MEXICO CITY (Milenio Diario) – The transition to a life with remote services is a factor that has been established in the daily life of many people in the world for a few months now. Thus, it has become increasingly necessary to adapt these models in all areas. Online study alternatives have been no exception; in this scenario, digital language course platforms have made their way in the face of a health emergency.
Some language study applications in the country have grown by up to 60 percent during the pandemic. Duolingo, the most popular language-learning platform, recently raised $35 million in funding from Durable Capital, an investment management firm, and General Atlantic, a growing global stock company.
The U.S. application born in 2011 reached a value of $183 million; the capital will be used to stimulate its investment in research and development on a global scale for the platform that has more than 500 million downloads and has seen in the last three years a hundred percent increase in revenue. Figures from The Competitive Intelligence Unit (The CIU) highlight that some language study applications in the country have grown by as much as 60 percent with the pandemic.
In an interview with MILENIO newspaper, Tania Domenzain, head of Employee Recruitment and Development for English First, explained that “it has been identified that English is a mandatory subject in most Latin American countries. Only 10 percent or less of schools offer language classes. We have seen this for years, and it is due to the lack of trained teachers to teach the language or even to having teachers who, not having the necessary level of English, cannot share this with their students”.
According to the EF EPI 2020 study on English proficiency, Mexico went from 57th place out of 100 countries listed to 82nd this year. The report states that Venezuela and Colombia even surpassed the country. Domenzain said that the use of technology for these services has proven to be an incentive for some people. Only 10 percent or less of schools offer language classes.
In this vein, Políglota, a Chilean language learning startup, has seen a growth of up to 100 percent in its operations. In an interview with MILENIO, José Sánchez, co-founder of the project, explained that the proposal that was born with classes in cafeterias had to be adapted to the new reality and implement the use of technology to continue with its operations.
Sanchez mentioned that people try to take advantage of the time they have been attempting to learn something. We have discovered that education does not stop, all online education has grown in different areas, but one of the areas that have increased the most is language. “We have had a hundred percent growth between 2019 and 2020. With this new product, people have come in masses”. The company currently has operations in Chile, Peru, and Mexico, and in the latter, it has had a 75 percent increase in its results.
Sanchez said that there is a greater interest in women in learning other languages, as the number of clients has increased by 65 to 70 percent. Currently, 90 percent of the demand is for English in language apps., “The female market today is much more empowered, joining the workforce in any field is taking their personal growth more seriously, and languages are a fundamental part of that; this is a very marked trend that we have seen this year.” Currently, 90 percent of the demand is for English, although French, Italian, German, and Portuguese options continue to gain ground.
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