– A start-up that can change the future for millions of children around the world –
On 14th November 2020, The English Classroom will launch a digital education platform for English teachers without formal education or fluent English skills. The platform offers pre-planned lessons enabling teachers everywhere to provide a quality English education, based on themes of Sustainability. The motivation behind the idea is to offer opportunities to children who would otherwise not receive them.
The Swedish based business, The English Classroom provides digital teaching tools to English teachers around the world. Over 290 teachers from 33 different countries are currently taking part in pilot studies. Today the business has over 1300 teachers in its network who offer valuable feedback and local information.
The English Classroom is developed specifically for teachers without fluent English skills or further education. The school itself pays a low monthly subscription to the completely digital platform, offering the tools necessary to teach a quality education in a traditional classroom setting. The use of technology removes the need to buy expensive textbooks, printable materials or foreign teachers and is easily updated. The curriculum follows the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) with six levels of English from A1-C2, each including 100 lessons. When a student has completed the six levels of English, he or she will have the English skills necessary to travel, trade, learn and take part in global discussions. Students will also have developed skills necessary for collaborative discussion, to conduct research, form advanced arguments and present publicly.
The teacher leads every lesson and has control of the students’ progress. The English Classroom aims to support the role of the local teacher rather than perpetuating the fast turnover of Western ‘gap year’ teachers, of which there is a severe shortage. “Another reason to support local teachers is to offer positive role models to students whom they can identify with”, says Jennifer Gardner, owner of The English Classroom.
“The lack of English language instructors presents one of the biggest challenges to citizens across the globe” reports The British Council, a British organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities. Over the last decade, the global jobs market has changed drastically, requiring higher levels of English than ever before, yet according to the same source only 2% of the world’s population speak English as a second language today.
Jennifer Gardner is optimistic about the future. She sees the exchange of competencies and skills that she herself received as a privileged student from a private education system, as the way forward. Beyond her Qualified Teaching Status obtained in the UK, Jennifer also holds a Masters degree in Law, Gender and Society, she worked as a teacher in the UK where she received ‘Outstanding teaching’ status from the Department of Education, for the progress made by her students. “Thanks to technological developments in the EdTec industry (Education Technology) the possibilities have grown exponentially. Now I can use my qualifications and experience to build tools that will benefit individuals, local communities, and whole societies who may not have received the same level of education as I did” says Jennifer Gardner.
The theme of all lessons is the ambitious UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Students receive not only an education in English but also in sustainability with the goal to cut poverty, reduce inequalities, promote peace, justice and innovative solutions to the climate crisis. One of several research papers on the topic, Placing children at the centre of the sustainable Development Goals, which was published in October 2019, reports that quality education for everyone is one of the most important requirements for prosperity, health and equality in society.
“By working to give more people access to the English language and at the same time spread knowledge about the global goals, Jennifer contributes to sustainable development, both directly and long-term. I love Jennifer’s ingenious ambitions – they are humble and at the same time high enough to include the ambitions and needs of others, for their sake as well as ours.” – Helena Tinnert, Chairman of the board Kalmar/Öland, UN Association of Sweden.
Presentation film Jennifer Gardner and The English Classroom: link
Jennifer Gardner profile
Founder of The English Classroom
Master in Law, Society and Gender Equality – Umeå Universitet
Fully Qualified Teaching Status, U.K
Postgraduate Certificate of Education (secondary History/ MA Education) – University of Warwick
“Outstanding teaching” Qualified Teaching Status by Department of Education, UK
Bachelor of Arts in Modern and Medieval History – University of Birmingham
Master course in Teaching English as foreign language – TEFL
290 teachers from the following countries are currently testing the product: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, France, Greece, Nigeria, Indonesia, India, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Malaysia, Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Vietnam.
The English Classroom team:
Jennifer Gardner, founder of The English Classroom.
Kenneth Lundin, business developer at the incubator programme at Kalmar Science Park.
EdTec Studios in Torsås, Sweden – E-learning and sound production
Six interns from various European Universities from the following countries: Brazil, Portugal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Vietnam and Greece.
For more information or to request an interview:
Founder Jennifer Gardner via phone +46(0)70-099 64 87 between 08.00–17.00 CET or email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a reply within 4 hours.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10928999/admin/ Placing children at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals, Svensk Läraresällskapet, 2019