March 11, 2009 / 7:46 AM / in 9 years

Pearson partners with language website Livemocha

LONDON (Reuters) - Pearson, the world’s largest educational publisher, plans to co-develop a conversational English language-learning service for consumers with fast-growing online language community Livemocha.

Livemocha (www.livemocha.com) provides free, basic lessons and teams up learners and native speakers in 12 languages from its 2 million users globally to help each other with writing and pronunciation.

Pearson and Livemocha plan to build a series of online conversational English courses that will be offered as premium, paid-for content on Livemocha starting in August.

It will be Pearson’s first venture into direct-to-consumer online products for English-language learning.

“By joining forces with an industry leader like Livemocha, we’re able to address a broader range of language learners beyond the institutional markets we traditionally serve,” said Bill Anderson, Pearson’s head of English language teaching.

UK-based Pearson owns educational publishing imprint Longman, through which it says more than 20 million students a year learn English around the world. It also owns the Financial Times newspaper group and Penguin books.

A Pearson spokesman said Pearson and Livemocha would jointly invest in the new products and would share the revenues. He did not disclose details or planned pricing.

Livemocha is based in Seattle, Washington and was founded by a group of entrepreneurs. It is owned by venture capitalists and other technology investors.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Brian Moss

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