Making the decision to implement an English Language learning program in your workplace is the first step to reaping many business benefits. Various industry professionals have profited from such benefits with impressive figures. Business giants, like the CEO of Rakuten (the largest online marketplace in Japan), have implemented policies that make English the primary language of their business. This was a huge change to the business that The Harvard Business Review reports affected approximately 7,100 employees.
You might not be dealing with quite so many employees, but the decision to implement such a change brings with it a number of potential difficulties to consider when choosing the right English language learning program for your organization. Whether you’re a small, medium or large-scale company, the following 5 possible difficulties will be integral to the success of your English language learning experience.
Identifying the Gaps
When embarking on a training initiative like this, you’ll want to find a way of easily identifying the areas of English language knowledge that need improvement. Do you really have the time to create and complete language tests for all of your employees and continue the smooth day-to-day running of your business? Ideally, you’ll want a programme with an inbuilt testing system to provide you with each employee’s starting position without having to find the time to do the legwork yourself. This is one of the benefits of using an online programme, with its potential to process and present a large number of test results efficiently and effectively, directly to your inbox.
Context is Essential
You’ll need to make sure that the programme you implement understands your specific requirements. A prime example of this is the concept of Business English, a concept discussed by many industry professionals. Gabrielle Jones, a winner of the British Council TeachingEnglish blog award, discusses the importance of identifying not only the specific situations in which you anticipate your employees using their acquired skills but also identifying the need for cultural awareness should your employees be working with other non-native English speakers. If you can find a language learning programme that can provide you with a highly personalised set of courses, you’ll be able to cover all of the possible cultural differences for your business context.
The Individual Approach
You’ll need to take into account the individual language learning needs of every employee involved. This personalised approach can be difficult to successfully execute, especially as many language learning programmes can come with the expectation that every individual will learn in the same way. Ideally, you’ll want to find a language learning program that can provide you with highly personalised courses that fit a vast variety of learning styles. Take a look at our blog here on [hyperlink] The 7 Different Learning Styles and How Online Language Learning reaches them all. [hyperlink]
Flexibility and Access
You’ll need to find a method of language learning that allows your employees to use a variety of means – their phones, tablets, laptops – and allows them the flexibility of any time, anywhere. Finding and implementing this kind of approach is key to motivating and encouraging your employees to take ownership of their own learning and this will ultimately result in the best progress. Despite the benefits here, many forums and articles around the subject of online language learning express a concern for the negative preconceptions of technology for older-aged people. It is possible that an online programme could intimidate those of us who are not considered a technology-savvy millennial? This can, therefore, be an important possibility to consider when implementing English language learning for a variety of employees. Take a look at our blog here for further information on this issue: Is Online Learning Just for Millennials?
Whether you’re a small, medium or large-scale business, remaining on top of each employee’s progress can be difficult and time-consuming. You’ll want to know that the language learning programme that you choose is efficient and effective without having to chase up the weekly feedback yourself. In a similar vein to the first stage of identifying the gaps of knowledge in your workplace, online language learning programmes can provide frequent and easy-to-digest progress reports that will allow you to quickly review the success of the venture. Rather than sending your employees off to a language class where they might get lost in the numbers and tracking progress might not be so easy to access, find an online programme that provides each employee with their own personal success coordinator – yes, that service does already exist for you to take advantage of!
Conclusions and final advice
After taking on board all of those important areas to consider, you’ll probably feel a little overwhelmed at what may lay ahead of you in your decision to implement an English language learning programme in your workplace. Countless articles and forums will rave about how easy it really is to do this. However, teaching English as a second language is a rapidly growing industry with rapidly increasing options for you to choose from. With this in mind, you’ll want to keep this checklist of 5 difficulties to consider with you when selecting the English language programme that will ensure that the entire process is easy for every employee and huge success that expands your business’ capabilities tenfold.