AOL offers English language lessons

AOL Latino teams up with Berlitz to provide free tutoring in English for Hispanic AOL members.

AOL Latino, America Online's bilingual Internet service for U.S. Hispanics, has teamed up with Berlitz International to offer English language lessons for free to its members.

The entire language course features 96 recorded online sessions with visual and audio components, the companies said Tuesday. Weekly classes can be played back and used repeatedly for review and reinforcement. In addition, consumers can install an offline collection of more than 100 hours of learning material on their computers, so that they can learn at their own pace.

After completing the online course, AOL members can choose to continue their education with Berlitz at a 25 percent discount.

AOL said 78 percent of respondents questioned in a recent poll on its service were interested in taking online English lessons.

Several technology companies are offering niche products such as online music services in Spanish and discounted calling plans aimed at the U.S. Hispanic population.

AOL said it has launched a money transfer service and phone cards targeted at Hispanics. The company said it is working on a bilingual "optimized PC" to be priced at $299 for those signing up for a one-year membership.

"We are dedicated to helping the Hispanic community succeed in the U.S. by offering tools that educate adults and children," David Wellisch, general manager at AOL Latino, said in a statement.