Why should your company offer language training?
There are lots of reasons to learn another language, both professional and personal. This Career Addict post lists 18, everything from widening job opportunities to growing a bigger brain. But it’s not just employees who benefit from learning another language. Employers do as well.
- Employees who receive language training learn to communicate better, both cross-culturally and in their native language, which is of course a win for their employers.
- Employees recognize the investment that their employers are making in training them, and this can lead to higher employee satisfaction and better retention.
- Employers who encourage language learning demonstrate both respect for diversity and an understanding of the global marketplace.
- Employers benefit when their employees can show that they’ve made an effort to learn a client or partner’s language, even if they’re far from fluent in it.
The cheapest solution
There are a lot of options out there for employers who want to offer or simply encourage language training. The cheapest way is to tell your employees about a free language learning app, and maybe facilitate practice groups once a week. There are tons out there. Many are unimpressive, but some, like Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise, or Busuu, are pretty good. These apps probably aren’t going to make anyone fluent, but they’re a great start. They’re also fun and more than slightly addictive. (I’m on consecutive day 147 of Duolingo Japanese as I write this.)
The drawback is that these apps are totally passive. Sure, they’ve got fancy algorithms and ask you to repeat aloud, but they’re nothing like learning from a human being. So after 147 days of Japanese, I’ve never actually spoken with a Japanese person via the app.
The expensive solution
Assuming you can’t afford to send your employees to live in another country, live instruction at home is the second best thing. If you’re lucky enough to be located near a quality language center, you can send your employees there, or you can have instructors come and teach onsite. Rates vary, but you could easily wind up paying $80 or $90 per hour for private instruction, plus the cost of materials, and you may have to factor in travel time.
A middle way
Language Garage is happy medium between these two approaches. We offer live instruction by highly trained native speakers. Our live lessons are conducted online, so it doesn’t matter where you or your employees are located. We’ve got a lot of experience and expertise in language training and content development, but we can charge less because we don’t have all of the overhead costs of a big brick-and-mortar language trainer. You can check out our programs and prices here. Note that our programs include a student book and audio at no extra cost.
But don’t take the of word of some blog post for it. Try it yourself, or have someone on your team try it, for free. No obligation at all, and we won’t even ask for a credit card. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or enroll in a free trial here.
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