EnglishCentral Japan Testimonials

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Teachers and students in Japan describe their use of EnglishCentral.

Teachers and students in Japan describe their use of EnglishCentral.

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  • 1.     Using EnglishCentral In An Academic Setting Overview EnglishCentral is a browser and app based online study software that doesn’t require installment or set-up. It provides for hands-on, personalized learning experiences through authentic video lessons that can be viewed on any browser anytime and anywhere. Learners can: 1) view and listen to video lessons on a specialized video player with customized features, 2) acquire vocabulary through methods aligned with cognitive science, and 3) practice speaking through an advanced automated voice recognition system ( Intellispeech© ) which provides precise feedback. All of these provide a more engaging and fun experience for learners. Features ‐ With the help of our advanced automatic voice recognition system, learners will develop their speaking abilities. It is a rare and unique system amongst other speech recognition services that provides very precise feedback. ‐ Video contents and vocabulary are regularly updated and educationally appropriate ‐ Course materials are provided according to the user’s level, interests, video and study history on the website and other personalized settings. ‐ Teachers can access not only a student’s study history, but can also see their strong and weak points in pronuncation plus “listen in” to all student recordings. ‐ The school does not need to manage any technical functionality. ‐ We provide timely user support directly to students and teachers. Achievements Won the Japan Prize in the International Contest For Education Media by NHK, and became a runner-up in the world competition Adopted by the company, Brother, as part for their English training in accordance to global business activities. This was featured in the Nikkei newspaper. The British Council provided video messages with subtitles and learning tools as part of their platform. This is called the “See Britain” series. Approved by NTT Group for public education field trial to provide service for public junior high school classes.
  • 2.     As of the spring of 2014, more than 100 universities including Kumamoto Gakuen University, Kwansei Gakuin University, University of Fukui and others adopted the EnglishCentral Academic Premium service. More than 10,000 students have been using EnglishCentral as of the fall of 2013. Student Testimonials ・A student at University of Fukui “When I first tried the speak mode, the message "Please try again" always came up. However, despite the fact that I always got that message and a grade of C, I was more motivated to improve my speaking skills. It is really easy to understand as I can compare and contrast my speech to a native speaker and get feedback. I did my best until I got an A and I was very happy. As I get carried away with learning, I am also improving my English speaking skills.” ・A student at Miyagi University “In my case, I used EnglishCentral as part of the e-learning service in our English class. At first, I practiced pronunciation with the ‘Speak’ part but I always missed the consonants. However, I practiced the same phrase repeatedly, so my mistakes are gradually decreasing. When I got an A, I was really ecstatic.” “Also, I love TED talks. Up until then I watched TED videos with only Japanese subtitles on the website, but with EnglishCentral, I can check the definition of the English words and I can even get the chance to understand the English jokes. It’s really fun.” “I think because of EnglishCentral, my TOEIC score improved by 120 points after using the site for 3 months. I was really happy. So I decided that in order to further improve my score, I want to learn more at EnglishCentral.”
  • 3.     Teacher Testimonials Prof. Albert Lehner, the head of language center “At the end of our first semester using EnglishCentral, students showed an average 40-point increase in their TOEIC scores. This, I believe, was supported by their EC work in addition to class work. While it is difficult to be precise about how students may have changed, it might be correct to say that their reading ability and speaking ability increased because of the confidence they gained by working, individually, on EC, outside of class time. For the most part, instructors sought to use videos that were about general, basic communication (introductions, for example) and also technical videos since we were teaching engineering students.” “But the fact that such a large group of basic-level students (564) got a 40-point increase on their TOEIC scores is significant. Without EC, many students would never have accomplished that.” Ms. Kayoko Shiomi, Professor at Ritsumeikan University, School of Business Administration “We just introduced EnglishCentral this year. Students can learn in a fun and interesting way. The program is very helpful in practicing English conversation, that’s why it is very popular among students.” “In EnglishCentral, there are many themes such as everyday conversations, news, speeches, academic