Developing a Cultural Quotient is an asset for children

Cultural Quotient: an asset of children who study foreign languages.

Today’s time with its artificial intelligence likes arithmetic. After measuring the Intellectual Quotient and the Emotional quotient, the Cultural Quotient constitutes a new grail to be quantified and valued. How can we anticipate and improve the use of cultural differences on the globalization highway? Why is it advantageous for a professional career in the future? It provides an asset and challenge for our children, and a necessary (though not sufficient) condition is the learning of foreign languages!

What is the Cultural Quotient?

A developed Cultural Quotient is an asset

The cultural quotient is a measure of the appetite for and mastery of intercultural performance.

Soon Ang and Linn Van Dyne have formalized the concept of Cultural Quotient, which has existed in our historical and cultural background for many years. The Iliad and the Odyssey describe an uninterrupted enterprise of navigation between unknown cultures. Montesquieu organized the Persians’ trip in his Persian Letters to summon the cultural differences between Europe, Asia and the Russian Empire. The Travels of Marco Polo transformed Europe’s vision of its place in the world.

Soon Ang and Linn Van Dyne focus on the economic implications of cultural intelligence. How to measure and predict intercultural performance, a precursor to an open attitude towards difference and an index of adaptation in international environments.

More broadly, the cultural quotient also implies the adaptation to the codes of educational environment, work culture and hierarchy.

The cultural quotient, how is it an asset for children?

Even Magic Tricks answer to Cultural Quotient

Even before talking about professional opportunity, a developed cultural quotient impacts their ability to access and assimilate information available only in a different language. Information is key in our highly communicative society. Online translators are certainly becoming more and more efficient, but they do not offer the footnotes that signal the importance or indifference of another culture to a given detail. Let’s take the example of magic. Valentine Losseau, co-founder of the (fabulous) New School of Magic AND anthropologist specializing in Indian and Mayan cultures, discovered how a trick like the illusion of levitation could blow the mind of a Westerner and leave an Indian feeling indifferent.

Having a developed cultural quotient will impact a young person’s appetite to apply for camps, internships or studies abroad and get the most from this exposure abroad. Ultimately, this “curiosity” promotes the ability to work in a “mixed” cultural environment.

Don’t feel guilty! Obtaining a developed cultural quotient is learned..

Why developing your cultural quotient

Contrary to the overwhelming notion of an “innate” intellectual quotient, cultural quotient is acquired as a know-how, or a savoir-être. B
Based in Singapore, Véronique Helft-Malz, co-founder of culture-i, offers training to individuals and companies to better understand Asian cultures. Mission: to develop the cultural quotient of the participants. Objective: to improve cooperation, adjustment to host countries, limit the effects of disorientation and ensure that an individual or an organization can remain functional in a multicultural context.

Véronique Helft-Malz points out that not all individuals have the same “spontaneous” appetite for cultural diversity. The notion is obvious among siblings when a family moves abroad. The brakes and resistances are very different for each child. Some people need more time to adapt. On the contrary, children raised only in a monolingual context like France can show a devouring curiosity for foreign cultures through passions such as Japanese manga, Korean series, American music or Brazilian football.

What is important, explains Véronique Helft-Malz, is to find your own way into a new culture. If your child is not attracted to local markets or historical monuments, he or she may be sensitive to sports, crafts, technological bingeing or the diversity of local transportation, the zoo or square ice cream.

Foreign languages and cultures: “the chicken or the egg” debate?

Cultural Quotient develops through different channels

There is no study that has examined the relationship between foreign language learning and the variation of the cultural quotient in children. It is clear that an interest in culture makes it easier to master a foreign language, and it is obvious that the acquisition of a foreign language makes it possible to throw oneself into the cultural bath in a more direct and personal way.

A reference in the field, David Livermore, presents in his book Leading with Cultural Intelligence four drivers of cultural intelligence. They are easily available in the field of language learning.

1. Knowledge

Do I speak a language other than my native language?  What is my knowledge of the important information for understanding the culture and environment when I communicate in a foreign language?

2. Strategy

What do I understand from that knowledge that allows me to communicate effectively through its use? A side benefit: learning a language allows you to put in perspective your own language and place in the world.

3. Drive 

Do I like to communicate in a language that is still foreign to me?  What is my motivation to adapt?

Do I read everything that comes to my attention (posters, local newspapers, directions) when I travel to a foreign country? 

