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College medical initiative prompts digital English programme

Jan 13. 2015
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By The Nation

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FOLLOWING the success of last year's pilot programme at Chiang Mai University's medicine-related faculties, the university and its project partner, Bangkok-based English language tutoring school Enconcept E-Academy, this year eye launching "English in

When the Asean Economic Community (AEC) goes into effect this year, some 10,000 CMU students will have already accessed or undergone the programme.

To become a digital university with elevated academic affairs to meet the demands of the 21st Century and the AEC, CMU has boosted its modern technology usage and administrative effectiveness as well as developed in four aspects, Pongrak Sribanditmongkol, CMU’s vice rector for planning and development, told a press conference last month.

The aspects were physical environment, ICT-aided learning, student-centred teaching and enthusiastic learning. CMU also promoted students’ English language skills.

The university last year engaged Enconcept to develop the Bt10 million “Smart Learning, Smart Classroom” programme, which could be accessed via the university’s 47 information technology service centres. The programme was available on a pilot basis at the faculties of medicine, nursing, associated medical sciences, dentistry and veterinary medicine.

The programme’s expanded coverage to 21 faculties would be carried out by March. Participation in the programme was voluntary as it gave no credits nor grades. In two more years this programme could be developed into a curriculum eligible for credit, he added.

Dhammasak Ua-Apithorn, general manager of Enconcept, said CMU and Enconcept shared the vision of improving students’ English language skills through modern technology so they could work in the age of the free flow of labour. The “English in Action” programme emerged out of that.

“This programme applies simulation to provide students with the scenarios that they would face in their line of work as well as provides them lessons on pronunciation, listening, speaking, writing and foreigners’ cultures in communication,” he said.

Students would be equipped with good English language skills to communicate with foreigners when the Kingdom enters the AEC.

The successful programme would now be extended to 20 faculties including those for health sciences, science and technology, social science and humanities. About 10,000 students were expected to study this programme.

To be in line with CMU’s goal of becoming a digital university, Enconcept applied the innovative multimedia educational technology called “SELF” – student extensive learning fitness – and made coaches available to provide guidance.

The technology would provide conversations in line with the students’ future jobs via animated videos, so students would be able to plan their course and review content anywhere, anytime.

The lessons could be learnt via eight mobile applications – MyCoach, MyBooking, @Dict, MyXenTimer, MyMemolody, MyFlashcard, Xeroine and MyTest.

Enconcept also plans to expand from this work with other universities as many institutions have shown interest, but the academy would have to assess their preparedness, as such work required abundant resources, he said.

 

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