Project seeks to bring young people from 10 to 14 years old closer to the English language
With 211.8 million inhabitants, Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. However, when assessed against the English proficiency of its population, the country does not come first.
Despite being a universal language, few Brazilians have direct contact with English. A survey conducted by the British Council in 2019 showed that only 5% of Brazilians know how to communicate in English and, of these, only 1% can be considered fluent in the language. The reality is that the country, in a ranking of 70 countries, is in 41st place.
In the labor market, this deficiency in a second language becomes a major obstacle. According to a study by the Brazilian website “Vagas.com”, to try to fit the basic qualifications of companies with a name in the market, 51% of candidates looking for a new job opportunity claim to be proficient in English. However, after testing, only 36% can be considered advanced or fluent in the language.
The lack of a hybrid program, where speech and writing can be practiced through playful activities and developed through direct contact with natives, is the biggest obstacle for Brazilians. Thus, in an attempt to change the enunciated framework and provide greater chances for a quality bilingual education, the Michaelis Foundation seeks to promote the contact of Brazilians with the English language from an early age through young learners.
Projects run by the organization, such as Science Days - a kind of itinerary science fair aimed at the space universe - seek to bring Brazilians closer to the language particularities in a simple and efficient way. “Acting as a bridge for easier access to bilingual education, we intend to transform the lives of countless Brazilians, opening doors to new horizons”, said the project coordinator Carla Michaelis.
In 2021, the Michaelis Foundation, alongside Editora Melhoramentos, a Brazilian publishing company, starts the Global Thinking project. The initiative celebrates the 170 years anniversary of Carolina Michaelis, a German philosopher, novelist and lexicographer who dedicated her life to working on projects such as the Michaelis dictionary.
The initiative includes visiting schools and communities, distributing 170 Michaelis school dictionaries and provide hands on bilingual activities. In Brazil, in collaboration with regional partners, activities are planned in 10 Brazilian cities.
Together and with the necessary efforts to make the “impossible” possible to improve global education.
- Jefferson Michaelis (MFGE director)
Corresponds International to MFGE