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Panos Kraniotis

Rosetta Stone

Regional Director, Europe

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A language training solution checklist


Once a training need has been identified, the pressure is on to implement a programme that will plug the skills gap, help the business achieve its objectives and deliver within budget. There are many options out there including face to face training, remote study, electronic (e-) learning and a hybrid combination of these methods. Training budget holders need to assess each potential solution on its ability to provide measurable results, meet training objectives and fit in with how, when and where learners are able to study.

Language skills are critical today

Companies need employees with strong communications skills to help them compete and grow in today’s global business world. Multilingual teams can improve client relationships and generate more business opportunities through enriched sales conversations. They can contribute to the effectiveness of a team and enable more successful communication between colleagues across regions, as well as help employees feel motivated, fulfilled in their role, and positive about their career prospects.

With a range of language training methods available and a variety of products and services to choose from, it’s critical to make sure that key features are part of your chosen programme. Here’s a helpful checklist to help guide you in assessing potential training solutions. These are the ten features I suggest training managers look for:

  1. Accessibility
    Rolling out a training programme in a globally dispersed organisation can be a challenge. Face to face training may not be a viable option because it can be impossible to align schedules. Training should also be available regardless of location, time zone and whether learners work solely from one location or move around. Today’s employees are on the go and dispersed around the world, so this is critical.
  2. Suitability for all learner levels
    Learners start at different levels. Some will have some established knowledge of a language, others will be starting at the beginning. The most effective language learning solutions assess each learner individually at the start of the course in order to assign them to an appropriate work stream for their level.
  3. Engaging content
    Every learner is unique and has their own individual learning needs, so training solutions that offer variety in their content delivery will achieve the best results. Look for learning solutions that combine text, audio and video content within engaging lessons and offer a range of activities to keep learners engaged. Speech recognition technology is also important as it supports correct pronunciation. Technology today also allows for live interaction with tutors and coaches, so look for programmes that feature this to enable conversation practice in realistic situations tobuild confidence.
  4. Adaptability
    Programmes that adapt to learners’ individual needs will get the best results.  Also look for courses that revisit content that learners struggle with to hone skills.  .
  5. Mobility
    Training needs to be accessible from multiple devices as learners are increasingly on the move, switching from PC to laptop to tablet to smart phone. Intuitive content, designed for the devices we use today needs to appeal to an increasingly technology-savvy working population.
  6. Range of languages
    As business needs evolve and companies expand into new territories, it makes sense to have the flexibility to be able to add additional languages to the list of those available for employees to learn.  You never know where you next client or colleague may reside, and it will behove you to be ahead of the game and culturally aware as well as language proficient.
  7. Scalability
    Training needs to adapt as requirements dictate. This can include increasing the scope of the training programme, which can be hard to do with face to face training as it doesn’t scale well across regions and is less suited to training large volumes of people.
  8. Consistency
    Training standards and content can vary when multiple providers are engaged. A training programme needs to upskill learners to the same standard and equip them with similar capabilities.
  9. Relevance
    Language learning solutions that incorporate industry-specific content provide an ideal opportunity for employees to build confidence in terminology that they will use day-to-day. This is a huge bonus for people in the healthcare industry, for example, who need to learn medical terms that may not be in a standard language course.
  10. Measurability
    Measuring a business’ return on training investment and being able to show the progress being made in a way that can be understood company-wide is perhaps the most critical aspect to consider. You need to be able to show an in-depth assessment of achievements and progress at the individual level.

Digital, or e-learning, language training is a convenient solution for today’s workplace. Employees are increasingly comfortable with information delivered digitally and are used to the advantages it provides, including being able to progress their training when and where it suits them and receive instant feedback on how they are doing.

With such variety in training solutions available today it can be hard to decide which to pursue when implementing a language learning programme. A checklist, like the one included here can be a useful tool to help assess potential training solutions and ultimately, choose the one that is going to help your business meet its training needs.

Author Profile Picture
Panos Kraniotis

Regional Director, Europe

Read more from Panos Kraniotis

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