Technology enhances workplace language learning
Traditional face-to-face training is complemented in today’s modern workplace with approaches to upskilling that incorporate technology. Digital learning methods have particular benefits when it comes to learning languages. A combination of in-person and technology based training stands to transform language learning in the workplace, with online tools offering many benefits that include:
- Engagement – well designed, virtual learning environments offer opportunities for employees to actively acquire knowledge and immediately apply it which reinforces and drives understanding. Realistic foreign language speaking experience can be gained from online virtual tools that include simulations and role plays
- Interactivity – by supplementing the familiar approach to absorbing information through lecture-style training sessions and handouts with online learning, learners can connect and interact with their subject even more. Young employees entering the workplace, already familiar with technology in their day-to-day lives, can relate to a digital interactive experience and benefit from participating in communities and online learning support groups
- Personalisation – learners have different needs and their own learning style and approach. Digital based learning content adapts to deliver a personalised learning experience. It can, for example vary the pace at which topics are moved on and how much repetition is used to reinforce learning.
Adapting content delivery in this way means learners can absorb knowledge at their own pace. Online and app-based programmes can also deliver instant and bespoke feedback to language learning employees on aspects such as speech recognition. They are also designed to adapt content delivery to meet the personal needs of learners.
Beyond the workplace
Employees who have engaged with their language and have developed a passion for it will continue to explore it outside the workplace. Online learning can open the door to new and diverse languages for employees to continue learning in their own time and at their own speed. If learners are inspired by a subject they are more likely to develop a habit of continual learning and development which is an outlook that matters more and more now with life-long learning the norm.
With apps on phones and other portable online devices, work and training is no longer tied to an office, a classroom, a desk, and hasn’t been for some time. The lines between earning, learning and personal time are blurring. This isn’t viewed as unusual by the younger generation entering the workplace and less expectant of a traditional ‘nine-to-five.’
The integration of modern technology into workplace training critically enhances existing coaching practices in a powerful way and supports a new approach to training that is more effective and rewarding than ever before - both for learners and employees rolling out training programmes.
From the possibilities such tools offer for personalisation, interaction and engagement we would hope to see a level of achievement that rewards taking that step towards an integrated training model. In support of HR and L&D teams achieving the best possible results for employees with all tools at their disposal, technology complements in-person training to deliver an all-rounded learning experience.
Donavan Whyte is Vice President, EMEA Enterprise & Education at Rosetta Stone.
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