Posted on: 11 Jun 2012
Written by: bob
The key to improving the language skills of temporary assignees or permanent staff is to offer a solution that caters for their availability and their preferred learning style. That’s why Robertson Languages International offers on-line blended language learning as part of our portfolio of services.
The concept of blended learning is not new. Combining classroom lessons with homework is as old as education itself. However, the term “blended learning” refers specifically to the combination of teacher-led instruction with self-study using a computer. In the last few years, with more powerful PCs and software, this has become a viable option for knowledge-based learning and in the last two years or so, with continuing advances in the internet, it is becoming possible for skill-based learning, such as language acquisition. Trainer and trainee can keep in touch with each other between lessons in a way that was not possible before.
It is this new development that makes modern blended learning cost-effective. The best, current on-line language learning programmes allow the trainer to plan a learning path through the learning material that is personalised for each trainee and then to see on-line what work the trainee has done and how they have fared, and to provide support either face-to-face or in live internet chats or by email, thus combining the benefits of face-to-face learning with the convenience of remote contact.
At this point, I must remind you that, in the world of training, there is no single, quick solution. Blended learning is so called because it is a mixture of the best of face-to-face learning with remote instruction, not because it is a cheap fix that replaces trainers with computers. A recent survey by Auralog examined the progress trainees made in 50 hours of learning. It showed the following relationship between the effectiveness and cost of different learning methods.
(1 = higher; 4 = lower)
(1 = higher; 4 = lower)
Unsupported self-study came fourth in terms of cost by quite a long way and fourth in terms of effectiveness by an even greater margin. This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who has used or purchased skill-based training. The number of unsupported learners who even open their programme is small and the number who continue beyond the point where they are challenged is tiny.
Robertson Languages International partners with what we consider to be the best on-line language training programme on the market to-day. There are nine languages available (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic) with 1,500 to 2,000 hours of material, 37 different types of learning activities and industry-leading speech recognition. For more information visit http://www.robertsonlanguages.co.uk/online-language-courses.