AOL Latino and Berlitz Partner to Offer English Language Lessons at No...

AOL Latino and Berlitz Partner to Offer English Language Lessons at No Extra Charge to AOL Members; Poll Finds 78% of Respondents Are Interested in Taking Online English Classes



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Dulles, VA. & Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–March 22, 2005–AOL(R) Latino, the leading bilingual Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics, and Berlitz Languages, Inc., the premier language training and testing services provider throughout the world, announced today that they have joined forces to offer multiple ways for AOL members to learn English at no extra charge. While Spanish dominant and Spanish preferred bilingual Hispanics equal more than 65% of the 40 million Hispanics in the U.S., this special offer provides this growing segment a cost effective and easy way to learn English. And, according to a recent poll on the AOL Latino service, 78% of respondents are interested in taking online English lessons.

Online learning, according to a survey by research group Eduventures, grew more than 50% in 2002 to reach $3.7 billion and is expected to maintain growth rates in excess of 30% for a number of years to come. With nearly 14 million Hispanics online(1) and growing rapidly, Hispanics now have the opportunity to embrace new ways of learning English through the Internet to ultimately enhance their lives.

“We are dedicated to helping the Hispanic community succeed in the United States by offering tools that educate adults and children,” said David Wellisch, Vice President and General Manager, AOL Latino. “By working with one of the most well known and respected names in language instruction, Berlitz, we are set to offer AOL Latino members the experience of online English language classes as an added value for being part of the AOL Latino family.”

“Research indicates that Spanish dominant Hispanics prefer to learn English in the comfort of their homes and what better way than with the convenience of the Internet,” said Toru Noda, CEO, Berlitz International, Inc. “We are excited to join AOL Latino to further extend the value of the AOL Latino membership and provide the opportunity to enhance the language skills Hispanics need on the job and in their lives.”

The AOL Latino offering includes:

— eBerlitz English is an offline collection of over 100 hours of instruction that allows members to learn English at their own pace through the use of extensive PC based exercises including listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking and pronunciation practice, and practicing English grammar.Quizzes and other techniques are also provided to allow the learner to evaluate their progress.

— Berlitz Weekly Webcast classes for the Beginner and Intermediate level. These classes feature 96 recorded online sessions that include visual and audio components to support the language learning process and are available exclusively to AOL Latino members online. These weekly classes, which offer interactivity in the form of questions, can be played back and used repeatedly for review and reinforcement.

— AOL Latino/Berlitz Premium Products will be offered as an incentive to complete the online lessons. After completion of the course offered by AOL Latino, our members can choose to continue their education with Berlitz at a 25% discount.

In addition to the free eBerlitz English language courses, AOL Latino has launched several other initiatives to increase the value of having an AOL Latino membership including discounted money transfers (KW:Envios de Dinero) and discounted phone cards (KW:Tarjetas Telefonicas). We have also worked to remove obstacles to coming online such as a bilingual AOL(R) Optimized PC for only $299, with a year’s membership to the AOL service.

About Berlitz:

Berlitz Languages, Inc., headquartered in Princeton, NJ, is the world’s premier language services firm, providing expertise in live and on-line language instruction and cross-cultural training, and testing programs. Berlitz has been teaching languages for over 125 years and has millions of successful alumni. The time-proven principles of the Berlitz Method(R), a unique conversational approach, are constantly supplemented with new and updated information and the latest multi-media and technology enhanced methodologies. (http://www.berlitz.us.)

About AOL(R) Latino

AOL Latino, the leading bilingual Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics, offers comprehensive Spanish product features such as toolbar, menus, Parental Controls, and Homework Help. AOL Latino also provides Spanish language content including U.S. and Latin American news, the latest in music, entertainment and sports, as well as access to all the existing content available on the English language AOL service for no extra cost.

(1) Source: comScore Media Metrics January 2005 report

–30–JM/ph

CONTACT:

America Online, Inc.

Lori Dolginoff, 646-662-6513

Sandra Correa, 917-319-8472

AOL Latino and Berlitz Partner to Offer English Language Lessons at No Extra Charge to AOL Members; Poll Finds 78% of Respondents Are Interested in Taking Online English Classes