9 biggest mistakes in language training

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<ul><li><p>(and how to avoid them) ?</p><p>Biggest Mistakes in Language Training9 </p></li><li><p>Having been in the language training business for over 45 years, weve seen companies make the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to implementing a language training program. We dont want you to make the same mistakes.</p><p>So lets look at how NOT to do it.</p><p>Been there, seen that.</p></li><li><p>There are many ways to get it wrong.Weve seen too many English language initiatives go off the rails.Here are nine of the most common mistakes</p></li><li><p>1A common mistake is to start a language training program without clear goals.</p><p>These are all different goals that fall under the same English training heading, but each one would lead to very different programs and each one would have its own metrics to track success.</p><p>Start with goals first its the only way to stay on track. </p><p>No aim, no blame.</p><p>1</p><p>Do you want to improve your sales teams ability to negotiate?</p><p>Empower your scientists to publish international papers?</p><p>Get your economists to read the financial press?</p><p>Teach your customer service reps to treat people like VIPs?</p><p>Action</p></li><li><p>Strategic initiatives succeed when they comewith top-level endorsement, however too many companies keep their language training under the management radar and off the boardroom agenda. Thats a mistake.</p><p>Staying under the radar.</p><p>2</p><p>Position your English training program as a strategic initiative, not a low-level tactical exercise. If the </p><p>leadership team wants the stated outcomes, theyll value your approach and give it their full support.</p><p>Action2</p></li><li><p>Start your learning programs with assessments of each learners current skills. Taking someone from proficiency </p><p>level 3 to 5 is very different from taking someone from 1 to 4. Find out where everyone is today.</p><p>Action3</p><p>Many of your learners may already have some English skills. Some will be almost fluent, only needing a bit of practice. Others will be starting from the very beginning.</p><p>But most language programs assume that everyone is starting from zero. That means the more advanced people become bored and frustrated.</p><p>Assuming everyone is at the same starting line.</p><p>3</p></li><li><p>Your learners need to know theyre building relevant skills. Make your programs flexible enough to focus the </p><p>training where its needed for each learner.</p><p>Action</p><p>Teaching everyone the same skills.4</p><p>A common mistake is to start a language training program without clear goals.</p><p>Unfortunately, many English development programs teach the same skills to everyone. This one size fits all approach actually suits nobody.</p><p>A salesperson may need to improve writing and speaking skills.A senior executive may need to negotiate and present confidently.A factory head may need to focus on reading technical papers.An engineer may need to learn specialist vocabulary.</p><p>4</p></li><li><p>Build motivation, reward and recognition into your English training programs youll get there much faster.</p><p>Action5</p><p>Motivation is the secret ingredient of all learning especially language learning.But too many companies ignore the motivational aspect, expecting the learners to set their own targets and monitor their own progress. This only works for the most motivated learners maybe the top one percent.</p><p>Taking motivation for granted.5</p><p>ON</p><p>OFF</p></li><li><p>Pick &amp; mix is great for selecting sweets but its a dangerous strategy when it comes to training. If you let your people choose their own local language school or give local offices a budget and hope they get it right chances are very high that they wont.</p><p>Results in English training vary widely. The same amount of time spent in one program can deliver half the results of another.</p><p>A pick &amp; mix approach.6</p><p>Think about your language training strategically and centrally. Deliver a uniformly high-quality learning </p><p>experience instead of dozens of mediocre courses.</p><p>Action</p><p>ED*</p><p>6</p></li><li><p>Simply buying software licenses and sending the CDs to everyone whose skills you want to improve is the fastest route to frustration.Software and technology can play a role in any English language program but software alone never taught anyone anything.</p><p>Throwing software at the problem.7</p><p>Choose the best technology platform you can find but dont leave everything to technology. </p><p>Make sure real teachers are incorporated to help deliver the learning experience. Ideally they should be available </p><p>whenever and wherever the learner needs them (thats where technology can help). </p><p>Action</p><p>DD</p><p>E</p><p>C</p><p>C</p><p>D</p><p>E</p><p>C</p><p>C</p><p>*</p><p>7</p></li><li><p>You need to track the participation and the actual progress of each learner so you can determine the </p><p>success and return on investment of the entire program.</p><p>Action</p><p>With any other investment, businesses would set performance targets and track progress.But with English learning, far too many companies and public sector departments leave the progress to chance.</p><p>Pay and pray.8</p><p>8</p></li><li><p>In order to get it right first time around you need to focus on doing what you do best, and bring in the experts to </p><p>accelerate your peoples English skills.</p><p>Action9</p><p>The biggest mistake of all is trying to approach it alone English language training, without expert trainingand support.</p><p>Over $35 billion a year is spent in this way and the return on investment (if anyone measures it) is far below what companies would achieve by turning to the specialists. Its expensive. Its inflexible. And its far less effective.</p><p>Going it alone.9</p></li><li><p>The mistakes summarised here may seem obvious to you.</p><p>But most companies still make most of them which seriously inhibits their progress.</p><p>The alternative to this un-measured, poorly managed process is something we call Strategic English.Its all about targeting your English language investment to your specific needs - then actively managing and tracking success instead of leaving it to chance.(Thats exactly what we do for hundreds of fast-growing international companies.)</p><p>Starting to see what Strategic English looks like?</p></li><li><p>Strategic English means treating English language development as a key driver of success then managing and measuring it accordingly.As an HR professional or executive leader responsible for the success of your peopleIts time to get Strategic.</p><p>English</p><p>English</p></li><li><p>@EF is the pioneer of and world leader in the task-based approach to English language learning for large organizations.Our unique combination of great teachers, breakthrough technology and fanatical service adds more value to your business, and does it faster than any other method.</p><p>Strategic EnglishHow English language skills can power your global business</p><p>An EF Executive Briefing</p><p>Selling In EnglishThe seven big mistakes in English language learning for sales organizations</p><p>The Economist Intelligence UnitsCompeting Across Borders: How cultural and communication barriers affect business An independent, global survey into how language skills impact the competitiveness of multinational companies. </p><p>The EF English Live e-brochureAll about our cloud school</p><p>About EF Corporate Solutions</p><p>Further reading:</p><p>corporate-enquiries@ef.com</p><p>AN EXECUTIVE BRIEFING FROM EF</p><p>How English language skills canpower your global business</p><p>STRATEGICENGLISH</p><p>Selling in EnglishThe seven big mistakes in English Language learning for sales organisations.A mini-eBook from EF</p></li></ul>