4. Action

How can I behave appropriately when interacting with a foreign culture? How do I adapt to changes (accent, tone, expressions)?  Do I try to communicate with the few linguistic elements at my disposal?

Have I integrated the codes of body language that go with that foreign language? For example, in the way I introduce myself (shaking hands, tilting my body)?

How to help your children develop their cultural intelligence

 🌍 Start learning a new language early. At VivaLing, children can discover 5 different languages taught by native coaches who use communicative approaches to motivate second language proficiency. In the regular relationship established with their learners, in total immersion in the target language, our coaches share the key elements of their native culture.

 🌍 Visit international grocery stores near home regularly with your children. The Orient, the Middle East, Africa, America and many islands offer different kinds of fruit and vegetables and a variety of spices. Teeming with unknown treasures, the cooking of these international ingredients is an endless source of curiosity and delight for the taste buds.

 🌍 Travel abroad with a notebook, scissors and glue. Build a travel notebook with your children on all the differences and similarities you see. It’s a creative activity perfect for filling idle time and keeping minds alert in search of cultural nuggets during the journey. Interest them in non-verbal language.

 🌍 Organize birthday parties with a foreign theme. Mexican/Spanish for the chips, guacamole and piñata. Chinese/Mandarin for the firecrackers and the lantern workshop. English for the pop culture and pancakes. German for a pretzel-salami marathon and the Ostereier (colored Easter eggs) celebration.

 🌍 Discover movies or foreign series in VOST. It’s great for educating the ear to the rhythm and phraseology of foreign languages. It’s also exciting to immerse yourself in different cultural codes.

 🌍 Watch again the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games (summer AND winter). There are great shows that highlight the cultural identity of the host countries.

Learn English with coach Brittany from USA

Hello, can you tell us more about you?

My name is Brittany from New Jersey, USA. Currently, I live on a beautiful island called Puerto Rico. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister who live in New Jersey. I make every effort to try and visit them often.  

Have you always been a teacher?

I have been a teacher for many years. While I was in high school I started out tutoring students.  I have a special fondness for helping people learn new things. This is why  I went to school for cosmetology because I also have a passion for hair styling and making people look beautiful. Later on, I found myself working as an event and wedding planner.  

What do you like best about teaching your language?

The art of communication. English is a very expressive language. We don’t just speak with our words but we also speak with our facial expressions and our body language. My most positive experience in teaching English is that I have met hundreds of wonderful and interesting adults and children over the ye

What is your best memory about teaching?

I had a very difficult 5 years old student. He never wanted to sit down, never wanted to learn, and never wanted to engage me. After about 3 lessons, I felt like this was a lost cause. I really wanted to give up. Then this determination and drive just came over me and I said to myself “What can I do differently?”  Well, I dressed up like a crazy person :). One side ponytail. Bunny ears. Crazy makeup. Instead of teaching him sitting down I taught the whole class standing up. Instead of teaching 0 minutes in a 25 minute class I was at least able to get about 7 minutes teaching him. So I learned that moment that if I continue to create a fun loving experience really and put my love into the teaching to draw him out little by little, I’ll be able to complete a 25 minute session.

Do you have any favorite place in your home country? Why?

New York City ! I love all the lights. I love the fact that there’s always something to do. Broadway shows, food, jazz, walking around the city, museums, etc. NYC is known as the city that never sleeps and I love it !

What does a working day look like for you?

I wake up at about 6 o’clock in the morning and prepare my schedule for the rest of the day. I’m not really a breakfast person so I will only have tea or coffee. Then I check my emails and get dressed and ready for the day. Some days I teach in the mornings.  Other days I teach in the afternoon. On the days that I’m not teaching, I am involved in my volunteer work teaching people about the Bible in English. When I return home I always prepare my classes for the next day and send out any emails needed for my students and their parents. Sometimes I like to watch a movie or TV show with dinner and head off to bed.

What is your favorite hobby?

I love singing, dancing, and traveling.

Why do you think learning languages is important in life?

Where I currently live in Puerto Rico, I do not speak the language fluently, but I work diligently to communicate as best I can with these beautiful people.  Of course, I wish I had learned Spanish much earlier In life. The mind of a young child is like a sponge and it can absorb new information much more rapidly than adults at an accelerated rate. Being able to teach young children English is vital for them to be able to succeed in life. The world has become a melting pot of different languages and when you’re able to communicate even just a few words, it builds a common ground with whomever you encounter.

In one word, why should a child have language sessions with you ?

