About Stefan Wheaton

Stefan Wheaton has been helping organisations to improve the English communication skills of their key staff members since 1982.After studying French at the University of Birmingham and education at UCL (University College London) Institute of Education, Stefan worked for an international language training organisation in the UK, Gabon and France.

  • In the UK he taught English as a foreign language, promoted language training services to companies and ran teacher-training courses.
  • In Gabon he set up and piloted the English language training function for Shell Gabon as part of the company’s campaign to promote local talent to management positions.
  • In France he managed the French subsidiary and oversaw its rapid nation-wide growth between 1986 and 1991.

In 1992 he set up and developed Citylangues which now has two centres in Paris and provides language training services to both profit and non-profit organisations.

He was a member of the Management and Executive committees of the French Training Federation (www.FFP.org) until 2016 and took part in many of the negotiations which have shaped the French Convention Collective Nationale des Organismes de Formation (National agreement).

He also chaired the Language Commission of the FFP and represented its members within the organisation from 2006 to the end of 2014.

He provides bespoke training and writes tailor-made support material in two specialist areas:


Deficient communication amongst colleagues is a problem frequently encountered by many organisations.It is even more prevalent when colleagues do not share a common native language and use English as a “lingua franca”.

Non-native speakers of English invariably state that when communicating amongst themselves the English language is not a barrier. But as soon as a native speaker of English participates in their exchanges communication often breaks down.

This can lead to:

  • frustration
  • demotivation
  • wariness
  • alienation
  • the creation of “cliques”
  • an inward-looking attitude
  • resentment

on the part of non-native speakers, all of which are unconducive to collaborative work.

Native-speakers of English (particularly those who have not learned a foreign language) are often unaware of the complexities and peculiarities of their language and the resulting difficulties experienced by their colleagues.

To solve this we offer a one-day workshop.

This six-hour workshop helps native speakers of English to improve their communication with non-native speakers and focuses on the linguistic aspects which hinder it.

The first part of the day raises awareness of the linguistic problems encountered even by proficient non-native speakers of English when communicating with native speakers.

Amongst the topics covered are:

  • an introduction to the notion of English as a Lingua Franca and a discussion about its usefulness
  • a brief history of the language and the resulting complexities which confound the non-native speaker
  • an overview of the defining characteristics of the language which distinguish it from others
  • an introduction to the characteristics of a selection of other languages in order to help participants see the point of view of their non-native colleagues

The second part of the day builds on this and provides pragmatic, practical guidelines to help participants modulate their linguistic behaviour in order to improve their communication skills with non-native colleagues.

The workshop ends by comparing recognised notions of cross-cultural management with the solutions discussed during the day.

In order to promote meaningful exchanges the number of participants should be limited to 8.

For further information on this service please call Stefan Wheaton on 0155919672 or write to him at sw@citylangues.com.

FOR further information