Week 8 of Lockdown and Online Business English Training v Coronavirus

Week 8 of Lockdown and Online Business English Training v Coronavirus

If anyone had told me on 15 March we would still be “locked down” in our daily life, albeit some of the restrictions have now been lifted, I would not have believed them.  But here we are on 6 May and what has been the biggest work change?

Well, everyone is communicating online, virtually, digitally or electronically, however you care to name it.  People were touting names like Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting, Skype for business, Facetime, and even Zoho meeting and  BlueJeans, to name a few.   The problem for all was, what to use.   Zoom has had some publicity about security issues.  Some you have to pay for.  I did some research to see what I should go for and decided Zoom had a lot of flexibility, and so I took part in some live webinars, which were very professionally presented.  I also did several courses specifically for language trainers and decided to pay the basic rate for Zoom registration so I can train groups.  Most of my 1-1 sessions are being done on Facetime – either on the iPad, computer or the iPhone.  I must say that this is the clearest in terms of sound and vision and you just dial into the person you are training, with no prebooking  or registration, but it’s restricted to Apple users.   One of my big clients is not allowed to use Zoom, so they pay for GoToMeeting and dial in to me and that works well too.

People at home or at work are having scheduled meetings, client discussions, team meetings, training sessions, teaching kids – as well as pub meetings, virtual parties and fitness and yoga sessions – all online.  Who would have thought?  I find it quite exciting that such a change can occur worldwide in such a short time and will, I believe continue once we are back to normal, whatever normal will be!

Do you have to go to that meeting in FFM or London?  Couldn’t it be done online?

What started for me as no work at the onset of the Coronavirus, banned from going into my clients’ offices, has gradually developed and I have managed to convince some of my valued clients that online training is a good idea and that some of their people now working at home might have more time to do business English training online, than face to face in the office.  As a result, last week saw me doing a reasonable number of 90 minute online sessions with my clients, all of whom seem to be enjoying the experience.  One company boss who was not enthusiastic dropped me a line after the second session and said how much he had enjoyed the Zoom training.  Several clients have actually referred some of their staff to me, as working at the home office does allow them more flexibility and I have actually picked up a couple of new clients – people who work remotely in other parts of Germany and who had not been able to access business English classes in their local area.

So, what can we learn from all this ?  Online training works and it is enjoyable.  The online platforms have been working hard to get people on board, offering all sorts of training and webinars.  There is lots of room for improvement and lots of opportunity for us to learn more.  It is quite tiring for the trainer or leader as you have to focus all your attention on the screen and on the people in it, to keep the meeting running smoothly and not have everyone speaking at once.  There is an online culture to be learnt.  Variety is the spice of life, they say, so this is something new for us to get our teeth into and Pledger Business English Training can certainly supply you with quality training online during the day, evenings or weekends.  A trial session is available, if you’d like to give it a go.


Glossary of highlighted words from the article:

 albeit – though or although (pronounced – “all be it” like 3 words)

touting names –  to talk about something repeatedly

to go for something – to choose

drop somebody a line – to write to somebody

to work remotely – working outside the company’s offices

variety is the spice of life – new/exciting experiences make life more interesting

to get your teeth into something – to put a lot of time and energy into an                                                                        interesting project

to give it a go  – to try something out


Pat Pledger

Pledger Business English Training

8 May 2020