LOVE !!! I realize that I have great chemistry with children. My goal is to make learning English not only challenging but great fun. I love listening to children struggle through the activity of learning a new language and then successfully communicate the language with great ease. I love what I do!

Learn English with coach Ilse

Hello, can you tell us more about you?

I am Coach Ilse. I live in the breathtaking city of Cape Town in South Africa. I grew up in a small town called Somerset West. I have two naughty but adorable dogs, two beautiful cats and about ten Koi fish. I love hiking, camping, surfing and the outdoors. I don’t have a sweet-tooth at all, but I love baking for friends and family

Have you always been a teacher?

No, I studied CAD drafting and worked at an engineering firm. I used to teach Sunday-school classes and tutored a few students. I started working as an online teacher more than two years ago and I still love my job every day.

What do you like best about teaching your language?

English is and has always been my preferred language, as some things just sound better in English. I feel there is so much we can learn about the language, once you dig a little deeper. Idioms, poems, simile and phrases, to mention a few just makes life sweeter.

What is your best memory about teaching?

I would have to say the unique way in which my students surprise me. To see my students improve and to be able to help with their progress. Seeing how proud they are once they get there.

What is your favorite place in your home country? Why?

My favorite place is the beach. The crashing of the waves, the birds in the sky and sand between my toes, is better than therapy.

What does a working day look like for you?

I wake up and have a healthy breakfast. I start my sessions with my students, complete progress reports and after that I prepare my lessons for the following days.

What is your favorite hobby?

I have a lot of hobbies and changes with the seasons but at the moment my favorite hobby is definitely hiking.

Why do you think learning languages is important in life?

The world cannot function without language, we need a way to be able to communicate with ease. Learning a new language broadens ones listening skills and memory. It also helps us improve on our own languages.

What is the most important value of learning a language at an early stage for you ?

It is easier for younger learners to learn and remember a new language and it enhances future career opportunities.

In one word, why should a child have language sessions with you ?

Because of my enthusiasm! 🙂

VivaLing frenchweb

VivaLing, Startup of the Month in Frenchweb

VivaLing frenchweb

Ce n’est pas un hasard si la Chine, où l’on dénombre près de 690 millions d’internautes, a toujours été au cœur de la stratégie de VivaLing, la start-up digitale lancée en 2014 à Singapour par deux anciens des Mines, Bernard Golstein et Zihan Wang, son associée chinoise. Pour ceux qui ne la connaissent pas encore, VivaLing est la première plateforme disponible en trois langues (français, anglais et chinois) proposant un enseignement interactif en ligne pour les enfants avec de vrais professeurs natifs de langues étrangères.

Vivaling est positionné «haut de gamme» et propose des cours 100 % personnalisés au niveau, à la vitesse d’apprentissage et aux centres d’intérêt de l’enfant. Dès sa levée de fonds de 500 000 dollars singapouriens (soit environ 345 500 euros) réalisée à Singapour en avril 2015, VivaLing a annoncé que la priorité serait donnée aux marchés chinois et singapourien. «La Chine présente à la fois l’écosystème «consumer internet» le plus avancé du monde par son ubiquité, une soif d’apprendre l’anglais inégalée et un poids démographique sans équivalent» explique Bernard Golstein – chacune de ses caractéristiques suffirait à elle seule à justifier le choix de la Chine.

En novembre de l’année dernière, à l’occasion du Global Education Technology Summit & Expo (GET), soit le rendez-vous incontournable en matière d’Ed-Tech en Chine qui met à l’honneur les dernières innovations en matière d’intelligence artificielle, gaming et technologies au service de l’éducation, VivaLing faisait partie des start-up sélectionnées pour leur apport majeur en termes d’innovation. Le lendemain de l’événement, VivaLing lance son offre en Chine sous le nom de WeiLing, et ouvre son compte WeChat (ID: 微龄) ainsi que sa plateforme en mandarin ​​. Un démarrage sur les chapeaux de roue qui a largement dépassé les attentes des deux entrepreneurs.

