PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
St Albans, Herts, United Kingdom, 2011/03/08 - The Italian Ministry of Education is the second European government department – following France’s Education Ministry – to get goFLUENT, the European leader in distance English training, to provide English language learning for schoolchildren.
This latest pilot programme, begun in November last year and organised by goFLUENT, links children at Rome’s Piva Caesar Middle School - via videoconferencing technology - with English native speakers who are English language teachers based in the USA.
Using only an internet connection, a computer with a sound system, a webcam and a video projector, 22 children participated in this innovative learning process which complements traditional English teaching methods. Every child took part in ten of these web-delivered lessons, each of which lasted for 30 minutes.
Both the on-site teacher and the US-based trainer support complement each other’s role in the classroom. The classroom teachers play a key role because they are responsible for making goFLUENT’s interactive lessons meet the requirements of the Italian Ministry of Education.
Sally Van Dyke, one of the teachers, said: "It was amazing to see how quickly the students’ familiarity with English improved. It was clear that the concepts that they had already acquired in the classroom were greatly enriched by goFLUENT’s training."
The pilot project marks the second time that goFLUENT has worked with a national government to teach English to its children. Since 2008, in conjunction with France’s Education Ministry, goFLUENT has made its brand of English language training available to children in the le Havre area of France.
This project involves 1,000 schools, of which 40 – in Périgueux - took part in a pilot programme in 2008. Then, in 2009, the training was extended to children in Rosny-sous-Bois and, subsequently, to children aged nine to 12 in the city of le Havre and the surrounding area.
Christophe Ferrandou, goFLUENT’s CEO, explained: “Involvement in one of our programs – whether you’re a child or an adult – gives you a head-start when learning English because you learn true English pronunciation quickly and effortlessly from native-speaking teachers. You get the chance to learn a new language and appreciate a new culture as well.
“Our experience – now in both France and Italy - in providing distance English training via videoconferencing to young people has shown that our teaching method is particularly well suited to teaching them English, given the familiarity that most of them already have with the internet. And the students' feedback shows that they are happy with the structure, content and outcome of the lessons.”
Nicola Musazzi, goFLUENT’s Country Manager in Italy, commented: “The added value of our approach is shown in its playful and experiential approach to learning - and students of all ages benefit from the simplicity of the programme’s construction as well as its high degree of personal interaction with the teachers.”
Ferrandou added: “Using videoconferencing technology is an ideal way to introduce students - not just in Italy and France but all over the world - to native English speakers without the need to disrupt anyone’s life by a lot of travelling, thus avoiding the costs and the adverse effects on the environment that such travel brings. Moreover, using this technology to deliver the learning gets around the difficulty of finding native English speakers in the students’ locality.”
The results of the pilot programme in Rome are now being analysed and are being shared with other Italian schools via the InnovaScuola web portal. InnovaScoula is an initiative of Italy’s Department for the digitisation of public administration and technological innovation along with the country’s Ministry of Education University and Research.
goFLUENT (gofluent.com) offers distance business English training solutions combining eLearning and live trainers. Each year goFLUENT helps over 60.000 business executives in more than 5.000 international corporations to make their company more efficient and profitable when doing business globally and managing intercultural situations. goFLUENT is established in 10 countries, with 560 employees – including 400 teachers - and with the world’s third largest telecom company, NTT Communications (NTT Group) owning 30% of its shares.