Distance Learning

Virtual High School Partners with CERNET to Bring Courses to ESL Students in China

The Virtual High School (VHS), an online nonprofit educational organization based in Massachusetts, has partnered with CERNET Education, established by China Education and Research Network, to bring core courses to ESL students in China.

The first phase of this alliance will involve the development of three core subjects for release in fall 2016. These courses will combine non-streaming and streaming elements for ESL education that address specific needs identified by CERNET Education related to Chinese students. The courses will also be available to other international students. Three additional courses will be offered for spring 2017.

“Many native Chinese speakers are determined to learn English as a second language and take courses in English,” said Carol Ribeiro, president and CEO of VHS, in a prepared statement. “There is a serious need for core courses for Chinese ESL learners taught by teachers well-equipped to work with Mandarin-speaking students. Our goal with this partnership is to help students prepare for future education by enhancing their English skills through cohort-based interactive courses that can help them succeed in college study.”

For the last 20 years, VHS has sought to provide middle and high school students with access to high-quality online and blended learning experiences, while supporting educators with professional development. VHS offers a range of core, elective, credit recovery and AP courses.

CERNET, built by Tsinghua University and other leading Chinese universities, is the country’s first and largest computer network for academic organizations and a key platform for China’s remote learning initiative, CERNET said in a statement.

“CERNET Education has a mission to globalize education,” said Yidong Zhu, executive president of CERNET Education, in a prepared statement. “We have developed and established international education programs in the U.S. since 2008, such as the ESL school, Massachusetts International Academy. CERNET serves more than 2,000 universities, research institutions and education centers, and more than 25 million end users access it.”

The goal of this alliance is to enable thousands of students to enroll in U.S. schools, the organizations said in a statement.

For more information, visit TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call 978-897-1900.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].