Hermes Online Language Learning

  • Level: High school
  • Languages: Chinese, Swahili
  • Cost: Varied by academic year and language

Many schools want to offer less commonly taught language programs, like Chinese and Swahili. But there are many barriers to overcome: small class sizes, recruitment of quality teachers, teacher credentialing, and budget limitations.

To help schools offer language programs they couldn’t otherwise, CASLS piloted the Hermes online language learning program from 2012-2015. We provided the teacher and the curriculum, and enrolling students paid a small fee.

Using project-based learning, Hermes allowed novice students to become active agents in their language learning journey. A licensed teacher guided students’ learning, provided instruction, and offered individual support. Trained native speakers provided peer support and answered questions.

Hermes offered:

  • Affordable cost: Hermes provided an affordable way for schools to provide world language instruction in the midst of federal and state budget cuts.
  • Increased access: We worked with schools to assign a local lab instructor and set specific time in students’ school schedule for Hermes. Because of its web-based nature, students continued their learning outside of the classroom by accessing the course from any location with an Internet connection.
  • Individual attention: Hermes accommodated multiple learning styles and provided students with immediate feedback.
  • Independent learning: Students worked at their own pace and studied aspects of the language and culture they found most interesting.
  • Support: Hermes used a multi-tier support structure that included a licensed instructor, language coaches, our technology staff, and local lab instructors.