CNA is an organization in Brazil, specialized in teaching young people English and Spanish. Established some 40 years ago and with more than 570 schools, CNA is one of the largest teaching institutions in Brazil. They are constantly looking to improve their teaching ways and help more and more students become fluent in English, while keeping their learning process as human-connected as possible. In their quest of offering their students human interaction, CNA and FCB Brazil came up with an incredible project called Speaking Exchange. The idea is simple yet the outcomes impressive.
What is the Speaking Exchange?
As I said, the idea is simple. Young Brazilians want to learn English. Elderly Americans who live in retirement homes want someone to talk to. So, CNA paired them in the Speaking Exchange. They connect via Web chats and they do more than just share a conversation or learn a language. They connect with each other, on a deeper level. Even though the differences in background and age are visible, they make for remarkable interactions. The pilot project was implemented at a CNA school in Liberdade and a retirement home in Chicago. The video conversations are then uploaded to a private YouTube channel for teachers to asses their students.
“The idea is simple and it’s a win-win proposition for both the students and the American senior citizens. It’s exciting to see their reactions and contentment. It truly benefits both sides,” says Joanna Monteiro, executive creative director at FCB Brazil.
“The beauty of this project is in CNA’s belief that we develop better students when we develop better people” says Max Geraldo, FCB Brazil’s executive director.
The Speaking Exchange offers lonely elders a chance to talk to someone and forget about their loneliness and young Brazilians the chance of interacting with a Native English speaker. As you will see in the case study below, the participants end up speaking a more universal language than English.
What do you think of the Speaking Exchange? We think it’s a great idea! We’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section.
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