World language departments play an important role in nurturing students’ foreign language skills while also supporting teachers through professional development, coaching and curriculum design.
Research shows that language learning programs for schools can have a positive impact on students’ intellectual development and academic performance, while also helping them develop valuable interpersonal skills such as cultural awareness and empathy.
Unfortunately, due to budget cuts and teacher shortages, foreign language programs for schools have been declining in recent years. But, thanks to advances in remote learning and the widespread adoption of virtual learning environments, outsourcing your school’s world language department is now not only a viable option, but could even end up being more cost effective and impactful in the long run.
Want to know more about the benefits of world language and EFL department outsourcing for your school and students? Let’s take a look.
The future of language learning in schools
Because foreign language learning isn’t usually prioritized in the same way subjects like math or English are, when schools and higher education institutions feel the squeeze of budget cuts, language programs are often the first to be rolled back.
There’s also a disproportionate gap between public and private schools in the United States, and this is particularly true when it comes to world language education programs.
With that said, the increased demand for graduates with language skills across all sectors of the economy means that many schools are now opting to outsource foreign language programs from more qualified and specialized language schools. This is evident from the increased number of language immersion programs offered by schools over the last decade.
In fact, outsourced foreign language programs are not merely replacing traditional Spanish, German or French classes in schools and higher education institutions, but are actually proving to be more effective in a number of ways.
Why outsourcing your world language department is a good idea
If your school is struggling to allocate sufficient resources to world language education, foreign language and EFL outsourcing may be a viable solution.
Outsourcing your language classes also means students will have the opportunity to partake in language immersion programs and receive instruction from native speakers of Spanish, French, German and other languages.
Research has shown that language immersion programs can lead to a number of educational, cognitive and cultural benefits. Most importantly, language immersion programs help students develop a more complete understanding of the language they’re learning, and may even strengthen their understanding of their native language.
Want to know more? Here are three of the most important ways in which outsourcing your world language department might benefit your school and students.
1. More affordable
Although you might assume that implementing specialized language programs with bilingual instructors and professional development for teachers would come at a significant cost to your school, research shows that language immersion programs are actually more cost effective. The study, published in the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), found that even modest investments in language immersion programs and professional development for teachers resulted in positive academic gains for students.
2. More efficient
Outsourcing your world language department can free up valuable teacher time and eliminate the risk of wasting time on untested and potentially ineffective language learning programs. When you outsource your school’s language classes, teachers will no longer need to spend time thinking about the curriculum design and implementation or assessment. Instead, they can leave it up to the language experts who already know the curriculum in and out and understand how to successfully implement it, while also effectively tracking student progress.
3. More impactful
A growing body of research indicates that language immersion education has benefits over traditional language classes. For one thing, language immersion students from a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds have been shown to achieve as well as, and in some cases, better than their non-immersion peers on standardized tests. Some studies also show that students who are exposed to the language they’re learning in an immersive way exhibit higher levels of fluency. There’s also some evidence that language immersion students display greater cognitive flexibility and nonverbal problem-solving skills.
Clearly, there are some important benefits to outsourcing your school’s world language department to a specialized language school, from cost savings to greater academic gains.
Still wondering whether world language and EFL department outsourcing could be the right decision for your school? Get in touch to find out more about Berlitz’s Total Immersion program and how it can benefit your school.