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Languages and training

How to choose your training organisation


Supposing you intend to enrol - either yourself or one or more employees – on a language course. How should you go about choosing from among all the organisations in the marketplace? The price is often an important consideration, but other factors should also be included to ensure you make the right choice and avoid nasty surprises at a later date.
  • Declaration of activity: first of all, if you hope to have the cost covered by a financing organisation, the training organisation must have a “declaration of activity” registration number issued by the regional Labour Department. N.B. This number is in no way a seal of approval but a compulsory administrative formality for in-service training. It is, therefore, not a sales argument with regard to quality, but the minimum requirement before applying for a financial contribution from your OPCA!

  • Taking into account your requirements: this is the entrance door and a mirror of the organization: the reception and the commercial approach. When you contacted them, how were you received? Did they respond quickly? In a professional manner? Did they really listen? Did they answer your queries? Did you receive a standard proposal or a detail proposal that is really suited to your situation?

  • What type of lesson do they offer? Are they really suited to your needs and your situation?

  • Knowledge test: did they ask your level or offer to test you?

  • Duration of a module: did they propose a module lasting 80 hours or more? Or a 40 hour starter module that you can renew, depending on your motivation, your schedule... and your satisfaction at the end of the first module?

  • What is the profile of the teachers? What experience do they have? Has their career only been in teaching? Are they familiar with the corporate world and the way it operates? Do you know who will be your teacher?

  • Frequency: as a general rule (not including short-term specific courses), a language is learned over a period of time because the brain needs repetition to improve assimilation. It is better to attend one or two lessons a week over a period of 15 or 20 weeks, for example, than to enrol on an intensive daily course with 4 or 6 hours of lessons every day for 1 or 2 weeks. Moreover, extensive courses have the advantage of allowing you to put your knowledge into practice in between lessons and to come to the next lesson with any questions or problems you may have encountered...

  • Price: Beware of proposals with attractive hourly rates that include personal homework in the training schedule or on a computer in a language lab. As it states, homework is personal and therefore, there should be no charge for it! This approach is designed to make you believe that the hourly charge for lessons is unbeatable!

  • Guarantees: You should also beware of unrealistic promises: no organisation worthy of its name can guarantee you will have reached a certain level by the end of the course. There are too many variables and most of them are dependent on the student, their commitment to the course, the time they can devote to learning, any difficulties they may have...

  • Quality certification: As from January 1st 2017, organisations that finance training programmes have to ensure that a certain number of quality criteria are met (Decree 2015-790 dated June 30th 2015). Does the training organisation meet these criteria?