The day we speak only English
Most of the people at COEX are Czech natives and having regular English lessons was on top of the list for some time. At the end of the summer we finally decided to get this started and found a lecturer matching our expectations.
Based on the current English level we were divided into two groups (that was the easy part) and started to look for a day and time in the week which would suit more than 15 registered people. Later in the afternoon wasn’t a good option and as we didn’t want to break up the day so the lessons start before official working hours at 7.30 am (yes some night birds call this a crazy time). But even when it’s not clear yet if it’s caused by the people’s “starvation for English learning” or excellent and balanced lessons from Michaela Hykysova, the fact is that most of the participants attend regularly.
We love fun and when someone came with the idea that we could actually continue the lesson and speak English the whole day, we just couldn’t resist giving it a try. And not only speak but also write and so we switched all the Thursday communication to English. Including Email, Chat, Skype etc.
To continue the fun we also keep our internal meetings and business development talks in English too. Recently the sales team was writing a proposal for a bigger project for a Czech customer which was supposed to be in Czech but we discussed it english. The project required to organize and plan a scope of several hundreds of man days and come up with a reasonable pricing strategy based on the Czech language specification. Planning that in English and translating it back to Czech was kind of a challenge but we managed!
We try to stick with English also on the phone with some of our Czech clients, which causes surprises and funny situations. Yes sometimes it’s necessary to switch back to Czech (especially when the client doesn’t speak English at all) but in general Thursdays are English. And it works amazingly: more fluent people transfer their skills to less advanced team members and each of us becomes a teacher and a student.