Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Language Education’ Category

English Attack! Partners with Prodirekt for Language Learning Innovation Across Balkans and Serbia

Media and education group PRODIREKT, with its regional communication network Verbalisti, will be responsible for rolling out innovative online entertainment-based approach to English-language learners in seven markets

Paris, France – June 6, 2012 – Entertainment Learning, the European leading education-via-entertainment company, announced its partnership with PRODIREKT LLC (www.prodirektgroup.com) today for the launch, marketing and business development of its flagship language learning service, English Attack!, (www.english-attack.com) in Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia as well as in Bulgaria.

“Our innovative media and entertainment-based approach to learning English was designed to be as accessible and affordable as possible, so our policy is to work with partners not just in the world’s main markets for English learning, but everywhere. In Southeast Europe, we have been delighted to find a regional partner PRODIREKT, who, with its fast growing communication network Verbalisti, offers innovation, market knowledge, skills, credibility and marketing platforms not only in the area of language education, but in media, travel, and youth marketing as well. We are confident that they will be very successful in introducing English Attack! to the millions of learners of English in these rapidly developing markets,” said Paul Maglione, co-founder of Entertainment Learning.

Dejan Trpkovic, managing director, PRODIREKT, added: “The partnership with Entertainment Learning ideally complements our business strategy, while their English Attack! will expand our portfolio of experience-based educational programs. As part of our commitment to motivate, educate and keep the professionals in Southeast Europe in tune with the latest trends in communication and personal development, our network Verbalisti has been supporting major cultural events, regional music and film festivals, as well as conducting interviews with successful business people and celebrities. English Attack! is a valuable addition to our content that stands out for its originality, high quality and is aimed at learning through experience and entertainment.

The full impact of the Internet revolution has yet to be seen in the field of education, and in particular most online language-learning sites are still based on exercises and structures typical of early 20th-century pedagogy, far removed from the interests and motivations of today’s learners. English Attack! aims to propel language learning into the 21st century with an innovative, social approach.

English Attack! allows learners of English to improve their language skills contextually with video clips from blockbuster movies, hit TV series, music videos and television news reports; online games ; and thematic visual dictionaries. They can also practice their developing English language skills within the site’s global social network of learners of English. Users have a choice between an English-language interface and a version with navigation, help texts, tutorials, a dictionary, and other resources in 19 other languages, including Spanish, allowing easier access to the site’s unique pedagogical approach.

_

About Entertainment Learning/English Attack!:

Entertainment Learning was founded in 2009, based on the vision of transforming education via web 2.0 principles and the power of online entertainment. It is represented by Marketing Partners in 12 countries covering 15 markets, with offices in Paris, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, Prague, Istanbul, Barcelona, Chicago, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Seoul and Bangkok.

Its first online service, English Attack!, was developed in partnership with a range of English-teaching professionals, and emerged from large-scale worldwide Beta-testing in July 2011. English Attack delivers a truly innovative approach to language learning, based on cognitive neuroscience and the use of learning concepts derived from the latest language learning pedagogy as well as principles based on learning games.

The service is available to both consumers and, via a multi-user license, to schools, language institutes, universities and companies.

English Attack! is available in 20  languages. These include French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Korean, allowing easier beginner-level access to the site’s unique pedagogical approach.

About PRODIREKT LLC and Communication Network Verbalisti (Verbalists)

PRODIREKT provides strategic management and executive education and training in the Balkan region. PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group, with the communication network Verbalisti, dedicated to language studies, professional training, translation and interpreting services, helps young professionals and corporate clients achieve their objectives in international communication.

The communication and language network Verbalisti has been created for language lovers and all those wishing to improve their communication skills. Furthermore, Verbalisti are the answer to the growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. Verbalists offer quality language courses for students of all ages and levels according to their various budget needs.

