Blog | Career Advancement | Centre For Excellence

Language for Work: An Online Course

  • Language for Work

The following blog post was written by Glen Cochrane, a faculty member at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement.

This fall the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement is excited to offer Language for Work, a fully online workplace communication course. The course is targeted at newcomers to Canada who are either in the workplace or looking for work.

The aim of Language for Work is to help newcomers develop intercultural communicative competence (ICC) and to better understand how culture and language affect communication in the Canadian workplace.

This online course is eight weeks long with approximately five to six hours of expected workload per week - not a small commitment for working adult learners. It is a facilitated course and highly supported to ensure that learners are comfortable learning online and experience as few barriers to learning as possible.

The goals of Language for Work originate from an identified gap that newcomers to Canada face in adjusting to the Canadian workplace. Unlike language experience and community involvement, workplace experience is more difficult to gain and comes with nuances that are not always apparent to those who are unfamiliar with them.

The Language for Work courses focuses specifically on the topics of:

  • Introducing Culture
  • Clarifying and Confirming Information
  • Understanding Politeness  
  • Negotiating Conflict

"Participation in this course empowers me to be more confident and ready for my future learning and work."

The content from Language for Work is based on an applied research project conducted by the Centre's Innovation and Research team. In 2015, the Centre piloted Language for Work as a fully online course. Course participants expressed that what they learned could be applied directly in their own contexts:

  • “I am so happy that I am part of Language for Work because I already know how to react in my current and future workplace situations…it really works.”
  • “I learned systematically the skills of how to communicate with people in the Canadian workplace. The more I learn from the course, the more I am aware of using those strategies to deal with interpersonal relationships in the Canadian workplace in the future. This course will help not only in my career, but daily life as well.”
  • “Participation in this course empowers me to be more confident and ready for my future learning and work.”

Language for Work starts on September 26 and runs until November 18th.

For more information and to register, visit Bow Valley College's Continuing Education website: