The main aim of a language audit is to help an organisation develop and implement an appropriate language training policy.
The core question addressed is whether the organisation has the language competences it requires to face current and future needs and, if this is not the case, to suggest what can be done. This analysis can be directed at the organisation as a whole, a single department or a particular group of workers.
A language audit will normally have the following five steps:
- Identify the positions where the language is used, together with the specific tasks that are carried out.
- Establish the level of competence desired for the successful completion of the tasks identified (job specifications). This is the goal.
- Determine the current levels of competence of the people in post. This represents the starting point.
- Design training programmes that will take the people in post from their current levels of competence to the levels of competence established in step 2. This is the training gap.
- Present the management of the organisation with a full report, department-by-department and individual-by-individual that will facilitate the taking of appropriate future decisions in this area.