Typically, English training in an academic institution focuses on general English. However, in order to strengthen their professional profiles and improve their job prospects, students must incorporate professional English into their academic work.
Most institutions face this challenge, as it is difficult to find tools that respond to the need to offer specialized content that is aligned with a breadth of academic and technical programs.
This was the problem faced by the National Training Service (SENA), a public institution attached to the Colombian Ministry of Labor, which offers training to millions who benefit from technical and complementary courses. These programs are focused on the economic, technological, and social development of the country, and their objective is to boost the productivity of companies and industries to enhance competitiveness within global markets.
This institution needed to supplement their apprentices’ English program with a tool that would augment the teaching of professional English in training courses offered. Areas of knowledge which benefit highly from industry-specific language span business administration, economics, logistics, marketing, sales, human resources, engineering, health sciences, tourism, agriculture, mining, construction, culinary arts, and many others.
In 2019, SENA began the search for a tool that could solve their problem. They soon decided to pursue a pilot study with Slang involving 500 apprentices from different programs distributed in 25 training centers across 15 departments of the country. After seeing the successful results of this trial, they made the decision to work with Slang in 2020.
In 2021, SENA expanded the implementation of the Slang Bilingualism Program by including it alongside their English training program for an even larger group of students. This involved participation of 16,000 apprentices coming from 115 programs in 68 training centers spread across 20 departments of the country.
The decision to work with Slang’s platform was also motivated by its capacity to adapt to the needs of the apprentices, in addition to the support provided by Slang’s specialized teams and extensive catalog of technical English courses, which align with SENA’s comprehensive academic offerings.
During implementation, the collaborators placed special importance on designing individualized Learning Paths, monitoring student progress, and providing guidance to the program.
Specialized Learning Paths
The Learning Paths design process was carried out by Slang’s academic team and the Bilingualism Program of SENA’s Office of Vocational Training in a collaborative effort to respond to the trainees‘ needs. This was essential for the orientation and development of the participants within the program.
Monitoring the progress of the apprentices
Access to the Learning Management System (LMS) and progress reports were key to guaranteeing compliance with the objectives, given that SENA’s Bilingualism Program, together with the institution’s professionals and instructors, could closely monitor the progress of their trainees and make informed decisions in real time.
Supporting the program
Facilitation was integral to the project’s success. The program featured internal transparency owing to accessible channels for monitoring/evaluation, exchange of ideas, and clarification. These key functions were carried out by Slang’s Customer Success, Learner Experience, and Technical Support teams.
The most studied courses during the year-long collaboration between Slang and SENA were:
“It is a very well-rounded app that helps improve your English, both professionally and in day-to-day situations. Slang has a practical and dynamic methodology that has helped me progress in learning the language, especially in listening and speaking skills.”
Danny Daniela Pino,
Student of Technology in Integrated Quality Control, Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health
“Slang has greatly impacted my professional career, and thanks to all I have learned, I can now access much more information in my field. Besides that, the platform has been a great tool to acquire confidence in speaking English, as you can learn in an easy and very dynamic way.”
Nelcy Milena Bolaños Pantoja Student of Industrial Automation Technology
Thanks to the partnership with Slang, SENA’s apprentices were able to acquire specialized English skills tailored to each of the programs they were studying, consequently strengthening their professional profiles and contributing to the economic development of the country.
These are the main results of the program implemented at SENA:
“Slang has engendered a deeper approach to the language and has motivated apprentices to learn more about their vocational interests by being a purpose-built English application.”
Laura Marcela Rincón Ortiz,
Bilingualism Program Administrator, Office of Vocational Training
With Slang, your students will have access to an array of career-boosting professional courses, giving them a competitive edge in the job market. Contact us here.