Saturday, December 30, 2017

Guest post - How to Prepare Your International Staff Training Materials for Future Translation

How to Prepare Your International Staff Training Materials for Future Translation

The global economy produces new opportunities to expand and grow markets. For businesses, the challenge is creating a staff training strategy that supports their goals and provides a consistent message across varied markets. eLearning offers a cost-effective solution to training for world-wide staff with a uniform approach that also takes into consideration local concerns and cultures.

As businesses develop their global strategies, they should incorporate staff training as part of their overall approach. While English remains the major language for international commerce, staff members learn best in their own first languages. Training, therefore, needs to plan for eLearning translation of materials into a variety of languages while taking into account the demands of local markets and cost management of training programs.

Plan Global Content

Since training materials will need to be translated, companies should focus on creating great content that translates smoothly into multiple languages. Media should be as culturally neutral as possible by avoiding colloquialisms that do not translate well, overly complex sentences that take longer to translate, or word-choices that have too much nuance in one language.

Design Smart Materials

Material design should take into account formats that will accommodate the differences in language without the need to resize or change layouts for each market. Visual materials should be culturally neutral so as not to need creating new imagery every time. The approach should be used for all media, from text to images to video.

Use Cost-Effective Translation

Once training content is created, the next step is choosing the best method for translating it into local languages. Machine translation is software that produces literal translations from one language to another. The advantage of this method is that it is highly cost-effective. However, the downside is weak translations that need to be further refined since they do not take context and nuance into consideration.

Human translations, on the other hand, produces highly-accurate interpretations that take into account local culture and sensitivities. The cost can be higher, but if businesses have kept their original language materials straightforward, these can be reduced.

Reduce Costs Through Smart Planning

From choosing local markets, designing materials,and creating content, businesses can develop eLearning training materials that satisfy their needs while keeping down costs. For best approaches, they should keep the eventuality of translation in mind when creating content. Key points to consider include:
  • Culture-neutral content will keep the material universal
  • Visual material without identifiable culture signifiers reduces image costs
  • Minimize audio speech in video to reduce hiring multiple language speakers
  • Avoid text in imagery that might entail recreating images for every market
  • Assess cost differences between machine and human translation
  • Investigate learning management systems for easy roll-out across multiple markets
For execution of best learning plans and strategy practices, a language service provider (LSP) can be an enormous benefit. LSPs employ staff with expertise in major foreign business markets, advise on training implementation, and help manage costs.

As experts in the translation field, they also maintain software systems that archive translated materials for future use. These reduce translation costs for standard materials throughout the life of training programs.

Through smart planning and expert consultations, businesses can prepare their staff training programs with minimized costs while maintaining quality content. In strategizing ahead of time for translation, these companies can save themselves valuable resources in the long run, while creating the most effective training program for their global employees.

Rachel Wheeler

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Competition for kids

As you may be aware Christchurch has been hit by a series of devasting earthquakes over the last two years (we had a 3.9 one on Monday this week). The Central city and East Christchurch were badly hit. Many of the schools in these areas suffered and have now got smaller rolls. The Minister of Education announced, late last year, a lot of changes for some of the Christchurch schools. This has been very unsettling for all concerned as many teachers are losing the jobs. What changes go ahead will be announced soon.

Hey kids! We need your help to make Christchurch the coolest little city in the world. We’re running a competition this year to get you thinking – and creating. There are fantastic prizes up for grabs for you and your school. Plus you’ll have bragging rights forever that you helped make the new central city an amazing place.
It is really apposite as many of our schools are rebuilding their grounds and while they are designing the city playground (older children have other projects to work on).

How wonderful to include the children of our city in our city rebuild.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Kizoa is a great Web 2 tool to use in the classroom. The students can create slideshows, collage and edit graphics. This is a free tool to use. Once completed the students can save the collage for example to their hard drive (this is not part of the free membership, you need to pay a fee) or share it online through their blog (free). With the slideshows you can put in text, music, animation and other special effects, there are all sorts of possibilities to customize your slideshow! Be careful to only use the free tools and effects if you plan to share your creations.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Knowmia is a web site for teachers where they can upload their videos so that the students are able to access them.

Ariel Braunstein and Scott Kabat developed this web site so that teachers could share experiences and resources with each other.

There are some great case studies with interviews with teachers who are successfully using these videos in their classrooms.

There is a large database of videos that teachers can access and use with their students.