lectures, business information, and movie trailers that allow students to choose videos of their own interest and learn at their own pace. In the speaking portion, we tell students to view the original scripts afterwards because only parts of script are viewed. In addition, speeches assigned for recital are given in advance, and then recited in front of the class or voice record them for submission.” “With regards to pronunciation, the teacher can listen to the students’ pronunciation and can view which phonemes are not pronounced correctly. This could be confirmed during class period and students can practice as a whole or individually. Students are assigned the task of recording their study progress over a length of 10 weeks. They write down titles of videos that were watched, learned words and any comments. We think this routine is important for them to continue studying gradually every week.”
  • 4.     Mr. Yoshikazu Okamoto, Associate Professor at Kanazawa Seiryo University, Faculty of Economics “For the first 10-15 minutes, we use EC as warm-up. With this, we use course materials based on the student language levels. Also, we set a norm every week in addition to their grade assessment, and check them afterwards. Sometimes, we boost up students’ motivation by writing on the message board. It is also very convenient that we can download the total records of students’ progress by excel file.” “Besides fulfilling the assigned norm, students actively study even outside class hours. They can study and improve their listening, reading and speaking skills. It is very effective that they can also check which sounds are not pronounced correctly.” Prof. Kimura, Niigata Seiryou University “Students who are actively using EnglishCentral (target being completing the 50 videos worth of speaking practice) have taken the VERSANT test. These students’ scores improved on an average of 6.67 (TOEIC conversion score of 100, accdg. to the homepage http://web.disc.co.jp/sp/versant/ )”
  • 5.     Main Features Watch Based on the pedagogical theory that if learners are exposed to content at their level and interest, they can study languages most efficiently and effectively (Input Hypothesis, Krashen, 1994). The EnglishCentral library has over 9,000 videos, categorized into more than 50 categories and is updated with 30-50 videos every week. Therefore, users can have hands-on learning experiences studying English. The uniquely developed video player provides custmizable tools for subtitles, dictionary reference, repeating, slow playing etc. These cover the needs of a wide range of learners. Furthermore, users can not only watch videos, but they can record their voices. When users pronounce any script of the video, they will get specific feedback on every sound pronounced and he or she can compare and contrast their own speech with that of the native speaker. Videos categorized into many levels Pronunciation feedback Player with subtitles and slow play
  • 6.     Learn We use a Spaced-Repetition Interval vocabulary learning system. Research shows that spaced repetition is the most efficient way to learn new words quickly (Mondria, 1994). This learning technique is prominently used in flash card based system. Students study base vocabularies with high frequency words that Japanese students need to learn (Nation, 2000). Also, we do not promote the memorization of words but we use sentence examples in videos to give nuance as to how the words are used. We repeat this process many times allowing through recycling, students to acquire vocabulary. Not only do we track the learned vocabulary, but also the pronunciation of the words and how often they are encountered / viewed. Speak Students receive automatic feedback from EnglishCentral’s advanced speech recognition system. We allow students to use tools so they can hear the correct pronunciation of each phoneme and also compare their own speech against the original audio. There are also sample sentences using the same structures as the recorded line. We promote “noticing” and language awareness (Schmidt, 2002) by allowiing students to compare their speech with the original. Results are recorded accordingly so that users can confirm their progress in pronunciation. Dividing difficulty levels of words Sample use of word in video Interval study on vocabulary quiz using a forgetting curve
  • 7.     Courses Courses consist of video lessons specializing in related topics; business, career, academic, young learners English etc ….. They are created in a variety of scope and sequences that include different study tools and vocabulary quizzes. Using courses, students learn in a more structured fashion with specific vocabulary focus. で素材を選択して学習を組み立ててゆく従来 型の学習パスだけではなく、与えられたコー Teacher’s Tools Teachers can create private classes on the website. They can invite students to the class, manage content levels, video topics and set goals. Each activity has a report and it can be seen on the site, printed or exported. Teachers can listen to students’ weak pronunciation, and track student progress. Confirm weak pronunciation Practice word through See progress in study record Course List Course Catalog
  • 8.     VIEW OUR 2014 COURSE CATALOG Download