Is it worth investing in your employees’ language skills in the AI era?

kursy w erze AI


kursy w erze AI
In today’s world, we are surrounded by modern technologies and innovative solutions, which also significantly affect the way employees improve their language skills and learn foreign languages. Employers and employees alike continue to understand the need to invest in language skills, because it has a significant impact on the company’s position in the market and on its perception by business partners.

Today we will be talking to the training coordinator from the Skrivanek language school to learn how the development of technology affects the language industry and, in particular, the creation of language courses as part of the improvement in the foreign languages skills for companies and other organisations.

This interview was prepared together with HRstandard.

How has the current technology impacted foreign language learning among employees in different companies and institutions?

The development of technology has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the shape of foreign language teaching as well as on the form of language training chosen by employers. It also has had a positive impact, as modern technology has made remote learning widespread, made it possible to extend learning to all employees at different levels, crossed national borders, facilitated access to almost unlimited resources for authentic materials from various sources, enabled self-study through online courses on various e-learning platforms, as well as made it possible to learn a foreign language effectively using not just a computer, but a smartphone as well. For those companies with a dispersed structure, modern technology has made it possible to flexibly adapt the trainees’ schedules to their work commitments, as well as extending language learning beyond the walls of companies and conference rooms – actually moving training into the virtual world.

Is it better to learn a foreign language via an app or with a tutor – and which is the better choice when we send employees for training?

No app can replace a teacher, but it can effectively support foreign language learning as part of employee courses. A qualified and experienced Polish or native speaker, well-selected and tailored course materials, including industry-specific or specialised ones that are closely tailored to the employees’ needs and the company’s strategic purposes, all this will, over time, produce tangible and visible results that both the employees themselves and their employers are sure to notice.

Is it worth knowing foreign languages when your employees have access to online translation services?

Definitely, as no online translation service guarantees 100% error-free sentences or 100% correctness when translating between languages. Only someone, an employee, with a sufficiently advanced knowledge of the language is able to see the differences between the meaning of the translation and, for example, the speaker’s intentions. This is not something that can be fully automated. The employee needs some knowledge of the foreign language and especially the specific field or area in which they specialise and deal with on a daily basis.

Does the employee’s language certificate or course diploma reflect their real understanding of the foreign language?

Well it really depends on a number of factors. If many years have passed since they passed the exam or gained the certificate, and they have hardly used the language since, then there is a good chance that they have forgotten many things. In such a case, it would be advisable to use some measurement tool to precisely determine their current level and show which competences need to be improved, and to what extent.

Will AI replace employee language skills?

That really depends on the situation, but there is going to be huge support for situations where a quick, automatic translation works, although that does not mean a personalised way of stating a position on an issue. The human factor will still be important when we need typical phrases, characteristic expressions or idioms that are typical and unique to individual languages and cultures.

How is the future of language learning shaping up in companies?

Excellently, and in many different ways. With the use of modern technology, social media, smartphone apps and music, then we are seeing increasingly better teaching materials and specialised teaching aids. It is all adding up to a great future. The requirement to speak a foreign language at a conversational level in many companies is already the norm, and the ability to speak one is becoming an opportunity for growth and reaching new markets.

Does generation Z, which is now entering the labour market, know foreign languages?

They certainly know them to a certain degree, as access to foreign languages is widespread and very extensive. However, whether this knowledge is at the level required by an employer, to an extent necessary to work in a particular position, can only be determined through additional oral or written verification. The actual range of key language skills and functions to perform a given job well varies between industries and positions.

What should a company providing language training for its employees consider now?

To ensure that the courses are fully tailored to the current levels of language competence, depending on the individual needs and purposes of the employees, their interests and key subject areas, and of course to their work and availability. The training company needs to take great care in terms of organising, running and supporting the entire project.

What are the most common mistakes when organising language courses in a company?

These include poorly selected courses in terms of language level, subject matter, the participants’ skills, language proficiency, the number of practical exercises in relation to theory, grammar and a too broad or narrow spread of vocabulary. Along with these are inappropriate methods and techniques for teaching, the use of outdated materials, the ‘reworking’ of textbooks rather than the creation of specialised materials, and the lack of an individual approach to the participants.

To avoid these problems, it is advisable to start working with a reliable language school. At Skrivanek we take an individual approach to each customer, tailoring the course fully to their needs, whether offered on-site or online, the number of participants (classes can be group or individual), the time, the duration and the scope of the course. We have extensive experience in working with companies. Feel free to take a look at what we offer.