Blended learning: in search of the unique mix
The blended learning type of language education has become more and more popular over the last few years in both Europe and America. Like in coffee roasting and whiskey distillation the crucial objective is to create a unique blend. The main question is then: which flavours do you mix together? So, we are constantly thinking about new efficient combinations of elements which when brought together produce the highest possible results in language training.
The process of learning a language does not stop outside the classroom. The students should be constantly encouraged to stay in touch with the foreign language also outside the walls of the classroom. Professional guidance and evaluation are the elements that form the sound foundation of such ongoing learning process. Needless to say: all the follow-up modules are entirely custom-made as well. The candidates do not receive standard exercises after the courses’ ending: they are given highly suitable vocabulary and grammar exercises that reflect the language needs of each student’s specific professional field. All the follow-up exercises are selected by qualified specialists. These are the main ideas we use in order to create our unique educational blend.
Extra emphasis on speaking
The participants have two hours during which they can improve their fluency under the supervision of a highly qualified Lerian-Nti language coach. The conversation tables are built on the basis of preliminary agreed discussion topics.
The conversation tables could take place once a month, every other week or weekly. The conversation topics reflect the specific business language context of the candidates. This allows the students to learn better and quicker the needed target vocabulary and to easily use it in their daily business communication.
Telephone / online lessons
These sessions are scheduled between two conversation tables, which mean that they take place weekly or every other week depending on the chosen course structure, and serve as an interaction point between the students and their Lerian language coach.
During these private sessions (which could last between 30 and 60 minutes each) the student and coach work on the candidate’s individual needs and mistakes. In addition, the coach reviews the electronic exercises already completed by the student.
Individual / tailor-made courses
Each student receives a customized exercise package that is carefully selected by an experienced Lerian-Nti language coach. After every lesson and throughout the entire duration of the course the coach allocates relevant exercises via Lerian’s e-learning platform.
Most of the electronic exercises are automatically corrected by the platform itself. However, there are special exercises, which each candidate receives as well, that require the personal correction of the language coach.
Our blended learning courses
"BLENDED LEARNING WORKS."
The method of Blended Learning allows you to approach the target language from different angles. The combination of teaching methods delivers; the variety of approaches is stimulating. At least this is what Hilde Wynant thinks about Blended Learning teaching techniques. Ms Wynant is a support manager at Arval. ‘Arval is a car rental company operational in 19 countries and with headquarters in France. The Belgian branch has 119 employees’, says Hilde Wynant. The training of the employees is one of the tasks that drives and empowers her. ‘At Arval we are absolutely convinced that the training programmes and in particular the language courses motivate and bring together our co-workers.
There is more. We are a service provider. The cars that our clients lease are the same everywhere. It is the quality of the service that makes a difference. And for this the knowledge of languages is of crucial importance. We want to project an image of a multilingual company that serves its clients in their mother tongue.’
THERE IS 'M' IN THE MIX
‘Nowadays we are quite familiar with diverse teaching and learning formulas. Lerian-Nti always recommends the best approach while taking into account ARVAL’s specific language needs and the professional environment requirements of our employees. Currently a dozen of our co-workers are following language trainings in Dutch and French based on Blended Learning.
The method combines face-to-face lessons in small groups with telephone lessons and electronic exercises. The groups consist of employees who work in different departments but have a similar language proficiency level.’ The Blended Learning formula is becoming quite popular. One week the candidates participate in two-hour face-to-face language sessions taught at ARVAL’s own offices at an agreed hour. Every other week the candidates receive an individual half-an- hour telephone lesson. The lessons continue for 12 weeks altogether. Also, between the lessons the candidates have the opportunity to exercise their language skills by using the electronic exercise platform. All this makes for a pretty intensive language immersion’, states Hilde Wynant.
What are in her opinion the advantages of Blended Learning? ‘One gets the chance to approach the target language from different angles while using diverse language tools. Above all, the method is interactive, varied and extremely practical. Additionally, the price-value ratio is right and very convincing.’