Si VivaLing a rencontré un franc succès dès son lancement en Chine, Bernard Golstein, le PDG et co-créateur de la startup, insiste sur l’importance d’être présent sur place pour bien comprendre les spécificités de ce marché unique. «La Chine reste difficilement accessible à moins d’en maîtriser les codes, d’avoir de très solides relais locaux et une allocation de ressources en conséquence. C’est pour cela que toute l’équipe technique est dirigée par notre CTO (NDLR directeur de la technologie) chinois depuis Shanghai», explique-t-il. Il rappelle également le deuxième challenge auquel doivent faire face tous les entrepreneurs souhaitant se lancer sur un marché porteur en Chine : la vitesse à laquelle la concurrence va copier le concept. «À marché attractif, concurrence forcément très rude. En l’espace de deux ans, face à une apparence trompeuse de faible barrière à l’entrée, une multitude de services semblables ont émergé. Cependant, comme souvent pour les imitations, la plupart de ces nouveaux acteurs offrent une prestation de piètre qualité, visant au gain financier à court terme pour eux-mêmes et négligeant la qualité de l’enseignement, ce qui n’est pas durable. Enfin, contrairement à l’immense majorité de nos concurrents chinois, nous sommes nés globaux et avons déjà de jeunes apprenants dans plus de trente pays, ce qui diminue le risque d’échec, augmente les opportunités pour nos professeurs et l’attractivité pour les investisseurs.»

VivaLing frenchweb

Cette stratégie a permis à Vivaling de devenir en deux ans et demi une véritable multinationale avec des équipes dans plus de vingt pays et des jeunes apprenants répartis dans une trentaine de pays en Europe, au Moyen-Orient et en Asie.

VivaLing a tout misé sur son premier canal de développement: un bouche-à-oreille et un taux de satisfaction élevé de ses clients. La start-up utilise par ailleurs un système de parrainage. Grâce à une stratégie de communication digitale complète notamment sur les principaux réseaux sociaux internationaux, mais aussi locaux. Par exemple, en Chine, VivaLing utilise principalement WeChat, l’application de messagerie instantanée chinoise qui devient un écosystème de plus en plus complet et autonome, aussi bien pour la communication que pour l’aspect transactionnel. VivaLing a également noué des partenariats avec des supports online comme, Devenir Bilingue ou Maman Vogue pour sa cible francophone, dont une grande partie est composée de familles expatriées. En revanche, le PDG de VivaLing ne conseille surtout pas les techniques de Search Engine Marketing (SEM): «Le coût d’acquisition clients a atteint des niveaux jamais vus ailleurs allant jusqu’à 1000 dollars par client. VivaLing n’utilise pas ces techniques désormais inopérantes dans notre marché en Chine.»

Le secret de la réussite de VivaLing ? L’humain! Selon Bernard Golstein, la communauté de coaches VivaLing est très vivante et fidèle. Contrairement à certains autres acteurs du marché qui sont de simples marketplace, Vivaling revendique une approche qualitative et investit beaucoup dans ses ressources humaines, notamment en formant et accompagnant ses coachs tout au long de leur carrière. Leur satisfaction se traduit, in fine, par une plus forte satisfaction des clients.

À terme, VivaLing souhaite renforcer son impact social en s’adressant aux plus démunis, que ce soit dans les pays développés ou au bas de la pyramide des pays émergents. En Chine, Bernard Golstein compte développer l’offre dans les villes chinoises de deuxième et troisième rangs. «Nos clients sont majoritairement issus des classes moyennes et supérieures, comme pour nos concurrents, mais nous anticipons progressivement l’élargissement du marché aux moins fortunés. Géographiquement, la bande côtière reste surreprésentée, de Guangzhou à Beijing en passant par Shanghai et Tianjin (NDLR Villes de premier rang), mais nous commençons à avoir des clients dans le centre et l’ouest du pays.»

À plus long terme, VivaLing offrira non seulement les langues les plus demandées (VivaLing proposera bientôt l’apprentissage de l’allemand, du coréen et du japonais), mais aussi les moins demandées, contribuant à la sauvegarde du patrimoine linguistique de l’humanité et de l’héritage linguistique des familles.

Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Sukun, Mandarin Coach at VivaLing

mandarin coach VivaLing

What is your best CNY memory? 

I remember when I was a child, it always used to snow during CNY. It was white everywhere. My old house has a yard. We used to hang red lanterns under the roof. It was so beautiful, especially when the lanterns were covered with a thick layer of snow. The red lanterns and white snow just matched with each other so well! I will always keep this scene in my mind!

How do you usually celebrate CNY at your place?

