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EMC PUBLISHING UNVEILS "EXPAND" LAYER OF EMC LANGUAGES ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Second Layer Immerses Students in World Culture and Improves Educator Effectiveness

Media contact:
Victoria Grantham
vgrantham@rosecomm.com
917-328-3287

ST.PAUL (October 7, 2013) -- EMC Publishing, a division of New Mountain Learning, today introduced the second layer of EMC Languages, an online environment for teaching and learning world languages in K-12 classrooms. Called “Expand,” the layer provides students with a way to immerse themselves in the language and culture beyond the everyday classroom situations. It empowers students to build upon what they’ve already learned in the initial “Discover” phase of the environment.

The EMC Languages learning environment has three layers that work in tandem. Students “Discover” languages and cultures, “Expand” their knowledge beyond the textbook and written test, and “Perform” what they’ve learned to achieve proficiency.

The “Expand” layer gives students control over how they want to interact with the target language –encouraging exploration and providing for differentiated learning. At the same time it easily enables educators to bolster students’ success. It goes beyond grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure to deeply immerse students in engaging projects. Flipgrid™, a video-based discussion platform, helps power “Expand” – encouraging students to discuss and reflect upon relevant topics and respond to questions posed by their educator. 

Students become engaged in language learning when it is relevant to them. “Expand helps catapult kids beyond the basics. Our aim is to take students to the next level through meaningful context to dramatically increase the possibility that they’ll engage and move towards fluency. It really gets to the heart of why language matters,” said Eric Cantor, chief executive officer of New Mountain Learning.

As an example, “Expand” can provide suggestions for how students in the US can interact with their counterparts in other countries to share knowledge and ideas and make cultural connections across borders and schools. Through the “Expand” layer, students can decide on what aspect of real-life to focus their attention and efforts – a current event, a pop culture phenomenon, a sport, an unfamiliar food – and they can use the tools provided to bring the project to life. The i-Culture platform keeps culture current and alive in a way the textbook can’t by providing real-world content – video, news stories, songs – that’s updated monthly as opposed to synthetic situations one might find in a printed textbook.

EMC Languages was born out of a long-term collaborative partnership between EMC Publishing, a 60-year old publisher of world language educational materials, and the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). It marries EMC Publishing’s award-winning curriculum with CEHD’s research-based learning platforms created in the university’s Learning Technology Media Lab (LT Media Lab).

“Most companies are simply focused on the online dissemination and presentation of textbook content. EMC Languages is transforming that staid model with the new "Expand" layer,” said Charles Miller, PhD, Associate Professor, Learning Technologies, Co-Director, LT Media Lab.

EMC Languages is part of a pilot program in schools this fall and it’s scheduled to roll out in early 2014 for French and Spanish. German and Chinese will follow later in the year. Educators or school administrators can subscribe to the entire suite or only those elements most relevant to their classrooms. EMC Languages content is aligned with American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) standards and includes cultural context from all countries where the target language is spoken. For more information, visit www.emcl.com.

About EMC Publishing

A division of New Mountain Learning, EMC Publishing is a recognized leader in world language solutions in classrooms throughout the nation. Founded in 1954, EMC publishes instructional materials, supplements, and assessments for the K-12 market, delivering print and digital solutions for world languages, literature and language arts, and computer applications and literacy.

About New Mountain Learning

New Mountain Learning is a provider of diversified learning materials and blended solutions serving select segments of the secondary, post-secondary, and career services markets in the US and Canada and is a portfolio company of The Wicks Group of Companies, L.L.C., a private equity firm based in New York City that invests in lower-middle-market companies operating in selected segments of the information, education and media industries.

About The Learning Technologies Media Lab

Founded in 2010, the Learning Technologies Media Lab is an innovative design and research center located in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota. This lab is affiliated with the Learning Technologies academic program area in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction within CEHD, which is nationally known for developing innovative educational technology.