At Red Angle, our goal is twofold:
Provide memorable language learning content without disrupting operations.
Encourage and motivate participants to believe in themselves.
With different Clients, those two goals are often reversed in priority.
The abject failure of high school/college language courses have left millions of former students believing they aren’t any good at Spanish.
Add in the disillusionment-in-a-box known as Rosetta Stone™ and now you have people who consider themselves repeat failures in language acquisition.
This is loco.
This is like believing you aren’t any good at golf when you were coached by an instructor who can’t break 100.
And you only play once a year.
Bad coaching + little practice = poor formula for learning anything.
Good coaching + practice = the potential to solve problems.
The focus is on problem solving.
Eliminating problems is the goal.
Language acquisition – especially micro-fluency like “Safety Spanish” or “Roofing Spanish” – is a means to end.
You’re learning language to solve some larger problem.
For example… you want fewer people to die on your site.
Or you want less rework while stationed on a pitched roof.
Eric Paley, a venture capital guy and contributor to Inc. Magazine, wrote a great piece in the June edition. He counseled entrepreneurs to fall in love with the problem they wish to solve, not their actual business idea.
“I encourage entrepreneurs to focus more on falling in love with the problems they want to solve rather than their initial ideas. As founders dig deeply into that original hypothesis, they will learn, adapt, hit walls, adapt again, and build critical expertise that they never considered when starting out.”
It’s about iterations.
Staying focused on the problem you are solving – and the people you will help by solving it (ie, customers) – allows you to consider different angles, consider new insights, absorb new information.
Same applies to language.
Language is all about practice.
If you want to be micro-fluent in Safety Spanish, your end goal isn’t really Spanish.
Your end goal is improved safety.
It’s fewer deaths.
It’s fewer injuries.
It’s fewer near-misses.
The end goal of Safety Spanish is improved safety among Spanish-speakers, who happen to be nearly 2x as likely to be injured or killed on the job.
When you consider it that way, Safety Spanish isn’t some unreachable goal.
There should be no fear of failing at language.
Instead of potential failure, it’s a mere 200 words to learn, practice, and apply… learn, practice, and apply… wash, rinse, repeat.
Stay focused on the problem you wish to solve.
Language skills are a means to an end.
Safety Spanish becomes one way to learn, adapt and build critical expertise.
Sí… you can do that.
Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry.
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Categories: Construction Spanish