I live in the Hebei province. In my hometown, our family always meet on the New Year’s Eve and we usually have a big meal! During the meal, 饺子 (dumplings) are essential! Our whole family will make dumplings together. As an old tradition, we’ll put coins, dates, or other sweet desserts inside some of  the dumplings – it’s said whoever gets the special dumplings will have good luck in the next year. Besides, the whole family will be staying up until midnight. When the clock points to twelve o’clock, we go out and set fireworks to celebrate New Year. The next day, we will all wear new clothes and shoes and visit our relatives and neighbors for new year greetings.

What are your favorite CNY Eve dishes?

We have 门丁 (sweet buns) which are meat buns with red dots on the middle, as well as huge 馒头 (steamed buns) with a character 福 (good luck). My favorite dish is pork joint because it’s good for skin

mandarin coach VivaLing

What is the sentence in Chinese you will teach your VivaLing students for Chinese New Year?

I want to teach my Vivaling students 过年好 (guo nian hao) for the CNY greetings.





VivaLing in China

Personalized and Professional Language Teaching for Kids







Vivaling Online Language Teaching

VivaLing launches the VivaLing Online Language Teaching – Young Learners certification

Vivaling Online Language Teaching

The future of language teaching is online!

Global connectivity and collaboration combined with technology will enable educators to provide interactive and highly customized lessons. Today’s children are equipped with everything they need to benefit from this transformation in education. But this nascent industry is not without challenges.

This is why VivaLing, the World’s First Online Language Academy for Kids, launches officially at EdtechXAsia – Singapore the VivaLing Online Language Teaching – Young Learners certification on November 8, 2016.

The VOLT- YL is a professional development program for trained teachers who would like to advance or extend their skills in teaching languages to children in an online or technologically rich environment, and to have this valuable skillset officially recognized.

“The VOLT- YL certification ushers in a win-win-win configuration and brings clarity to an industry still in its infancy. Trained teachers will stand out, increasing their career prospects with their competency and legitimacy. Educational institutions will easily identify and recognize skilled professionals, enhancing the quality of the service they deliver. Parents will always have the necessary peace of mind when entrusting their children to the education service provider.” Bernard GOLSTEIN, VivaLing CEO

A Comprehensive Program

The VOLT- YL program runs over the course of 12 weeks, with the first four weeks dedicated to training and observation, and the final eight weeks for online teaching practice and feedback. The estimated time commitment is 10 hours per week. In total, the program includes 120 hours of blended learning.

By the end of this program, candidates will have learned how to:

  • Plan and deliver instruction that engages the five language learning drivers for children
  • Understand the VivaLing Language Learning Approach and research-based methodology for teaching languages
  • Incorporate a variety of child-centered online tools, materials, and activities into lessons
  • Utilize technology to engage children and enhance the learning process
  • Apply their learning in online sessions with young learners

The VOLT-YL is designed to enable teachers to:

  • Develop their skills and grow professionally
  • Network and learn from other professional educators around the globe
  • Keep up with the latest trends in language teaching
  • Gain experience in online teaching
  • Earn a certificate validating their skills in online teaching for children

“Even seasoned teachers soon find out that what has worked for years in a physical classroom just does not work the same way online. Unequipped with adequate knowledge, skills and tools to maximize learning effectiveness in an online environment, teachers and their students are left frustrated. The VivaLing Online Language Teaching – Young Learners Certificate (VOLT- YL)  prepares language teachers for this new paradigm through exposure to a perfect blend of theory and practical teaching advice. With VivaLing’s collective experience of teaching multiple languages to children in over 30 countries around the world, we have identified the knowledge, strategies, and resources that are most valuable for online teachers.” Abbie ADEYERI, VivaLing Head of Learning


VivaLing, the world’s first language academy for kids

Singapore-based VivaLing is the world’s first online language academy for kids.

VivaLing currently teaches English, Mandarin, Spanish and French to young learners aged 3 to 15 in more than 30 countries across the world. Through real-time video with native language coaches, VivaLing enables young learners to learn the language of their future right from the comfort of their own home or in partnership with their schools.

VivaLing relies on outstanding teachers, best-in-class technology and leading-edge science to ensure that young learners enjoy the most fruitful experience through hyper-personalized coaching. As an academy, VivaLing trains its coaches so that each benefits from the cumulative experience of all, and from the latest findings in language-learning sciences. With nearly 3 years of online language teaching sessions, VivaLing has earned a unique and exclusive experience. VivaLing has developed its proprietary pedagogical framework: the VivaLing Language Learning Approach (ViLLA).

Contact:  Ludivine Hamy – Head of Marketing and Communication –

To learn more about the VivaLing Online Language Teaching – Young Learners certification, click HERE