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Tips for overcoming a workplace language barrier

You speak English, but you are certainly a nonnative speaker. This means you face some hurdles in the workplace. You don’t always know how to communicate effectively with English-speaking co-workers. You also worry that some of them have trouble understanding you due to your accent, even when speaking properly.

This can be a challenging and frustrating situation, especially when you immigrated to the United States for work, and you know you are more than capable of doing your job at a high level. You do not want this language barrier to hold you back. What can you do?

One thing to focus on is using visual aids whenever you can. This may help people focus in more keenly on what you’re communicating to them, and it can help smooth out these conversations. It also helps avoid miscommunications that could be costly or even dangerous on the job.

Another option is to continue working on your language skills outside of the workplace. You may want to enroll in English as a Second Language classes. You also want to practice your English as much as possible, even when you are around friends and family members who speak your native language.

Finally, just acknowledge that the issue exists and approach it in a positive fashion. Don’t let it frustrate you. Remember that the biggest thing is just to spend more time immersed in the language.

The language barrier is just one potential hurdle you face when coming to the United States for work. Make sure you are well aware of the legal steps that you need to take to make things go smoothly.