Language Skills Propel Canadians Up Corporate Ladder

    Multilingual Canadians enjoy more career options, accelerated promotion
    and salary increases

    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Searching for a way to climb further and
faster up the corporate ladder? Try learning another language. Bilingual and
multilingual Canadians enjoy a greater range of career options, build stronger
relationships with colleagues and clients, and benefit from accelerated
promotions and salary increases compared to their unilingual counterparts,
according to a recent poll commissioned by Berlitz Canada and conducted by
    Bilingual and multilingual Canadians noted numerous career benefits to
speaking another language, including stronger relationships with colleagues
and clients (77 per cent), a greater range of career options (72 per cent), a
greater range of job options within their field (66 per cent), and flexibility
in geographical location (62 per cent).
    Nearly half of bilingual and multilingual Canadians agreed that speaking
an additional language enabled or accelerated promotion (48 per cent), while
44 per cent said speaking another language enabled or accelerated salary
    Survey respondents with higher household incomes were slightly more
likely to agree that language skills positively affected promotion or raises.
For example, 50 per cent of Canadians with an income level of $100,000 or more
found that speaking another language enabled or accelerated promotion (versus
48 per cent of all Canadians who speak a second language). And 52 per cent of
Canadians in the same income bracket concurred that speaking an additional
language enabled or accelerated salary increases (compared to 44 per cent of
all Canadians who speak a second language).
    "In our increasingly global society, speaking an additional language has
never been more vital for a successful career trajectory," said Darryl
Simsovic, President of Berlitz Canada. "Language has become more of a 'hard'
skill, truly a necessary expertise, comparable to leadership and management
skills. And as we're seeing with this poll, Canadians who speak multiple
languages enjoy numerous career benefits, including financial ones."
    Overall, 38 per cent of unilingual Canadians agreed that by not speaking
a second language, they had fewer career options. And regionally, Torontonians
felt a stronger impact compared to the rest of Ontario, as 42 per cent of
unilingual Toronto residents agreed that without additional language
capability, they had fewer career choices.
    Nearly three in four (70 per cent) of Canadians whose company did not
offer language instruction would be interested in the training, if it were
significantly subsidized. Interest was highest among females (75 per cent) and
those under 35 years old (86 per cent).

    Key Languages in Canada

    Of unilingual English respondents, 55 per cent indicated French was most
important, while for unilingual French respondents, 88 per cent indicated
English was the most important language.
    After the two official languages, both unilingual and multilingual
Canadians identified Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese as being the most
beneficial for career advancement. Bilingual and multilingual Canadians placed
more importance overall on having command of additional languages compared to
unilingual Canadians, with 36 per cent indicating Spanish would aid in their
careers, followed by Mandarin (15 per cent) and Cantonese (9 per cent).
    Compared to any other region, Quebecers placed the most importance on
learning Spanish as an additional language, with 49 per cent indicating that
knowing Spanish would positively affect their careers (compared with
38 per cent of all bilingual or multilingual Canadians).
    "There's no doubt that with the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, as well as
deepening trade ties throughout East Asia, languages like Mandarin and
Cantonese are top of mind and will only grow in popularity in the Canadian
market. And given our proximity and close relationship with Mexico and the
northern Latin American countries, Spanish will continue to be a critical
"third" language for Canadians to master," added Simsovic.

    Language inspiration

    In comparing unilingual and multilingual respondents, noticeable
differences emerged as to what would inspire Canadians to learn a second or
additional language, as indicated in the table below:

                                                  Unilingual     Multilingual
                                                  Canadians       Canadians
    More opportunities to travel                 47 per cent     59 per cent
    Love of language / personal improvement      43 per cent     62 per cent
    Career opportunities / advancement           34 per cent     41 per cent
    Better communication with friends or
    relatives                                    22 per cent     34 per cent
    Are not inspired to learn another language   20 per cent      7 per cent

    "Overall, we've found that bilingual and multilingual Canadians are
substantially more interested than their unilingual counterparts in learning
another language, most likely because multilingual Canadians have already seen
and reaped the tangible benefits, and from a practicality standpoint, they
know they are actually able to learn another language," explained Simsovic.
    When asked why they haven't learned a second language, 26 per cent of
unilingual Canadians believed it would be too difficult. And 38 per cent would
like to learn another language, but could not find time.
    "At Berlitz, we often run up against these two specific 'language
barriers' - time and difficulty, but our clients know we have two successful
solutions," explained Simsovic. "First, our unique Berlitz Method(R) of
instruction helps adults learn additional languages exactly as they learned
their first - through 'active listening' and conversational approach-with no
memorization or verb conjugation. And with our Executive Total Immersion(R)
program, busy executives can experience intensive language instruction, with a
focus on industry and job-specific language, to quickly gain the skills they
need in a minimal amount of time."

    About Berlitz Canada

    For over four decades, Berlitz Canada has been the country's premier
language training and cultural consulting organization. Pioneered by
Maximillian Berlitz, the company's unique Berlitz Method(R) is a
conversational, integrated approach to language training, with emphasis on
'active learning'. Berlitz Canada offers a range of innovative, tailored
programs including individual and small group instruction, Executive Total
Immersion(R), Berlitz Virtual Classroom(R) and Cross-Cultural Consulting. Over
300 professionals deliver customized language instruction in the 11 language
training centres throughout Canada.
    Berlitz Canada is part of Berlitz International, which boasts 130 years
of history and innovation. The global organization is recognized as the gold
standard of language instruction, with 500 locations in 70 countries. Last
year alone, Berlitz delivered 5 million hours of lessons to clients worldwide.

    About the poll

    This poll for Berlitz Canada was conducted by Harris/Decima between March
18 and March 28, 2008 via an online panel, sampling 1,277 adult Canadians. A
random probability sample of the same size has a margin of error of +/- 2.7
per cent, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

For further information: or to speak with a representative from Berlitz,
please contact: Communications MECA: Julie Lepsetz, (514) 288-8500 x233,; Suzanne Gold, (416) 425-9143 x230,

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