zMessenger, Sri Lanka’s award winning integrated mobile media company, gained international recognition as their mobile interactive learning tool ‘Learn English with the British Council’ was selected as a Finalist at the prestigious ‘mBillionth Awards South Asia’.
Out of 209 applicants from the region, zMessenger is the only Sri Lankan company to be selected in the Finalist category of this year’s mBillionth Awards.
zMessenger’s ‘Learn English with the British Council’ is a simplified, interactive medium through which users can test and practice their English language skills through their mobile phone. This unique service allows users to learn conversational English using technologies such as SMS, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Video, by providing essential language learning tips for all levels of learners.
The service then lets British Council language experts to provide feedback to users on their performance. ‘English with the British Council’ is currently offered by Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat and Hutch.
Speaking about the background to ‘Learn English with the British Council,’ CEO of zMessenger Jayomi Lokuliyana stated: “Sri Lanka has always had a high demand for fluency and competency in the English language. English is given much importance in a person’s career, such as at job interviews and promotions, while also building confidence and personality. It plays a big role in general socialising and acceptance in society.”
She added that with such socio-economic factors, learning English or investing in learning is perceived to be an extremely important aspect amongst the general public. “Globally, we are in an era where mobile phones have become widespread among the common man. It is no different here in Sri Lanka with over 20 million mobile users across the island. Therefore, mobile phones have become probably the most effective method of communicating and passing information,” she added.
“It must be noted that the majority of electronic communication takes place in English and hence the knowledge and competency in English is vital. Given this scenario, the ‘Learn English with the British Council’ medium taps successfully into both these key factors and provide a user-friendly, interactive, cost-effective and convenient mechanism for learning English,” she further stated.
zMessenger most recently was selected as the Winner in the ‘e-Learning and Education’ Category at the ‘e-Swabhimani 2012,’ an initiative of the Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) aimed at recognising excellence in digital content creation.
Elaborating further about the product, Product Manager of zMessenger Upekha Abeyratne stated: “‘Learn English with the British Council’ has been able to help people, especially the youth from the cities and rural areas of the country, to learn and improve their English Language skills. 75% of the subscribers are out of Colombo in areas such as Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Ampara, Badulla, etc.”
She added that the product uses very simple methods, using easy to understand content and testing techniques, while the product’s interactive nature has enhanced subscribers’ engagement with the service.
“Most importantly, ‘English with the British Council’ has shifted Sri Lanka’s perception towards the mobile phone from being a mere communication device to a valuable learning platform with remarkable possibilities. Overall, this mobile learning platform has changed the way in which people look at mobile Value Added Services,” she added.
zMessenger will be participating at the final judging of the mBillionth awards night on the 18th July at Nehru Place, New Delhi. Open to all countries in the SAARC region, mBillionth Awards is an integrated platform for recognising innovations in telecom and mobile content, applications and models. The mBillionth Awards acknowledges South Asia as a key hub of the world’s mobile and telecom market in terms of penetration and innovation, and promotes the best of mobile-based implementations in the region.