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  September 2003
Benesse Corporation
Berlitz Corporation, Inc.
Benesse and Berlitz Launch "GTEC" Global Partnership
Comprehensive Business English Proficiency Assessment
Benesse Corporation (Masayoshi Morimoto, President) and Berlitz Corporation (Toru Noda, Chairman and President) have jointly developed "GTEC" (Global Test of English Communication - pronounced "g-tek"), a new type of online testing system that comprehensively measures the English skills required for international business communication.

GTEC comprehensively measures the English listening, reading, writing, and speaking proficiency skills required in today's business world. GTEC utilizes a new online system where test questions are selected in accordance with the examinee's relative level of English proficiency. Within a broadband environment, the test can be taken anytime, anywhere, needing only a brief period of time to accurately assess English ability.

With the advance of globalization, employees possessing Business English skills are in high demand. Accordingly, the need to correctly assess practical and comprehensive English proficiency at low cost is also on the rise. In response to this environment, Benesse and Berlitz have joined forces to develop "GTEC" as part of their ongoing partnership in the education industry. Within the very near future, the product's reach will be extended across Asia, the Americas and Europe, centering on existing Berlitz language centers.



GTEC Features


(1) Global Standard Measurement of English Proficiency
With 125 years of history and a network of approximately 500 language centers throughout 60 countries worldwide, Berlitz provides language-related services such as foreign language teaching and foreign study programs. Benesse provides evaluation tests, such as the Shinkenmoshi Exam, to more than five million people annually. Cooperation between these two companies will now make it possible for English proficiency to be measured in all corners of the globe.

(2) Comprehensive Evaluation
A practical design enables an 80-minute measurement of the four fundamental skills, i.e. "Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking." Henceforth, there will be no need for face-to-face interviews to gauge proficiency in conversation.

(3) Accurate Measurement Anytime, Anywhere
Test questions are sent via the Internet, permitting examinees to answer from the comfort of their own PCs. The system allows tests to be taken either individually or in small groups. The execution of larger group examinations within enterprises or universities is also supported.
Additionally, the computer automatically selects subsequent questions based upon responses to previous questions, ensuring that the test is directly proportional to the examinee's level. This fosters a more precise evaluation of proficiency with a limited number of questions.

(4) Introduction of the Latest Theory in Testing
The score is calculated using an absolute evaluation system. The latest testing theories have been applied (see Note 1) for the first time anywhere, evaluating writing and speaking skills (see Note 2) to an unprecedented degree. This has made it possible to generate highly reflective measurement results.

* Note 1: "Item Response Theory" (IRT) is now being used in major English proficiency tests. IRT does not utilize traditional percentages of correct answers. It automatically calculates the degree of difficulty for each problem in the examination, adjusting itself to the appropriate level based on the examinee's success, or lack thereof, for previous responses.

* Note 2: Patent pending

GTEC Outline

Name: GTEC, pronounced "g-tek," is the acronym for Global Test of English Communication.

Concept: Measurement of English Proficiency required for both business situations and daily life. Ideal tool for the selection of staff eligible for overseas dispatch, promotions, standards for newly-recruited employees, and for measuring the return on investment of in-house language training.

Target: Those requiring English proficiency for business purposes, organizations, students and all persons seeking to gauge their own level of proficiency.

Distribution Routes:

For private use: Berlitz Japan Language Centers
For Groups: Enterprises and universities

Launch Date:
At Berlitz Japan Language Centers: Tuesday, September 16, 2003
At domestic (Japan) enterprises and universities: From early 2004

Price Structure:
Enterprises, group contracts and existing Berlitz clients: 7,500 yen (basic)
Private individuals: 9,500 yen

* Please visit our website for more details at:
http://www.benesse.co.jp/gtec/


GTEC Test Structure

Duration: Approximately 80 minutes

Types of question: Basic attributes, questionnaire registration (reasons for using English, past English learning history, etc.)

Listening: Approx. 30 questions;
Reading: Approx. 30 questions;
Writing: Approx. 3 questions; and,
Speaking: Approx. 4 questions

Scoring range: From 0 to 1000 points

Test environment: PC (Windows 98 or higher), headset, CD-ROM and Internet connection environment (ADSL 1.5MB or better)

Scoring period:
Results (score report) are transmitted via the Internet within approximately two weeks (ten business days)

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