Learning and teaching English explored via mobile

Thursday 21 March 2013

The British Council will hold the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Mobile Symposium on 26 March 2013 in Cairo, Egypt to discuss the impact of digital and mobile learning in English language education across the region. The symposium will focus on a range of topics  aimed at encouraging young people to utilise mobile services which will enhance their personal and employment opportunities by improving their English language skills.

The symposium will present the latest market insights, updates and forecast for 2013-2015 in the field of teaching English through mobile products. Speakers and participants from within and outside the MENA region will share their experiences and insights and showcase innovation in the field.

The British Council recently developed a pilot SMS English campaign in partnership with Vodafone to raise the job prospects of Egyptian youth as the unemployment rate amongst this demographic is on the increase. The ten day pilot campaign focused on sending SMS text messages containing English content to one million young people aged between 22-30 years. During the first three days over 80,000 subscribed to receive the English content for young job seekers.

The number of mobile phone users in the MENA region is expected to reach almost 850 million in 2017 with an annual growth rate of 77%, according to a recent report issued by Cisco. The British Council has therefore developed LearnEnglish Mobile resources that are designed to be accessed via mobile phones, PDAs or hand-held computer devices.

The British Council’s LearnEnglish Mobile is a suite of products and content that is delivered across different types of mobile devices. The new mobile products include content from British Council websites adapted for mobile delivery as well as games, audio materials and learning tools. These applications focus on short, engaging and interactive content for mobile phones.

Neil Ballantyne, Mobile Learning Manager, English Language Innovation, British Council, said: “Given the fast-moving nature of the mobile market, the British Council is constantly revising its own content and strategy to meet existing and new customer habits on mobile phones. We will keep developing our mobile applications so we can continue to improve our offer and to position the British Council as a trusted content provider in the mobile learning market. We have developed a range of games and learning tools. These applications are available for download from both the iTunes and Android Application stores in selected markets from April 2010, with a wider rollout in the following months. The MENA Mobile Symposium will act as a great place to learn about mobile technologies in respect to teaching and learning English and it will be a wonderful opportunity to network with the leaders in this area.”

The symposium will create business opportunities through mutual knowledge and networking sessions by bringing in figures from multinational, governmental and regional organisations that have a successful track record in mobile learning activities. Furthermore the symposium will present an opportunity for businesses to partner with the British Council in the field of mobile learning. There will also be a chance to share market research analysis and experience as market research agencies will be invited to share their insights and promote their research in the area of mobile learning.

For more information, please contact Nisha Pawar in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4967 or nisha.pawar@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/.