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New Internet Service Marks a Milestone in Corporate E-Learning


Earth Communications Launches Online, Real-Time Japanese Language Training Service

FUKUOKA CITY, JAPAN, Feb. 14, 2007

Earth Communications, Inc., a startup company based in Fukoka City, Japan, introduces an online Japanese language training solution. Building on their pioneering work with individual students, the Japanese Online Institute (JOI), an ECI unit, introduces a curriculum to target the training needs of corporate clients.

In a virtual classroom setting, corporate students are paired with experienced native Japanese instructors in small-group settings. JOI innovated the online learning experience with affordable group classes, modularized curriculum, and “online community” features.

A problem facing online classes has been curriculum continuity. Instead of a traditional school’s fixed schedule, today’s online learners want to choose class sessions a la carte—for example, one week taking a morning class on Monday, the next week shifting to Wednesday and Thursday sessions, and the next week taking a break. Keeping these “occasional students” in step with more frequent studiers has been a struggle. Many online courses sidestep the problem by offering fixed schedules or by forcing occasional students into private sessions.

JOI officials instead attacked the problem by modularizing the instructional units, using a system they call FlexLessons. FlexLessons makes each class session standalone, yet taken together the sessions form a cohesive package. The school has applied the concept to their introductory, beginner, and intermediate curriculums.

JOI has also been a leader in creating an online community for its students. The school points to its free chat service and a school-wide message board as major components of that strategic vision. The company recently hired a chat moderator, who will plan and oversee no-charge “chat events”.

About JOI

In operation since February 2006, the Japanese Online Institute (JOI) provides online Japanese instruction to students worldwide. The school provides private and group lessons, with a comprehensive curriculum including preparation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). In addition, the school offers customized training plans for corporate clients.

About Earth Communications Inc.

As part of its corporate founding in February 2007, Earth Communications acquired JOI and set about expanding the school’s offerings to business customers. The company invested in web and technological upgrades to address corporate concerns, and expanded JOI’s curriculum offerings for North American and Asian clients.


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