Knowledge of English is the gateway to educational and economic opportunity worldwide. GLEN (GLobal ENglish) World is a non-profit organization producing digital content for worldwide scaling of English-language learning, especially targeting disadvantaged children. The GLEN World team includes educators, authors, animators, established graphic artists, and engineers. It draws on the research expertise of faculty in engineering, education and second language acquisition at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Approach

Our goal is to bring children from “zero to reading,” without requiring prior exposure to English and without relying on knowledge of any other language. Our digital content focuses on building vocabulary knowledge (meaning of words), phonological awareness (recognition of sounds), and orthographic awareness (recognition of spelling) through gamified activities and stories that make heavy use of audiovisual cues. We focus on self-renewing content (activities drawing from a database) rather than a fixed, finite lesson plan, which allows for self-paced learning.

The content is aimed at providing a first exposure similar to what a child would have in an English-speaking environment, by stimulating the kind of engagement that a talented teacher elicits through classroom activities.