I often have the privilege of teaching and mentoring the non-working spouse of my expat executive ESL clients. They generally also get 30-120 hours of language training along with the children in their families.
My recent non-working ESL clients included five talented spouses. Four men from Brazil, Mexico, and Germany along with one woman from Japan. Their wives and husband are global executives at multinational companies.
Collectively, they are well educated, highly qualified professionals themselves and authorized to work in the USA. Their careers have been interrupted and temporarily put on hold during family relocations to Indianapolis.
Very early in our ESL classes they each expressed a deep desire to pick up where they left off in their home country while finding meaningful employment in Indianapolis. They were somewhat frustrated not knowing how to begin looking for a job that would allow them to engage their professional talents in this new country.
Our early class time focused on US business English, utilizing authentic industry specific materials, while covering the cross-cultural aspects of living and working in the USA. I then helped them update their resumes while getting their professional correspondence in order so they could gain traction by plugging into the extensive business networks and services available here in Indy and around the USA.
I also introduced them to one another as time allowed, helping them create a peer group of likeminded expats. It was an amazing process to watch as they began networking and gaining confidence while encouraging each other in the process.
The end result during our time together is that three businesses were founded in Indianapolis, including an international business consulting firm, an electrical design LLC, and a professional photography company, and a freelance architect was hired as an Adjunct Instructor to teach a graduate level Studio Class at a local university.
The valuable time we spent together proved to be a powerful transformational experience for everyone involved as they embraced English as their second language in the context of real world work and life experiences here in Indianapolis. It has been a privilege to serve and walk alongside these expats and their families via LTC and our Language Training team.
-Steve Reynolds, Language Training Coordinator