Perseverance and motivation are vital to language learning. These two things should go hand-in-hand, but sometimes they don’t quite gel, particularly when lessons are face-to-face. Sometimes the methodology doesn’t work. Sometimes students stop attending because they’re too busy, so the learning process is slow and inefficient. At The Phone House they were getting a sense that this was the case when they decided it was time to change their training model.
For a couple of years, the face-to-face system that The Phone House had chosen to teach their employees languages worked fairly well. Sixty students from various departments at the company's head office in Pozuelo, near Madrid, were studying English this way. "We had a designated space at the company for language classes. About half of the training took place during working hours, while the other half took place during off hours" explains Carlos José Rubio, Head of Training at The Phone House.
The first course went well due to novelty factor. However, as Rubio admits, in the second year a number of issues started to arise. "People stopped attending regularly. Even worse, the teachers weren't all that great."
Faced with this situation, The Phone House's training department decided that language learning at the company needed a fresh approach. Since the face-to-face classes weren't working as well as they had hoped, they decided to try out a more versatile, flexible and convenient format that wasn't hindered by the need to bring together a group of people at the same time in the same physical space.
And so, The Phone House opted for Training Express's online solution, because it met all the company's requirements for training their employees.
Now, The Phone House's employees are fully independent and empowered by Training Express's language learning platform. "They themselves can decide how and when they want to learn, and at what pace and intensity. They can choose to work on a specific type of sentence structures or vocabulary, depending on their needs," say Rubio. What's more, the Training Express system makes language learning accessible to many, many more people.
Employees' reaction to this new approach has been very positive. According to an internal survey from December 2014, 70% of students thought the new method was "good" or "very good."
"The employees themselves can decide how and when they learn.” At The Phone House, English may not be essential for doing business in every department. However, the company believes that it is important for employees to have a grasp of the language. "There isn't as much interaction and communication with the parent company as there used to be, but a good command of English continues to be an important communication tool. Moreover, we see language learning as a benefit for employees" says Rubio.
For the head of training at The Phone House, the most important thing is that employees show improvement in their language skills. "What we can't have is to spend 20% of our training budget on language learning and see no progress."