The Federal Government has launched a virtual English language tuition program trial for migrants powered by the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, and Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, made the announcement on Tuesday.
The $5.1 million three-year trial complements the existing Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and will involve 200 migrants, especially those moving into a rural community.
“Gaining English language proficiency is crucial to successfully settling in Australia,” Bowen 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 virtual tuition trial is available to all AMEP users with NBN access.
The NBN is being progressively rolled out and is expected to be completed by 2020. First mainland release sites of the NBN include Armidale in NSW, Kiama in NSW, Willunga in SA, Townsville in Queensland and Brunswick in Victoria.
Evaluation of the trial will be important for the development of future distance learning solutions.