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 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:

The inability to produce quality written documents can be costly for any international organisation for the following reasons:

  • Lack of reactivity due to the need to have documents corrected
  • Waste of the valuable time of a senior member of staff called upon for “correction duty”
  • Impairment of the organisation’s image
  • Inability to sell the organisation’s services
  • Misunderstandings between colleagues and with clients

Here are the four components of the service we propose in order to limit these risks:

    • Firstly we undertake a thorough critical study of a representative sample of authentic documents written by accomplished internal native speakers of English in order to :
      • understand the objectives of the documents
      • identify and describe the characteristics of a house-style (tone, style, vocabulary….)
      • establish models of good writing practice
    • At the second stage we compare examples of these documents written by non-native speakers of English with the afore-mentioned models. We thus identify specific areas for improvement (AFIs) in, for example:
      • Style :
        • formality
        • clarity
        • conciseness
      • Functions
        • giving reasons
        • stating causes
        • contrasting
        • conceding
        • indicating consequences
      • Grammar
      • Punctuation
      • Specific vocabulary
    • Thirdly we create a bespoke report-writing manual comprising the following components:
      • Examples of the models
      • Examples of the AFIs with supporting explanations and illustrations
      • A series of diagnostic tests enabling users to identify their own AFIs and seek guidance in the relevant section of the manual
      • A writing checklist

Note that the manual can be supplied in an easy-to-use paper or pdf hot-linked version.

  • The fourth, indispensable component of the service is a one-day workshop which introduces users to the manual and encourages them to use it. The day includes:
    • A conscience-raising session enabling participants to become aware of their AFIs (particularly of ingrained errors)
    • An interactive discovery of the manual and how it should be used
    • A writing session during which participants are encouraged to put into practice their new skills whilst using the manual

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