Partner Spotlight: Bridging the Language Divide with Speexx

Like other multinational organizations, NGOs working in multiple countries face a major challenge to their productivity and success: the language divide between staff in various national offices. Take ChildFund for instance, which works to support vulnerable children worldwide: “English is the great unifying language of our business,” says Leslie Crudele, ChildFund’s International HR Business Partner. “We have staff around the world that are non-native English speakers, and they’re asked to use English in their business communications.”

To clear the language barriers between teams, NGOs like ChildFund face the challenge of finding cost-effective language resources for their learners. Since early 2015, Speexx, a business language-learning platform, has partnered with LINGOs to deliver just that. LINGOs is a learning consortium of 80+ international development, aid, and conservation organizations, and through the partnership with Speexx, LINGOs members have access to Speexx’s broad portfolio of online, 1:1, phone, and live language-learning courses at significantly reduced cost.

Since Speexx was introduced to LINGOs members last year, over 1300 NGO staff in 100+ countries have enrolled in French, Spanish, and English courses at all levels (A1 – C1.2). For Mehdi Tounsi, Vice President of Americas and Global Alliances at Speexx, the Speexx-LINGOs partnership represents an ideal melding of product and audience. “Speexx was developed to empower people to better communicate in the workplace, and to help them at their point of need,” Tounsi says. “As a result, Speexx makes perfect sense for nonprofits. It’s a practical, pragmatic solution that is tailored for the workplace, regardless of where that workplace might be.”

For CIMMYT, an organization dedicated to maize and wheat science for improved livelihoods, Speexx is doing just what Tounsi hopes it will – meeting learners where they are. Guillermo Flores, Manager of Organizational Development and Training at CIMMYT, says that “as an international organization with offices in remote locations, and multiple pressing tasks, it is often hard for staff to attend training.” As a result, Speexx’s online program has made language learning available to learners who would not otherwise have had access. That opportunity is key, Flores says, because “CIMMYT staff interact with a range of nationalities and cultures on a daily basis, and having a minimum of two languages certainly helps and encourages effective communication.”

At ChildFund, Leslie Crudele adds that Speexx’s self-paced, accessible format has made it particularly popular among learners. “We find that for our employees, whether they’re experiencing connectivity issues in one of our field offices, or traveling a lot and unable to commit to a weekly course, Speexx gives them the option to come and go as needed – to continue honing their skills,” Crudele says.

Considering the impact that Speexx’s courses have had on NGO learners in just one year of partnership, Ross Coxon, LINGOs’ Director of the Learning Collaborative, is looking forward to the future. “Language programs like Speexx not only provide great learning by themselves, but they are a pathway to deeper learning and understanding in so many other areas,” Coxon says. “They provide incredible professional development for staff, and give organizations a clear path to better communication, so that they can do their work more effectively.”

For more information on the wide array of language programs available to LINGOs members through Speexx, please contact support@lingos.org.

About Speexx

Speexx helps large organizations everywhere to drive productivity by empowering employee communication skills across borders. Speexx offers an award-winning range of cloud-based online language learning solutions for Business English, Spanish, German, Italian and French with ongoing support in 13 languages. Speexx is easy to use and scales to the needs of users and training managers in organizations of any size.

Speexx integrates online business communication skills training, mobile and social learning, 1,500 expert coaches located throughout the world and personalized live online activities into one fully standardized, globally consistent learning experience. More than 8 million users in 1,500 organizations – including UNHCR, Ericsson, Mazda and Credit Suisse – use Speexx to learn a language smarter and deliver results on time. Speexx was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Munich, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo, New York and Shanghai. For more information, visit www.speexx.com.

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