Successful two-way communication can be challenging for anyone – but it can be even more so for English as second language speakers (ESL). English may be one of the most wide spread languages in the world but the differences in basic sentence structure and word order can complicate communication on a number of levels. For example, in many languages other than English, adjectives are placed after nouns, while in English the opposite is true.
Non-English sentence structure: [He is a man very tall.]
English sentence structure: [He is a very tall man.]
An unintentional shift in that structure can completely alter the meaning of a sentence. For this reason, ESL speakers such as myself often choose our method of communication very carefully out of fear of making a social faux pas.
When it comes to communicating with native English speakers and even businesses, texting is the preferred method of communication for ESL speakers because it encourages concise single-sentence thoughts. This makes it easier for the ESL speaker to take their time to understand the context before responding, particularly if they are uncomfortable with fast-paced, in-person dialogue where misunderstandings usually occur.
Texting increases the frequency of causal conversations and can be a great asset to people forming new relationships or maintaining long distance friendships across time zones. Whether personally or professionally, it allows people to connect with minimal dedicated time and minimal, if any, barrier to entry.
Read Part 1 of the Texting for Accessibility series: Is your business accessible to the hearing impaired?
Why Businesses should use texting to target ESL speakers
No matter what service you provide, communication with your customer base is essential for business growth. Some of the most common methods of business communication are becoming increasingly intrusive in our busy lives. Most people don’t have time to take a call during work hours and voice mails are just annoying. By using text messaging, you’ll be able to provide a much better experience for your customers and hopefully, keep their loyalty
One of the most important things businesses today need to understand is their level of accessibility, especially in regards to communication with different demographics, including ESL customers. Phone calls, voice mail and email are great but they actually do create barriers to successful business communication because they limit your level of accessibility. You could be excluding important and valuable customers by not communicating with them through the right channels. Texting as a communication tool can be utilized as a bridge between languages and can open your business to an entirely new realm of customers.
Read Zipwhip CEO’s: Texting as an all inclusive language