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British Council

This is a great way to practice English, especially since I don't have the time to attend courses

Platform user, focus group research

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Life cycle

2017-2019

Country/Region

Wider Europe

Client/Partner

British Council

Vision

To support the educational, cultural and employment aspirations of young people across the Wider Europe region using the English Channel, an innovative online platform for interactive learning.

Situation

Recent market research showed that young people across the Wider Europe region recognise English as a vital life skill which provides a gateway to education and employment opportunities. The research also showed they have a strong desire to expand their cultural touchpoints and make frequent use of the internet and social media to facilitate their cultural expansion in the real world. The English Channel platform brought the contemporary UK to mass audiences across the Wider Europe region through the latest arts content, whilst also providing young people with the chance to improve English language skills and carve out their own career paths. 

Implementation

Using a very simple concept (high-quality videos with embedded English language learning content), we have enabled mass audiences in Wider Europe to engage and learn from a wide range of UK partners from the arts sector, as well as partners that develop entrepreneurial skills. 

The online tool comprises both ‘Learn English’ and ‘Build Career Skills’ sections for interactive English language learning. 

The platform also features bitesize videos from more than 20 UK partners like Nowness, Barbican, NESTA, Enterprise Nation and Innovate UK; sharing innovative content and introducing them to markets and audiences not previously reach before.

Impact 

The English Channel has been accessed by more than 6.5 million users globally.Of those, 4.5 million are from Wider Europe, and 30 per cent are from Turkey. 

70 per cent of the platform users say they now view the UK as being more diverse than they thought. Seventy per cent of users also believe the UK is promoting values such as tolerance and personal liberties. They are also now more likely to choose the UK as a destination for cultural experiences.

As a result of accessing the English Channel, 40 per cent of users have been encouraged to explore more content from our partners, particularly the National Theatre, Time Out London and Nowness. 

Mutual benefit

Engaging young people through digital technology is a major priority of our work in Wider Europe. Educational and cultural engagement between Wider Europe and the UK contributes to building trust and promoting stability, particularly with future generations.

The English Channel platform contributes to our ability to digitally engage with young people at scale and share the best of UK education and culture, raising our reputation and standing. By embracing digital-first initiatives, we are highlighting the mobile learning, educational and qualification opportunities the UK provides. This approach creates more opportunities for young people to connect to relevant UK partners, content and expertise.