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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Learning a Language? What You Really Need to Know

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Over the past few decades, the global marketplace has evolved. More international business transactions take place. Team members may be spread throughout the globe. And with that, many companies now seek  individuals who can demonstrate cultural competencies - like language skills - when hiring for positions.

Dr. Jason Jolley, head of the modern and classical languages (MCL) department at Missouri State University, shares about the evolution of language education.

Learning to communicate in a language, noted Jolley, is quite different from memorization of vocabulary lists and verb conjugation. He likens it to algebra – if you don’t know how to apply it, or if you don’t use it regularly, you won’t be comfortable when you need to put it into action.

Self-directed learning, through apps or books, is a great way to prepare for a trip abroad. But he would also encourage the community to look into the offerings of the Foreign Language Institute and MCL to learn how to communicate more effectively.

Nicki received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in marketing, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. After gaining experience in writing, marketing, special event planning, fundraising and public relations, she returned to the university to work in the office of strategic communication. There she tells the university’s story by sharing the stories of individuals at Missouri State.