Mingoville and Governments Unite to Fight English Illiteracy through Virtual Worlds

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The Chilean Government has joined forces with Mingoville (http://www.mingoville.com) and sponsors to fight English illiteracy and turn its population bilingual. Mingoville will assist the Chilean population by providing and promoting free English education for everybody. Prior to the campaign, the Chilean government made huge investments in digitalization of the country to help pave the road for facing the English illiteracy challenge. Only 2% of the total population speaks English, putting Chile at high risk to fall behind in the global economy and potentially weakening the competitiveness of the Chilean workforce.

The President of Chile

We see a growing interest among governments around the world to give their young citizens a fair chance

Mingoville was selected to help Chile reach its goal of a digital bilingual population by providing all kids and teachers with free access to learn English effectively through interactive online games and exercises. With the support and approval of the President of Chile as well as the Minister of Education, people are flocking to Mingoville.com.

In the first four weeks of the campaign more than 130.000 Chilean kids and teachers signed up to access Mingoville to learn English. Besides a national sign up campaign, courses have been set up around the whole country to instruct teachers in how to use an interactive Web-based program like Mingoville, knowing that the usage of Web-based learning programs requires a different teaching approach than the traditional blackboard approach. Television public service announcements and other PR events are scheduled to take place on a regular basis to ensure as many citizens as possible register for Mingoville's free online learning program. Chile is facing its English illiteracy challenge by focusing on an online game-based learning universe that meets the children in their own environment, thus involving and inspiring them to learn while having fun.

Chile is not the only country to put action behind words in the fight against English illiteracy. "We see a growing interest among governments around the world to give their young citizens a fair chance," says Mingoville Founder and CEO, Stephan Stephensen. "It's a matter of survival in a future where digital skills and management of English are requirements to maintain a job and grow the economy. Governments need to raise the educational level of their populations by upgrading both digitally and educationally. It is one of their best chances to grow their economies in the long run. We have had contact with several countries that think the learning community of Mingoville Virtual World is a good alternative to existing lacking teaching resources, unengaged students, and outdated school material. The program even has a planning and administration tool for teachers that makes it very easy to integrate into the curriculum."

Of course, digital improvements require additional investment in infrastructure. Portugal is another good example of a country overcoming these hurdles to improve English literacy and their citizens' competitive advantages..

In 2005, Portugal scored some of the lowest educational achievement results in Western Europe and the government knew it needed to take action to spur its sagging economy. By Fall 2008, Portugal had initiated its Magalhães project providing laptops and digital learning tools to 500.000 Portuguese children and teachers. The project is a cooperative effort between the Portuguese Government, various private sponsors, and Mingoville. The project aims to raise the digital skills of all Portuguese children in order to increase their future competitiveness in the global marketplace. New Mingoville English books have even been produced to spur the Portuguese teachers to start using Mingoville's Web-based English program.

Chile and Portugal are important case studies showing that countries are beginning to understand the huge potential of using cost effective online interactive educational programs as a means to raise the general educational standards of the country.    

About Mingoville:
Mingoville is the world's most comprehensive English learning community for kids. Based on the concept of Massively-Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG), Mingoville offers an array of fun and interactive educational games. Mingoville Virtual World teaches kids English in a free online global community where the kids safely play and talk to their friends in English. Through the social learning community and interactive educational games and exercises, more than 1 million kids around the world are learning English with Mingoville.

Besides more than 100 English exercises and games, the Web-based program also includes an easy to use teacher planning and administration tool. Mingoville was developed in cooperation with teachers in order to take advantage of the best practices of innovative pedagogy combined with fun games and exercises. The program fulfills the Scandinavian English curriculum. It is developed to meet all requirements whether parents want to upgrade the skills of their children, schools are looking for new ways of engaging and teaching students, or governments need to upgrade the English skills of an entire population. With Mingoville, kids learn English the fun way.

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Vladimir Chen

June Rosendahl
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