
  • How to write in simple and clear English.
  • How to prepare sales documents that are clear for all nationalities
  • How to deal with people whose English you can’t understand.
  • How to be polite when communicating by telephone
  • How to simplify technical language
  • Teleconference techniques to ensure understanding
  • Understanding which communication styles are preferred by different nationalities
  • Email styles
  • How to socialise with people from different cultures
  • How to do networking at international events


We designed a customised program that focused on 5 key business skills which also included language points and intercultural skills for these 5 business skills; telephone, meeting, presentation , negotiation and email business skills.

Other useful points for the native speaker from the training program were:

  • Empathise: Try to imagine how hard it is to learn and work in another language.
  • Communication styles: How does your style differ from other people and between different countries/cultures
  • Idioms: Explain them
  • Avoid jokes
  • Initials and Acronyms: always explain or spell them the first two or threes times and check they understand
  • Open your mouth: project your voice and don´t swallow words
  • CSC: keep spoken  and written explanations CSC (clear, simple and concise)
  • Noise: reduce background if you need to make a telephone call or teleconference. For e.g go into a quiet room.
  • Last option: if you don´t understand ask them to send you an email


Read more about our training programs Intercultural Skills for Business.

The Practice Office Group


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