Facebook page reaches a million English learners

Wednesday 28 November 2012

A British Council Facebook page is revolutionising English language learning across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and attracting more than 10,000 new fans every week. The Learn English MENA Facebook page, specifically tailored to young people in the region, now has more than one million fans - an increase of more than 200% in less than 18 months. It is ranked in 33rd position in Social Watch List’s top MENA Facebook pages.

The Learn English MENA Facebook page takes learning out of the classroom and into the social media world – enabling English learners across the region to access high quality resources completely free of charge. It offers a range of dynamic, interactive activities including daily-updated content from the British Council Learn English websites, diverse discussions, and quizzes and competitions. The most popular feature, receiving more than 200 ‘likes’ per session, is the ‘English Doctor Service’ where a highly experienced British Council teacher is available online to answer questions, offer advice and tips, and to direct fans to relevant resources.

Facebook users continue to rise in the Middle East and North Africa, with over 45 million monthly active users in MENA. 

A growing number of fans are teachers who can use the page as a platform to interact with their students or to access hundreds of British Council English language lesson plans and other resources. 

“We use surveys and analytics to ascertain what the fans want on the page, and then provide appropriate and engaging new content every day in order to help boost confidence and improve vocabulary, grammar, conversation skills, fluency, and pronunciation,” explained Dalia Adel, MENA Digital English Project Manager at the British Council.

Learning English is rapidly growing in popularity in the Middle East and North Africa, as the region increases its interaction with the international business community following the Arab Spring.

Nic Humphries, the British Council’s Director of English in the MENA region, said: “Social media, such as the Learn English MENA Facebook page, mobile apps and podcasts, offer the ideal solution to the challenges faced by learners and English language teachers.  Students and teachers are looking to connect with the British Council and each other to seek advice, discuss issues, or simply share experiences. The social media element of British Council’s English offer allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of changes, needs and opportunities in the field of English language teaching. It offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring English to tens of millions of students and teachers who consider English an essential skill to secure better educational or professional opportunities.”

“We have utilised every outreach platform from radio, television, print to digital in order to make learning English accessible to everyone, everywhere and anytime. More importantly, such platforms are designed to help students take control of their own learning. Along with our face-to-face teaching offer, these platforms will help the British Council reach its goal of engaging with 20 million English learners by 2015,” Nic Humphries added.

Satish Mayya, Chief Operating Officer of BPG Maxus - a leading digital media agency in the region- said: "The British Council has understood the importance of Facebook and has tailored its social media strategy to target its audience through the platform. With an audience of more than one million learners, the British Council is making the best use of technology to reach those who have limited access to training, and supporting learners in the region. It has done this through maintaining a balance between listening, talking and engaging with their users on this social platform.”

For more information, contact Mark Moulding in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4889 or mark.moulding@britishcouncil.org

 

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%.  We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.