NY program uses phone calls, text messages to teach English

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — A unique English language learning program being offered by New York state is giving some immigrants a different way to learn — through phone calls and text messages.

The premise is simple — those who have signed up call a number whenever they want to hear recorded lessons. Then they're asked questions they answer via text messages to show they've understood what's being taught. Get the questions right, move on to the next unit. Answer incorrectly, and a coach will call to help clarify the concept.

It's low-tech enough that anyone with even the most basic phone can access it, and flexible enough that users can go at whatever speed they're comfortable with.

About 300 people are signed up for the pilot.