For those using a flipped classroom approach with their students Knowmia has, coming soon, a simple home assignment tool. For each assignment you will be able to include a series of lessons that you create or find in their ever growing lesson database. Homework may include three types of assessments: multiple choice questions, open-ended questions, and textbook questions (questions from textbooks that your students already use). Once you send out an assignment, you will be able to keep track of your students' actions and performance: When did they open the assignment? How did they answer each question? Which concepts require additional help and/or practice? Although the actions of your students are completely private and secure (visible only to you), the homework itself is shared instantly with other teachers so they can learn from you and borrow any portions of it for their own students. You may opt to do likewise with their assignments and lessons.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Wordle is a commonly used word cloud (it was one of the first around) but I wonder how many use Tagxedo. I know I have written about this one before but I think that many still don't know about this one.

With this cloud you can have the words shaped (for example I have used an angel) and also you can save it as a jpg file onto your hard drive which is not possible with other word clouds. All of this is free.  You can customise the colour, the theme and the shape to suit what you are doing.  I know that children will love using this one.

Hardy Leung has done a presentation to show you how to use Tagxedo in 101 ways! Each way gives you an illustration to show an example.  Very useful for classroom teachers for ideas to use in their classrooms.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Web 2 tools

A great new book by Professor Dr Mohamed Amin which he has made available is this 40 Must Know Web 2 tools. This book explains what the tool is,  benefits of using this tool, ways of using the tool in teaching and learning.

40 Must-know Web 2.0 Edutools

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


A useful tool for the classroom is Ginger.

Ginger corrects spelling and grammar mistakes based on the context of your complete sentences by comparing each sentence to billions of similar sentences from the web.

Ginger is integrated with MS Office and most web browsers which ensures that your work is correct. It will scan a whole document for you. This programme is free.

There is an educational package which is not free (you pay a license fee per pupil per year).

I have not used this package but they say:

    Ginger is the only tool that tracks students’ errors across writing assignments providing ongoing assessment of the students’ work. Ginger’s Personalized Learning Tutor identifies common patterns of mistakes in the students’ writing and automatically creates a personalized learning program with tailored lessons and quizzes for each student and/or class. Ginger provides an unprecedented level of differentiated instruction customized to the student/class’ needs.

Ginger gives students a tool to become stronger writers:
•Correct grammar, spelling, and usage errors
•Correct whole sentences in a single click
•View sample expressions to accompany alternatives
 •Text-to-Speech – hear your texts read out loud
 •Tools to help you learn from your mistakes
 •Lessons and quizzes based on your progress

Educators are provided with:
 •Reports quantifying users’ most frequent errors
•Categorized analysis of users’ error types
 •Individualized instruction tool customized to student/class level
•An invaluable tool for monitoring students’ needs and progress
•The ability to evaluate instruction methods

Friday, October 26, 2012

Free tools to use in the classroom

David Andrade has put up a very useful slideshow which features 25 tools you can use in the classroom to enhance the thinking and learning. These are free resources from Discovery Education.

There are many resources here which although are aimed at science can be used for other curriculum areas as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The flipped classroom

I have just been reading Terry Freedman's thoughts on the Flipped Classroom. I have also written about this idea before and while reading Terry's article I found I still think that we also need to think about the student.

Taking the idea of the flipped classroom whereby the student is able to watch videos of the teacher lecturing or explaining things thereby freeing up class time so that the teacher then becomes the facilitator of the learning environment, has some discussing this concept as though it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. However my own thoughts are do we want well rounded people or not. The amount of time these students are being asked to carry out school tasks out of school hours becomes greater and greater. How about a life???

I prefer Terry's concepts where he talks about the things we, as teachers, have always done to help students prepare for upcoming classes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Learn Stuff

Learn Stuff is a web site which is useful for everyone not just students.

There are areas for education, health, science technology and infographics.  In addition there are helpful tips for students about how to study.

Technology has quickly become an integral part of our lives. On the web site is this graphic showing the use of technology at this time. Very interesting and makes you wonder what is going to happen in the future. Will books and paper become things of the past and only seen in museums. What will happen to libraries?  It is certainly an ever changing world particularly if you think that it was only around 50 years ago that television was first introduced into New Zealand. Computers did not make their entrance into schools until about 30 years ago and that was only in a few high schools. Certainly something like an iPad was not envisoned then but nor was it thought that people would want computers in the home (ask Bill Gates)!!