Aktuelno Program about the Importance of Language Education Abroad and How to Attend a Foreign Language School

Interview with Jasmina Saric, Director of Educational Programs, Prodirekt
April 2012
Radio show AKTUELNO broadcasted on 27 radio stations across Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro
AKTUELNO program is owned by B2B Interactive Media Group
Radio host: Sanja Velickovic
_

English translation:

It seems that our last week’s announcement of the internship post in Prodirekt, a company dealing with education, has encouraged many of you to find out more about the opportunities to learn a language abroad. Our today’s guest is Jasmina Saric, director of educational programs in Prodirekt and co-founder of the social network Verbalisti (Verbalists), will answer your questions on this matter.

Jasmina, your company Prodirekt has agreed to offer a one-month internship opportunity to all our listeners interested in gaining a valuable experience in the field of education. However, you’ve just told me that, apart from being satisfied with the number of received internship applications and CVs, you’re also quite pleasantly surprised by the interest our listeners have shown in learning a language abroad. Why do you think this is, could it be because of the appeal of the social network Verbalisti?

AKTUELNO featuring Prodirekt internship opportunity with language network Verbalisti

There is no doubt the Verbalisti is an interesting concept in itself and we’re pleased it’s attracting so many language students and linguists; however, when it comes to the growing demand to study a language abroad, I believe it should be partly attributed to the fact that we no longer need visas to travel and partly to the fact that people, not just in Serbia but everywhere in the region, are perceiving the times of recession as ideal for education and improvement. Not to mention the fact that to fit a job, a person needs to tick more and more boxes, with the knowledge of at least one foreign language being very important.

We’ve received a lot of questions from our listeners. For instance, Dubravka Markovic from Belgrade would like to know why a student, before choosing a language course, should consult a language expert?

For a very simple reason – consulting a language expert can save you a lot of time and money. What is it that we can do to help every student choose the right course? The first step would be to define the reason for learning a language: it makes a great deal of difference whether you learn English, for instance, to be able to chat on the internet, or whether you learn German with a view to enrolling in an Austrian college; or perhaps you need Spanish to get a promotion in your company’s subsidiary in Spain. This is important, because it’s a specific level of knowledge that takes you to your goal, but also a specific kind of course. After establishing the goal, we need to determine our starting point and that’s why we ask our clients to do a placement test. The purpose of the test is to find out the current level of the language competence as opposed to the desired one. Once we’ve established these two important points, we can recommend a suitable course.

Our listeners would probably like to know how expensive these consultations and the placement test are?

In Prodirekt and with the Verbalisti, the consultations and tests are free and they are an integral part of our services. However, it is advisable to make an appointment in advance either by phoning 011 26-237-26 or emailing us at info@prodirekt.net

Predrag from Pancevo would like to know whether his 16-year old son who’s been learning English for years, both in school and taking private lessons, needs to attend a course in England? I believe this is an interesting question to students of all ages.

We don’t learn a language in a classroom only. On the contrary. A classroom is an artificial environment, or shall I say, a simulation of real situations. But even in this case there are differences, both in state or private schools – no matter how good the teaching is, or a teacher, when you learn a foreign language in your own country, you’re inevitably surrounded by people speaking the same mother tongue. The communication is bound to slip into that language, sooner or later. In England, or any other country, where you travel to learn its native language, the classes are international, and like it or not, you simply have to communicate in the given language. Even more importantly, outside the classroom, you’re forced to practice the foreign language in real life when for instance, you need to order some food, buy a train ticket or invite someone for a drink.

Jasmina Saric

What is the age limit for language programs abroad?

If we’re talking of programs intended for the teenagers, it’s between 12 and 18 years old.

Since we’re talking of teenagers here, do they travel with a group leader?  A tourist guide?

All our groups are accompanied. The person traveling with students is never a tourist guide because these are not tour packages but educational trips. Our group leaders are always experienced foreign language teachers, and in Verbalisti’s team there are at least 10 such teachers who’ve been participating in our programs for years. They are always with children, from the first passport control at the Belgrade airport to arrival at destination including airport transfers, through their stay in a foreign college, until they return home.

