Is it really as easy as 1, 2, 3? Ok, it may not be “easy,” but it is doable!
To upskill your multilingual capabilities, you need a superpower mindset. According to Marvel Comics writer and artist Jonathan Hickman, “Newfound power leads to new perspective.” So, whether you are looking to advance in your career, enhance your travel experiences abroad, support a family member in their healthcare journey, or any other life experience you can think of, if you can communicate in more than one language, you understand that you need to continuously learn, grow, and take your skills to new heights. Here are three power-packed tips to help you upskill your multilingual capabilities:
Step 1. Assess and elevate your proficiency level
The best way to determine your language competency level now is to complete an assessment. You want to be able to measure how well you are mastering one or more languages, as well as your level of proficiency. According to the ACTFL Proficiency Scale, your level of language ability corresponds to various language functions and tasks.
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Once you determine your current level of language proficiency, you can strengthen your linguistic skills through formal and informal learning opportunities to elevate your communication skills in another language to a higher proficiency level.
Step 2. Determine the right level of language needed for the task at hand
When you are navigating between multiple languages, in addition to your linguistic skills, you need to consider your cultural awareness of the situation. Consider character, context, culture, and competency as you determine the right level of language skills you will need to use depending on who you are communicating with, the situation you are involved in, the appropriate cultural norms for the circumstances, and how prepared you are to address them effectively.
When leveraging language skills for career advancement within a specific industry, Celia Patitucci, a bilingual HIV tester and educator based in Orlando, Florida, affirms that, “You need to be proficient in a professional setting. For example, for someone that speaks Spanish, when it comes to a professional level it does not always translate as there are terms and terminology [specific to the industry] that you need to learn.” For example, while a native Spanish speaker may be proficient in conversational and social settings, if he or she wants to advance career-wise in healthcare, it becomes necessary to learn medical terminology, the appropriate use of that vocabulary, and its application within the medical field.
Step 3. Certification is validation
As the saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” While we are not serving up pudding, there is a sweet sense of accomplishment when you obtain an official ACTFL language proficiency certification through LTI. Verification of your language proficiency level, not only in your heritage language but also languages you learned at school, affords you the authority to claim that superpower that makes you stand out and elevates you to new heights in all aspects of life.
To learn more about upskilling your multilingual capabilities and showcasing that language is indeed your superpower, visit Language Testing International (LTI) today!
And if you want to listen to Celia Patitucci’s story, listen to our most recent podcast.