Despite COVID 19-induced business disruption, our clients and students are pushing forward with business English training. Why? It’s an easy way to be productive during home working – and to continue driving value for the company and individual careers.
A key reason behind our students’ continued progress is our robust digital platform, which we developed over 10 years and with €800,000 of investment. At a time when people are turning to online learning and language apps to fill the time during lockdown, our students are continuing their upward trajectory.
For everyone looking to improve their business English – and any company looking to roll out training to continue value generation – here are 4 best practice tips.
1. Check for the right accreditations and qualifications
To maximise return on investment and ensure ongoing value, choose a reputable digital training provider – not an app or a company rushing a conversion to online learning to capitalise on the coronavirus situation. As a benchmark for your due diligence, The Language Grid has the following accreditations:
- Eaquals – for quality assurance, academic management, teacher development and the CEFR
- ISO 9001 – for quality management
- ISO 14001 – for environmental management
Our trainers are qualified native speakers with business and finance backgrounds. They’re skilled at working in virtual teams and results-focused in the way they deliver lessons. And, crucially, they have a proven track record of helping professionals communicate more effectively in English, not just score better on grammar and vocabulary tests.
2. Look for interactive content designed for digital engagement
Effective content goes beyond pre-recorded videos, multiple-choice questionnaires and fill in the blank exercises. It’s about interactive workshops, detailed quizzes related to business outcomes and timed tasks linked to a robust learning methodology. For example, we’re one of the rare business English training programs to have an assessment process that’s fully online.
Content should be designed for completion in digestible chunks based on a proven pedagogical approach. That way, it easily fits around the fragmented schedules people are maintaining as they balance disrupted work with family responsibilities.
3. Use video call lessons to integrate studying and speaking
Training results come from being forced to apply what you learn. Video call lessons are therefore essential – you make faster progress and achieve greater success compared to passively listening to recordings.
We’ve used video call lessons for years to supplement face-to-face learning (given the reality of managing schedules for time-pressed professionals). These lessons are supplemented by social networking and instant messaging for getting immediate help.
In this way, our native-speaker trainers can focus on the needs of each student – and hold them accountable for progress. For example, in modules related to conference calling, students prepare using interactive tools on the digital platform. Then, the trainer runs the lesson as a conference call for practical exercise, focusing on everything from agenda management through to note-taking. This blended human/digital approach therefore delivers better results than self-study (it’s a reason why our training has a 100% success rate).
4. Motivate through real-time, online progress tracking
Two of the most popular features in The Language Grid platform are the leaderboard and the real-time benchmarking. Students can check progress at every stage and compare their performance to peers.
Crucially, all metrics are linked to business outcomes. Emails are a great example. It takes a mother-tongue English speaker 2 minutes to draft a paragraph in an email, while a student at CEF Level 1 takes 24 minutes to perform the same task. Leveraging proprietary data like this, we benchmark achievements throughout the learning process. You can see progress in real time, thereby maintaining engagement levels and motivation.
Drive value during disruption with business English training
Combining proprietary research, extensive expertise in the psychology of learning and a market-leading e-learning platform, our business English courses are proven to help professionals communicate confidently and effectively.
Zoe Flaherty, Founding Director of The Language Grid