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Babbel Supports Refugee Initiatives in Large-Scale Campaign

  • Language learning app to provide refugee projects with courses valuing €1M

  • The initiative is supported by the Senate of Berlin, AWO, Kiron and Hoffnungsträger Foundation

  • Babbel’s experts providing in-house training for volunteer language teachers in Berlin

Babbel’s app helps people discover foreign languages and learn at their own pace. As diversity is one of its core values, the company feels a responsibility to contribute to efforts that aim to alleviate the current refugee situation in Europe. In order to help refugees integrate into German society, Babbel has partnered with several organizations to facilitate sustainable and effective language learning courses. Together with the Senate of Berlin, AWO Berlin-Mitte, Kiron Open Higher Education and the Hoffnungsträger Foundation, Babbel will provide various refugee projects with €1 million worth of language courses. These projects include support in various refugee projects — from the official refugee registration office in Berlin, Germany, to various refugee homes lead by AWO and learning German at Kiron’s online university.

“We know exactly what our customers want from us,” explains Babbel Founder and CEO Markus Witte. “But in providing help to refugees, we find ourselves in completely new territory. That’s why it was important for us to partner with organizations that possess a wealth of relevant experience and expertise. Offering free online courses is all well and good, but you also need to get the courses into the hands of the people that need them.”

“Language plays a crucial role in successful integration,” adds Michael Mueller, Mayor of Berlin. “With Babbel, we’re enabling refugees to begin learning German right from their initial registration in Berlin. This non-bureaucratic approach benefits everyone.”

The experience that Babbel’s partners bring to the initiative has already proved invaluable. Not only will these organizations deliver the courses directly to refugees, but they’ll also support them in setting up and using the app. A particularly vital insight from AWO came early in the process: to avoid putting certain groups of refugees at a disadvantage, it’s actually best to provide German courses in English or French rather than Arabic, as one might have assumed.

“Equality is a key consideration with all of the facilities we provide,” says AWO Berlin Chairman Manfred Nowak. “The majority of refugees have at least a basic knowledge of either English or French. By providing these two options for the Babbel courses, we’re able to cater to a very wide audience.”

In addition to providing free access to German courses, the Babbel team is helping to train volunteer teachers who deliver face-to-face lessons in the refugee centers. These training sessions have been running for several weeks, and are delivered by a team of linguists, professional language teachers, translators and education specialists.

In addition to the above initiatives, Babbel is proud to support:

· ABW Berlin · Europaschule Bremen · Refugee Home Neuruppin · Refugee hostel Planegg · Refugee Home Unterhaching · West Vienna Initiative

About Babbel

Babbel develops and operates an ecosystem of interconnected online language learning experiences and is driven by the purpose of creating mutual understanding through language. This means building products that help people connect and communicate across cultures. The Babbel App, Babbel Live, Babbel Podcasts and Babbel for Business products focus on using a new language in the real world, in real situations, with real people. And it works: Studies by linguists from institutions such as Michigan State University, Yale University and the City University of New York demonstrated the efficacy of Babbel’s language learning methods.

The key is a blend of humanity and technology. Babbel offers more than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages, hand-crafted by more than 180 didactics experts, with user behaviors continuously analyzed to shape and tweak the learner experience. This results in constantly adapting, interactive content with live classes, games, podcasts and videos that make understanding a new language easy, from Spanish to Indonesian.

Because Babbel is for everyone, its team is as diverse as its content. From its headquarters in Berlin and its U.S. office in New York, 750 people from more than 65 nationalities represent the backgrounds, characteristics and perspectives that make all humans unique. Babbel sold over 10 million subscriptions by creating a true connection with users.

More information: www.babbel.com

Published
01/12/2015
Berlin
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