I can't tell you exactly how long language training has been embedded into the polices that support employees going on international assignments or for those transferring to a new location in another country for the company, except to say longer than I have been in the mobility industry. Language training supports employees with their adaptation, confidence and social skills. It also helps them gain the trust and respect of their new teams. It exposes them to nuances of a culture and sets them up for greater success, much like cultural training. In this world, it is not always offered. In a better world, it would be offered more often. In a perfect world, every cross-border mobile employee would be offered language training support.

In this post, we get insights from Inigo Lopez, CEO of Eszett Business Language Services, as he explains how the pandemic has impacted the language training experience and considers where it will go post-pandemic. Take it away, Inigo:

"During the early stages of the pandemic, Eszett Business Language Services decided to play it safe and to stop face-to-face language training completely. Thousands of students were obliged to switch to virtual training with the same teacher, using Eszett’s virtual classroom.  

However, not all students and not all teachers were prepared to have lessons virtually. Some of them decided to put their language lessons on-hold until the pandemic is over and face-to-face lessons could resume. Many of those that decided to give it a try discovered that virtual training is as effective as in-person language training. What will happen once we have COVID-19 under control? Eszett foresees that about 60 percent of students that switched temporarily to virtual lessons will switch back to face-to-face.

What is the future of virtual language training? Make it more real! The use of 3D technology allows students to fully engage through play in the virtual world. They communicate, collaborate, and solve problems in real time, so students are able to be active participants in their own learning. Learning is fun when students are actively engaged, and 3D technology promotes this type of learning.

3D virtual classroom for language training: With this platform, students are able to interact with others and practice their newly acquired language skills. We all know that language learning is better when the student is immersed in the culture. Through our 3D virtual classroom, students will be immersed through texts, pictures, interactions, tasks and voices."

So, should mobility programs be considering adding virtual language training to virtually all of their international policies? Even international virtual assignments would benefit from the value that language training offers to employees! That's real!