Protests Spark at U.S. Colleges Over Micro-Aggressions

In recent months there have protests at college campuses across the nation calling attention to a previously little-known term: “micro-aggressions,” commonly defined as routine verbal and non-verbal slights and harassment (often based on race and gender but also including age, sexual orientation and disability) that is typically unintentional but nonetheless hurtful.

Calls for colleges and universities to implement training at these schools for faculty to spot and recognize these forms of micro-aggressions have been gaining more and more attention.  Training would help others recognize and avoid these biases that come in form of Caucasian students telling a black person “you don’t really act black,” or asking a Hispanic-American about immigration-related matters.
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How Can HR Ensure All Employees Have the Right Level of Business English Skills?

Developing and implementing a language assessment strategy is an effective way for HR to measure the language ability of new appointments and existing staff. When assessing the business English skills for new employees, the first thing to consider is how much English language they need to know in order to carry out their roles effectively. This will allow you to set minimum benchmarks of language proficiency that all new staff must meet, in line with internationally recognised standards. The Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a good place to start as it’s one of the most commonly used systems to describe different levels of language ability.
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The Do’s & Dont’s of Evaluating Language Competency When Hiring

Many 21st century jobs require individuals who have specific skill sets or competencies which can be proven with certifications, ratings, or official measurements. Rarely would it be enough to trust a job candidate to evaluate his or her own abilities as a computer programmer who claims to be proficient in a specific programming language. Nor would it be acceptable to have a current employee ask a few questions to find out if a candidate can handle a complicated, technical, and demanding job.

Likewise, when determining whether or not someone has the foreign language proficiency specifically required for a position, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts that can help guide the process for hiring managers and human resources professionals.
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A Second Language Can Be Your Hidden Asset

Outside of looking for a job, you’ll find that many current jobseekers won’t have the same educational backgrounds, industry experience or job descriptions. However, approximately two-thirds of them do have one thing in common.

Over 31% of jobseekers speak two languages, according to a poll of over 12,000 visitors to the Korn/Ferry International website. An additional 20% speak three languages, 9% speak four languages and 4% speak more than four. Whether companies are conducting business overseas or trying to obtain a larger market share locally, employers are increasingly seeking out bilingual employees, or people with the ability to speak and communicate in more than one language. In fact, a recent CareerBuilder.com keyword search turned up more than 6,000 job postings seeking bilingual applicants.
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