The award was presented by Seán Ó Cuirreáin, Ireland’s first Language Commissioner, at an event held in the Marino Institute of Education, Dublin.
RendezVu, headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, was one of only four Irish projects to receive the 2012 label.
The European Label, co-ordinated by the European Commission, is awarded annually in over 20 European countries to projects which demonstrate innovative ways of teaching and learning languages.
The aim of the award, which is managed in Ireland by Léargas, is to encourage new initiatives in the field of teaching and learning languages, rewarding new techniques in language teaching and spreading the knowledge of their existence thereby promoting good practice.
The Label is open to all aspects of education and training, regardless of age or methods used, with its main focus being to promote innovation in language teaching. By supporting innovative projects, at a local and national level, the Label seeks to raise the standards of language teaching across Europe.
RendezVu’s ExamSpeak is an English practice environment which uses language learning techniques to prepare students for their English speaking exam before they take it. ExamSpeak replicates the speaking exam in real-time with real questions and responses and enables students to develop the English language skills they need to succeed in the exam.
What is unique about ExamSpeak is that it provides authentic interaction, based on the learner's own words and ideas. This allows learners to build confidence by practising as often as they like in exam conditions, but without the pressure of the exam.
On receiving the Award, Paul Groarke, founder, RendezVu said, "We are delighted to have received the prestigious European Language Label for ExamSpeak. As well as validating the innovation within the product, it also shows the potential for the transfer of our product to other European languages."
RendezVu, an Enterprise Ireland funded high-potential start-up company, was founded in 2008 by Paul Groarke who has over 20 years experience working within the technology sector, including Baltimore Technologies.
RendezVu has already won a number of Awards including the NovaUCD 2008 Start-Up Award and the David Manley 2009 Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
Congratulating the award winners Seán Ó Cuirreáin said, “The award winning projects provide a potential source of inspiration for others working with different languages and in different contexts.”
The other 3 Irish recipients of the European Language Label 2012 were; Legal Practice Irish Courses, Education Department, Law Society of Ireland; Lingo Club, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Community School of reading and blogging scheme, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne.
10 October 2012
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, University College Dublin, Communications Manager (Innovation)