01 December 2023

Fluency Lab: The AI Language Learning Tool for Your Global Workforce

Digital Immersion / Just-in-time tools / Virtualization

With up to 40% of workplaces across Europe, the UK, the US, and Japan operating remotely to some degree, seamless borderless communication practices play a vital part in today’s business success. Simply put, companies that don’t globalize will not be able to compete.

For this reason, adopting an official corporate language is becoming the norm. It helps companies streamline processes by facilitating internal and external communication, increasing efficiency, creating a sense of belonging, and attracting employees globally.

But adopting a global language policy isn’t easy. Teaching non-native employees a new language risks drops in productivity, causes some employees to lose status, and can engender a belief that they aren’t effective enough. All significant hurdles that need overcoming.

That’s why we’re excited to be releasing our new AI language learning tool: Fluency Lab. 

Global Business Communication

Picture this:

You’re joining a call with a foreign business partner. Your hands are sweaty, as you’re hoping to use a new phrase you learned in English. You look at the screen and it’s filled with native speakers. You feel the fear rising…What if speak too fast? What if I speak too slow? What if you stumble over your words?

So… you say nothing.

Forging cross cultural connections through a common language isn’t easy. And addressing the problem by learning the language can be equally difficult. It can be intimidating to learn a new language as an adult. Numerous studies suggest that Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) also known as Xenoglossophobia, has a significant impact on a learner’s language acquisition and performance. Societal pressures for having the “right” accent or pronunciation further compound these problems, as does a lack of time to learn. So instead, we keep quiet.

But ignoring the issue isn’t the answer. To override the blockers, we must offer employees opportunities to practice and build their confidence.

Building Language Confidence

Practice through experience helps build the confidence to succeed in learning a new language. While we can’t change past experiences, we can provide opportunities for more. Some ways of encouraging practice, however, are more scalable than others.

We believe the flipped classroom, blended learning methodology is a great way of reaching this goal at an organizational-wide level, in a cost-effective way. Instructors support learners on their journey, while learners own their experience through self-paced digital tools.

We’ve seen and led many success stories of businesses consolidating English as their official corporate language through this approach. From TOWA International after merging with a Japanese pharmaceuticals company, to Ricoh, aligning its staff across EMEA.

But within the self-paced learning realm, we felt there was more we could do to empower learners to build their language confidence in themselves, in combination with their instructor. This is where our exciting new platform feature, Fluency Lab, comes in and supports.

Fluency Lab is a new proprietary AI solution helping us tackle independent language practice in an innovative and scalable way. It helps learners practice conveying their messages in a non-native language, regardless of their accent, from the comfort of their home.

Painting the Bigger Picture

Fluency Lab is designed to align with our proprietary learner methodology – the Learnlight Empowerment Framework™ and Learnlight Impact Framework, as it fits into our broader flipped classroom, blended learning methodology. Here’s how:

  • Offering opportunities to gain experience pre- and post-trainer session: Learners can practice as much as they want and receive real-time feedback on their speaking ability, analyzing various aspects of their spoken phrases, including speed and hesitation.
  • Fostering a positive attitude to learning a new language: The goal is not to get learners to mimic a native speaker, but to enhance communicative fluency so that their message is effectively understood. Fluency Lab does this by focusing on the variables that can be worked on – fluency, confidence and comprehensibility, limiting learner frustrations.
  • Encouraging good learning habits through empowerment: By focusing on addressable variables, learners feel they can change and grow. We boost speaking confidence, making individuals want to come back for more. This helps tackle other challenges such as a lack of self-belief or a loss of status that come with operating in a foreign language.

Communication skills training such as language learning is a multi-faceted journey that requires vulnerability – hence the need for practice, for approaching the experience with positivity and for empowering learners to change. Fluency Lab is just one element of our AI journey designed to unlock these important variables, reinforcing success in learning.

Driven by our science and powered by our people, AI will continue to complement our process, playing a pivotal role in furthering what is possible with communication skills training.

Global Business Speaks English

As many as 1.5 billion people worldwide speak English, it is becoming the fastest spreading language in the world. It therefore made sense to start by launching Fluency Lab in English.

We are now offering the Fluency Lab solution for free within any Learnlight English language learning program. As a customer, you can access it conveniently in the Practice area of our Learner Platform. If you’re not yet a customer, request your platform demo today.

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