1. DOES “FREE” MEAN “LOW QUALITY”?
NO. FREE FOR THE FEC INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM (IEP) MEANS “THE HIGHEST QUALITY ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION IN THE WORLD.”
The curriculum for the IEP is doubly accredited, accredited by both a US-regional accrediting body and an international accrediting body. In addition, each University and College partner is a member of two different US IEP standards organizations that certify the quality of the program.
The textbooks in the IEP curriculum are written and edited by ESL teaching and research experts. The student learning outcomes in each FEC IEP syllabus are supported by the units and ancillary materials of the highly accessible and interactive e-textbooks.
The tests taken by the students before and after their FEC IEP were first developed by a US-university and language-learning organization in July 2014. The FEC partner universities have been testing the English language of students with these tests ever since.
Each of the instructors using the curriculum, the textbooks, and the tests has many years experience teaching adults in US-university IEPs. Each has a Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Each has years of experience formally studying languages. At least one instructor in each Free English Collaborative course has experience both teaching and learning language via teleclassrooming.
2. DOES “FREE” MEAN THERE IS NO COST TO THE STUDENT?
YES. THE STUDENT DOES MAKE A DEPOSIT WHEN STARTING THE FEC IEP .
BUT that deposit is returned as soon as the student completes the FEC IEP; and so there is absolutely no cost to the student. The FEC university-and-college partners provide tuition scholarships. The FEC test company partner provides the no-fee coupon for each digital test. The FEC textbook publisher partner provides the no-fee coupon for each digital textbook.
3. DOES “FREE” MEAN THE STUDENT FREELY CHOOSES THE LOCATION FOR STUDY?
YES. THE STUDENT STUDIES WITH CLASSMATES AND WITH INSTRUCTORS HOURS EACH DAY VIA REAL-TIME FACE-TO-FACE TELECLASSROOMING.
From May to July 2020, students in US-university and US-college IEPs teleclassroomed on six different continents.
4. IS TELECLASSROOMING AN EFFECTIVE WAY FOR THE STUDENT TO IMPROVE ENGLISH SPEAKING AND WRITING IN A US-UNIVERSITY INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM?
YES. ALL OF THE STUDENTS IN ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY PARTNERS OF THE FEC IEP IMPROVED WHEN STUDYING INTENSIVELY FROM MAY TO JULY 2020.
The students on six different continents studied four hours each day, five days each week, live and face to face with one another and with the best instructors in the world using an accredited curriculum and excellent textbooks. All students made measured progress on standardized English exams.
5. WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS? HOW MANY HOURS AND HOW MANY WEEKS MAKE UP THE FEC IEP? HOW MANY LEVELS OF ENGLISH? HOW MANY CLASSES AT EACH LEVEL? HOW MANY STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS IN EACH CLASS?
THE FEC IEP IS AN INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM.
Students are in the teleclassroom with classmates 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, 14 weeks in the semester.
The FEC IEP has three levels, with five classes per level.
There are no more than 12 students in each class, and there are one or two instructors with each class.
6. WHAT ARE THE DATES AND TIMES?
THE FEC IEP RUNS FROM MONDAY THE 17TH OF AUGUST TO TUESDAY THE 24TH OF NOVEMBER 2020.
The times and classes each Monday through Friday are 4PM-8PM UTC (12:00-4:00PM EST USA) .
7. HOW DOES THE FEC COVER ITS EXPENSES.
BY COLLABORATING, THE FEC PARTNERS SHARE THE EXPENSES TO MAKE THE HIGH-QUALITY IEP COMPLETELY FREE TO STUDENTS.
The partners are looking for ways to have a revenue.
You know what we love? One FEC partner, Duolingo, is successful at making money with a its pledge to provide “Free language education for the world.” Founder Luis Von Anh has made the Duolingo app worth $1.5 Billion, as it brings in $600,000 in revenue each day, all the while perpetually high quality and ABSOLUTELY FREE to the language learner.
You know what else we love? Several of us have had our lives changed, our health improved, by Yoga With Adriene! We shared our own personal testimonies about this when meeting as partners recently. Founder and CEO Adriene Mishner's company is worth $2.5 Million, and she gives her yoga away to 7 million people for free! "We had no idea that it would become a multi-million dollar business," she says. "It was always our goal to simply create as much free yoga for as many people as possible. High quality free yoga!"
