E-mmersion Feedback – I think the ventur…

E-mmersion Feedback – I think the venture has great potential. We are definitely seeing the rise in French Immersion in our school boards here. However, we are also seeing an even greater increase in French only school attendance. Our EAL team tells us that the predictions are that the need for this will drop dramatically in the coming years and many language schools in the city are preparing for the possibility of closure. This is particular to English in English speaking areas, however, and has to do with the changes to immigration policy and timelines so I am not really all that concerned that you will not have a market for your product. As you have mentioned you are looking at scalability to other languages and countries. Another opportunity would be in Asia where English is often taught. As others have pointed out, I thought the choice to wear sunglasses was strange. Although I am aware that there are many people who, for legitimate medical reasons, require tinted lenses, in this setting it detracts from your credibility. I wondered if it was because you wanted to hide the eye tracking that can be visible on video when you read from a script. I was also disappointed by the audio quality of the video particularly in the second one. I also thought you probably could have had a better head shot than the one taken from your earlier video. These are really nit picky things. Overall I thought the pitch did a great job of illustrating exactly the challenge with current in-class immersion environments and with online interfaces. I like the idea of games, if they can be social (ie. with chat functions included). There were a couple of immediately apparent problems for me (and I noticed others pointed these out as well) which is that it seems that students will still be interacting with one another rather than with native speakers. You would need to somehow support the seeding of native speakers into the system. You would also need to ensure there is a high level of auditory interaction (the quality of your video let you down here – if you can’t manage the audio on your pitch video, I’m worried about how well audio interaction will go in the actual software). I think the fee may be high and I’m not sure if a per student rate is the way to go. I like the option of having individual student purchasing ability for those who want to do it at home or those that need extra help in classes that aren’t interested in purchasing for everyone, but I think you might be better served to negotiate school wide or board wide fees. I like the idea of verifying credentials. How will this apply to small schools or alternative education facilities? I really liked that you already had support from Canadian Parents for French and from a number of FI teachers. I would have liked to know more about the financial end of things. What kind of return can be expected and how soon? What kind of specific investment is being sought?

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