Posted by: sbilingual | November 6, 2009

November 2009 Newsletter

  Newsletter | November 2009
In This Issue

Language Services

10 Tips to Overcoming
Language Barriers in the

Upcoming Events


Follow Us




Recent Workshops

Bilingual Resources Group in partnership with Associated Builders & Contractors Association / Bayou Chapter held a Construction Spanish class at Insulations Technology.
Check the schedule for next year classes in partnership with ABC Contractors Assocation.

Some topics that the students learned:

Spanish and Phonetic pronunciation, greeting employees & asking basic questions, basic hiring questions, job orders, commands, instructions, supervisory expressions to communicate safety rules to Spanish speakers and much much more.

Interested in a Workshop at your organization?

Contact Us to discuss the details.

Current Workshops

Bilingual Resources Group is holding a class at Children’s Medical Clinic in healthcare Spanish. This course is teaching their healthcare professionals how to communicate in Spanish with Hispanic patients. This course is designed to help students and practicing professionals develop their oral communication skills.

Basic phrases and relevant healthcare vocabulary is taught, with an emphasis on the construction of yes/no questions.  The course focuses on highly applicable and relevant material.  Lots of role-playing geared towards the practice of Spanish in real-life scenarios.  Furthermore, each student gets a CD that can be used for at-home practice, accompanies the text to help improve one’s listening comprehension skills.  

To find out more about this class and if we can be helpful to you in your workplace Contact Us.

Contact Us

To find out of you qualify to be 100% reimbursed for our courses, Contact Us.

Free Assessment

Click here for a free assessment where you can learn how to improve communication and reduce workplace risks between your Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking employees and clients. 

Upcoming Events

Classroom Spanish Level I and Conversational Spanish Classes
Spanish Level I will start November 10th for 4 weeks from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays and the Conversational Spanish will start November 9th on Mondays & Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m.

We are offering a reduced price of $250.00, click here for more information about the classes and getting registered before the class is all filled up!
H1N1 Workshop
Learn the Spanish key phrases, terms, questions to communicate with your hispanic patients.  Friday Nov. 20th 9:00 am.-10 am. Cost $25 per person. Location is to be determined.  Click here to register.




With the launch of the new website for Bilingual Resources Group, we recently added a blog!  We plan to make the BRG website a collaborative place for all of us to share and discuss ideas on language & culture in Louisiana.

Take a look at our first articles, and see if you agree.  I invite you to submit questions regarding these articles, or any language and culture topic, and I will answer via the blog. The more information we share, the more we see how others tackle “breaking the language barrier.”

Check out our blog on a regular basis and bookmark it so you can come back for updates.
Sandra Olmedo
Bilingual Resources Group, Inc.


Language Services
Culture Services

We are offering a wide variety of services to offer you in your language and culture needs. Most of our services can be found on our website at: Our Services
We offer the following services and look forward to serving your language needs.

  • Interpreting
  • Translation
  • Spanish Classes
  • ESL Classes
  • Tutoring
  • One to two day Seminars
  • New Hire Orientation in Spanish
  • Safety Orientation in Spanish 

Whatever your language needs are able to help you.  Contact us for a free quote.

10 Tips to Overcome Language Barriers in the Workplace
Author: Sandra Olmedo

We have all heard the expression “the only thing constant is change.” That is most definitely true in the workplace. One of the changes that may occur in a company is the employee population steadily increasing workers whose native language is not English. You may think right away that it is a big challenge having to work with or direct people who do not speak the same language as you. However, an excellent manager does not back down on challenges. Moreover, you will be pleased to know that some of your best workers may come from this group.
Below are 10 ways you can overcome language barriers in your company. 

  1. Identify your workplace language issues. Which foreign groups are currently working in your company? What kind of communication-related problems do they encounter? Discuss with your current managers and team leaders what they have observed or reports they have received that involves communication problems with non-native English speaking workers.
  2. Study your workplace to see what the potential risks or misunderstandings are. Have a walk-through in different areas and departments of your workplace. Ask yourself the question, “If I don’t understand English that well, what things in this workplace will confuse me or will likely cause a problem?
  3. Create a handbook for your workers who are non-native English speakers. This does not have to be elaborate. Keep it simple and visual. This handbook is not an English grammar book or a booklet on verb conjugations. The aim of this material is to address the specific needs of your workers on the different tasks they are involved in. Therefore, the material should contain rules and reminders that are pertinent to their job. It is a survival booklet written in their language with an English translation.
  4. Provide signs and labels in both English and their native language around the workplace. It would be advisable to make these visual, too. Even translating a sign as simple as “Turn power switch off when not in use” will help in ensuring safety in your workplace.
  5. Create hand signals for everybody in the company. Actions speak louder than words. Cliché but true. By training everyone, English speakers and non-English speakers, the same warning signals and commands, there is an increased chance of clear communication.
  6. Develop a buddy system. Assign pairs of employees, a native English speaker and a non-native English speaker, in order to improve communication in your company. Each person in the pair will do their best to understand how the other communicates. They can team up for tasks. You could give an incentive to pairs who accomplish tasks without a glitch.
  7. Managers and team leaders should know how to communicate with non-native English speakers. A company’s leaders should be the first to practice good communication with foreign workers. This will be a good example for the rest of the company to follow. Start with a few key phrases that encourage them and deal with the tasks that these foreign employees are involved in. Encourage supervisors to learn small phrases in Spanish.
  8. Provide new hire and safety orientation training for your non- native English workers in their language or via an interpreter. This will be the best investment you can make to prevent misunderstanding and accidents on the job.
  9. Respect the opinions of your foreign employees. Get regular feedback from your non-native English speakers about their tasks and leaders. With the help of bilingual staff, they can discuss with you their suggestions for improving systems and tasks in your workplace. Conduct townhall meetings with your workers.
  10. Respect their culture. It would be helpful to be aware of what customs they have and what things are acceptable and offensive in their culture. By making the effort to know about their customs, you are fostering respect in your workplace. It speaks of how your company is a great place to work for.


Save 10% Now through November 30th, new customers are invited to try any of our services for a 10% discount.  Training, translations or interpreting services.  Contact Us and mention this newsletter to redeem your discount. 
Bilingual Resources Group | 1000 W. Esplanade Ave. Suite 102 | Kenner, LA  70065 | 504-253-0364

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