The Federal Government will introduce a three-year trial of virtual English classes via the National Broadband Network (NBN) to new migrants in regional and rural Australia.
The initiative, which is expected to cost $5.1 million and is part of the government’s Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), is designed to help migrants settle into regional communities and will initially involve up to 200 new migrants.
The immigration minister, Chris Bowen, said the trial would enhance the capacity for e-learning and will be deployed progressively from 2012.
“Gaining English language proficiency is crucial to successfully settling in Australia,” he said in a statement.
“This trial will deliver improved resources consistent with the AMEP distance learning and advanced learning options that facilitate real time video-based teacher/client interaction, leading to improvements in speech and pronunciation.”
The first phase of the trial will provide online resources for distance learning teachers and home tutors, followed by the delivery of interactive and collaborative services to distance learning members in NBN-connected areas.
The trial is expected to end in 2013-14.
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