Here is an anonymous but extremely interesting question: I want my daughter to study in Oxford, not wander around doing sightseeing and shopping. Is it compulsory for students to participate in social activities program?

It’s not only an interesting question, it’s a very common one. Social activities, such as sport in students’ free time, sightseeing or creative workshops are not just having fun. Their aim is multifold, but the first and foremost one is continuous communication and socializing in an international environment, only this time in real life situations. Such activities are extremely stimulating and they not only help learning, but also familiarizing with different cultures. And last but not least, they help group leaders have all the students in one place.

Do students receive a certificate after they’ve finished a course?

All students receive a certificate indicating their level of language competency, the length and type of the course they’ve done. Let me just point out that all the colleges we work with are British Council accredited.

Are all your programs intended for teenagers and young people?

People learn languages for different reasons; in today’s globalised world the question of speaking languages and being able to communicate successfully is actually the question of professional survival. Verbalisti have developed 24 language programs aimed at all ages and levels. A substantial percentage of our clients are adults – students, young professionals, business people. We also offer a unique service in language consulting to corporations.

ELTA in Serbia, English Language Learning through Social Media and Entertainment

English Language Teachers’ Association in Serbia Features the Network Verbalisti in the IT for ET

In recent years social media has become a predominant factor in our daily communication, especially among young people, who ‘hang out’ on Facebook or Twitter via their laptops or mobile devices almost around the clock. We update our status on (un)usual events in our lives, write on our friends’ walls or just tweet an interesting link from any imaginable sphere of life. Such is the power of social media that the rumour has it that if news/information is not on Tweeter, Facebook or LinkedIn, it literally did not happen.

So, why not use this trend of massification of online communication also as a means to attracting (young) people to learn languages in a funny, informal and laid-back way? Prodirekt company has recognized the power of social media as a tool to reaching out to potential English language learners by creating a language network Verbalisti. Our co-editor, Marija Ivanovic, has spoken with Prodirekt’s director of educational programmes, Jasmina Saric, who explains the ideas behind their work as well as the latest trends in English learning in Serbia when it comes to social media and entertainment.

Tell us more about the social language network Verbalisti – what inspired its concept and how it develops?

It all happened three years ago after the prolonged talks with our educational partners – major European language schools and colleges, about how we could raise the standard of language learning in our region. We wanted to offer students in the region a social media that will be a motivating factor to learn foreign languages. Consequently, we created the social media and language network Verbalisti that quickly changed many things in our region. Probably the most significant result is that Verbalisti language network diversifies the language learning practice in Serbia by introducing innovative and up-to-date approaches, such as learning through social media and entertainment. The network features various online language learning tools and YouTube videos. Additional educational content can be accessed through the two language specific blogs of Verbalisti – stranijeziciblog.com (Serbian) i stranskijazici.com (Macedonian). Last year, in partnership with Pearson and Kings Colleges London, Verbalisti conducted the language competition Verbalizuj se!, with a two-week language course in Kings Colleges in London as the main prize. The competition generated 432 entries and more than 34,000 visits to the site in just one month.

Verbalisti London young language learners group 

What in your opinion makes Verbalisti so special and different?

Perhaps it’s the fact that we offer students an accessible and attractive way of finding out everything they need to plan their language education. We have recognized the importance of the social networks, Facebook and YouTube in particular, as the main environment for opinion exchange. There was no doubt about it. Languages are live organisms, they change and evolve as we speak… communication and opinion exchanges are essential. Facebook is the one that probably enables the highest interaction levels. The other important thing was to create a platform for students to view and exchange photos, video clips or simply start a discussion. We further spiced things up by interviewing celebrities, because our motto is learning through entertainment, especially when it comes to the young. The result of our efforts is more than 12,000 Verbalisti language fans on Facebook.

Now that you’ve mentioned the interviews with the celebrities in your media, tell us how important was their support for Verbalisti popularity and how can social media be used in the classroom?

