Today EnglishCentral launched the newest version of its video platform. Besides offering a better user experience through a cleaned menu, better search and faster loading times, the focus of EnglishCentral v1.5 is on a more personalized learning experience.
Learners can add videos to a personal video library to watch them later, the same can be done with single words.
The video player will now not only give automatic feedback on pronunciation but also on fluency, indicating for instance when the learner made too many pauses in the sentence recorded.
Another useful addition is the difficulty level that can now be adjusted to common tests like the IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC or CEFR which is very useful for users preparing for one of those tests.
Last but not least, learners with a basic account get access to premium content as samples. This way they can test drive the premium features and decide if an upgrade is interesting for them.
In this week’s EDUKWEST I interview Travis Millman, VP of product for EnglishCentral Inc. Although still quite concentrated on the Asian market, I think it’s a nice product worth having a look at from both teacher and student side.
EnglishCentral consists of three main areas, one is to watch authentic videos dealing with different topics such as politics or entertainment. Second is to learn all relevant vocabulary, also structured according to topics for instance introductions or culture. The third element is to learn to speak or more specifically how to pronounce words.
Looking from a student perspective, I like that it’s pretty customizable and that I don’t have to watch this or that video but define my fields of interest and thus get only relevant lessons for me.
There is also some kind of motivational tool built-in as you’ll get a score for each individual exercise and you then are able to challenge and compete with other learners if you want to.
For both the students and also teachers, I think it’s a very valuable option to see statistics on your performance and to keep track of your performance or your student’s performance, too.
Recording your voice may not be a totally revolutionary and new feature but I like this twist of really getting the feedback on how accurate you pronounce compared to a standard American pronunciation.
Whether you’re a student and self study or you’re an ESL teacher and think about using EnglishCentral for your class, you should try it out. There is no risk involved as the registration including the basic features is free and I am personally interested in hearing your feedback and what you think about the product in general!