The call center industry in the Philippines wants to have 1.6 million employees by 2016. The industry has now reached 1.3 million employees and is pinning its hopes for more English-proficient Filipinos on the DOST LEAP (Learning English Application for Pinoys) Project. The LEAP is a standalone software that will be distributed free of charge to high school and college students. Its website is http://dostproject7.com/
I'm waiting for LEAP's release so I can use it in my English proficiency seminars. But, in my opinion, the problems with the LEAP are:
1. Its release seems to be delayed for one reason or another. It was supposed to be released June 2013 but up to now, it's still in closed beta testing stage.
2. Part of LEAP is the interactive grammar exercises. But thousands upon thousands of this kind of exercises are already freely available on the Internet. For example, I use http://a4esl.org
materials, which are created by ESL teachers. Perhaps, what could set LEAP apart is if its exercises are based on Filipino culture or situations.
3. A unique feature of LEAP is its speech component (listening and speaking skills) that will address common errors by Filipinos in English pronunciation. From what I've read, the student using LEAP will pronounce certain words or phrases, and the software will record and grade the student's pronunciation. (As far as I know, there are only two commercially available programs like LEAP's speech component. These are from ABA English and Rosetta Stone.)
I stand to be corrected but if LEAP's speech component is limited only to pronunciation of English words and phrases, then the program will fail in reaching its goal. Shouldn't the program also train students on how to create and speak grammatically correct English sentences?