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DISCO Adopts New English "Speaking" Test

DISCO Adopts New English "Speaking" Test

Targeting Wide Usage for Global Career Recruitment and Training

PALO ALTO, Calif. - May 5, 2011 - DISCO, Inc. (Tokyo, Taketoshi Natsui , CEO), has signed a sales agency contract with Pearson Kirihara (Tokyo, Brendan Delahunty, CEO) to promote the new English language speaking test Versantâ„¢, developed by the world leading educational publisher, Pearson. DISCO will start selling the Versant test to corporations, schools and individual customers.

A Tool for Global Career Recruitment Support and Training
DISCO has been involved in bilingual recruitment support since 1987 and has organized global recruitment conventions, called "Career Forum" in Boston and other major cities worldwide. The globalization of the corporate workplace requires an objective assessment of language capabilities (especially English) for global communication. While most of the existing tests of English are still centered on reading and writing, DISCO has chosen Versant because it provides precise measurement of the real communication skills required by global businesses. Versant is an accurate and precise test with quick results, and is expected to become widely used in corporate recruitment in Japan, as well as for career development and training in-house. DISCO will work with Pearson Kirihara to promote this product as an important tool to measure practical communication skills in English.

Versant is a speaking test which can measure how well a test taker can understand and communicate in English. Using Pearson's highly advanced and patented speech processing technology, Versant tests can precisely measure the speaking skills of a test taker. The test is only 15 minutes long, and can be taken on a telephone or PC 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The score report is available within minutes of completing the test and shows overall scores and sub-skill scores for Sentence Mastery, Vocabulary, Pronunciation, and Fluency. The score report also provides recommendations for improvement and mappings to TOEIC, TOEFL and CEFR (Common European Framework) scores.

Started in 1997 as "PhonePass", the test was introduced to Japan in 2000. Versant is now popular in more than 100 countries worldwide. In addition to the major companies and universities in Japan, Versant tests are officially adopted as reliable spoken language tests at agencies such as the US Department of Defense, US Department of Homeland Security, and Dutch Immigration Bureau.

For more information about the Versant English Test, visit www.VersantTest.com or email sales@pearsonkt.com.

About Pearson

The Knowledge Technologies group of Pearson creates unique technology for automated assessment of speech and text used in a variety of industry-leading products and services. These include the Versant line of automated spoken language tests built on Ordinate technology, and WriteToLearn automated written summary and essay evaluations using the Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine.

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry.

The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to www.pearson.com.

About DISCO

Head Office: 2-15-1 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 81-03-5804-5500
Found: October 1, 1973
Capital: 50 million yen
CEO: Natsui Taketoshi
No. of Employee: 512
Major Business: Corporate recruitment consulting, Student recruitment consulting for higher education and medical institutes, Recruiting and dispatch services
Subsidiary: DISCO Mailing Service, DISCO Impress Corporation, DISCO International, Inc., DISCO International, Ltd.
Group Company: Kankei DISCO
Registration: Paid Employment Placement Register 13-1-080178
General Labor Dispatch Service Register 13-080255
Privacy Mark 10820051(05)

For more information, press only:

Adam Gaber, Pearson, 212-641-6118, adam.gaber@pearson.com

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