All of us have many years of experience of learning successfully in a face-to-face classroom. We’ve done it; we’ve passed exams; we know it’s possible. So, before 2020 when it came to choosing a language school, face-to-face schools seemed the safe option for most students. They’d experienced them before and knew they would learn. And then in March 2020, COVID-19 arrived and schools around the world were forced to move to online classes.
Over the course of a few days, EC moved 29 schools online successfully and while there were not many positive side effects of COVID, one was that suddenly our students had a new experience. They had the experience of learning successfully in an online classroom. Something that had seemed impossible to them beforehand was now commonplace and effective. They saw that they could still engage with their teachers and their classmates, they could have whole-class or group discussions, and they could see their progress just like they could in a physical classroom.
EC Virtual, our live online English programme, was born and is now a permanent school in the EC English group. It’s welcomed hundreds of students through its virtual doors and is fast becoming a popular choice for language learners around the world.
But what’s next?
At EC, the next step is a Virtual Reality school. In January 2022, EC will launch Simmula, the first fully VR English language school, in which our students can socialise and network with learners from around the world. They can still engage with their teachers, they can still have whole-class or group discussions but this time, if we teach you to order food in a restaurant, we can take you to a Virtual Reality restaurant to practise what you’ve learnt.
Each week, more and more students are realising that face-to-face and flat-screen are not the only viable learning options, they can also learn successfully in a Virtual Reality environment from the comfort of their own home.