The Importance of Developing Multilingual eLearning Content

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    According to recent market predictions, the global eLearning market is expected to grow by $ 6.71 billion during 2020-2024. As eLearning becomes increasingly present in the lives of people all over the world, it’s important to take an international approach when beginning your curriculum development. 

    Whether you are a multi-branch organization, or a small company looking to expand your reach, multi-language eLearning content will make your curriculum accessible to all. This post will help you better understand what multilingual design is, why it’s important, and how to implement it.  

    The Multilingual Learning Strategy

    What is Multilingual eLearning content? While many believe that multi-language eLearning content is created by translating words into another language, it is much more than that.  

    Effective multi-language eLearning content adjusts content to meet the cultural and academic needs of each learner. For example, if you’re interested in creating a lesson on tax compliance in multiple languages, you need to be aware of the local rules and regulations of each learner. 

    It is also important to include the correct numbers and date formats, alternate currency, and use examples that don’t include abstract cultural references or jargon. While creating a multilingual platform might seem labor-intensive, the financial and social benefits will make the effort worth it in the long run. 

    Designing Culturally Accessible eLearning

    Improved Learning Engagement: eLearning development should aim to reach as many people as possible, and creating a multilingual design could be an effective way to do that. According to the US Census Bureau, there are more than 350 languages actively spoken in the United States alone, and more than seven thousand languages in use in the world today. 

    Therefore, creating a multilingual platform is not only important for reaching international learners but local learners as well. The more learners you reach, the broader your client-base becomes, and the more economic growth your company will experience. 

    Providing content in different languages will help non-English speaking learners feel more accepted, comfortable, and willing to take risks during the lesson. Here are some design tips for making sure your curriculum translates well: 

    • Do not use colloquialisms or jargon. This will exclude learners and create confusion. 
    • Keep screen text to a minimum. You might find that the original text doubles in size when translated to a different language. If you keep the text concise, to begin with, you won’t have to worry as much about running out of space.  
    • Provide a glossary for industry term translations. 
    • Do not include text with images or graphics. This will reduce cost in the long-run, as the graphics themselves will not need to be translated. 

    Diversity and Inclusion in eLearning Design

    eLearning For All: Not only will the increased outreach benefit your organization on a fiscal level, but it will encourage learners of all cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses to take part in your eLearning course. 

    When creating online instructional strategies, keep in mind that learners of all backgrounds and English abilities could be engaging with your course. In the LA metro area, 54% of the population uses English as a second language. These high percentages can be seen in other cities as well, including 51% in Miami, 40% in San Francisco, and 38% in metro New York. 

    These populations often come from immigrant backgrounds. By converting your eLearning content to multiple languages, you’ll reach a more diverse audience, and provide an opportunity for low-income or minority learners.  

    This Learning Strategy Has Everyone In Mind

    As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it’s important to include as many people as you can in your target audience. It’s easy for things to become lost in translation, but with the right eLearning development strategy, your message can have a wide reach. 

    Have you used eLearning platforms with a multilingual option? In what ways do you think implementing a multilingual model would help your eLearning curriculum? Share your ideas with us here at WeLearn’s Learning Development blog, where we believe learning is for everyone.

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