Students learning English via ipod

Yasmine Wilson and Queenie Lai use the iTouch application for language studies.
Yasmine Wilson and Queenie Lai use the iTouch application for language studies. Sarah Harvey

A PILOT program is allowing students at Ipswich Girls Grammar School to use the latest technology to improve their English skills.

Sixteen students from non-English speaking backgrounds have been provided with their own Apple iPod Touch unit – a device about the size of a mobile phone – which they use to access specially designed English listening and speaking lessons.

Teacher Justine Bomm said the lessons were accompanied by a website where she could log in and monitor the children's' work.

“We can even play it back to the students later in a classroom setting,” Mrs Bomm said.

The 12-month trial began in April and has already had a positive effect.

Indigenous Year 9 grammar student Yasmine Wilson said not having the best English skills made her feel a bit left out at the start of this year.

Yasmine grew up in a remote part of the Northern Territory speaking the Creol language, which is similar to Pidgin.

“I arrived in February and I felt a bit left out until I joined this class,” she said.

Independent Schools Queensland assistant director Janelle Wills said the application gave students 24-hour access to learning materials, results and teacher feedback.

“In a society where many things compete for students' attention this program is particularly exciting as it has managed to captivate and motivate students to learn and succeed,” she said.

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