At least 20% of people on our planet speak English. Convert this percentage to the number and you will get astonishing 1.5 billion individuals speaking the same language. Not all of them are native speakers. English is a second language for hundreds of millions and most of Sprinterra employees belong to this category. But we are making every effort to make sure our personnel speak the same language as our clients do, thus Sprinterra launched mandatory English classes for all employees and hired highly experienced native-speaker teachers.

Never-ending transformation and alteration are natural for modern languages. It is essential to maintain the relevance of knowledge. Hence, the question – how to motivate our personnel not to just accomplish a certain level of fluency suffice for a set of functions but to reach the highest peak in the learning process and how to do it with as much result?

Doubtlessly English as a tool is a motivator itself. Strong English language skills will impact your personal and professional growth, boost your future career opportunities and enhance your academic studies. The majority of international organisations including those who do not use English as an official language find it as an asset to have personnel who is competent in English. Over 50% of the pages on the Internet are written in English which means that more online information is accessible, and which makes a real difference to your professional life, even if you don’t work with English-speaking colleagues or customers. If you speak English with confidence, there is a great likelihood you either studied or experienced English culture to some extent. This cultural understanding can be valuable for employers who want to collaborate with or sell to English speaking countries.

Despite the obvious facts suggesting that English has become the lingua franca of modern life and business environment, being the business language of the world as well as the primary cultural language of the planet, allowing us not only to enjoy entertainment in it but to study and to access the world renowned technical, medical and science resources, there is still the question why we invest our efforts and time into this specific language acquisition. Perhaps, it is inevitable and essential for a successful career and personal growth to be absolutely fluent in the language being spoken by more than a quarter of the planet’s population. The time when to know English is as natural and critical as to use a mobile phone or a personal computer has come. However, it does not mean that the motivation coming from the instrumental approach is the remedy for the most successful second-language acquisition.

Instrumental motivation is engendered and sustained by extrinsic forces such as getting a promotion enhancement or passing examinations while the integrative type is generated intrinsically by positive perceptions of the target-language culture and its people. According to Gardner R.C., the author of “Attitudes and Motivation”, integrative motivation provides the strongest, deepest, and most lasting drive to learn the target-language. Hence, the most important thing to note about learners motivated by instrumental ends is that they may take a dangerously short-term view of learning, resulting in fossilisation of key aspects of the target-language system and their communicative use.

People acquire as much of a language as they really need for what they really want, but only that much – Stevick E.W. Teaching and Learning Languages, Cambridge University

It is possible to take the learner from limited perceived language needs to a positive desire to learn about the culture, and by doing so, foster persistent progress and nearing the learners’ level to the one of native speakers. 

By learning the language with a native-speaker whose approach is well-balanced and involves in-depth cultural integration as well as a response to the instrumental motivation and whose academic background permits him or her to explain certain functions of the language and work methodically and, most importantly, consistently on practising them allows to achieve the best result.

Kateryna Taylor
November 2019

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