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GlobalEnglish on ABC

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Around the world, English is the language of business but imagine doing your job in Cantonese writing a simple email could take an eternity. That's why there's a new technology that allows companies to save money as their employees learn English. Joining me to talk about that is Danielle Busack of GlobalEnglish. Hi Danielle - Hi Good morning - Good morning. Tell us what kind of companies use this product, and exactly what it does. So we work with companies across all industries organizations like HP, Arcelor Mittal, Deloitte just to name a few. And what GlobalEnglish offers is online software to help those companies assess and develop the English communication skills of their employees, so that those employees can communicate effectively and efficiently to get work done. So walk me through this for example - Podcast is one of the technologies you use to teach English to people. Just walk me through what someone would do on a given day. Sure. So GlobalEnglish recently introduced the Mobile Learning Network, which allows our users another way to access our online content this time, on an MP3 device. So I've brought my iTouch with me here today and you can see I've downloaded some podcasts. So all of the podcasts are focused on business English skills. So things like meetings, presentations, on how to conduct an affective, persuasive argument, for example. The kind of stuff you use around the office. Exactly. The kind of skills you need to use every day. So you can select the podcast that you want to listen to they are about 10 to 15 minutes in length. So they're short, easily consumable. And the the first part of the podcast really focuses on allowing the user to listen to a conversation in English. So they hear the proper way it's done. And then the second part of the podcast focuses on drawing out the specific learning points. So what are the expessions? What are the key grammar and vocabulary that you would need to use, in order to conduct an effective negotiation, for example. What's also nice, is that once the user has listened to it on their MP3 device, they can go back online, and access additional supporing materials from our online service. So the transcript for example, of the podcast. They can also access additional reinforcement exercises and reminders of what the key expressions and vocabulary were. So it really reinforces all of the learning. So what's the advantage? Oviously there's the economic advantage of doing this way. You don't have the kind of one-on-one instruction, which is quite expensive. I imagine one of the advantages is also that people can learn this on their commutes. Exactly. So the average world commute time is approaching about an hour and a half a day. So we're now giving our users a productive way to use that time by improving their English skills. But in addition to that, it really is taking the idea of technology-based learning even one step futher. And really allowing people to use this anytime, anywhere, that they have the time. Additionally, it's very personlized. So you can determine which podcasts you want. You can determine the skills that you want to fous on, so it's really efficient in that regard. And what we see with our comp, the clients that we work with is that on average, they're able to gain about 30 to 40 thousand days of productive worktime over the course of a year. as a result of their employees being more efficient and able to use English on the job. And tell me about, um, tell me about the impact it has on the companies that use it. So in addition to that productivity impact, there's also a cost savings benefit which is increasingly important, especially in today's economic environment. So organizations are looking for ways to become as efficient as possible, and also to reduce costs. So, historically, this development of language capability, of English capability has been done in a very decentralized or a localized way. So we offer companies one software solution that they can implement, enterprise-wide, across the world and it really is allowing them to reduce their cost. So GlobalEnglish at a minimum, is about 50% cheaper than classroom-based training. That translates into millions of dollars of cost savings. One of the things I was interested about reading here, is that you actually help people improve their English accents. How does that work? So with the online solution that we offer we're actually helping people improve all of the skills that they need. As an example, pronunciation, or accent. We have a particular feature in the service, called the Pronunciation Center. What that does - it allows people to focus specifically on the basic sounds of the English language. So they learn how to produce those sounds, they learn how to recognize similar sounds. And they can practice that through record and playback technology that we use. So unlike a teacher in a classroom, who could potentially get impatient, with technology, that person can continue to practice over and over and over until they really feel comfortable, um, with the skill that they've developed. So that's one example. And are you finding that there is a difference in impact with the economy being what it is now? They way companies are using this product, or their desire to use it? Absolutely. So companies that are really serious about becoming globally integrated enterprises are really looking at this as a strategic enabler, or lever that they can use to help achive that strategic direction. So they recognize that they have employees all over the world and the extent to which they're gonna be able to be able to work together efficiently and effectively to achieve business objectives is going to be enabled by all of those employees being able to communicate in English. And GlobalEnglish is helping to develp that skill. Are there other products like it out there that you are competing with? Do you have a unique approach, for example? Obviously, there are the other products that teach English. We do have a unique approach, primarily because we're technology based, and we're online. So, um, a lot of other products might be CD-ROM based which is often a bit more difficult to implement across a global enterprise. So the fact that we're on-demand software. The second thing is our focus is 100% on English. So we're not trying to help, um, people develop or we're not offering other languages. We're squarely focused on English. And then the third thing that makes us unique is the fact that we're really focused on Business English. So all of the content - and there's about a thousand hours of content in our online service all of that content is really focused on developing the skills that people need to use in business. Great. Well, Danielle, thank you for joining us.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: GlobalEnglish Corporation
Director: GlobalEnglish Corporation
Views: 288
Posted by: kkitagawa on Feb 27, 2009

This is the video podcast of GlobalEnglish on ABC News Now’s “Ahead of the Curve” segment, aired on 2/25/2009. “Ahead of the Curve” features insights into new and innovative technologies that are changing the way people work and live. The interview talks about the impact of the GlobalEnglish solution in times of globalization, web 2.0 media, and the economic recession.

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