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.
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.
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.
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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
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. Which levels best describe your current and target level do you think?
Can take/pass on simple messages with a sympathetic speaker; can ask/answer simple factual questions; can read signs, notices at an airport, menus or simple instructions. Can write simple requests: ‘Can I have 20 ….. please?’
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.
Within their own job area can start to participate in meetings; can understand the general meaning of non-routine letters; can make reasonably accurate notes at a meeting or seminar.
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 contribute to meetings/present effectively; can understand non-standard correspondence and understand subtext; can draft reasonably accurate professional correspondence/reports.
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.
Could I just mention a quality that we especially value: your sense of fun. The training you provide is always professional, but not at the expense of enjoyment.
For my part, I did not cherish the idea of returning to the classroom after a break of over 30 years, but you have shown me that our German lessons can be fun, relevant to my needs an above all effective.
I’ve been learning German for a little over a year and feel that I have developed a good foundation upon which I can continue to build my language skills. The Tutors Dialogue sourced for me have been extremely helpful, patient and wonderful to work with. I am learning a great deal about the German language as well as German culture.
Thanks to the flexibility, understanding and patience of Dialogue I was able to pick up where I stopped 15 years ago in preparation for my relocation to France. The mix of 1-1 training and semi intensive in the UK in addition to an intensive in France ensured that my transition to Parisian living has been considerably easier than I ever imagined.
Dialogue is simply marvellous – couldn’t ask for a better provider in all aspects.
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.
Yes! Dialogue offers video conferencing lessons via Teams or Zoom.
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.