There's no sense in denying it: we're living in an age of unprecedented globalization. The internet has broken down most business barriers, leading to more and more companies going beyond their nation's borders.
One barrier remains: language. No matter how easy it is to ship a product overseas or perform a service from a thousand miles away simplicity goes out the window when people can't communicate.
Learning a new language—especially as an adult—can be difficult, and it may be because we're going about it the wrong way. Focus on conversation as opposed to the rules of language is gaining popularity, and with good reason: it works.
Language education company Verbling has been doing just that for the past five years. Its platform pairs learners in one-on-one sessions with native speakers, allowing for individualized learning that emphasizes the important part of language: communication.
Today Verbling announced the launch of Verbling Enterprise: A service specifically designed to tackle the growing international needs of businesses.
Enterprise-level language learning made simple
Corporate language learning, Verbling argues, is inefficient. Instructors have to be contracted, times have to be scheduled, and attending sessions takes employees away from other essential tasks. HR also has the difficult job of trying to track learning metrics to figure out the company's ROI.
Verbling Enterprise offers an alternative to that model. Companies that enroll in the program grant access to employees, who are then free to schedule their own learning sessions when they see fit.
HR professionals get another break: Verbling Enterprise is designed to automate away all the tracking. Reports can be pulled from inside the app, administrators can track progress of each individual, and employees can be invited all from the dashboard.
Conversational learning works
There are a lot of factors that go into learning a language, but none is as important as using it. Reading a language and understanding the finer rules of grammar are secondary to being able to get your point across, which is why so many experts are emphasising conversation.
James North of the Foreign Services Institute told the BBC that learning is all about speaking. He emphasises conversing with native speakers who can provide feedback—the exact sort of thing that Verbling's platform does.
SEE: 10 tips for coping with international business travel (TechRepublic)
Verbling has already captured a few high-profile clients on its enterprise platform: The Volkswagen Group and fashion retail group Inditex have both signed on as launch partners. If Verbling Enterprise is all it's cracked up to be it's probably worth a look.
Pricing information for Verbling is not currently available. Jake Jolis, Verbling's CEO says that enterprise pricing will be billed monthly and based on two factors: the number of users and the number of lessons per month that the company wants them to have.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Language-learning service Verbling is launching an enterprise platform for businesses that need to break down communication barriers.
- Verbling pairs learners with certified teachers for one-on-one conversational learning.
- Verbling Enterprise will allow companies to track progress and see ROI, while employees can schedule language lessons when it's convenient for them.
- Five apps for saving money on flights (TechRepublic)
- Mondly releases language-learning voice chatbot (ZDNet)
- 10 tips for traveling IT workers (TechRepublic)
- Rosetta Stone rolls out Catalyst, cloud-based language software for the enterprise (ZDNet)
- Bilingual patients fare better after a stroke (CBS News)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.