EF takes on the colossal task of training volunteers for Olympic Games

Education First (EF), an online English teaching platform otherwise known as English Town, has taken on the colossal task of training employees and volunteers for the upcoming Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This will not be an easy task even for the education behemoth.

Currently, with Brazil’s population of around two-hundred million and an English fluency rate of perhaps five-to-seven percent, the odds are against the school, and time is of the essence. Even though these numbers are not so favorable, we still believe EF has a better chance of creating a positive learning experience on volunteers and employees than did Wise Up and governmentally run English programs during the World Cup 2014. One of the distinguishing features of EF is its sheer reach. Through its advanced online learning platform and vast talent pool of teachers, EF should be able to reach volunteers and Olympic personnel with its online training material at any time of the day.

Online language learning may have this advantage for the upcoming games, but it also has drawbacks. One major problem that most students have when starting an online program is discipline. If a student knows that he can study at any time, this gives him too much leeway, which then leads to procrastination. Many students do not feel guilty if they miss an online class compared to missing one where a teacher is physically waiting for him. Another possible problem for the behemoth will be students’ internet connections. The country’s often tenuous connection via cable/DSL internet or via 3 and 4g networks presents one more possibility to discourage students from using an online learning platform. Lastly, keeping students motivated and engaged with the online classes will be key. Despite these major challenges for the company, the study platform will be a huge benefit for the population if people buy into it and take it seriously.

During the World Cup of 2014, there was a special program created for the taxi drivers of So Paulo City. On paper, it was a great idea to aid drivers when dealing with foreign visitors. However, most of these classes were given in the eastern zone of So Paulo, quite distant from the other locations of the city. According to a few drivers: “It just didn’t make sense for us to spend two hours in traffic to get to the other side of town for a class.” “During the games, we really didn’t need English since everyone has a mobile these days.” “They just show us the address on the screen and off we go.” Had there been better logistical planning, that program may have been more successful; it was not for lack of qualified teachers. Also, if it had been offered online, it would have had an even greater reach.

We know that EF comes to the table well prepared and will not make the same hilarious mistakes as some hotels, companies and other government agencies did. For example, Termite the orange Sauce (Cupim ao molho de laranja-special cut of beef with sauce), entrance as (sada-exit), Save the Pain (Salvador-name of Brazilian city) and many other laughable translations that appeared during the World Cup can be seen at http://www.criativodegalochas.com/2014/06/12/30-placas-padrao-fifa-da-copa-do-mundo-no-brasil-traducoes-erradas/ . Although these faux pas are quite funny, they were really confusing for visitors.

Although EF is a direct competitor of EnglishKey in the market of online English teaching, we firmly believe that EF will create more online educational awareness in the Brazilian market. This brings mutual benefit to our company and other online-learning players.

We wish our rivals the best as they become online-learning ambassadors for the Olympic Games.