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Training the Foreign-Born Worker: Maximizing Classroom Participation
Henry loves his work as a manager/trainer at a large electronics firm in California. More than anything else, he particularly enjoys generating and leading discussions in the training room. Recently, however, Henry's classes have included more foreign-born workers, and these employees seem reluctant to voice ideas, participate in oral exercises, or ask questions. Henry is becoming increasingly frustrated and feels the fun is going out of his job. What could be causing the problem? Is Henry's effectiveness as a trainer slipping?
What Henry is experiencing is not unusual. Trainers throughout the country are becoming confused by their seeming inability to solicit participation from immigrant workers. In all probability neither Henry nor his colleagues are "slipping." A more likely explanation lies in cultural and language customs that call for reticence and anonymity on the part of many foreign-born workers. By better understanding these characteristics, a trainer will find it easier to encourage participation and discussion in training sessions.
Why the …