9 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Language Training Partner – Part 2
If you’re an HR or L&D professional tasked with finding a corporate language training partner for your organization, there is a lot to consider while you navigate through the wide variety of providers on the market.
Here we continue a two-part series where we suggest nine questions to ask yourself before you select a corporate language training partner. In the first article of this series we discussed how to gauge if learning content is relevant to your users and benefiting your team, the role of technology in language learning, different learning methods and how they may fit into your business objectives, and the need for skills assessment. Let’s pick up where we left off with question number five.
5. Are their methods aligned with international standards?
When choosing a language training partner, ensure their methods are upheld to those of international standards. Various international frameworks have been established, such as the CEFR and others, although the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) is the most widely used and recognized language proficiency scale in the world. Find which framework fits best to match the needs of your organization and ensure your language training provider can also offer assessment testing. Also, note that recurring assessment tests do well to measure the proficiency of your learners and can also help to inform trainers of learners’ strengths and weaknesses in order to further personalize the learning material to fit the needs of the learner and work on areas needing improvement. Don’t just test once!
6. Are they accredited?
As digital learning is evolving, and technology becomes more accessible, people from all around the globe are capable of learning a new language through distance-learning programs. Thanks to digital learning, language training providers can now offer the perfect blend where technology can support certified language trainers in teaching a new language and enhance learning experiences, while offering more flexibility for learning opportunities to busy professionals and modern learners. AI also plays an important role when it comes to learning a new language, as some language learning programs are now harnessing its power to offer more relevant and personalized content to their learners. Speexx Essentials is available across all devices on PC, Mac, Android, iOS and LINUX, so you can familiarize employees with digital training in a ‘’lightweight’’ way, while allowing them to use their own digital devices. It can also be integrated into all HR systems globally within 24 hours, along with continuous performance support. In the end, technology is offering certified language trainers the opportunity to provide their learners with a modern and personalized learning experience like never before.
7. Are the instructors certified and native speakers?
By 2020, the global workforce will be comprised of four or five generations, generations which differ greatly from one another when it comes to their learning preferences (among other things!). For learning to remain relevant, content must be personalized so that each individual remains engaged and motivated to continue learning. Find out if your potential language training partner offers a variety of personalized learning content to suit your learners – such as content designed specifically for marketing professionals, materials for those in STEM fields, and so on.
Learners should have access to a skills center or resource library with current, up-to-date resources (videos, articles, and so on) so that they can stay updated and knowledgeable on hot topics related to their industries. Social learning is another beneficial way for learners to engage with others and strengthen their language skills. With Speexx, your employees can join virtual classrooms or webinars where they can practice speaking and listening with other learners from around the globe. Many people are eager to express their newfound skills in a new language in social settings that feel natural – talking about the news, pop culture, and so on; it can be demotivating to simply practice verb conjugations all day. It’s important that the content is also customized towards an individual’s career goals and daily work so he or she masters vocabulary relevant to his or her specific industry and can start applying phrases and sentences to the workplace.
8. Do I receive reliable and experienced customer service and tech support?
Choosing a language training provider can be confusing, especially when it comes down to the technical aspects of integrating new software into your existing programs. One of the most crucial steps in finding the right language training provider is ensuring they offer a platform that is scalable and can adapt to the changing needs of your organization over time as well as update their tools as swiftly as you update yours.
And support doesn’t just refer to tech: Determine the number of languages they have available for language assessments as well as for their language training programs- as your company expands into new territories, it may be necessary to train employees in more than one or two foreign languages. Also, do they speak your language? Ensuring your HR, L&D and IT teams can effectively communicate with your new language training provider will be key to a smooth onboarding and integration process – find out which instruction and support languages they offer.
9. What type of customization capabilities do they have?
You’ll want to ensure you’re getting ‘’the most bang for your buck.’’ Is your potential language training partner cloud-based and able to integrate into all major performance and learning management systems, without extra costs? Do they go the extra mile to offer analytics tools and more data on your learners? Do they provide custom APIs to fit your talent management, performance, learning and recruitment systems? Can they offer customized learning content, create customized registration websites, and provide customization options for the log-in portal to fit your branding? These small details will make a big difference in providing your learners with a truly customized language training and learning experience.
A good language learning partner will not only provide relevant and personalized content for learners at the exact moment of need, but also a platform or dashboard where detailed information on the overview of learning at your organization and the progress of each learner can be easily accessed. Examples of such information can include the total amount of time a learner has devoted to learning, the success rate of learners advancing from one language level to the next, scores on exercises and proficiency tests, the number of virtual classroom sessions they have attended, the number of 1:1 calls they have booked or already completed, and much more. Learners should also be able to access their own information, as well as receive their own detailed progress reports so that they can remain on top of their learning goals.
Speexx Essentials also allows you to grow user engagement within your company and improve corporate communication: It’s cross-platform, so employees can do their trainings on the devices of their choice; Speexx’ AI provides you with automated learning data, so you’re able to constantly align your training budget with real-time business needs; and Speexx regularly and reliably reports analytics and insights allowing you to track progress and identify learning gaps.
Moving forward with language training
Your language training provider should deliver a program that engages your learners and meets their personalized learning goals, provides program administrators with a deeper insight into learning data, and meet the business objectives of your organization in order to help deliver a positive ROI, making the training both cost-effective and efficient.
Now that you’ve gone through these nine questions, you’ll be ready to confidently select your next corporate language training provider. If you’re interested and want to know more about improving communications on your team, send us a message and let’s talk.