Even if you live somewhere where everyone speaks your native language, having another language under your belt can be a huge benefit to your career. Besides making considerably more money over the course of your career, it also makes you more hirable in certain markets and industries. I know that I wouldn’t have landed my first job if it weren’t for my second-language German skills. But more than that, I had years of excellent, encouraging language teachers who helped me build confidence in my German-speaking abilities.
Of course, not everyone has the luxury to put their life on hold and go back to language classes full-time. That’s where online language learning steps in. With the right product, you can improve your language skills, learn industry-specific vocabulary, and start feeling more confident in your speaking ability.
As it turns out, the Babbel app is designed with exactly these goals in mind. But don’t just take my word for it: To find out how Babbel approaches business-oriented language learning, I got some insight from Genevieve Sabin, one of Babbel’s language experts in our Didactics department. Genevieve has lived in Berlin since 2006, but she originally hails from Dublin, Ireland, where she first awakened her own professional interests: “I started my career in languages at the age of 18, giving Irish lessons to school kids.” Since then she’s built up an arsenal of expertise in language education, intercultural competency and web development.
Here at Babbel she puts her linguistic skills to work as part of the Babbel for Business team, creating business English courses for our corporate partners. She explained, “My job as editor is to create business-focused content that will engage our learners, especially those who work at international companies.” An expert when it comes to learning a language for work, let’s take a look at what she had to say about how Babbel prepares career-focused learners for success in the field.
1. The Babbel Method: 4 + 1
So how does Babbel approach language education with career-oriented learners in mind? We start with our proven Babbel Method and build from there. Genevieve explained, “Babbel puts the language you’re learning in a communicative context. We focus on all four language skills — speaking, reading, writing and listening — plus culture.” Genevieve stressed that a focus on conversation is key: “It sets up learners for the real world. This is essential for career-focused learners who need to feel confident in their ability to communicate in situations that require a certain level of competence, like an important phone call or a negotiation.”
Confidence comes with time and repetition, so that’s why Babbel’s built-in review feature dynamically integrates previously-learned information into your daily lessons. Better yet, it also allows you to review with the same four skills as our lessons: speaking, reading, writing and listening.
Here’s how it works: Once you learn a new word or phrase, you can expect to see this vocabulary pop up throughout future review sessions, often in different practical contexts. Review recognizes once you get a certain phrase consistently correct and it will gradually stop showing you content you’ve already mastered. With this simple and effective tool, you can continually practice your communication skills until they become second nature.
2. Business Courses For Your Career
So how is our course content structured? Genevieve explained that it’s split into two sections: “It’s divided into competencies and areas of work. In the competencies section, we have courses to help you improve your business communication skills, like On the Telephone, Emails, Meetings and Negotiations.” These courses form the foundation of almost all types of office work. That said, vocabulary and specifics of language vary from industry to industry — and so does Babbel’s business course content. Therefore, the areas of work courses then provide industry-specific content relevant to your field, from Banking to Pharmaceuticals.
But how does Babbel decide which business courses to develop next? Genevieve walked me through the steps. “We are constantly iterating on how we create business courses,” she told me. To illustrate what Babbel’s business partnerships typically look like, Genevieve told me about her team’s collaboration with Technisches Hilfswerk, a civil defense organization sponsored by the German government. “They provide us with the material they would like their volunteers to have access to when carrying out their tasks all over the world. We’ve created three courses so far for them and are planning more in the near future.” And the best part? All of these custom-tailored courses are available on our platform for every Babbel user to access.
3. Make Genuine Connections At Work
Babbel’s business courses are not just all work and no play, though, as Genevieve pointed out. Whatever the workplace setting, learning a new language is all about communicating with people you interact with on a daily basis. That’s why culture plays a central role in Babbel’s learning approach: We’re not just training you for work, but also for your life at work. Making friends with colleagues, establishing a connection with the client, and making the relationships that count. Babbel is here to help boost confidence in your language-speaking ability so you can focus on the conversations that really matter.
If you’re stuck in a job rut or simply looking for new business opportunities, learning a new language can be the key to opening many doors to your professional future. Why not kickstart your multilingual career today?