This page contains answers to the questions people commonly ask about Planet English. Select a category from the list below to jump to the relevant section, then click on a question to expand the answer.
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A. Yes. Planet English videos show accents from around the world, including Britain and the United States. When using voice recording it is possible to compare your accent with a British or American model. It is also possible to customise the program so that your students can access only videos containing British or American accents.
A. Yes. Each Planet English centre is trained by the distributor. This usually includes training on teaching with Planet English, using the Courseware Management System and integrating Planet English into your existing teaching program.
A. Go to the 'Info for Colleges' page on this site to see where Planet English is now distributed. If your country is not listed, Planet English is still available directly from Planet Learning. Please fill in the form and we will contact you.
A. Planet English is a network based program comprising eight content CDs from Beginner to Upper Intermediate level with corresponding workbooks, an Assessment CD and a Pronunciation CD. There is a Courseware Management System which manages access to the program and provides a variety of useful tools for course coordinators and teachers. A Teacher's Manual is provided with full syllabus documentation, grammar notes, vocabulary and language function lists as well as tapescripts of all audio and video content.
A. One of the strengths of Planet English is the way it teaches communicative skills such as speaking and listening. Students often have greater skills in reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar than they do in speaking and listening. For this reason the main focus of CDs 3 - 8 is to develop spoken communication skills. The other areas are not forgotten and are covered in the workbooks accompanying these CDs.
A. The Workbooks are designed to reinforce and build skills presented throughout the CDs. They are based on the content and syllabus in the CD-ROMs and extend and consolidate this content as well as providing more skills practice, especially in the areas of vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing.
A. Because Planet English is usually incoporated into an existing course structure and can be used in a variety of different ways, it is difficult to say exactly how long it will take to get through the whole program. There are approximately 400 hours of study on CDs 1-8 but this can vary greatly depending on how long individual students spend on speaking activities such as role plays and pronunciation practice. For example, one student may spend 20 minutes on an activity while another student may take considerably longer. When this is taken into account, and adding the time spent on Workbook activites, tests and Planet English based classroom activites, we estimate that Planet English can support up to 1000 hours of study.
A. At this stage there is not an official placement test for Planet English. The main reason for this is because Planet English is normally integrated into the existing teaching curriculum of each institution. Therefore, clients are advised to maintain their existing placement system.
However, if Planet English is to be used as a stand-alone resource, it is advised that clients create placement test 'lessons' in the Lesson Editor of the Courseware Management System (CMS) for each CD level. In this way, samples taken from each CD can form the basis of a placement test. Student's results from each CD placement test 'lesson' can be used to gauge their proficiency level in relation to each CD.
It is not advised that clients use the Planet English Assessment CD as a placement test. The Assessment CD was designed to test learner's knowledge of the content they have covered in CDs 1-8 rather than act as a placement test.
A. Yes. Planet English contains a variety of themes including topics related to business and study. You may choose to access these sections only for particular courses. Planet English was originally developed by The University of New South Wales where it was found that many students in academic preparation courses lacked the necessary oral communication skills to attend a tertiary institution in an English-speaking country. The program covers all levels from beginner to upper intermediate.
A. Most institutions have used the CMS to integrate Planet English into their existing curriculum by planning computer slots within existing weekly plans. Some Planet English lessons are used to present language at the beginning of a week/teaching unit. This then links into other existing materials to be used beyond the computer laboratory in class time. Other Planet English lessons are more suited to be used to consolidate work already done in class. Part of the teacher training provided by your distributor is targetted towards integrating Planet English into an existing curriculum.
A. Planet English can be used both to present language and consolidate learning. It is a comprehensive course in terms of its syllabus design. However, it has been designed to complement existing resources as an interactive tool to develop learners' communicative skills in particular. Face-to-face teacher input in presenting language from existing textbooks and teacher-generated resources is assisted and complemented by Planet English.
A. The progress score refers to how far a student has progressed through the course to which their class is assigned. The achievement score is the percentage of questions answered correctly.
For example, Class A may have access to a course consisting of everything in CD1. If CD1 consisted of 100 pages, when a student had navigated through 50 pages, their progress score would be 50% (even if they hadn't answered any questions). Similarly, their achievement score is the % of correctly answered questions on the 50 pages the student visited.
If the 50 pages visited each contained 1 question (i.e. a maximum of 50 questions) and the student had answered 10 of them correctly, then their achievement score would be 20%, even though they had only completed half of the course so far.
A. As a Planet English licensee you will join the growing number of centres around the world that are using Planet English. Your centre will be promoted on the Planet English website. You will also be entitled to marketing support through your distibutor, which may include forwarding student enquiries to you and supply of promotional items for your use.
A. Planet English does not have a built-in backup facility. It is recommended that the client includes Planet English in part of their backup routine. The workstations do not store any live data and do not need to be backed up individually. Workstations can be reinstalled across the network in a matter of minutes.
A. Planet English requires 40MB on each workstation for the program files. There must also be an additional 40MB of free space on the system partition. If there is less than this amount Planet English will not run properly.
A. Planet English will not run in this environment, as it was not designed to run on a mainframe/metaframe. All of the processing is done on the workstations and the server does very little. Future releases of Planet English may support this architecture.
A. Planet English is an intensive multimedia package. It relies on the ability to retrieve the data from the CDs in adequate time. Sharing the CDs across a network would be subject to many environmental factors, such as network traffic. Each workstation must have a CD or DVD drive and a Planet English CD to run, or use the Virtual CDs model.
The Virtual CDs model allows the content of each CD to be copied onto the local hard drive of each workstation. This requires an additional 4GB of hard drive space per workstation. Please contact your Planet English distributor for more information.
A. The server can be a Novell server however there must still be a Windows NT or 2000 machine in the network. The Planet English server is a windows-based application which must run on Windows NT, 2000 or 2003. Please contact your Planet English for specific technical information based on your environment.
A. The server can be a Linux or other Unix-type server however there must still be a Windows NT or 2000 machine in the network. The Planet English server is a windows-based application which must run on Windows NT, 2000 or 2003. Please contact your Planet English for specific technical information based on your environment.Planet English can not run on a Linux/Unix workstation.
A. The server can be a Macintosh server however there must still be a Windows NT or 2000 machine in the network. The Planet English server is a windows-based application which must run on Windows NT, 2000 or 2003. Please contact your Planet English for specific technical information based on your environment.
Planet English can not run on a Macintosh workstation.
A. Yes. Planet English requires an active Internet connection for authentication to our license server. Without authentication the server will not start. This system protects the client's investment in the product as the server application cannot be duplicated or pirated. Please note there is no requirement for an internet connection from the workstations.
A. Planet English is a network based program. The server is an integral part of Planet English. It is responsible for authenticating users and controlling the delivery of the courseware and is used to store individual users scores. The server also controls the licensing for Planet English.
A. There is further information on dongle connection problems in the Support / Technical Downloads section. There is a dongle driver update program and a dongle connection checker utility available for download. This information is available for distributors only.