What is unique about EPiC Online?
There are many options for acquiring language theory – through tapes, CDs, DVDs, online platforms, podcasts, classrooms, books, etc. However, confidence and fluency in conversation can only be developed in a sustained environment where people around you speak the language you want to learn, and not the language you know. Lack of practice is the critical factor. In some countries where English is a compulsory subject in school, you will find that most adults, after more than 10 years of studying the language, are not able to converse in English. Actually, most of their English teachers cannot converse effectively in English either.
Total immersion in an English-speaking environment is ideal, but it is logistically difficult and expensive. EPiC Online is intended to simulate this environment using the power of technology and the internet.
EPiC Online offers unique value and convenience to our clients:
- A one-on-one face-to-face experience, which is designed to produce the best results in the shortest time.
- Convenience, as the student can select the time for sessions 24/7, and make changes with some notice.
- A coaching methodology rather than traditional teaching, focussed on improving conversational English, and confidence in speaking.
- An international panel of coaches, giving the students the unique opportunity to practise English conversation like in the real world.
- Content which is interactive, interesting, and customisable for every student.
- Monitoring and IT support at all times when sessions are running to ensure things run smoothly, and all issues from both the student and the coach are attended to instantaneously.
- A Quality Assurance team and process to ensure maximum student satisfaction.
- Proven track record with multinational clients like ABB, McDonalds, and Regent Hotels, and academic institutions like Taylor's University, Kaplan Institute, and TAG International University.
- Proven track record with IELTS preparation.
How do I get started with EPiC Online?
Give us your email address and contact phone numbers, and we will schedule you for a 50-minute live online assessment at your convenience. During this time, we will also check your hardware, software and internet connection, as well as establish your preferred schedule for your EPiC Online sessions.
What do I need in order to start with EPiC Online?
You should have studied English as a second language for at least 6 months. You will need:
- A PC with a webcam, and a headset with microphone. You should not use speakers as they might send feedback into your microphone. And you should not use the built-in microphone in your PC, as it could pick up ambient noise. Furthermore, we will be using multimedia tools during the sessions, and noise from tapping on your keyboard will be picked up by your built-in microphone. There’s a range of affordable headsets with noise-cancelling microphones.
- Skype, which you can download at www.skype.com.
- Cisco WebEx. Please see the system requirements here.
- A Google account, which will be used for Google Hangouts. Sign up an account here.
- An internet connection with at least 1 Mbps download speed, and 400 Kbps upload speed.
- A quiet location, with no interruptions.
Why do you use the term 'coaches' rather than 'tutors' or 'teachers', and what are their qualifications?
EPiC Online is about building confidence and improving conversational English. Traditional teachers and tutors teach technical knowledge of the language – this is not the objective of EPiC Online. Our coaches are carefully selected and trained to build your confidence, and to motivate and encourage you to use the language.
Unless you are intending to be a commentator on the BBC, we feel that the ability to understand and be understood in daily conversation, and to express your thoughts, is more important than grammar and the technical aspects of the English language.
In the course of education, work, or social interaction, you will be communicating with people who are not native speakers most of the time, anyway. And even native speakers often do not speak perfect English.
Where are your coaches from?
Our coaches are recruited from all over the world, including Asia, and undergo a very strict multi-screening process to ensure that their accent is suitable to be an EPiC Online coach. All of our coaches either have neutral or American accents.
With such a large pool of fluent English speakers to recruit from, we can afford to be very selective. Don't just take our word for it – listen to our coaches' accents here
Do you have coaches who are native speakers?
Yes, we do, but their services will be at a premium rate. If you are interested, please let us know which type of native speakers you need. There are significant differences both in accent and use of the English language between Americans, the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, etc.
What is the duration of each EPiC Online session?
Each session starts 5 minutes past the hour, and ends 5 minutes to the hour. In the 5 minutes before the session starts, the coach will read the student's folder, to prepare for the session. The student folder will contain information about the student, his/her progress in past sessions, the preferences of the student, and any homework that had been given to the student. After the session, the coach will assess the progress of the student, and update the student folder. The coach hence works for at least an hour for each session.
We believe that shorter sessions will not push the student sufficiently to develop fluency in the language. Sustained use of the language is necessary.
Why will I be assigned different coaches for different sessions, rather than have a dedicated coach?
The objective is to improve your confidence and fluency conversation. Everyone will speak with different tones, speeds and style, and will pronounce words slightly different. It is hence critically important that you get used to speaking to different people. This is a simulation of "total immersion", which is the ideal way to become conversant in a language.
How will EPiC Online help me with IELTS, TOEFL, TOIEC and other international English tests?
We have been working with some companies and academic institutions to help their employees/students prepare for oral part of such international tests. We have researched extensively on how these tests are run, and how the examiners evaluate the examinees. We help students practise the specific skills that are needed. We prompt them on what to expect during the tests, and we teach them tactics to perform better during the tests.
We customise content for each client, and even for each student. We have developed content for a wide-range of applications for different industries like hospitality, banking, education, medical, etc. For example, for hotels, we have different content for front desk, concierge, F&B outlets, housekeeping, engineering, etc.
Another example is that we have an interview package that helps jobseekers to be effective in being interviewed in English.
Certification, Assessments, Quality
Finding a gauge to measure conversational fluency in any language is very difficult. Other than the initial assessment before students start EPiC Online, our coaches also make an assessment of every student for every session, gauging different factors such as grammar, pronunciation and fluency.
We do have certain programmes that are focussed on the oral aspects of external tests like IELTS, TOEFL, TOIEC, etc., where we are working with renowned academic institutions.
Our Quality Assurance and Quality Systems is the hallmark of EPiC Online. This is necessary as most of our clients are multinational companies and prominent academic institutions.
We have priced our services very competitively, considering that we provide a premium product, with significant quality processes. There is a wide range of offerings in the market, and we are happy to make a comparison upon request.
We have a professional team to develop and customise content. Every session is recorded, and we have a QA team reviewing these recordings. We ask the student to give an evaluation for every session, and our QA team reviews these evaluations, and takes corrective actions.