Fixing the Language Skills Gap

What it is, how to fix it, and why addressing it is urgent for businesses worldwide

What's a Language Skills Gap?

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A language skills gap occurs when there is a mismatch (or gap) between the language skills that businesses need and their employee's existing language skills.

It's estimated that around 1.5 billion people speak English, making it the second most spoken language in the world behind Mandarin. Only around 400 million people speak English as their native language, with most located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.



The Cost of Language Miscommunication

Language miscommunication can have high costs for global corporations. In 2022 alone, 70% of all U.S. employee turnover was voluntary, the highest level ever recorded.

Gallup's research on employee engagement suggests that disengaged employees cost American businesses between $483 billion and $605 billion annually. Disengaged employees are less productive, have lower job satisfaction, and are more likely to leave the organization.

Language skills gap impacts:

  • Missed business opportunities

  • Increased misunderstanding

  • Productivity loss

  • Customer dissatisfaction

  • Legal and regulatory risks

  • Training and language support costs

  • Cultural misalignment

Closing the Language Skills Gap

Offering language tutoring to employees is a great way for employers to solve the language skills gap. It can:

  • improve language skills in a short amount of time
  • be customized to meet the specific needs of the business
  • introduce cultural awareness

Other ways to address the language skills gap include:

  • Hiring bilingual employees. Bilingual employees can help businesses to communicate with customers and suppliers in their native languages, and can also help companies attract and retain top talent from non-English-speaking countries.
  • Invest in translation services. Translation services can help businesses to translate documents and marketing materials into multiple languages. This can help businesses to reach a wider audience and to communicate more effectively with their customers and suppliers.

Benefits of Offering Language Tutoring to Your Workforce

Increased employee satisfaction

Employees who learn a new language often feel more confident and motivated at work, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Improved customer service

Employees who speak their customers' language can better understand their needs and provide excellent customer service.

Enhanced global business opportunities

Businesses with a multilingual workforce are better positioned to take advantage of international business opportunities, leading to increased sales and profits.

Offering language benefits to your organization results in:

  • increased employee retention and engagement
  • better business relationships with clients and prospects
  • decreased miscommunication and frustration in the workforce

The language skills gap is real and has a significant financial impact on organizations that don't address it.

Global LT offers virtual, 1-1, or group language tutoring of over 100 languages, anywhere in the world. Our teachers are trained to focus on language learning that results in real-world success, both personally and professionally.

Through a personalized mix of learning solutions, we ensure that every student learning a language has a clear path to success by relying on behavioral science, custom learning curriculums, and e-learning tools to equip your workforce with the knowledge they need to thrive.

Whitepaper: Fixing the Language Skills Gap

Who is this for?

This whitepaper is essential reading for HR and L&D professionals, such as:


  • Human Resources

  • Learning and Development

  • Senior Leadership

  • Leadership Development

  • Talent Management

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