"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.
‘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.’The success of each language course strongly depends on the professional qualities of the trainer, shares Hilde Wynant. ‘There should be a bond. In this respect so far we have had very productive work co-operation with Lerian-Nti. Our employees are highly satisfied with their lessons. Out of experience we know that it all depends on the language instructors.’
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.’
Efficiency and transparency
Motivation is the key, confirms Hilde Wynant. ‘Course participation is not optional. So, the courses should be highly efficient and must deliver good final results. The Blended Learning formula requires considerable self-discipline and time investment. This means: clear rules and commitment are needed. We expect high levels of commitment from our candidates. In this respect, Lerian already guarantees impressive learning efficiency. It is a big advantage for me as a training manager that I have a direct access to the part of Lerian’s electronic platform that contains details about candidates’ attendance, progress and contribution to the learning process. Such transparency is highly useful and appreciated.’‘There is no magic formula when it comes to learning a language. We realize that attending a half-hour lesson on a weekly basis is not enough. The everyday immediate work environment should support the candidates’ efforts. This is why the multi-language culture must become an integral part of our daily lives at the company. This can be accomplished only with the active involvement of the training management staff: monitoring the progress of the candidates, encouraging communication in the target language … the constant language practice in concrete work situations is still the best teacher.’