Speaking on a company blog, Livemocha Community Manager, Kira Fickenscher, said: “Brazil has made impressive strides in recent decades, but education, especially in the sector of language learning, is key for future growth… With quality instruction from native speakers both expensive and inadequate, fluency continues to hover out of grasp for many.”
She added: “Social media use is more widespread in Brazil than in any other country, so it may come as no surprise that feeding Brazil’s skyrocketing demand for language with a social solution creates a pretty potent recipe.”
Abril Educação, which supplied 30 million students and over 125,000 schools with its services and textbooks in 2010, will now be Livemocha’s exclusive representative in Brazil, helping the company reach many more schools, homes and corporations.
Seattle-based Livemocha facilitates interaction between native language speakers around the world through its social media platform. Its user community has grown to nearly 11 million across 190 countries and more than 20 per cent of its membership is based in Brazil, thanks to soaring middle class demand for English language in recent years.
Its user community has grown to nearly 11 million across 190 countries
According to Manoel Amorim, Abril Educação’s chief executive, just 2% of Brazil is considered fluent and there is a deficit of fluent English language teachers across the country’s many small language schools. He also estimates that 45 million students and 40 million professionals are currently learning or seeking to improve their English in the country, along with an overlapping 80 million online – a segment that has grown exponentially in the last six years.
With 250,000 English teachers registered as members of Livemocha, and with the support of Abril Educação, the company is in an ideal position to meet this demand. An immediate opportunity is in catering to the many people seeking to improve their English before the upcoming World Cup and Olympic championships, say the two companies.