English Olympiad encouraged 140,000 students to practice English for free in the pandemic

Through the startup ChatClass and the U.S. Embassy, school-age students from all over the country performed speaking and writing activities on WhatsApp

Brasilia, November 19, 2020: ChatClass, a startup that aims to democratize the teaching of the English language through technologies already inserted in the daily life of students, held, together with the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil, the second edition of the English Olympiad cultural competition. The initiative, which took place throughout October 2020, sought to stimulate the teaching and practice of English for school-age students.

With the central theme “We are the future of work”, focused on showing students the various possibilities that English can help them conquer, the Olympics impacted more than 137,000 students and 4,000 teachers throughout Brazil. “ChatClass technology brings an Artificial Intelligence that works within WhatsApp, as an “English robot”, with which students were able to interact via text and audio, practice fluency in the language and ensure the best positions in the national ranking from their results”, explains the CEO and founder of the startup, Jan Krutzinna.

Even in the midst of the pandemic caused by Coronavirus, and with students from all over the country taking classes at home, the initiative was able to mobilize students to practice the language for free. About 99% of the country’s mobile phones have the messaging app installed and therefore the scope of the cultural contest was felt throughout the country.

“I am very happy with the participation of our students. The engagement of 167 of them leads me to believe that the cultural contest is an excellent opportunity for contact with the language. There were more than 13,000 activities performed and two first placements. In addition to the awards, another gain is that they could perceive the platform as a possibility of study and improvement and that they may have in this combination of class and use of the tool the chance of exposure to English that one or two classes per week would not allow”, reports Wesley Alves Siqueira, professor at the Federal Institute of Mato Grosso (IFMT) and first place in the state. 

The teacher also says that the period was also a way to return to the missed get-together: “by following the commitment in the activities and, as a teacher, dedicating myself to follow the audios forwarded, I felt closer to the students and I could, in a way, return that longing for the conversations and responses of a classroom”. 

In all, during the month of the contest, there were more than 3 million activities performed and about 2.4 million words spoken in English by students via platform. The states with the highest participation were São Paulo and Ceará, tied with 18%, followed by Pernambuco with 13% and Bahia with 11%. 

“Facilitating the learning of English in Brazil is something really powerful. By connecting the theme “Future of Work” to this second edition of the English Olympiad, we were able to inspire our young Brazilians and bring examples of success that show that knowing English makes all the difference. I am really impressed with the results and dedication of teachers and students in Brazil!  For sure, the Olympics motivated everyone to continue learning English. At the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil, we see Education as a priority to connect and promote opportunities that will strengthen the relationship between our peoples and nations,” says Jennifer Uhler, Regional Director of the English Language Office (RELO) of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil. 

The names of the winning students were announced during a live that featured more than 2,900 viewers. Among the awards, in addition to medals and certificates, are a complete English course via ChatClass with mentoring of teachers, an immersion of English promoted by the RELO of the Embassy and Consulates of the United States along with study material, also a scholarship from Stoodi in a preparatory course for Enem and exemption of the fee for the performance of the TOEFL Junior proficiency test. 

For the winning professors comes the support of partners such as RELO, FTD and Cambridge University Press, who provide books and training. 

In the words of the winner of the Advanced Fundamental category in Pernambuco, Natália Amorim Guimarães, participating was an exciting experience to improve the language and have fun. “English has been a part of my life since I was a child. I always knew that to be someone in life he would be the key to it, he would give me opportunities, knowledge and could open many doors”, reinforces the student. 

“It is very gratifying to conclude another edition of this contest that is already in the calendars of Brazilian schools. This year, with all the changes caused in education due to the pandemic, we further reinforce our commitment as a fully online and immersive educational initiative, focused on the democratization of such important competencies”, concludes the CEO of ChatClass.

To check the full ranking, go to: https://www.chatclass.com.br/post/vencedores-da-olimp%C3%ADada-de-ingl%C3%AAs-2020

About ChatClass:

Startup founded in New York and conceived by German entrepreneur Jan Krutzinna, a two-time Harvard graduate, aims to democratize bilingual teaching through technologies already embedded in students’ daily lives. Developed its Artificial Intelligence for education that works via WhatsApp and also brings the Exchange in classroom, which connects teachers, students and foreign tutors so that they can practice English in the best way: speaking. It has impacted more than 400,000 students from public and private schools throughout Brazil and has been selected by programs such as Facebook Hack Station and Google for Startups, in addition to having received investments from Canary and Graph Ventures.

About the Regional English Language Office of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates:

The Regional Language Office (RELO) of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates strengthens the U.S.-Brazil strategic partnership by training teachers and students in learning U.S. language and culture throughout Brazil. Located at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, RELO liaises with the Ministry of Education, State and Municipal Secretariats of public education, English teacher associations, public and private universities, and other partners in order to offer opportunities for professional and educational training, as well as exchange programs and materials for English teachers and students. For more information, visit: https://br.usembassy.gov/education-culture/english-teaching-learning/ 

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For further information on this Press Release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office in Brasília at BrasiliaEMBEUA@state.gov or on (+55 61) 3312 – 7367 / 7350 / 7364. Follow us on Twitter and Flickr.