Best-in-Class companies are 22% more likely to provide employees access to a learning self-service portal. Research conducted by Ambient Insight 2012-2017 stated that 42% of businesses claimed a rise in revenue after the adoption of e-learning techniques for training.
All the data shows that businesses with a strong training and development culture in the workplace are at an advantage in comparison to their competitors. This is due to the continuous input of knowledge and practical tips through learning to provide efficient and profitable output. Notice the stress on the word continuous.
Here's the why, how and benefits of workplace language learning through technology.
According to Nomass (2013), author of the journal article The Impact of Using Technology in Teaching English as a Second Language, it is widely recognized that information technology (IT) is a vital part of our life today and the growth of society is highly affected by, as well as dependent upon, technology in various aspects.
The evolution and necessity of technology has led to the integration of technology and education as “it can contribute greatly to the quality of teaching and learning experience.” (The Integration of Technology Into Foreign Language Teaching, 2015).
“Technology has the potential to not only provide access to resources for learning in a superficial sense, but also to offer increased affordances for autonomous learning. Opportunities for interaction, situated learning, and support for learning outside formal contexts, have greatly improved because of technology” (Reinders and White, Learner Autonomy and New Learning Environments, 2011).
The trend of combining technology with learning and training tools i.e. e-Learning (Electronic Learning) refers to the use of various technologies (videos, mobile learning, internet, games, etc.) to impart information and knowledge.
A research conducted by Training Magazine (2014) concluded that almost 72% of mandatory training at the workplace is conducted via e-learning and another research conducted by Ambient Insight 2012-2017 stated that 42% of businesses claimed a rise in revenue after the adoption of e-learning techniques for training.
Gary Motteram (author of Innovation in Learning Technologies for English language Teaching) states that technology is a crucial part of learning languages across the globe. The economy today has globalized in such a manner that worker fluency in more than one language is almost a requirement in order to keep up with cross-cultural trends and discover business opportunities.
The under-supply of qualified language teachers is a major issue that businesses and institutes are required to tackle, and technology offers the perfect solution with e-learning and various other methods. Dr. Mustafa Altun (2015) further suggests that learners have better luck in learning foreign languages in collaboration with technology rather than without as it eases the command over the language and aids in higher accomplishments. In other words, confidence and use is the key to success.
Organizations and the workforce barely have the time to complete mandatory training, let alone learn a new language. Yet, the urgency for fluent foreign language speakers has never been greater. Technology is the perfect fit for a situation such as this.
Your teams can carry on learning a language or brush up on their foreign language skills with the use of technology in many different yet effective ways.
- Online Learning Platforms
With e-Learning becoming a part of daily life in one way or another, platforms offering collective learning and training tools are gaining popularity due to their convenience, ease of use and quality of content. Right from providing a lesson-by-lesson framework of information to combining the knowledge with multimedia platforms such as virtual learning classrooms, games and quizzes; e-Learning services are an excellent medium to provide the employee with a chance to learn according to their convenience and ease.
A study by the Brandon Hall Group (2016) estimated that 41% of the businesses surveyed preferred mobile learning delivery method, be it bite-sized information, games, quizzes or videos, and is expected to grow at 27% per year.
Videos with an informative motive targeted at content teaching are a part and parcel of the e-learning bandwagon. Providing ‘short bursts’ of information, videos are appeal to visual learning cognitive skills, plus trigger memory reinforcement. Whether it’s a short clip on YouTube or a movie on Netflix, the workforce is bound to learn more than just the language basics. Video currently accounts for 69% of consumer Internet traffic; YouTube has over 1 billion users, with over 50% of views from mobile users. Platforms such as Cudoo deliver key content in video format for this target group.
Targeting Millennials with their preferred media is smart business sense, end of story!
- Social Media
Deloitte’s Millennial Survey established that by 2025, 75% of the world’s labor force will be millennials and 90% of them use social media (PEW Research Center, 2015). This identifies the impact that social media will place on learning and training.
Encouraging employees to interact in the foreign language being studied, ‘like’ pages related to the language and culture or even change the language setting of the application for a while to the foreign language does not only motivate employees to perfect their skill but also encourages them to learn more.
Another section of social media communication is video conferencing platforms, a tool that employees could use voluntarily to engage with one another in order to learn and grow together through discussions, debated, information sharing, support, etc.
- Virtual Instructor-Lead Training (VILT)
Many online learning platforms, such as Cudoo, offer VILT to cater to a geographically dispersed crowd yet wanting to remain uniform in their learning. A key feature of such classrooms is the ability to discuss the content taught in real time. VILT offers employees a chance to never cease learning by ‘joining’ the classroom from anywhere in the world (e-Learning Industry (2015).
What are the benefits of using technology instead of traditional methods for language learning?
- E-learning strategies require 40-60% less employee time to complete training
- Learners acquire 5 times more material and information
- Each dollar invested results in 40% more productivity
- 90% less energy consumption
- Accessibility: Learners can access materials as and when required
- Repetition: High accessibility gives learners a chance to repeat learning and go back to a particularly tough section for better understanding
The above are just some of the advantages that incorporating technology into language learning provides.
Many assume that learning a language is a long process and is not worth the investment but research has proven otherwise. Moreover, globalization has led businesses to realize their need to be multilingual on many fronts, for their clients as well as their partners. Technology offers companies the chance to encourage language learning among employees by eradicating all barriers of time, space and convenience. Lastly, the novelty of the tools and methods leads to a fun and enjoyable way of learning a new language as well as culture.
Virtual and online learning solutions are a new way to appeal to Millennials, and to be able to create ILPs (Individual Learner Pathways) quickly. For example, products such as Hospitality Language Bundles can make a massive difference to customer service for front of house staff in a highly affordable, scalable way.