Quickie: English Lessons Via Mobile Phones

Several mobile phonesImage via Wikipedia

Rhys Blakely of Times Online reports that the British Government has joined forces with the six largest mobile operators in Bangladesh to unveil the world’s largest project to teach a language using mobile phones (UK to teach English in Bangladesh via mobile | November 16, 2009). Excerpts:

Starting this week a scheme managed by the BBC World Service and funded by the British Government will offer the 50 million Bangladeshis who own mobile handsets the opportunity to dial up a series of three-minute-long English lessons for 3 takas (2.5p) each — less than the cost of a cup of tea at a roadside stall in Dhaka.
With three billion mobile phones now in use globally (compared to 1.5 billion television sets), the use of handsets as educational tools is increasingly being explored.
In Thailand, graduate students sit tests via text message, while in Japan — where mobile phones outnumber computers five-to-one — handsets have been used for several years to teach English as a second language. One survey found that 70 per cent of Japanese students preferred receiving lessons on mobile phones than on computers.
Mobile learning may be particularly useful in countries where populations are widely dispersed, such as in Mongolia, where special English lessons have been developed for waiters and bank tellers, which are distributed through text messages.

Exciting times for micro-learning! Read the whole thing here.