3 rules for negotiating the objectives of language courses in your company

Human beings need goals to advance. So, cost-effective language courses should, like any other activity in a company, focus on results that can be evaluated regularly. But so that these results have meaning, these objectives must be targeted, motivational and reasonable at the same time.

1. For cost-effective language courses: set focused goals

In-company language courses should always be part of a business perspective of improving the productivity or quality of the service offered. It is also recommended that human resources consult the managers responsible for the employees for whom the course is intended. An agreement will define the contents that will have to be included for the participants of the training. Indeed the expectations are not the same if the course is intended for a hotel reception team or engineers exchanging emails with head office. This information will then need to be sent to the teacher, knowing that it is obviously foolish to imagine an atomized language course where the learners would only see what they need to carry out their tasks: the grammatical bases are part of the common core to which every student must climb to reach the specific branches…

2. For the employees involved: offer motivating goals

Human beings need goals, we said, but also motivation. Learning something you don’t want to learn is at least a challenge, often impossible (we have all gone through school and its algebra / history / grammar / German tests – underline what is appropriate). A good manager will know how to motivate participants in a Portuguese course by showing them the communication perspectives and human development that are open to them: “In a year, I want you to be able to hold a conversation, even very simple, with our subsidiary in Rio”.

3. For serious planning: negotiate objectives

Obviously promising a beginner that thanks to this Chinese course in six months they will fluently speak the language of Confucius can be motivating, it’s still unrealistic. One of the most important aspects of preparing an in-company language courses is, not surprisingly, the dialogue with the teacher (or, before that, the institute). Professionals will know how many hours of teaching and/or practice are required to reach a particular level. On this basis, the course load per week, the duration of the course, the frequency of the level tests and the objectives to be evaluated can be negotiated. This blueprint should then be specified, personalized and probably corrected once the teacher has made contact with the learners.

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