Languages get online;News;News amp; Opinion

12th November 1999 at 00:00
A COMPUTER program devised for businesses to organise virtual meetings in cyberspace may be about to revolutionise foreign language teaching.

NetMeeting, distributed free by Microsoft on the Internet, offers live video and audio links, and communal "notepads". And now it is receiving unforeseen attention from language teachers excited by its potential.

Eric Baber, director of studies at Net Learn Languages, says that computer conferencing packages previously have been prohibitively expensive for schools.

"With this, all the teacher and the students need is a regular PC, with sound capabilities and connected to the Internet. The program can just be downloaded," Mr Baber says.

Net Learn, the first private language teaching company to spot the potential of NetMeeting, caused a stir at the London Language Show last weekend with live, Internet-linked language courses.

Its NetMeeting-based course uses native speakers of Italian, English, German, French, Spanish and Russian to teach international groups of up to six students for about pound;6 an hour each. It has attracted more than 250 students from as far afield as Mongolia.

Seventy per cent of Net Learn's students are school-aged, but British schools have yet to sign up for the courses.

Net Learn is on www.nll.co.uk It also offers teacher training for those interested in running online courses (tel 0181 981 1333).

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now