17 February 2010

English via your mobile

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The BBC reports on Janala, a service that is revolutionising the teaching of English in Bangladesh using simple mobile technology.

“Janala – it means Window – is a service run by the BBC World Service Trust and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development which launched in Bangladesh last November [and[ has already served up one million English lessons over mobile phones.

Here’s how it works. Bangladesh’s 50 million mobile users simply dial 3000 and get access to hundreds of three-minute audio lesson and SMS quizzes. The classes range from Essential English for beginners to How to tell a story for more advanced learners.

Now, as with any mobile service, plenty of people will try this once and not return but the figures show that English-by-phone is proving more compelling than just about anything else. 39% of callers return to the service, compared to an average 5% return rate for other mobile information products in Bangladesh, and the content for beginners gets a 69% repeat rate.”

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