22nd February 2010, 3:47pm
Lincoln experience starts early for international students
International students at the University of Lincoln The University of Lincoln has become the first UK university to sign up to a powerful online English language learning tool which will enable international students to start their 'Lincoln experience' before they even arrive in the UK.

The University will use Macmillan English Campus to test, monitor and develop the English language abilities of prospective international students, while students will be able to use other aspects of the program to get a feel for an English university.

The software is already used by teaching institutions in more than 30 countries but Lincoln is the first UK university to have its own English Campus platform.

Unlike traditional CD-ROMs, Macmillan English Campus allows teaching staff to draw up a bespoke curriculum for the needs of individual students. They can then monitor students' progress and provide feedback through an online ‘markbook’.

The software uses a database of more than 4,200 resources developed by specialists at Macmillan – the world-respected publishing group. It features a rich array of media content, including video, audio and interactive features. The software even allows students to record themselves speaking – so they can review and practise their pronunciation.

Students can log into the software at any time and study at their own pace.

Initially, Lincoln's Faculty of Business and Law will use Macmillan English Campus to help pre-application students at its partner colleges in China develop their English abilities.

Professor David Head, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Lincoln, said: "Macmillan English Campus is a very powerful online language learning tool. It will be a great asset in preparing international students for their studies before they arrive with us and in developing our relationships with existing international partners.
"Macmillan is globally recognised for its English language learning materials, so we are very pleased to be working with them in this way."

The University's EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching staff and members of the international recruitment team have received training from Macmillan in how to use the package. They will begin using it for real in the next international application cycle beginning in autumn 2010.

Mark Forster, senior lecturer at the University's Lincoln Languages Centre, said: "This investment demonstrates the commitment by the University to optimising international students' experience here. The software will allow us to extend our reach to international students to a very early stage in the application process. Working with our partner colleges, we can keep in touch with students, monitor their progress and devise a curriculum specifically for them. It means the Lincoln student experience will begin before students have even left their home town."

Kerry Ormand, sales and marketing director for Macmillan English Campus, said: "We are excited to be collaborating with the University of Lincoln on this project. The English Campus, which includes a dictionary, grammar reference units, exam practice materials and access to thousands of activities, will give overseas students 24/7 online English language practice and support. Our extensive English for Academic Purposes material, with its combination of academic reading and grammar, study skills and 'University Culture' section will also help Lincoln students in finding their feet at university."
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