Language learning insights for companies

Study tool vs. School: The most effective way to learn a language

You can’t learn math from a calculator or a compass, and you can’t learn how to build a table from a hammer or a screwdriver. So could you learn a language from a dictionary or an online translator? When it comes to language learning you need much more than an e-learning tool. You need a school – a best-in-class school.

It might seem like common sense, but in corporate learning and development, the market is being flooded with tools. Don’t get us wrong, e-learning tools can be made to look cool, high-tech, and cutting edge. But they have their limits and don’t manage to fulfill the student’s needs for language learning.

Inside a school, there can be found plenty of tools. In the realm of corporate language learning, these might include online translators, dictionaries, grammar guides, and flashcards. However, for a comprehensive language training program at a global company, there should be much more than that to achieve results and have a positive impact on the business.

Think about the environments in which you’ve successfully learned something truly effective.
Was it a school? Was the content up-to-date, relevant and meaningful? Were there teachers to guide you and help you? Were there advisors to support your experience? You most likely had clear-cut goals and study reminders. You also had access to resources and a community of learners and opportunities to practice what you’d learned in real-time.

Companies often find language training partners – here is how to find the right provider – that provide e-learning tools to try and learn a language. Unfortunately, they later realize there is much more needed.

A study tool can provide language learning to a certain point, with limitations: inability to tailor lessons to the students and companies’ needs to achieve their goals, a lack of teacher interaction and slow results to name a few.

At EF, we invest in our platforms, content, and technology to make it easy for corporate language learners to access a school. In our view, technology is not the end, but the means to an end. EF’s vision of the future of learning is one where students and teachers can interact ubiquitously, where learning is tailored and meaningful for real-life, using the newest findings from leading academics to create a cloud-based, mobile, flexible and innovative school.

In the market of corporate language learning, if you’re hearing “No more teachers, dirty looks!” from a provider, then your goals to develop your global employees will not be within reach. Instead, ask if your people will have a school in which to learn, grow and thrive.

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