In-company case study

Advanced European Language Training for a Global Risk and Business Intelligence Consultancy

The company

The company provides risk mitigation, and security solutions to reduce companies’, government agencies’, and individuals’ exposure to risk, and business intelligence research and insights to enable them to capitalize on business opportunities. They have offices in more than 55 cities in the U.S. and abroad.

Training objectives

  • To enable senior staff to learn or improve the languages they needed for business objectives and bring them to an advanced working level
  • To provide staff with a flexible training solution to fit their busy work schedule
  • To provide staff with relevant, work-specific language training courses

Challenges

  • Designing training programmes to suit individual learning preferences and styles
  • Making lesson content relevant as each person worked in a different department with different, often technical, functions within the company
  • Delivering an effective programme, even though gaps between lessons were prolonged at times

Training approach

Working closely with the HR department, we realised the importance of assessing the students’ level and needs before choosing the tutor. Many students had strong language skills, but needed to consolidate and extend them with a work-specific focus. Each course needed to be tailored accordingly.

Combining cultural aspects with work related topics helped make the lessons interesting and relevant to the new challenges their staff were facing.

Training solutions

  • Extensive language training programmes, 1.5 - 2 hours per week over 10 weeks, depending on the level of language to be reached
  • Clear progress assessments at the end of each programme
  • Setting tasks and project work so that occasional prolonged breaks between lessons would not compromise progress

Results

What made this project special compared to others was the fact that their staff was not just highly specialised in their field but also very competent linguists, with a high level of interest in learning about the culture linked to the language they were studying or improving.