Digital Language Learning is accelerating rapidly, increasing access, reducing cost and leveraging technology to drive higher levels of language proficiency at scale. Beyond tens of millions of new 'mobile first' language learners, digital is serving a much needed on-ramp and enabler for both online and offline tutoring.
Believe it or not, 1 in 4 people on earth are active language learners. That’s more than all the students in the world enrolled from K-12 to Higher Education. Arguably, it’s the world’s largest cohort of learners, and as a cohort, they’re really only just discovering digital.
Approximately 1.8 billion of us are actively striving and studying for work or pleasure to achieve proficiency at an additional language. Over 6,000 languages are spoken around the the world, each and every one of them reminding us of the beauty and diversity of humanity. Language is the foundation of education, collective intelligence, culture, empathy and relationships, and learning an additional language inspires the explorer in us all.
Mandarin, Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese; for travel, for life, career or family, the list of languages we are learning is long. But the overwhelming majority of language learners are seeking to learn English as a second language – we estimate a little over 1.4 billion.
142 countries include English as a mandatory element of their national education curriculum. This is driving increased demand for language learning in the 1.8 billion people enrolled in formal early childhood, K-12 and tertiary institutions around the world.
There are 142 countries (green) in the world where English is a mandatory element of the national education curriculum according to a recent study. In addition, there are 41 countries (blue) in which English language is a possible elective subject or is offered in many but not all schools (often as the most popular option to fulfil a ‘foreign language’ requirement).
Even in predominately English-speaking (but still highly multilingual) markets such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, English language learning is very strong for international higher education and travel-based learners.