Kaplan Launches New Workplace English Programs in Partnership with Ordinate Corporation
As the need for English language training in the workplace grows, Kaplan, Inc., a global education services company, has partnered with Ordinate Corporation, a language proficiency assessment provider, to offer Workplace English Programs - vocational English as a Second Language courses customized for corporations. By integrating Ordinate's phone-based, 10-minute Spoken English Test (SET-10) with Kaplan's English language training expertise, Kaplan is able to provide courses specifically tailored to companies' needs. Kaplan's Workplace English Programs are being implemented at companies in industries as diverse as call centers, nutritional supplement manufacturers, and paint manufacturers.
Increasingly, U.S. workers do not possess the English skills their work may demand. According to a recent report from the Center for Law and Social Policy, more than 8 million working age adults in the U.S. - 5 percent of all adults nationwide - speak English very poorly or do not speak it at all. Additionally, immigrants are expected to account for nearly all of the net growth in the 25 to 54-year-old workforce over the next 20 years.
The Workplace English Programs curriculum focuses on core English skills, workplace language, and the industry- and company-specific language employees must know. Each program begins using Ordinate's phone-based benchmarking technology, which determines the level of English proficiency a company requires. Once the benchmark is set, each prospective student is assessed using Ordinate's SET-10, which presents five different tasks: reading sentences, repeating sentences, answering short questions, building sentences, and answering open questions. Kaplan Workplace English Programs then recommends the appropriate course for each employee who does not meet the established benchmark. At the conclusion of the program, each trainee retakes the test in order to demonstrate improvement and readiness for employment.
About Kaplan, Inc.
Kaplan, Inc. (www.kaplan.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan offers: test prep and admissions services worldwide, including K12 services for schools through Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions; after-school learning programs for kids through SCORE!; licensing and continuing education training and compliance tracking through Kaplan Professional, and post-secondary educational programs through Kaplan Higher Education. With 2003 revenue of $838 million, Kaplan is the largest revenue producer within the Washington Post Company. Kaplan is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)
About Ordinate Corporation
Ordinate Corporation, a privately held company, was founded in 1996 to develop advanced language testing systems based on new techniques for using speech recognition to score spoken language proficiency. Ordinate combines recognition of spoken utterances with analysis of the manner of speaking to determine language proficiency and other speaker characteristics. Ordinate's augmented speech recognition technology sets a new standard in speed, accuracy, cost and convenience. For more information on Ordinate, please see Ordinate's website at www.versanttest.com.