Quebec Language School Students Excel with MetaMoJi Share for ClassRoom
- Founder Krista Purc’s innovative methods at her Anglais sur Demande language school accelerate language learning with MetaMoJi mobile technology.
- “What I value most about MetaMoJi Share is its deliberate simplicity. I found it much easier, more elegant and intuitive to create documents with MetaMoJi,
then immediately share the docs, mostly in .pdf format, and view them on line with all of the students.”
Krista Purc is adventurous. That much is certain. There’s the horse. And the travel. But first, the travel.
Fresh out of university with a newly-minted Canadian ESL teaching certificate, she departed her comfortable London, Ontario home (halfway between Toronto and Detroit) and said good-bye for now to her much-loved horse, taking off for Korea. She went by air, of course … and stayed four years.
Faculty post. After an initial, short-term contract to teach English for a commercial venture in Seoul, Krista resourcefully and quickly found a permanent faculty post at a girl’s commercial public high school in the working-class Mia-Dong neighborhood of Seoul – the first North American to teach at that campus.
At the school were ambitious young women from middle- to low-income blue-collar families in Seoul and the surrounding countryside, all hoping to find administrative employment with some of Korea’s larger companies. English is a ticket to that step up. Krista learned quite soon what teaching techniques worked best and what tools could help accelerate learning a tongue as exotic as English is to a native Korean speaker.
Fast learners. At first, what Krista missed most in Korea was her horse that she had ridden daily back in Canada, racing with her equally athletic sister through the countryside. Krista is good enough on horseback that she dreamed of competing in showjumping. Eventually, she did get in some challenging rides even in Korea, exercising horses just outside of the city, but the headlong gallop that the fast-learning girls in her English classes set kept her distracted, city-bound, and happily busy.
Krista’s teaching had immediate impacts on these young women and their job prospects. While Krista was still in Korea, two of her young students swept a city-wide English contest. Pictures of Krista at the school in Seoul show her using conventional late-20th Century scholastic tools, including tape-based language labs and first-generation P.C.s where the teacher can listen in selectively as each student tries to master and record the lesson.
What a difference a decade or two can make.
Krista now owns and operates her own flourishing language-training business, Anglais sur Demande (it means: “English on Request”), in another big town with ambitious students needing English fluency to prevail in international business: French-speaking and very historic Quebec City, sitting beautifully on the cliffs and hillsides overlooking the busy, bustling St. Lawrence River – 800 miles northeast of Krista’s hometown of Kitchener, Ontario.
And she again keeps a horse nearby her home, which is now just upriver from Quebec City on the Island of Orleans (or in French Île d’Orléans).
Picking MetaMoJi. Krista’s horse in Quebec is still conventionally low tech: It runs on Canadian-grown timothy hay and must be cleaned up the old fashioned way, fore and aft, after a quick trot and canter across the beautiful landscape. But Krista’s high-tech learning tools for her new educational venture are now all very much 21st Century – mobile smartphones and digital tablets that integrate with state-of-the-art in-room projectors and touch-screen white boards. For this new touch-screen mobile-tech age, Krista has chosen MetaMoJi Share for ClassRoom as her software of choice.
“I was very careful about my selection process,” says Krista. “I diligently checked out the competition including some very advanced educational softwares used here in Canada at some of the best universities. I found the set-up and use of those competing, expensive systems to be complicated for the teacher and even more so for the time-strapped post-university professionals I typical include in my classes.”
Design simplicity. Adds Krista: “What I value most about MetaMoJi Share for ClassRoom is its deliberate simplicity. Perhaps it reflects the Japanese design spirit, but I found it much easier, more elegant and intuitive to create documents with MetaMoJi, then immediately share the docs, mostly in .pdf format, and view them on line with all of the students, either in a classroom setting or one-to-one remotely. We can all make marks on the working lesson materials in real time and the changes can be instantaneously seen by all as we make them – no matter where in the world or in the city they actually are.”
Hours saved. Krista also values MetaMoJi Share’s organizational capabilities: “I love the way I can organize all of my individual lesson sheets, duplicate them at will, then move sheets from one class to the next. For a teacher, categorizing the elements of our instructional and student materials is the key to reducing many hours of work spent with other, less capable systems. A binder is not convenient for many of the adult students in my classes, but they have everything of theirs already stored and organized in the MetaMoJi Cloud that backs up Share.”
Krista’s customers today tend to be mid-career professionals or entrepreneurial business owners – mostly native French Canadian speakers, who have advanced in their jobs to the point where they need to operate seamlessly in international commerce. The language of world business, of course, is still English and tackling that language can seem insurmountable to the French or Korean alike … until they meet Krista.
Aerospace leaders. Krista’s biggest client at Anglais sur Demande is one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, one headquartered in the La Défense district outside Paris. She runs the company’s English program for employees in Quebec City, using MetaMoJi Share as she makes initial skills assessments, divides the trainees into individual or group class modules, and then launches her formal instruction curriculum.
Says Krista: “My individual units offer each trainee personalized work on language specifics from grammar exercises during speech and accent reduction. The group classes are designed for building confidence when speaking with peers – learning how to debate, negotiate, and present topics in an office or conference setting.”
Those in Krista’s small classes in Quebec City include a rainbow of diversity, mostly employees based in Quebec, but all in need of quick language skills to navigate and negotiate and present across Canada and North America.
Adds Krista: “The classes frequently include non-English speakers that must, in short order, review and evaluate technology projects where most of the workforce is English-speaking. Others are involved in training English-speaking software engineers in ‘Scrum methodology’ – a Japanese-led revolution in code writing that emphasizes collaboration and team development.”
Young … and younger. Krista deeply values all of her clients, but her dearest students at the moment, all using MetaMoJi Share, are all members of the same family and live in Quebec City, close to Krista’s office. They are recent Algerian immigrants to Canada. The father works for a Quebec taxi service and the mother runs a daycare center to make ends meet. Krista meets weekly with the family at their home, including in her classes their children, ages 15, 13, and 8 years of age – two girls and one boy.
Said Krista: “The youngest is often the most enthusiastic learner. She is already quite fond of the reading materials that I have set up on my tablet using MetaMoJi Share. She loves taking my stylus pen and drawing the answers on the worksheets that we do together – adding shapes to decorate her answers and creating her own sentences.”
Adds Krista: “I can’t imagine what kind of advanced technology will await her and her brother and sister when they head off for university in a few years. For children, these high-tech tools are, first of all, fun. But I am delighted to see the ways in which they have quickly adapted to learning technologies they never saw in Algeria but which are now preparing them for a better, safer future in their new city and new country.”