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? READ MORE

Social Media Powers Up Language Education and Communication Development in the Balkans

Belgrade, Serbia – February 20, 2012 – PRODIREKT today announced that its communication and language network Verbalisti exceeded an important 10,000-member mark for its Facebook business page. PRODIREKT recently celebrated another landmark when its Verbalisti YouTube media channel logged 100,000 video views, the barrier that was broken only two years after the channel inception, with the video views connected mostly to the communication network authored content. The success of the Verbalisti social media came after some regional media already proclaimed network Verbalisti in 2011 as the fastest growing language education network in Southeast Europe.

Verbalisti Speak Your Mind! media segment
Speak Your Mind! media segment, featuring celebrity interviews, is the most popular on Verbalisti Facebook page

Speaking of the impact social media had on PRODIREKT’s business, Dejan Trpkovic, managing director, said: “Our Verbalisti Facebook group is growing larger by the day. Social media and the Internet have allowed us to grow fast our language education business through word of mouth. This is probably the best recognition one company can get, and for an educational consultancy or an educator, it is also the most desirable. A good part of our target audience is young learners and professionals, and they mostly communicate through social networks, sharing their views, language travel experiences and forming opinions. In 2011, about one fourth of our language travel bookings came from recommendations.”

The Pie News, the British online publication for international educators, in its January 8 analysis report (How is international education embracing social media?) points out that most educators realize they need to be active in social media, but many don’t really know where to focus, after having possibly set up their own Facebook page. This is despite the fact that the target audience of the international education sector is often a young demographic. Verbalisti have found the winning formula. The communication network has forged important media partnerships (the sponsorship of the show program Pop Idol and regional Nisville Jazz Festival, cooperation with Taramount, Cinefest and Tuck movie distribution houses, to name few). Moreover, during the past two years, Verbalisti conducted more than 100 interviews with celebrities and prominent business people, making it stand out not only as a social media platform, but as a potent media house as well.

Social media competition - Verbalizuj se!
Social media competition – Verbalizuj se! There were 240 competitors who verbalized their photos, coming from no less than 18 countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal, Egypt, Ukraine, Cameroon, Slovakia, Philippines, USA, Italia, Turkey, Uganda, Germany

“It is important to motivate our customers to share their experience, yet, it is equally important to present high quality, entertaining content to keep customers, partners and “by-standers” involved and active. When we launched celebrity interviews with Speak Your Mind! media segment we knew it was going to become the most popular on our Facebook and YouTube; however, it also helped us attain our main goal – education through entertainment. And, nowadays, entertainment and engaging content rule. This is the test most social media fail. If a business isn’t engaging and interacting with customers, the silence is deafening. I believe we managed to strike the right balance in our social media with the education content that is often entertaining.”

In addition to its Facebook page and YouTube channel, the communication network Verbalisti maintains its media presence with the two language specific blogs – stranijeziciblog.com in Serbian, and stranskijazici.com in Macedonian, both enjoying the high support from the local online community.

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 (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.

English UK, the World’s Leading Language Teaching Association, Recognized PRODIREKT as a Partner Agency

Belgrade, Serbia – January 25, 2012 – English UK, which works with the British Council to operate the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme, recognized PRODIREKT as an educational consultancy that successfully promoted the UK as an English language teaching destination in the past years. The recognition and accreditation of PRODIREKT as an English UK Partner Agency came as a result of PRODIREKT’s strictly adhering to the principles of the agency code of conduct, while providing language education services since 2002.

PRODIREKT has been recognized by the English UK as a Partner Agency
PRODIREKT was the first in the region to be recognized by English UK as a Partner Agency

“We are delighted to be the first company in the region to be recognized as an official Partner Agency by English UK, which is known for its independence, reputation and strict monitoring of its members’ work in the local markets,” commented Dejan Trpkovic, Managing Director of PRODIREKT. “This recognition is a great reward for our hard work during the last three years, the period that was also marked with the regional success of the communication and language network Verbalisti. The English UK partner membership will certainly be viewed by our clients and partners as an extra mark of quality of PRODIREKT services, and is a good start in the regional standardization of foreign language studies and recognition of high quality local agencies,” said Dejan Trpkovic.

Review the English UK media release in January 2012:  English UK’s newest Partner Agencies

English UK web site PRODIREKT profile:  PRODIREKT English UK Partner Agency

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About English UK
English UK is an independent organisation which works with the British Council to operate the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme. As the world’s leading language teaching association,  English UK has more than 450 members – all accredited by the British Council – including private language schools, educational trusts and charities and language centres in further education colleges and universities.

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