You know what else we love too? We love music and musicians making music. And we love how Converse Rubber Tracks was first a community-based professional recording studio in Brooklyn, NY. for free. Then it was a free music-studio collaborative around the USA and all around the world. The sneaker company partnered with local recording studios in San Francisco, California; Boston, Massachusetts; London, England; Los Angeles, California; Berlin, Germany; Kingston, Jamaica; Reykjavik, Iceland; Vancouver, Canada; Seattle, Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Sydney, Australia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Hundreds of emerging musicians of all genres applied for and were given free studio time. The artists freely used all the high quality studio equipment and recorded at no cost while maintaining the rights to their own music.
8. IS THE FEC WORKING FOR PROFIT OR IS IT A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?
The Free English Collaborative does not make a profit, nor does it yet have any source of revenue. Likewise the FEC is not a not-for-profit organization at all. Rather, the partners collaborating together have a common interest in garnering their resources to provide the best English language instruction to just a few students at no cost to the students at all. Two of the FEC partners (Lewis & Clark College and Texas Christian University) have collaborated in this way for years, providing respective scholarships annually to one student from Rwanda to study English intensively at an American college or university. Likewise, one of the FEC partners (Texas Christian University) has provided full scholarships for refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in the workforce in the United States (collaborating with organizations such as Refugee Services of Texas, Catholic Charities, World Relief, DASH Network, and TCU Human Resources). In these instances, each collaborating partner ensures free and extremely high-quality English language studies for individuals.
9. IF FEC PARTNERS ARE NOT MAKING MONEY, THEN ARE THEY INTERESTED IN LETTING THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT THEIR GENEROSITY?AND WILL THERE BE ANY RESEARCH CONDUCTED AND PUBLISHED ON THE EFFICACY OF THE FEC FOR STUDENTS?
YES, THE PARTNERS WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING FOR STUDENTS MAINLY SO MORE STUDENTS CAN LEARN ENGLISH BETTER AND AT NO COST. ONE OF THE PARTNERS IS SEEKING AN IRB AND CONSEQUENTLY STUDENT PERMISSION TO COLLECT, ANALYZE, AND PUBLISH DATA ON HOW THE STUDENTS MEET AND EXCEED LEARNING OUTCOMES.
We are want to be transparent with how best students learn in this context. We're particularly interested in how a student's expressed motivations, first language backgrounds, their experiences in language study, use of the free Duolingo app, work with expert instructors and with classmates in an accredited curriculum with the best e-textbooks on the planet lead to improved skills. We are curious to track improvements in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English for home, for professional, and for academic contexts. We are fascinated at the prospects of investigating new proficiencies in grammar and lexicon; in diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural awareness; and in lifelong language learning. Our goal is to help 36 students measurably improve, to study how they do it, and to give them tools to keep on doing it long after their semester working with us. We want to learn from them lessons that will help other students. We need to know how to make even more excellent standardized English tests, textbooks, and talents in teaching English intensively.
10. WHAT DOES THE FEC LOOK LIKE INTO 2021?
THE FEC PARTNERS HAVE COMMITTED TO 36 STUDENTS FOR ONE SEMESTER FROM AUGUST TO NOVEMBER 2020.
During this semester, we will announce whether the project will be sustained for another semester. Likewise, we will announce whether or not we will scale the collaborative to free additional students to study in 2021.
11. HOW DO I APPLY? AND IF ADMITTED, HOW LONG MAY I STUDY?
THE FEC IEP UNIVERSITY PARTNERS WILL SOON INVITE STUDENTS TO APPLY.
The applicants will be given a free test coupon and must complete the test and the application by a noted deadline. Those applicants who place into one of the three English proficiency levels of the FEC IEP will be admitted on a first come first serve basis. After 36 students are admitted, the IEP will close the admission process.The 36 individuals admitted to the FEC IEP will be given a full tuition scholarship for the August to November 2020 semester of study. The scholarship includes e-textbooks needed for their five classes each week.
12. I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS. HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR UPDATES. AND READ THE TWO DRAFT DOCUMENTS BELOW.
Free English Collaborative rationale draft
Free English Collaborative outline draft
To learn more, theoretically, please find linked here a chapter draft critiquing the FEC via the lens of slavery abolition (with the quotation of a brief review using the theoretical lenses of de-colonialism and of de-neoliberalism).