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EDUCATION REPORT - American Students Get Help With Schoolwork From Far Away

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I'm Faith Lapidus with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Some American students get help with their schoolwork from online companies whose teachers may be in another country.

One example is Career Launcher India Limited. It provides mathematics help through online tutoring companies. The student in the United States and teacher in India talk to each other as they work out math problems. The teachers can explain ideas by drawing on the screen so the student can see how the answer develops. Career Launcher also tutors students in India and the Middle East. The service costs about twenty to thirty dollars an hour.

Another online tutoring company is Tutor-dot-com. Its tutors are in North America. They provide help in math, science, social studies and English to students from the fourth to the twelfth grades. Officials say the company helps about three thousand students each day.

Growing Stars is another company offering online tutoring. It works with children from grades three through twelve. It helps with math, English, science, physics, chemistry and biology. The company tutors are in India.

It charges American students about twenty dollars an hour. Growing Stars is expanding into Canada, Britain and Australia. It gives each student a test to find out what he or she knows and does not know. Then an academic director creates a personal learning program for each student. And the company e-mails progress reports to the children's parents.

SmarThinking in Washington, D.C., has tutors in the United States, South Africa, the Philippines, India and Chile. But it only permits those in the United States to provide help with English.

Some education experts are concerned about people in India helping American children with American English. They also have concerns about the quality of other instruction offered by such programs. The companies say their teachers are professionals who know the differences between British and American English. The companies say they could not operate if students and their parents were not satisfied with the service.

To learn more about tutoring online, use a search engine and type in "online tutoring programs."

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. Our reports can be found on the Web at www.unsv.com. I'm Faith Lapidus.

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