Effective strategies for intensive language training

Posted by Rob Shimwell

HR and Learning & Development managers increasingly find it difficult to encourage employees to commit to the ongoing availability needed to learn or improve their language skills. This is due to the demands on employees’ time from complex work schedules which need to take priority. Often this is a greater challenge for senior level employees who are also juggling both their home and work lives whilst travelling or working across multiple time zones.

Training Your International Employees

As companies expand their international footprint, the challenges of location become increasingly prominent. This often means that training managers are looking for new, flexible methods of training; using technology solutions that may be inadequate and not as effective as face-to-face training.

One option that addresses this is to consider investing in a course that incorporates a more intensive focus on rapid and effective language learning results. English language training can be very effective when modular, intensive and limited to 1-2 weeks at a time. It enables learners to achieve goals quickly and effectively.

Participants need to be given the opportunity to apply what they are learning in a real-life context as well as being able to fully immerse themselves in the culture and language for maximum results. A short 1 or 2 week course that focuses on their particular language learning needs, can teach what most ongoing courses will in 6 months.

Intensive English Training Activities

Selecting the right provider for your business

Selecting the right English training provider

The value of being able to converse in another language on a business level is becoming more and more valued by businesses operating on a global scale. Companies understand the value of good communication across international borders and how this can benefit their business relationships and hence contribute to their overall growth.

However, many language providers fail to recognise the importance of addressing the differences between regular communication and communicating in a business context leading to critical gaps in an executive’s foreign language communication skills. It is important to ensure that your provider can offer up – to date business content in addition to generic language training.

Professional language services companies will offer a free assessment of the employee’s English language capabilities. As part of the assessment, a recommendation will be offered around the subject areas that may need to be considered for inclusion as part of the course. This will ensure the objectives of the language training from a business perspective are addressed, particularly if these relate to any key areas of business such as technical or HR language. For example, the inclusion of a course module on presenting to ensure the executive has the right language to set the appropriate tone.

A modular language learning structure allows collaboration with the employee to select the most relevant module to their business and personal needs typically generates the best results. The employee feels more invested in the learning process as they can see how the outcome will benefit them directly both on a personal and business level.

An example of activities for Dialogue's intensive English training course

Finally, an overview of the course can be provided along with the methodology that will be used in the teaching process. This ensures that the approach, expectations and objectives of the course are clearly set from the beginning, leading to a more successful outcome.

Ensuring the selection of an appropriate provider that has a wide range of expertise and can also be flexible enough to meet your needs is crucial. Some providers will go as far as offering all-inclusive accommodation options as part of the course with an array of options from a family home-stay arrangement to hotels with business conference facilities, depending on the budgets available for training and the preference of the employee.

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