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New service enables language learning on a mobile phone

VOXBONE, a company that specialises in voice communication over the Internet and provides access to local phone numbers and toll-free numbers around the world, has teamed up with Learnosity – an educational technology company

  • to connect language students

with teachers and fellow language learners worldwide.

For the cost of a local phone call, language students will be able to dial in on a Voxbone number, enter a student ID and communicate with students of their subject language and visa versa. Teachers listening in via a web interface will then be able to assess and grade students’ oral and aural capabilities.

Gavin Cooney, Learnosity’s CEO, said that the mobile phone was a logical choice for such an application. “We can’t provide every student in a country with a laptop, broadband connection and headsets, but we can easily put a phone in the hands of every student. In fact, they already have one in most cases,” he said.

As well as voiced-based assessments, Learnosity also offers an on-screen evaluation and learning service that delivers practice exams to students. Its services have already been used in governmental projects in Ireland and Australia. Cooney said that by using one telephone company, it can now offer its product in 46 countries, “including markets that we never would have dreamed of approaching so soon, such as Pakistan, South and Central America and Eastern Europe.”


Opulent backpackers sign up here

or students travelling around before or after a language travel trip, a revamped website is at hand to help them plan their travels: www.luxuryback packers.com, an independent travel specialist for travellers with slightly above budget expectations. F

According to Company Director, Jill Nash, backpacking no longer has to be about finding the cheapest and most convenient place to stay and she notes that “luxury” doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.

The website, which aims to change the way in which travellers plan their trip abroad, includes a comprehensive search engine

  • the ‘travel inspirator’ – which

puts hundreds of adventures at

browsers’ fingertips, a ‘travel lounge’ where backpackers can chat to fellow travellers and an ‘E-boutique’ where one can purchase the latest backpacking clobber. “These new added web features will help independent travellers do as much of the necessary planning, research and preparation as possible, before taking the trip away – be it a weekend in Europe or a six month adventure of lifetime,” said Nash.

The company has also published several guidebooks including Global Adventures in Style, which offers different options for travelling experiences including those aimed at the action hero, the nature and wildlife lover, the culture vulture, the beach bum and the city slicker.

A revamped website aims to make it easy for students to find their own affordable accommodation overseas


Accommodation upgrade at IH Qingdao

LANGUAGE STUDENTS studying at International House Qingdao in China will soon benefit from newly renovated single, double or triple- sized rooms.

The school, based in the Shandong region of China, recently acquired the other half of the campus building where it is based and has renovated it to boost teaching and accommodation facilities. It now boasts 64 rooms, increasing its accommodation capacity by 50 per cent.

“With our rich and strong Mandarin and English teaching resources, comfortable on-site ac- commodation and on-site canteen, which serves various delicious cuisine from all over China, we welcome our friends to the most beautiful coastal city in China,” said Monica Wang, at the school.

During peak season, students pay RMB156 (US$23) for a single room with ensuite facilities and RMB48 (US$7) for a triple room with a shared bathroom.

Cambridge FCE to be launched in Brittany, France

CAMBRIDGE ESOL has been selected by the regional government in Brittany, France, to provide language certification in all of its state schools.

The First Certificate in English (FCE) will primarily target students in their final or “terminale” year of secondary school education and 1,000 students are expected to sit the exam this year.

The move stems from a project instigated by the French Ministry of Education last year that saw the Cambridge English Certificate (CEC), made available to all French high school students at the B1 (intermediate) level of the Council of Europe’s framework. The exam successfully tested 18,500 16-year-olds and test-takers are expected to grow to 23,000 in 2009.

Anthony Harvey, Cambridge ESOL’s Country Manager for France, said that using the FCE in Brittany showed real foresight where language

advancement is concerned. “This is very positive because it gives young people an internationally-recognised qualification which favours mobility, should they wish to go abroad to study, and also, later, it enables them to work in other countries.”

Cambridge ESOL said the French government was the latest in a long line of national and regional governments to have adopted its exam qualifications.

10 May 2009

On the move

Twin Group in the UK is delighted to announce that Nick Tellwright has joined the company as Chairman. He will be working closely with Caroline and Jacqui Fox to facilitate and drive plans for the future of the group. Mr Tellwright, previously Global Director of Embassy CES and Group Marketing Director of Study Group, has also been appointed Governor to the Board at the Bell Educational Trust, along with two other new governors.

David O’Grady is the new CEO of Marketing English in Ireland (MEI). He takes over from Adrian Cummins. Mr O’Grady has been in the ELT business since 1981. First as a teacher at English Language Institute, then as owner/director of his own school: Academy of English Studies Ireland, Dublin and from 2007 he was an examiner with Test of Interactive English (TIE).

Blair Byfield has joined Bell in the newly created role of Head of Language Travel Sales. Mr Byfield will lead the team of Market Development Managers to strengthen and develop partnerships with agents worldwide. He has extensive experience of EFL and was previously the Sales and Marketing Manager for Basil Paterson College, part of the OISE Group.

ICEF is pleased to announce the appointment of John Pritchard (top) as Business Development Manager. Mr Pritchard comes to ICEF after 20 years in the insurance industry, most recently at leading international insurance provider, InterGlobal. He will be based in Surrey, UK. Korinne Algie (centre) joins the company as Marketing & Communications Manager, after a number of years in the export education industry in New Zealand. Ms Algie has also worked for a Japanese agency, Oceania Koryu Centre. She is based at the ICEF head office in Bonn. And Bogumila Lapinski Anaya is ICEF’s new Canadian Manager, based out of Toronto. She previously worked at Sheridan College, Oakville, ON, where she was promoted to International Marketing and Recruitment Manager.

Annaëlle Moothoo is the new Director of Studies at Cape Studies in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a dedicated teacher who worked at Cape Studies for two years before being promoted.

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