Very important, I’d say. Since the very beginning we’ve made a point of “opening up” celebrities to tell us more about their education, their language competencies, about their travel. All of them supported the project we dubbed “Speak Your Mind!“. The most significant of all, however, was to show the young how important it was to speak languages in our times, by sharing the experiences of their favourite singers and actors. English teachers can use these clips as a tool to motivate students to learn the language. If teachers don’t have access to internet at schools, they can, nevertheless, recommend the links during class and in this way give students the freedom to explore them on their own at home while on Facebook or YouTube. As feedback exercises, teacher can, then, after a few days re-initiate the discussion in classrooms. This can be done either through group discussions or as a part of a writing exercise.

 

Social language network Verbalisti - Speak Your Mind!

Speak Your Mind!, featuring celebrity interviews, is the most popular on Verbalisti YouTube channel

 

We talked about students’ preferences, especially the younger ones, for the digital media and social networks. It explains to a great extent the fast growth of the language network Verbalisti, but what is the situation like when it comes to the foreign language teachers? How trained and how prepared are they for the advantages of the digital media and the latest teaching tools?

Well, here the situation is not so rosy, although we have to be honest in realising that the poor use of the digital media in our schools has come as a result of many different factors, most of which are out of the teachers’ hands. For instance, the economic crisis is to blame for the lack of funds – therefore, no money for the speedy internet connections, for computers at the students’ disposal or acquiring new, powerful teaching tools, such as, interactive whiteboards. We need more significant help in financing teacher training, educating them to incorporate new media and tools into a class, and last but not least – we need to come up with the compensation system which would motivate teachers to evolve and improve with the times. This is the core reason why our teachers should seize every opportunity for additional training, especially those organised abroad and supported by the foreign colleges, the British Council or other institutions. The overall implementation of the digital media and the improvement that comes with it have forced the western countries to transform their teaching, and I honestly hope we’ll follow in their footsteps.

PRODIREKT, with its language network Verbalisti, recently signed the regional partnership agreement with the Paris based Entertainment Learning, the creator of language learning service – English Attack! In line with the importance of adopting new media in our teaching, we will in the next issue discuss with Jasmina Saric the power of social media and how digital entertainment can be applied to help people learn languages.

ELTA Serbia Newsletter

Read the whole article at: English language learning through social media and entertainment, By Marija Ivanovic

_

*****

Marija Ivanovic is a MELT co-editor, an educational consultant and an English teacher. At the moment, she is setting up a project on harnessing teacher and student emotional intelligence called ‘Cool Fire’ in Denmark with partners from the UK. Her professional interests include Reflective practice, Teacher development, School leadership and Emotional intelligence. She received her BA degree in the English language and literature from the Faculty of Philology, Belgrade University and her MA in Lifelong learning from the Danish School of Education, Deusto University and London University respectively.

About ELTA
ELTA is a non-governmental, non-profit association of teachers of English in Serbia, affiliated to IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). It was founded in 2003 by merging of two, at the time, biggest teachers’ associations ELTAB (English Language Teachers’ Association of Belgrade) and YELTA (Yugoslav English language Teachers’ Association). ELTA brings together primary and secondary English teachers, teachers working in higher education, language schools, students of English, all language professionals and professionals-to-be interested in ensuring excellence in English language teaching.

About PRODIREKT LLC and Communication Network Verbalisti (Verbalists)
PRODIREKT provides strategic management and executive education and training in the Balkan region. PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group, with the communication network Verbalisti, dedicated to language studies, professional training, translation and interpreting services, helps young professionals and corporate clients achieve their objectives in international communication.

English Learning in Serbia Got Stronger – French Education Ministry Chooses English Attack!

Paris, France – April 10, 2012 – PRODIREKT’s partner in providing innovative language learning in Serbia and the Balkans, company Entertainment Learning, with its product English Attack!, has been named official pedagogical partner and content supplier to English By Yourself, the national online portal for English language learning developed by the French Education Ministry. Tha partnership was announced at a press event in Paris by French Education Minister Luc Chatel.

