English language training marketing has produced some great work over the years. However, most efforts have leaned into humour (see examples here) because a preferred approach to merchandise the necessity of learning English is to paint situations where knowing the language would have been… useful. This approach, in my opinion, while being entertaining and thus will get noticed doesn’t really create much differentiation from one school over the other. Perhaps most people looking to learn a language believe that most basic language learning schools are the same and thus awareness is all that counts. I believe that people are more hungry for quality than the industry seems to believe.
The expectations of students today is a lot different than it was a generation ago. Not only is quality important but also the richness of the experience. I am certain English language schools are not just aware of this change in need, but also are addressing it in their approach. Meanwhile their marketing does not try and celebrate these changes. The CNA language exchange in Brazil is an example where they are breaking from the traditional approach to English language marketing. They realised the biggest obstacle to helping their students accelerate their learning was to practice speaking. As such, they linked their students with a community in America that would love to talk – retired people.
CNA language exchange in Brazil have found a way of truly innovating with their teaching. Linking their students with retirees in homes in the US helps both sets of people. It is incredible that a school in Brazil can create such a powerful social good in a country well beyond its borders. The initiative is brilliant because the impact can go well beyond those involved. One can assume that the retirees who are part of the program are happier which will have an effect on health, which in turn helps the wellfare system. Absolutely brilliant. Have a look at the case video.