When Progress Needs Communication

Learner Success Story – Empowering Communication

Speexx is a training partner for LINGOs, a global learning consortium of 90+ aid, international development and conservation organizations. In the course of 2 years since the start of the partnership, a staggering number of over 5,000 consortium staff in more than 125 countries are actively engaged with a training course for French, Spanish or English language training. The format of the cloud based training fits exceptionally well to the work-dynamics of many field workers who prefer nonface-to-face training and require maximum flexibility.

As a whole the speed at which the LINGOs learners complete the training program is remarkable and above par, depicting the relevance of the training for staff and more importantly the high level of engagement the learners from the LINGOs demographic display.

The training success of the learners at LINGOs Member Organizations and what motivates them to acquire these new communication skills are showcased here.

Knowledge through Interaction

Speexx: Why did you decide to start this language course?

Ms. Iris Delgado – Regional Coordinator in Food for the Hungry, El Alto-Bolivia replies:“I decided to learn the English language because I see that it is very important to acquire new knowledge. I wanted to be able to interact with my supervisors. Also, because of my work, I do not have a lot of time to attend formal courses, so this course gave me the facilities to adjust my schedules and to be able to advance in the language skills in the rhythm that I needed.” 

and Bahati Mulumeoderhwa Prince a Financial Controller at the American Refugee Committee shares her reasoning for participating in the skills training program:

“I decided to start this course when I attended a conference and I had a hard time understanding everything. It was necessary that I improve the little English that I knew and be able to make the most of this type of opportunities for knowledge sharing.” – 

In other words, the learners above indicated they were motivated to learn and improve their English to better and faster advance in other areas of their work.

Balancing Work & Learning

Speexx: How did you organize your time to complete the course? Was it difficult to complete the learning program in parallel to work?

“I decided to plan a few hours in one day each week, with complete dedication to the language course, during work. This way I was able to make sure I did not fall behind on my lessons, so it was not difficult to keep up and complete it.” – Carlos Eduardo Gonzalez Rodriguez – responsible for producing information related from economic models, agriculture technology assessments, analysis of future climate change impact at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Edgar Herrera – Administration and Finance Manager at Food for the Hungry opted for a slightly different approach: “I preferred to mostly study after work. It was a bit challenging at first, but after I improved my personal time management, it was a lot easier and I really enjoyed it.” – 

Breaking Down Communication Silos

Speexx: How did the new language skills influence your workday? Are you applying your new skills for conducting verbal and written correspondence?

Iris Delgado:“It helps me a lot. Now I can speak simple sentences in easy conversations. And I can also understand English when I hear it, however, I still have problems with writing and my challenge is to continue practicing the English language until I can make long conversations.” 

“My English is better than when I started the course and I improved my level of communication in all the things about my job, I am able to perform better in my job.” – Edgar Herrera.

Ms. Andrea C. Garcia – Administrative Analyst at International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) comments that her newly acquired communication skills are highly relevant to her work: “I use my new language skills on a daily basis when communicating with other colleagues from regions such as Asia and Africa.”

Impact on learner and Human Resource manager alike

CIMMYT is one of the LINGOs consortium members. CIMMYT is the acronym of ´Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo´(International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat). CIMMYT opted to offer English and Spanish language training programs to selected staff in order to support communication between international research teams.

Jean Flavien Le Besque, Global HR Development Manager at CIMMYT, says that “as an international organization with offices in remote locations, and multiple pressing tasks, it is often hard for staff to attend training.” As a result, Speexx’ online program has made language learning available to learners who would not otherwise have had access. That opportunity is key, Flores says, because “CIMMYT staff interact with a range of nationalities and cultures frequently, and having a minimum of two languages certainly helps and encourages effective communication.”

About LINGOS

LINGOs is a not-for-profit capacity building organization in its tenth year of providing world-class learning opportunities that are appropriate, accessible and affordable for people working to reduce poverty and alleviate suffering in the developing world.

Find more information about LINGOs here.

About the Author:

Marije Nieuwenhuis is Senior PR Manager at Speexx. She holds an MA in Business Communications from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and has lived and worked abroad for more than a decade working within international teams. Marije has worked in the fields of international PR, promotional marketing, B2B promotions and events, and project management.