Ever feel like you’re suffering from a bit of screen fatigue? We live so much of our working lives online, it’s nice to take a break from the computer every now and again to make a cup of coffee and have a chat with someone face-to-face rather than via instant messaging! We also know that some people find it much easier or more convenient to express themselves or give feedback in person rather than trying to write it down in an email or a survey.
Whether you have ten people, a hundred people, or a thousand people learning with Babbel, it’s nice to find ways to give them the opportunity to chat with you about how their language learning journey is going, and for you to find out whether they need a bit of extra support or encouragement. The key is to keep it cool and casual — you don’t want to give the impression you’re Big Brother there to check up on them! It’s more about reaching out to them so that they know they’re supported and can give open feedback about how the program is working for them.
One-to-one chat or a group session?
This will really depend on how many learners you have, how much bandwidth you or your department has, and even what your company culture is like.
One-to-one chats can be great because you can really make it personal and talk about their individual needs and experiences. Learners might give more open feedback if they feel they’re not being judged by their peers in a group environment. But some learners might also find this format too intense or intimidating, or it might make them worry that they’re being singled out for negative reasons — that’s okay, we get that!
Group chats can also be a lot of fun — everyone grabs a coffee, maybe a pastry or a cookie, and sits down in a relaxed environment to chat about their experiences. This has the added benefit of creating a learners’ network, too. Perhaps they’ll be able to connect with other colleagues learning through Babbel to share their tips, favorite lessons, or even problem-solve together. Again, some people may find this format intimidating or intense and worry if they’re not having the same experience as their peers, or aren’t “progressing” at the same pace. It won’t be for everyone, so it’s best if this is a voluntary event, just with lots of encouragement.
If possible, it’s great to offer a blend of these two options. Perhaps organize some group sessions where everyone is invited but make clear that it’s voluntary, and that if people would prefer a one-to-one session then that’s an option, too!
The most important thing is just that you’re able to make contact in some way at regular intervals with your learners: You can give them encouragement and support, they can provide you with feedback on what their experiences are like, and of course we’d be more than happy to share in that feedback, too! Let us know what’s working, what could be improved, and if there’s anything we can do to support you.
Sophie Harwood, Editor for Business English
Sophie has a background in business communications, corporate training, and academic language teaching. In her role at Babbel, she aims to encourage a passion for learning and to equip learners with the precise language and confidence they need to succeed in any situation.