by Laura Carter
Traveling from country to country and exploring new horizons has never been easier and more affordable than it is in the 21st century. Nowadays, wherever we go, we are likely to find ourselves exposed to a magnificent plethora of colorful cultures and melodic languages. However, no matter how culturally interwoven a milieu might be, each country still has its own unique language, which one should learn, especially if planning to remain there for the long haul.
Like most things, corporate foreign language training requires a change in the fast-paced futuristic reality we live in. In other words, old ways of teaching will no longer suffice. To make the foreign language training strategy more efficient, one should strive towards providing the latest learning trends, imbued with an encouraging and inspirational atmosphere, where students will be able to soak up new knowledge in no time.
The following is a list of the latest trends that will hopefully lure in myriads of corporate learners to your classroom.
When learning a new language, many professors usually place the emphasis on grammar and structure, which can be very useful. On the other hand, however, knowing the rules of grammar does not necessarily guarantee that the students will be able to express themselves or hold a meaningful conversation.
While grammatical rules and regulations are paramount for any language, without the adequate vocabulary, and consequently phrases, a student of a foreign language will find it impossible to create a sentence.
Creating a goal and conjuring up a scenario is usually a great way to familiarize students with common circumstances and apply the suitable words, from which they will be able to pick up useful phrases and automatically remember new words and even collocations.
Cross-curricular content is another great way to keep the students on their toes and facilitate an interesting environment that will keep them engaged and help them grasp foreign concepts.
Professor Ben Johnson, the author of Teaching Students to Dig Deeper said the following about this teaching strategy.
“…unless teachers stop departmentalizing their teaching and start teaching knowledge in context of other knowledge, student learning will continue to be stuck at the dam. It is time for teachers to collaborate. Teachers must take the first stroke and swim across the hall and start a collaboration with another teacher from a different department.”
Not too many of us are zealous learners. What I mean is that our attention span is relatively short and we seldom take extra measures to stay engaged in the learning process. The concept of ‘gamification’ refers to the notion of making a game out of learning.
This endeavor takes a lot of creativity, imagination and in some way demands that we revisit areas of our childhood. However, believe it or not, this method has been proven by companies like Bravolol and FluentU as one of the most efficient ways to help students grasp new concepts.
James Gee, a literacy professor at Arizona State University had an interesting comment about this teaching technique.
“I think we’re all impressed by how stupid humans are…human minds are plug-and-play devices; they’re not meant to be used alone. They’re meant to be used in networks. Games allow us to do that – they allow us to use ‘collective intelligence’. Collectively, we’re not so stupid.”
The concept of culture and language may seem inextricably interwoven at first; however, good corporate foreign language trainers should try their best to separate the two, especially at the onset of a course. The main goal for both teachers and the students is good communication skills and comprehension, so these two facets should be the focus of a learning plan.
In reality, certain cultural concepts are unnecessary and are likely to cause great confusion for the student. Once he/she has a firm control of the language, the process of getting more of an in-depth analysis of a culture can commence. Thus, unless it is absolutely necessary, culture can be put on hold.
‘M-Learning’ or Mobile learning has become a highly favored phenomenon in language learning society. Subsequently, this should not come as a surprise in this digitalized 21st century in which most of us can barely survive without a smartphone. The beauty of M-Learning mainly lies in the fact that anyone who can use a phone can make use of this language learning technique. This is one of the most efficient and least expensive way to grasp new information while on the go, and successful apps like HiNative and Busuu are great examples.
Dr. Marcus Specht is a professor at the Open University in the Netherlands, who is an expert in Advanced Learning Technologies. He said the following about M-Learning.
"The students of the future will demand the learning support that is appropriate for their situation or context. Nothing more. Nothing less. And they want it at the moment the need arises. Not sooner. Not later. Mobiles will be a key technology to provide that learning support."
Automated foreign language training is a concept that is gaining mainstream popularity. This new method is a huge step forward and carries a lot of promise. One great advantage of this futuristic technique is that it considerably reduces development costs and timeframes, making it ever so more appealing. The dexterity of this highly efficient mechanism also allows trainers to create new ways of assessment and uniquely cater to students’ individual learning preferences.
With all this advanced technology available today, Great Data is just one of the many fascinating futuristic tools that trainers can implement in order to observe the delicate process of a foreign language learning. Gary King, the director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science had the following to say about Great Data.
“We’re really just getting under way…But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”
Great Data allows trainers to thoroughly observe the students’ interaction with the program, after which corporate foreign language trainers can make the required modifications and achieve better results.
There are times in one’s life when certain things just seem too good to be true. Wearable gadgets are one of them, especially when acquiring a foreign language. Language acquisition is an extremely interactive process in which the learner is ought to be exposed to others in order to practice communication. Gadgets such as the Smartwatch and Oculus Rift make it unbelievably convenient for students to interact with a foreign language trainer and other classmates. Needless to mention, these little high-tech knick-knacks make language acquisition unimaginably alluring and fun.
Constant feedback is a crucial aspect for acquiring knowledge. It allows students to stay on track and make the necessary improvements in order to achieve better results. Trainers are encouraged to provide various types of assessment tests to gauge not only how students are thriving, but also to find new ways to help them reach a better outcome.
Feedback, as a part of learning learning path is extremely important, that’s why many companies put emphasis exactly on that.
Cloud-based systems are a huge leap forward in the business world, banking and other areas, including education. This innovative way of sharing information allows students to access information wherever they are. Besides its amazing accessibility, the cloud-based learning system tremendously reduces tuition costs (i.e. one would not have to spend extra money on additional supplies and books), which is another remarkable incentive for students who are planning to learn a new language.
Everyone is unique. Our learning abilities also differ. Good corporate foreign language trainers are aware of this fact and strive towards staying abreast of the latest technology and various trends to ensure that the students’ individual needs and learning capabilities will be uniquely met.
In some cases this might mean that the course might have to take on a slower pace and the reinforcement of specific language tools will have to be implemented. However, this should not cause any discouragement; what is more, this only shows great determination and care that a good trainer is ready to provide for the sake of high-quality corporate education.
Laura Carter has great experience in educational field. Right now she works with dissertationwritingservices.org. She’s keen on academic and creative writing and passionate about language learning. Follow @carterlaura15 to hear more from her!