English Attack! chosen as content provider for new French Education Ministry portal for learning English

The portal has been created and will be operated by the Centre National d’Enseignement a Distance (Cned), the French Education Ministry’s distance-learning unit. Like English Attack!, the Cned is active in the promotion of informal, lifelong education and autonomous learning for a wide audience. Every day, English By Yourself will feature freshly updated content from English Attack!, specifically: the Video Booster of the Day, the Verb Dash learning game, and the Photo Vocab of the Day.

English Attack! has been created in consultation with linguists and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, and implements a novel pedagogical approach to language learning based on cognitive neuroscience.

PRODIREKT expects to launch the first local language versions of English Attack! in June 2012.

About the Cned

The Centre National d’Enseignement a Distance (Cned) is a national public sector organization appointed by the French Ministries of Education and Higher Learning, and is tasked with the promotion and enabling of distance learning, in particular via information and communication technologies.

About Entertainment Learning/English Attack!

Entertainment Learning was founded in 2009, based on the vision of transforming education via web 2.0 principles and the power of online entertainment. It is represented by Marketing Partners in 12 countries covering 15 markets, with offices in Paris, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, Prague, Istanbul, Barcelona, Chicago, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Seoul and Bangkok. Its first online service, English Attack!, was developed in partnership with a range of English-teaching professionals, and delivers a truly innovative approach to language learning, based on cognitive neuroscience and the use of learning concepts derived from the latest language learning pedagogy as well as principles based on learning games.

About PRODIREKT LLC and Communication Network Verbalisti (Verbalists)

PRODIREKT (www.prodirektgroup.com) provides strategic management and executive education and training in the Balkan region. PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group and social network Verbalisti, dedicated to language studies and professional training, helps young professionals and business people achieve their objectives in international communication.

The communication and language network Verbalisti (www.facebook.com/verbalisti) has been created for language lovers and all those wishing to improve their communication skills. Furthermore, Verbalisti are the answer to the growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. Verbalists offer quality language courses for students of all ages and levels according to their various budget needs.

Foreign Languages and the Social Language Network Verbalisti Show a Shiny New Internet Face in Serbia and Montenegro

Belgrade, Serbia – 9 April 2012 – Verbalisti, the best known communication and social language network in southeast Europe, owned by PRODIREKT LLC, today has officially promoted its brand new website in Serbian at www.verbalisti.com. The social language network Verbalisti is created for language aficionados and people wishing to improve their communication skills.

In line with the network philosophy to actively use new media and entertainment in attracting, connecting and educating its users, the Verbalisti website offers multitude of photo galleries and video clips. It also stands out from many other websites dealing with education and communication by the clarity of its design, user-friendliness and transparency in presenting terms and conditions of booking a language course abroad. Users can easily research and compare the prices and content of various language programs, the information given is clear and complete, while video clips offer additional insight into colleges, accommodation facilities and other students’ testimonials.

And last but not least, Verbalisti have made sure we would happily visit their cyber corner repeatedly by featuring two branded media categories InSpotlight and Speak Your Mind! Here you’ll find the Verbalisti interviews with the famous actors, singers, directors local and international, interesting experiences of the leading businessmen, film and concerts announcements and reviews, as well as excellently produced video reports on the latest developments in foreign languages, communication and media.

Review by Aleksandar Jovanovic
Editor-in-Chief of Programs AKTUELNO and Automedija
Source: AKTUELNO
B2B Interactive Media Group

About PRODIREKT LLC and Communication Network Verbalisti (Verbalists)
PRODIREKT (www.prodirektgroup.com) provides strategic management and executive education and training in the Balkan region. PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group and social network Verbalisti, dedicated to language studies and professional training, helps young professionals and business people achieve their objectives in international communication.

The communication and language network Verbalisti (www.facebook.com/verbalisti) has been created for language lovers and all those wishing to improve their communication skills. Furthermore, Verbalisti are the answer to the growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. Verbalists offer quality language courses for students of all ages and levels according to their various budget needs.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers