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A Potted History:

The Renault Group has been making cars in the UK since 1904. Today, it is an international multi-brand group, selling more than 2.5 million vehicles per year in 128 countries.

The Challenge:

In 1994 Renault‘s Distribution Centre in Swindon needed to expose some of its staff to the French culture and language. This small assignment rapidly expanded to include Renault UK, RCI Banque, Renault Retail Group and Renault-Nissan Consulting companies.

Dialogue was tasked with producing a language programme that would allow personnel to converse in French. This lingua franca was an early initiative. All courses had to show progress and relevance to the workplace. Dialogue also had to teach English to the French contingent – this sometimes needed an intensive solution.

The Solution:

  • Dialogue created a programme that would take personnel from total beginners to advanced speakers, focusing primarily on speaking and listening skills.
  • All courses could be joined at certain points – so that the classes remained as flexible as possible, allowing classes to expand or contract depending on need.
  • Dialogue also ran intensive courses as well as on-going courses. For intensive English courses, a host family was also highly recommended to complement lessons, ensuring total immersion.
  • The host families had to be local to the lessons taking place, and with families that were sympathetic to the executives’ needs. The families and learners all came together for evening dinners and conversations as part of the course.
  • Dialogue ran on-site exams to ensure flexibility around the learners’ work commitments.
  • Day-trip visits to France were also organised for some groups of French learners and with intensive French training with our partner school in Lyon. Learners were therefore able to get the ‘real’ experience of using French. These proved to be very popular and consolidated the learning in the class.
  • The results speak for themselves:

  • Dialogue has taught over 100 learners over the last 20 years.
  • Learners have had a 100% pass rate for all exams taken.
  • Dialogue has successfully taken many learners from school French to operational proficiency.
  • “Currently loving it. Brigitte is really nice, easy to understand and pushes me as she knows I have a lot in my head that is just rusty!”

    “My intensive course’s three strengths were the home family, the importance of oral discussion and the availability of the teachers. The teachers were clear, patient, encouraging, professional, interesting and humorous.”