Language Barriers | HelperFirst
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Language Barriers

Date Posted: 11/10/2020


Language is an essential factor in any relationship, it can either make or break it, especially in the workplace of domestic helpers working in another country. This can eventually result in conflict and further frustrations.


At first, it’s common to be using hands to communicate. Still, this can become limited. You’ll eventually need more detailed instructions to tell your helper.


More extended conversations are inevitable, especially when the helper needs to take care of your child. It’s worth it to invest some time and effort to improve the helper’s language skills. This will help your household.


Here are some useful tips that you can do to reduce the language barrier:


  • Repetition. This is one of the most effective ways to learn. You can ask the helper to repeat what you said and help her pronounce words that are hard to say and tell her to research unknown words.


  • Suggest watching TV series or movies with original versions (subtitles can help so it will not be overwhelming). You can tell her to do this during her rest days or after work. This is going to be an excellent method to master a new language. You can also watch it with her if you have time. This also builds a great rapport between you two.



  • Have some printed resources. For example, reading books or newspapers. Your helper can even start by reading children’s stories, to begin with, easy-to-read texts than just suggest more challenging reading material as she improves. Another reference she can read are recipes where she can learn new words at the same time, hone her cooking skills.


  • Encourage her to download apps that will facilitate her learning, and that will increase her vocabulary.


  • If possible, you can write down the instructions first so she can refer to it from time to time and make sure you can communicate it in a way she will understand. The more she gets familiar with the language, the more you’ll have the opportunity to give her oral instructions.


  • If she’s taking care of your children, you can ask her to sing together with your child, and she can learn a lot from that while even having fun.


  • You can also do visuals. If it’s possible, you can also demonstrate instructions while describing them if that would help. You can also let them see, which they will love together with your child because it includes illustrations and vocabulary.



To maximize the chances of success in overcoming barriers, more of these strategies are suggested to improve her language skills. Just give her time to learn and trust that eventually, she’ll remember your language. When speaking to her, avoid being too fast. When she sees that you assist her, she’ll appreciate you.


If she knows that you’re extra patient, and eventually, this will help her improve her language skills that would transpire in her work. You’ll see that in no time, this language barrier will be gone!


  1. Help Your Helper Overcome Language Barriers
  2. 6 Tips for Overcoming English Language Barriers