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Eurocentres looks to “blended” learning product

Global English language provider Eurocentres has created a flexible, blended, online ELT product – featuring virtual interactive live classes – for students currently unable to travel to its schools due to the coronavirus.

The "blended" course will provide students with learning online before they travel to study English at Eurocentres schools when the Covid-19 crisis passes. Photo: needpix

"Learning English is still going to be important, [as will] communication skills"

With a digital core to the ELT business, senior management has explained how they believe the business is well placed to adapt to market conditions and offer an experience that can fit around students’ new reality.

“The idea is simply to make [a product] that’s as flexible as possible”

“We have a point of difference in the market from pure play online providers, which gives students that intense immersive experience,” CEO Zach Holmes said.

“It is a challenge for the whole industry to recreate that because it is different – it’s never going to be the same product.”

The focus for the provider is virtual interactive live classes, personalised tutorials and study plans, he added.

Eurocentres Online has been designed to offer Eurocentres’s usual English language training and 21st-century communication skills online, in order to allow students to seamlessly switch to face-to-face classes when the crisis passes.

“The idea is simply to make [a product] that’s as flexible as possible and that people will enjoy like they would if they travelled to one of our schools,” said Eurocentres’ head of marketing, Alexis Lhuillier.

Class demos will be available for free so Eurocentres can extend their products to the client bases of agent partners.

The blended product will potentially attract new students who might not have plans to travel at all, Lhuillier confirmed, adding that the product is being launched at a time when ELT providers are having to quickly adapt to new circumstances created out of the pandemic.

“What can we do to provide a product that students ultimately want, given the uncertainty that we’re in?” Holmes asked.

“Learning English is still going to be important, [as will] communication skills.”

EC English, St Giles, LAL and British Study Centres have all boosted their online provisions. Some – like Eurocentres – have offered an online product for some time.

“Luckily for us, we’ve had this Eurocentres eLearning platform – my.Eurocentres – product for quite a while now,” said Holmes.

“All of our teachers understand the importance of digital learning and the blended approach.”

Eurocentres already had a product of this type in its strategic plan going forward, Holmes added. “It’s just been accelerated quite significantly.”

“All of our teachers understand the importance of digital learning and the blended approach”

The school will deliver “as much as it can” online before students have the opportunity to return to classrooms to complete their studies, Holmes said.

By improving online provisions, Eurocentres can transform a six week classroom course, into a 12-16 week learning experience, which will maximise student outcomes for less cost, Holmes added.

The blended product, “where students are offered the ability to stay at home before coming into a Eurocentres school – that’s something we want to see longer-term,” he said.

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