The program starts with an online test and then helps maritime professionals reach the required level of General English. Then they can work on their maritime English. Videos recorded on board of ships and in ports helps seafarers and office workers master the English they need to work safely and efficiently in the maritime industry. Words from IMO's SMCP list are part of the vocabulary Spot On Learning teaches.
Spot On Learning has developed business English courses for the shipping industry and other maritime sectors. These courses help professionals with different nationalities and cultural backgrounds communicate effectively and with ease. This is important for safety reasons but it also helps companies that employ people from all over the world maintain high quality standards in a very dynamic and competitive environment.
In order for the participant to reach its goal, he/she needs support from the client, the Spot On Learning Support Team and in some cases from a (local or online) teacher. This “supporting network“ and the different roles and tasks are detailed online here: https://my.spotonlearning.eu/744/how-share-information-about-learning.htm
Thanks to the innovative work of our partner EnglishCentral (financed by Google Ventures, big in Asia, users in more than 100 countries) it is now possible to work on pronunciation online. Seafarers in the international maritime industry come from many countries like the Philipines, Indonesia, India and other Asian countries, Russia, Eastern-European countries, the Baltics, Scandinavia, Southern-European countries. Per country the English language proficiency differs but above all the way people pronounce English sound very different. It is now possible to greatly improve pronunciation online on EnglishCentral.
In order to work safely and keep up quality standards necessary to keep demanding customers happy it is necessary to be able to communicate in English easily and without misunderstandings. The maritime organisation of the United Nations IMO has composed a list of phrases and words that all people in the maritime industry should know and understand. This is the so-called SMCP list (Standard Maritime Communication Phrases). Spot On Learning built on this list by adding other words that are important for workers in shipping and logistics. We build our courses on this list and keep on tweaking it and adding to it, to make sure it is relevant and up to date.
Shipping companies and other organisations active in the maritime industry want their workers to speak English at a certain level. They want them to keep practicing, in order to retain their language skills on the required level, or, even better, to keep improving their proficiency. Seafarers and other workers need to make an effort but their work is already very demanding. The Spot On Maritime Learning courses are designed to make learning easy and fun. Also learning can be done when and where the participants want. Many participants in our programmes let us know that they like watching the videos and listening to them. Getting immediate feedback when speaking and typing keeps the students motivated. The social networking elements are designed to persuade them to keep on learning. The Spot On Learning monitors progress of participants closely and offers support where and when it is needed. We ourselves learn everyday about what motivates most and helps our participants leverage their efforts.
Our experience so far is that our tools and methods make it possible for particpants to work towards designated learning goals in two to three months. The progress they make is measured by comparing the results of entry level tests with 'level up' tests they do after their first learning period. Blocks of two or three months work very well, most participants reach the expected goals. This is the case for a large majority of the students, let's say 80%. A minority needs more support than the 'self-service' video programme and some 'regular' coaching. Spot On Learning has developed rule-based learning paths. Specific test results or problems encountered during the programme trigger extra learning activities and teaching efforts. A network of teachers can assist online or in some cases also offline in port cities worldwide.
Spot On Learning is pleased to work with innovators in the shipping and maritime industry. They are of course interested in the cost reductions that our methods make possible, but also in the quality of the results and the possibility to measure everthing while going. We gather and share data and insights about what works best continuously. Our team is happy to share what we learn and experience. A first client case has been published in the summer of 2015 and we will add more regularly. Please let us know if you have questions or ideas about our work.