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Language Centre

Express yourself <> understand the world
Language CentreAbout usViews on Language Teaching

Language Centre - Vision and Mission

Express yourself >< Understand the world

Ideology > What we believe in

We believe that language is more than just language – it is a cultural transmitter. Language and communication are essential for close relationships between people: for mutual understanding, social interaction and fruitful business contacts. Knowledge and passion for language and culture is bred into the bones of Language Centre staff. We believe that this knowledge and passion can contribute to strengthening the relationships between people and organizations in an intercultural environment.

A quote to illustrate this:

In their daily lives, people must be able to speak the same language. If you can express yourself properly and formulate what you want to say, you can take full advantage of the opportunities life offers. The Language Centre helps by increasing people’s language proficiency. Good language proficiency enables you to act independently and freely, and be an equal partner to people in a world that is new to you.’

Vision > What we see in the world around us

1. Internationalization of society

We see that through their work, ever larger groups in society are coming into contact with people from other countries and cultures who speak a different language. This is enrichment – multilingualism and intercultural contacts offer invaluable new opportunities. What is very important here is a correct interpretation, openness and mutual understanding.

We also see that internationalization and interculturalization are processes with the same development phases for both people and organizations. Knowledge of a different language and culture develops from a tool to get by in a new social environment into, finally, an instrument for self-expression, offering people the chance to make a difference to others. During these development phases, various language proficiency and cultural needs manifest themselves.

What we want to see is cross-cultural and cross-linguistic contacts between people leading to the best possible, fruitful results. If you speak or write each other’s language and are open to each other’s cultural differences and similarities, you can make a difference to others. Being a serious partner in social interaction is the basis for friendly relations and productive cooperation wherever you are in the world. The Language Centre opens up opportunities at every level and for every user context to improve language proficiency and increase cultural sensitivity.

2. Internationalization of society – higher education and the business world

We see that the internationalization of society and of higher education is profoundly affecting the daily lives of citizens, students and staff. We see something comparable in enterprises and social institutions. Professionals and academic specialists are increasingly active in international forums and international business contacts. Through their presentations, publications and negotiations, they make contact with people with a wide range of cultural backgrounds. This not only requires good language proficiency in a mutual (second or third) language such as English or Spanish, but also cultural sensitivity – an understanding of the cultural aspects of personal behaviour and mutual relationships.

What we want to see is people and organizations no longer viewing an intercultural setting as a brake on their actions, but as an enrichment.

As well as good language proficiency, recognizing and acknowledging the effect of cultural differences on communication is an essential competence in an international environment. The Language Centre helps people develop their language proficiency and intercultural sensitivity.

3. Developments in the field

We see more and more new insights emerging in the didactic field concerning the effective acquisition of language and intercultural competences. In higher education – students, PhD students and lecturers – we see the increasing importance of acquiring academic communication skills and keeping them up to scratch.

I n the professional working environment we see that clients are often not sufficiently aware of the cultural environment in which the translated message must function. Adequate intercultural knowledge will influence the effective use of translated texts in social and professional contexts.

We also see the rise of new technologies and new media such as the internet, Twitter and blogs having a major influence on the quality and the speed of communication processes between people. Thanks to the internet, users of other languages and other cultures are just a mouse click away. Contact has no barriers any more – communication via the internet leads to an immediate response and result.

What we want is to make recent academic insights concerning language acquisition and language teaching productive for clients within and outside the University. To that end, we make optimum use of the opportunities provided by new technologies and means of communication.

We also want to raise our clients’ awareness of the social and cultural contexts within which their spoken and written texts function, and of the influence that language use has on comprehension.

We want to help our clients keep the quality of their language use up to scratch through the critical use of media and online services.

Mission > How we want to make a difference

The Language Centre wants people to be full partners in international cooperation and communication. Language proficiency and intercultural sensitivity are, in our view, fundamental preconditions for this. We articulate this in our brand promise: express yourself – understand the world

The Language Centre enables you:

... from a nuanced understanding of the contexts in which you operate

… to express yourself in such a way

... that you can realize your potential to the full

... at the level you aspire to.

We put all our expertise at the disposal of our clients to enable them to play a leading role at every phase of international cooperation, and at every possible level of language proficiency.  

Unique selling points > What we excel at

Our power base is an international team of innovative and academically trained teachers and translators. We are constantly developing our language and cultural services for people in higher education and other professionals. Our international team know at first hand how it feels to find your feet and present yourself in a different cultural world. Innovative language teaching, new media, experienced teachers and articulate native speakers play an important role in keeping the quality of our language teaching and translation services high.

The Language Centre is specialized in training and support for every phase of the internationalization process in which organizations may find themselves. Language acquisition and the development of intercultural sensitivity are integrated in our Dutch for non-native speakers courses, and in our courses in other languages, both European and non-European. Our training courses can be tailored to every imaginable language level, working situation and field, depending on the client’s wishes. Our links with the University of Groningen and with academic partners throughout the Netherlands and Europe ensure that we are involved in innovative language teaching research, and we are at the forefront when new technical opportunities emerge.

Core values > What distinguishes us

A number of features characterize the way the Language Centre works.

  • Passion: We are all passionate about working with language. We know our own language and culture, and we are open to those of the people with whom we work. Our own experiences with learning a language and our insights into intercultural social interactions inspire our work. We are aware that better international contacts strengthen the social cohesion of a society on the way to being socially sustainable.
  • Purpose: Language proficiency and sensitivity to cultural differences empowers people. We empower people to function optimally in the international and intercultural environment in which they live and work. This can range from simple self-reliance at street level or in a shop, to professional presentation and individual self-expression in a business or at a conference, to publications in leading international media. We listen carefully to what is needed and then, in discussion with the client, we determine the goal and the content of the products and services we provide.
  • Innovation: We actively apply new knowledge to our field, and we process recent insights into our products and services. We are constantly open to new ideas that can benefit the people for whom we work. Innovative staff feel at home with us.

Quality values > Guaranteeing good work

It goes without saying that all that we do has a solid foundation. In our view this means:

  • Quality monitoring : Our vision of language teaching, based on the five pillars of effective language teaching guarantees the quality of our courses. We guarantee the quality of our translations through our system of double-checking every translated text. Every translation is assessed by at least one native speaker of the target language.
  • Reliability : In addition to an evaluation afterwards, we also pay a lot of attention to a diagnostic intake in advance and to interim feedback. Personal contact is our guarantee for quality, results and satisfaction.
  • Tailor-made services : We develop products and services that dovetail with the specific needs of the client, and with the context in which language will be used. Our professionals are specialists in various fields, enabling them to adapt their language training or translation to the client’s context.
  • Cooperation : Our preferred working method when developing products and services is close cooperation with our clients. Where necessary, we will cooperate with external experts from our national and international, academic and professional networks.
  • Result-orientated work : While performing our work, we keep a sharp eye on the desired language level and the required competences that have been determined with the client during the intake interview, and provide regular feedback.
  • Professional teamwork : The Language Centre provides a one-stop shopping service for its clients. This applies to virtually every language and every level, to language training courses and courses in intercultural sensitivity, to tests and assessments, to texts, translations, corrections and subtitling services in every field. Our team of language and culture experts also works closely together.
  • Transparency : Our prices and working methods are crystal-clear and understandable for our clients.
  • Value for money : We guarantee high quality services at an affordable price.
Last modified:15 September 2017 9.21 p.m.
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