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English for Europeans… an idea!

By Florian Mueck • Dec 10th, 2008 • Category: My Europe

In my presentations about The Festival, when there is a Q&A session afterwards, many times the language issue pops up. “Yes, indeed”, I tend to respond, “We lose some 280 Million Europeans, if we promote English as our preferred communication tool… But we also gain some 300 Million people in Europe.”

For us, the only factor that matters is how to connect people best. And clearly, the factor communication is crucial. English for Europeans seems to be a good solution.

What we are planning to do is to promote an online English experience, “English for Europeans”.

In that tool online users can choose between different characters who reflect all European countries, age-groups, sexes and styles. Pablo, an exchange student from Spain; Agnieszka, a mother of two children from Poland; Torbjörn, a teenager from Sweden; …

All users enter Europolis (working title), an imaginary European city which mainly consists of famous landmarks and buildings from all over Europe.

All online users move around in Europolis and meet other characters. Here comes the USP. On this platform the learning process is 100% dialogue driven. Just like the people always say, “The best way of learning a language is to have conversations in the street!” Exactly, this is what English for Europeans is all about. Pablo, Agnieszka and Torbjörn discuss about the Roman Colosseum…

Of course, you will also find professional teachers in Europolis. The will carry funny hats. You cannot miss them. By the way, forget about your dictionaries. Once you state your mother tongue when entering Europolis you get any word or sentence translated on demand. And if you really believe that grammar is so important, you can enter class-rooms where you can do exercises.

Who might be interested in investing in such a project?

The combination of language, cultural and travel aspects might attract several companies and institutions: publishers of dictionaries, airlines, local tourism agencies, language schools, Web 2.0 communities, …

Would Europeans pay for such a service?

Considering what people pay for language schools and software, such an online alternative could be of great value to its users. It will definitely be much cheaper and, for sure, it will be a fun experience for all.

English for Europeans is just an idea. The Festival would definitely promote it, because if we understand each other, we will learn to understand each other better!

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Florian Mueck is European, initiator and co-founder of The Festival: "Passion for Europe maybe does not exist in the media. But it does exist in many hearts of many people."
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