Knowledge of languages is an essential skill for any company dealing with customers or suppliers who do not speak their native language. Having employees who feel comfortable using English or other foreign languages on a daily basis is undoubtedly a plus.
Corporate language courses are one of the most used ways to improve the language skills of company staff, because they allow you to save on the costs of third-party suppliers. However, implementing this type of training can be challenging, both organizationally and economically. For these reasons, most internal programs do not achieve their intended objectives.
In this article, we talk about the three most common mistakes that prevent companies from achieving their language goals and offer an alternative to change gear and put aside forever courses that have no rhyme or reason, which only waste time and money.
Wrong choice of teachers
For reasons of economy or practicality, for example to reduce the time and costs associated with moving employees to attend courses, companies often organize courses internally, appointing external teachers or, sometimes, asking “gifted” colleagues to act as teachers for their colleagues.
This approach generally does not work, because it presents several critical issues. First of all, those who improvise as teachers do not have the skills to teach, nor the necessary professional ethics to communicate to students the importance of the course and the goals it aims to achieve. The consequence is that participants will perceive the course as a distraction from their corporate tasks.
Secondly, they lack both technological skills (lack of monitoring through specific procedures and tools such as software, templates, best practices) and those relating to teaching in the strict sense. Furthermore, last minute teachers have another job, namely the one they hold in the company, therefore they will always give priority to the responsibilities relating to their assignments rather than teaching.
The most important factor in determining the success of a language course is the teacher. Your level of expertise, teaching style, and ability to provide constructive feedback are all factors that have a large impact on the effectiveness of your course. If your business course is run by an unqualified teacher, you will be wasting your time and money. A teacher must be able to explain concepts, teach vocabulary and grammar rules, guide students to use those words appropriately, and provide constructive feedback on pronunciation and grammar. If a teacher does not have the right level of competence, student progress will be slow and unproductive, if not non-existent.
A company should select teachers who not only have a high level of proficiency in the language, but also in teaching. Teachers who have experience teaching both adults and children will be more easily able to handle the different learning styles and challenges posed by each student.
Incorporating too many topics into the course at once
Most people don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours and hours in class learning vocabulary and grammar. For this reason, it is essential to concentrate a course on a few topics and targeted objectives. One of the biggest problems of courses organized internally by companies is precisely the structural deficiency in the organization of contents.
If the aim of the course is to teach English to people working in marketing, for example, you should focus the content on the vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar specific to that specific sector, because they will provide students with practical help and immediate benefits in their daily work, and therefore also a strong motivation that will push them to commit seriously.
An English course focused on marketing should therefore focus on the language inherent to sales, advertising, product development and on the structure of the most functional sentences for communicating in that given market. If too many topics are covered in the course, the final result will be distracting.
Having unrealistic expectations
Many companies want to see quick results and immediate benefits from their language courses. However, language learning is not something that can be achieved overnight. There are physiological times to respect to develop good speaking and writing skills. If you want to get results from a business course, you’ll first need to have realistic expectations about how long it takes students to make progress. You will also need to invest the right amount of time and money into the course. You will also need to make sure that the organization of the content is done intelligently, that is challenging but not overly demanding. If the course is too difficult, you may not see any results. If it’s too easy, it won’t be as effective as it could and should be.
Goodbye corporate courses: try the LingoYou Academy language courses
Language knowledge is an essential skill for any company dealing with customers or suppliers who do not speak their native language. Having staff members who are comfortable using foreign languages on a daily basis produces a better working environment and helps attract new talent to the company.
The most important factor in determining the success of a language course is the teachers. LingoYou Academy can count on a team of teachers with proven experience. Trust our school, help your employees really learn languages thanks to the tools and knowledge of LingoYou Academy.
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