Foreign Language Training
You probably already know that language training creates all sorts of positive opportunities; it allows people to develop new relationships. Better communication means more efficiency, productivity for the individual, for the team, for the department and for the company. We can help you reap these benefits.
Setting up a Foreign Language Course
If you are going to spend time away from your desk, you need to know that whatever you’re learning will be productive. At Dialogue we are very aware that there needs to be a return on investment for the student, the sponsor and the company.
Before anyone sits down in a classroom, we focus on 3 key points:
- What is your starting level, according to the CEFR can-do definitions?
- What outcomes do you need to achieve? (grammar, business skills, generalist skills, speaking/writing etc)
- What timeframe/budget do you have?
You then receive a programme based around those 3 criteria. You can be sure that the skills you are acquiring in and outside the classroom are directly relevant to your needs. Regular feedback for you and, if required, your sponsor will ensure that your expectations are met and ideally surpassed.
Whilst this sounds very formal, we also realise that enjoying any course is fundamental to its success. Stephen Krashen, the world’s leading light in linguistics and second languages says that motivation, self-confidence and feeling relaxed play essential roles in foreign language acquisition. Maybe a world away from your schooldays but exactly what we’re all about at Dialogue!
Our Foreign Language Training Process
Training needs analysis form sent to Dialogue detailing outline requirements.
Assessment of student level and greater exploration of student/sponsor needs by phone, Skype or in person.
Outline programme created and submitted for approval from students and sponsor.
English language course delivered and monitored.
Student develops skills and confidence to perform sophisticated business roles.
Feedback with recommendations for future study returned to students and sponsor.
CEFR and Training
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a way of assessing the level of a user. A traditional assessment (think GCSE or A-level) gives you an overall generic grade for the exam. CEFR however focuses on what you can communicate in each skill set: reading, writing, speaking or listening. So it’s really useful when you are looking at specific targets for your proficiency and planning the direction of your course.
You might need to be able to ‘contribute effectively to meetings and seminars’ in terms of speaking and listening (C1), but be less skilled in writing, say a B1, where you only have to be able to ‘make reasonably accurate notes at a meeting or seminar’.
Dialogue’s language training courses work in line with these descriptors.
Can state simple requirements within job area; can understand gist of short reports of a predictable, familiar nature; can write a short, comprehensible note or request to a colleague.
Can communicate fluently on most topics that are likely to require attention during a normal working day; can understand most correspondence, reports; can deal with all routine requests for goods or services.
Can handle complex, delicate or contentious issues, such as legal or financial matters; can understand reports/articles with complex ideas expressed in complex language. Can write complex articles/reports with similar sophistication of a native user.
Foreign Language Training FAQs
There is no ‘quick fix’ to learning any language though commitment works wonders! What we recommend will depend on how good you need to get but a good approach for a basic user is starting with 100 hours of ‘human’ weekly classes, followed by a week’s intensive in the country, living with a family, and returning for 100+ hours of regular classes. Regular trips to the country will accelerate learning hugely.
Dialogue offers video conferencing lessons via Skype or Zoom. We also offer Altissia online language training programmes to support and consolidate lessons in class if required. We do not offer complete training courses online; we believe classroom training gives the best results.
We recommend face-to-face training for the quickest and best results. This can be combined with online support (games and exercises) in your own time to consolidate learning. Online training alone is sufficient for the basics but it limits your ability to progress and use the language the way you want and need to.
You should be able to introduce yourself after the first class, but from a standing start, it takes 160+ hours before you can use it more confidently in meetings/on the phone. Everything you learn with us will have a practical, functional application. Languages with Latin roots like Spanish are quicker for English speakers to learn while those with different scripts/structures such as Chinese may take longer.
Every little helps and you’ll be amazed at how much will come back to you when it’s teased out in class. And even if it’s in a different language from what you want to learn now, just that exposure to linguistic engineering makes a difference.
Not usually at beginner level but the more you advance, the more classes will be conducted in the target language. This accelerates your learning and will boost your understanding and confidence.