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October 18, 2004

Benesse, Berlitz to Expand GTEC

Benesse Corporation and Berlitz International are to start marketing their Global Test of English Communication (GTEC) to businesses in 11 countries from next January. The GTEC combines all four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) in an 80-minute online test, and has been selling well to businesses since its launch in Japan in September 2003. It has already been used by some 300 companies, including Sagawa Kyubin and Nintendo, and about 11,700 people to date. Currently about 2 million people a year take English proficiency tests in Japan aimed at employees and adults in general, and the market for an accurate and reasonably priced test has been growing strongly. The latest test comes in five types. The GTEC-CTE (Corporate Test Edition) has increased technical accuracy, makes use of past tests to decrease the actual test time to 60 minutes, while also coming at a reduced price. It will be accessable 24 hours a day from any country in the world.

Benesse and Berlitz are also working on a version of the GTEC for Junior high school and lower levels as part of the continuing development of their English Curriculum Framework (ECF), that will take learners from early childhood right through to adulthood.

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