There’s no doubt that additional languages are crucial in business. If a company can boast employees with good language speaking skills, they’re likely to be able to access a far greater number of profitable opportunities.
Not taking advantage of language training could mean that companies miss out on these opportunities. In fact, it’s estimated that in the UK, where three quarters of adults can’t speak a second language, the economy is missing out on £50 billion as a result.
The good news is that it’s never been easier to invest in language training. Online language courses have improved in both quality and availability, meaning that it can be very straight-forward to add additional languages to your company’s repertoire.
If your company is looking at language course providers in order to decide which one is right for you, here is some advice on how to choose a provider that will be well suited to your needs.
1.Consider the needs of your company
Different companies will have very different requirements from online language courses and language course providers. Consider the needs and culture of your company and how these might translate into your language training requirements. This should include things such as: course timescale, course schedule and cost.
2.Consider the needs of your employees
It’s important to think about the needs of the individuals who will be engaging with the online language courses as well as the company as a whole. The happier your employees are with the provision of language course providers, generally the more likely they are to succeed. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s interest to consider things such as course flexibility, teaching style, additional features, design and ease of use.
3.Double check the digital requirements
Most good online language courses will work across a variety of devices and platforms. (Our Dexway courses work from any device from a range of specially designed apps). However, it’s important to make sure you’ve checked the digital requirements before you commit. Is the language training you’ve chosen available across all the devices your employees are likely to want to use? Will they be able to access learning resources from the office as well as from home? Will they need access to the internet to engage with course materials, or will they be able to use apps offline too?
4.Research speaking and listening practice opportunities
Arguably one of the most important parts of learning a language is speaking and listening practice. Many online language courses fall down here because they can’t compete with face to face courses in terms of the speaking and listening practice opportunities. However, some language course providers have introduced innovative solutions to counteract this. For example, Dexway courses offer conversation groups where students can access online conversations with other students, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
5.Think about how much flexibility you need
Flexibility is more important to some companies than others. You’ll also find that some language course providers offer more comprehensive flexible options than others. Before you make your decision, we’d advise considering how much flexibility your company needs in areas such as how quickly courses need to be completed (you may want to reduce available training time during busy periods), how many staff members can access courses, how many different languages are available, how much control employees can have over their own training, and how many levels of training are available.
6.Keep the future in mind
It can be difficult to make decisions that will last your company for the considerable future, but it is wise to keep this in mind when considering online language courses. The provider you invest in now is likely to be one you will continue to work with in the future, so do take a look at the growth opportunities built into their offering. Will you be able to easily add additional students, move on to higher levels of training, and access additional features and resources? Taking these things into the decision making process now could avoid having to change language course providers in the future.
7.Consider customer support provision
When you’re investing in language training for a company, the choice isn’t all about the online language courses themselves. The customer support provision will also be extremely important. You’ll want to look at the professionalism of the provider, how easy it is to contact them and what sort of technical back up they offer in case of digital difficulties.
Choosing a language training provider isn’t always easy. It’s a big decision, especially as your company could have so much to gain from getting this right. If your company is looking to build a long term relationship with an eLearning provider, you may find this interesting: Choosing the Best eLearning Solutions Provider for Your Company.
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