Cactus Language Training

Cactus is a leading global language training organisation, providing general, business, and sector-specific language courses in over 50 countries in over 30 languages.

Cactus was founded in 1998, has its headquarters in the UK, and a US division based in New York. It delivered courses to over 15,000 learners in 2008. Its portfolio of international business clients includes Google, Tesco, Coca Cola, HSBC, Microsoft, BT, Burberry, Gazprom, the UK Foreign Office, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Oxfam.

Cactus and CultureSmart!Consulting have now teamed up to offer their clients blended language and cultural training through clear, coherent and value-rich programmes.

A language training programme will focus primarily on exactly that – language, so grammatical structures, lexical patterns, pronunciation techniques, etc. However, many of the examples used and the context in which it is taught will inevitably offer many cultural insights. These may range from how people greet each other to how you show respect to what you say to get someone’s attention. These are expressed through the language we use – polite forms, interjections, contingency, etc. Selecting appropriately will win friends and open doors, whereas going the other way may have quite the opposite effect.

A cultural training programme will create an intellectual and attitudinal framework which underpins and informs the context of language. It will also give you the tools to effectively address the specific cultural issues arising from your target language and the places where that language is spoken. Areas might include social relationships, management styles, teamwork, and communication styles.

A typical course will include 40 hours of Language Training and 4 hours of Cultural Training. This is designed to take you up a level of language as defined by the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Language, and at the same time to empower you to instinctively develop co-operative rather than resistant relationships with any person or group from your target cultural environment.

Both fields are taught using the same methodology – structured, experiential, participative – and trainers will bring a heightened awareness of how the two work together in the classroom. As a student, you will receive a more complete understanding of the target language, how it works within a cross-cultural setting, and how you can use it both appropriately and effectively.

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