In an effort to help new migrants acclimate to their new home in Australia, the Federal Government is planning to trial virtual English classes via the National Broadband Network (NBN) starting this year, Computerworld reported.
The program, which is forecast to cost $5.1 million, will be trialled for three years with 200 new migrants to start, but is expected to be “deployed progressively,” according to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.
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“This trial will deliver improved resources consistent with the AMEP [Adult Migrant English Program] distance learning and advanced learning options that facilitate real time video-based teacher/client interaction, leading to improvements in speech and pronunciation,” Bowen told the IT news site.
Since access to English lessons in a classroom setting is a challenge for rural-based migrants, the speedy NBN connection will offer the tutorials all across the nation.
"The first phase of the trial will provide enhanced distance learning online resources for teachers and home tutors. The focus will then turn to delivering interactive and collaborative services to distance learning clients in NBN-connected communities,” Communications minister Stephen Conroy told IT Wire.
The trial will conclude in 2013-14.