In 1992, Roger Hudson and Jonathan Clemens established English Language Systems (E.L.S. Pty Ltd) to develop and publish innovative English language teaching (ELT) materials, employing advanced methodologies and drawing on Australia’s considerable expertise in the field of applied linguistics.
The first project was “Words Will Travel”, an integrated language course for intermediate level students. It features a high quality video drama in the style of a television series set in a small country hotel. In conjunction with the associated print and audio materials, the drama provides the stimulus for a variety of language learning activities.Roger Hudson was the overall project manager for “Words Will Travel” and directed the 72 minute video.
“Words Will Travel” was released here in 1994 and soon became the best-selling video-based ESL course in Australia. An international version of the course, which was released the following year, sold well in New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and North America.
In 1996, ELS released “In Orbit”, a conversational English course for beginners. “In Orbit” has at its core a dramatic story set in the year 2010 on a space station orbiting Earth. Topics are introduced by episodes of a radio play on audio cassette, illustrated by a comic-strip in the course book. The story is designed to appeal to young adults who already have basic English and are ready to improve their listening and speaking skills.
In 1996, ELS also began exploring the use of the Internet and world wide web in language teaching. Two Virtual Classroom trials were held during 1996 and 1997, involving more than 500 students from 6 countries. The About the Virtual Classroom page contains information on this project.