Factory Learning Programs

I was once invited to tour a factory where I came across a situation. A quality control manager at a precision instrument manufacturing facility designed an exam to test factory employee knowledge of an assembly process. He showed me the exam he had created. It was a fine exam, one that would work well with native English speaking employees who went through the American school system. The exam tested the ability of employees to assemble part of a scientific measurement device. The test included a matching section with a diagram. Many people would interpret it as an easy to understand test that the employees should have no problem acing. However, this was not the case. Less than 10% of forty factory employees passed the test.

A problem with the learning process at a factory

Prior to the exam, the employees of the factory received a lecture on the material to be tested. What was being done to check for understanding of the employees? Did the employees understand the material being presented? The way to improve this process is through formative assessment of the material. In a formative assessment, the trainer checks for employee understanding during the learning process. For instance, if a training session is to be 60 minutes, there can be 2-6 formative assessments that check for understanding. The best way to teach material is to break it down into small, manageable units of learning. This is called chunking. In this case, it could be 10 minutes chunks of content.

Training-ESL for Manufacturing-Factory

A problem with factory test design

There are many different ways to write an exam. Multiple choice, matching, short answer, fill-in-the-blank to name a few. The key with writing an effective exam is to make the exam match the learning abilities and needs of the employees. The exam should be able to test whether the employee knows the material, not whether he or she knows how to take an exam. The way to fix this is to show a sample exam with the style of questions and test whether the employee is able to complete the exam. If the employee is able to complete the sample exam successfully, let’s say in the range of 80%-90%, then you are ready to use that style of testing during the training.

For more information about our ESL for Business programs at Skill House Learning, have a look here: http://skillhouselearning.com/esl-business/

Improving Sales Emails For Your L2 English Staff

Let me paint a scenario. You open a sales email and see glaring mistakes in spelling. Not only that, but the content of the email itself just does not look right. The author of this email is not effectively communicating his or her message due to language inability. Are you going to engage in the sales process with this person? Probably not.

Skill House Learning-sales emails

What if this person was a member of your staff? Perhaps someone you directly manage. Multiple ineffective sales emails could cost your company thousands of dollars in missed opportunity.

However, there is hope. The sales emails that this employee is sending out could be vastly improved. Providing training for your L2 English employees will make them more effective at communicating with prospects and clients, increasing both the value of the employee to your company and your company’s earnings.

Here are two things you can do to improve sales email for your L2 English staff:

First, provide a model of what works. Show your staff the correct form of email. What this means is show them the form and format of an industry standard email. When creating any kind of business correspondence, the writer needs to write with the discourse community in mind. The discourse community is the group of people involved in the correspondence. In this case, the prospects or potential clients and the author of the email are the members of the discourse community. When writing to potential clients, there is a “right” way that the email is supposed to look. We all know this through experience. However, your L2 English staff do not necessarily know the conventions of the discourse community and need to be shown the correct way to write sales emails.

Skill House Learning-sales-trainingSecond, have your L2 English staff send a draft for feedback. Do this a few times a week. You or a manager in your company may not have the time to go over each email, but working with a few emails a week is both manageable for you and the L2 English employee. Be particularly careful with providing feedback. Focus your feedback on one to three points. Sandwich your criticism between two positive comments. Have the employee make changes and then send back to you. You can keep these over time as a measure of progress.

By following these steps, you will be able to see demonstrable improvement in your L2 English staff’s business writing.

This is information is specifically for training your ESL employees in improving their sales emails. If you are interested in improving sales performance for all your staff, I would recommend looking at this website: http://www.jillkonrath.com/