Communication is the key to success with others. No matter how good your ideas are, if you don’t communicate them well, they will not be useful to you. Communication is at the centre of everything we do at CILS: translation, editing, language teaching, intercultural training, teacher training, corporate training, etc. Our goal is to share our expertise to help others communicate better.
Language is the way we communicate. English, French and Arabic serve this purpose as do computer languages, body language and artistic languages such as music and visual arts. The best way to teach languages is to use a communicative approach. Although rules and grammar are important it is a mistake to approach communication in a rigid rational way. These rules are only guidelines in a much vaster universe of meaning that involves the heart and soul as well as the mind. For excellent communicators, language is not only a science but a technique and even an art!
Culture is a shared experience. It is a way of approaching life shared by a specific community. There communities can be of various sorts: ethnic, religious, professional, etc. The borders between these communities are not rigid. All of us participate in various communities. To be effective in each of these groups, we need to be sensitive to the cultural tendencies of each. Language is the gateway to culture since culture is shared through language. The goal of developing language and communication skills should be to participate more efficiently in a specific cultural context (e.g. business English for international communications or Arabic for Canadian journalists working in the Middle East).