ICS Magazine

Online Language Courses Bridge Language Barrier

August 6, 2008

Gainesville, Fla. - NCCER has partnered with constructNet International (cNI), Phoenix, Ariz., to provide online instructional language resources for the construction industry to help bridge the language barrier between employers and employees.

The first series titled, Construction English for the Spanish Speaker, contains five courses. These courses will cover basic terminology related to employment, employability skills, construction, and safety. The first course in this series, Introduction to Construction English I, will be available in September. Other courses in this series are Introduction to Construction English II, Intermediate Construction English I and II, and Advanced Construction English. These courses are expected to be released throughout 2008 and 2009.

This program is designed to improve communication at work sites between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking employees. Whether asking for tools or clarifying instructions, employees will learn key phrases and increase vocabulary in an easy-to-learn online format. Participants can log in anytime and anywhere there is access to a computer and the Internet. An orientation on how to use the computer and the Internet is also included.

A second series titled, Construction Spanish for the English Speaker, consists of one course aimed at foremen, supervisors, crew leaders, and administration and is estimated to be available in fall 2008. The primary purpose of this course is to ensure clear communication between all parties involved to ensure safety at the job site.

“Safety and productivity are a priority for contractors, and the language barrier is a large factor contributing to construction-related injuries and fatalities,” said Don Whyte, NCCER president “With the increasing number of Hispanics entering the industry, we must do everything we can to create a safe working environment on our job sites.”

In addition to the development of the Internet-based language courses, NCCER has developed other Spanish-based curricula and assessment resources. A current listing is available at www.nccer.org.