'The English language is one of our greatest assets, building trust for the UK, bringing billions of pounds into our economy and creating life-changing opportunities for people across the globe. With the world coming to London for the 2012 Games, this is the perfect opportunity to use English to build some great new relationships, which will last well beyond the Closing Ceremonies.' - Mark Robson, Director of English, British Council.
The British Council’s English for the Games project, which was granted the ‘Inspire’ mark by LOCOG, aimed to satisfy the huge interest in the Games amongst teachers and learners of English worldwide and to enable visitors to the UK during the Games to communicate more easily.
The focal point of English for the Games was the range of on-line materials on Teaching English and Learn English. These materials included information and worksheets on all Olympic and Paralympic sports, as well as information on the history and values of the Games. They were promoted across the British Council network and used in teaching centres around the world. Other projects, which have been summarised below, were developed by drawing on these core materials. The British Council used a range of distribution channels for English for the Games in addition to the Learn English and Teaching English websites. We produced printed versions of some of the materials, we used social media and we also produced material for inclusion in the print media. We have calculated that we reached at least 11million learners of English worldwide as a result of the various initiatives around English for the Games. We reached a minimum of five million learners of English through materials downloaded from the websites by teachers, 2.5 million through teacher training workshops worldwide, two million through the print media, over 0.5 million directly through the online materials and a further 1m through a range of central and regional initiatives including competitions, hard copy distributions and social media posts.