Large-scale digitization initiatives in schools, corporate demand for vocational English training and new educational policies are spawning a new breed of English learners, according to a study conducted by research firm Ambient Insight. The demand for English is boosting the market for digital English language learning products across Latin America, with the analyst firm predicting it to reach $260 million by 2018.
“Mobile Learning apps and edugames have a growth rate of 22.8% and Mobile Learning VAS products have a growth rate of 17.1%. Revenues for both of these mobile products types will more than double over the forecast period,” said Sam S. Adkins, chief research officer with Ambient Insight.
The report says mobile network operators (MNOs) are the primary distributors of digital English language learning products. By the end of 2013, there were 34 commercial Mobile Learning VAS products; 13 of them were in Brazil.
Brazil in particular is home to many students of the English language, as several government agencies are funding e-learning initiatives in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The market for digital English language learning product is growing at a rate of 15.5 percent in Brazil, with revenues set to double to $161.5 million by 2018.
English language training is being provided to event personnel, employees in the tourism and hospitality industries, and public safety personnel. Most of the training is being provided in classrooms, but the government has selected ‘official’ online suppliers for these programs.
Brazil is home to more than 50 million primary and secondary students. Learning a foreign language is mandatory for grades six to nine.