With its economy focusing on global markets, Palestine is putting a strong emphasis on learning English. Across the country, young men and women are signing up for conversation and writing classes in record numbers – confident that fluent English will boost their chances of finding a job. But for youth who can’t afford lessons, or who want to practice outside the classroom, the options are limited. On the street, in the workplace, and in cafes, Arabic is the main language spoken.
Now, that situation is changing. In July 2014, Wataniya Mobile in Palestine, part of the Ooredoo Group, launched a new range of “Learn English” services for mobile, aimed at young people across the country, in partnership with mobile venture Souktel and the British Council, a leading English language training provider.
Leveraging Palestine’s booming growth in mobile phone ownership, especially among young people, the interactive “Learn English” mobile programme offers two exciting options – a “Mobile Quiz” service and a “Word a Day” service.
The “Mobile Quiz” sends English language questions to users by SMS, with a choice of answers, and then sends follow-up explanations to help young people learn more about the correct response. The “Word of the Day” service sends users a word or phrase in English, along with its meaning and an example of its use.
Mr. Fayez Alhusseini, CEO, Wataniya Mobile, said: “Our company always seeks new ways to offer distinctive products for our customers, especially young people who are the future of our nation. The main goal of this new ‘Learn English’ service is to help Palestinian youth improve their skills in the English language anytime and anywhere using their mobile phone.”
“We are pleased and proud to offer this service to our customers to enable them to improve their English language skills,” he added.
“There is a lot of demand for ways to learn English for people on the move, outside of schools and colleges,” explained British Council English Programme Manager Andrew Foster. “While we use websites, radio and print media to reach learners, trying SMS is a new medium for us. We hope learners will like it, as it may be the most common form of reading in Palestine”.
Jacob Korenblum, CEO, Souktel said: "We're honoured to partner with the Ooredoo Group on this important service. By giving youth the ability to access English content on their phones, students and new graduates can now learn at any time, and wherever they want to – they don’t need to be sitting in a classroom”.
He added: “When we look at the demands of the job market, English is at the top of the list – even for local employers. Product manuals are in English, web content and social media are in English – there’s huge demand. As a result, we believe this service will help young people build key skills for the workforce, across all sectors.”
About Wataniya Mobile
Wataniya Mobile a member of Ooredoo Group was launched in November 2009! We are a mobile company that aims to be the communications leader of choice, and is committed to providing you with an excellent customer experience and service, as well as being a sought after employer.
We offer you a portfolio of products and services tailored to suit business and personal needs, giving you simple and easy to understand tariff plans, value for money and provide you with the highest standards of network quality, coverage and service.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and Palestine, to build trust between them.
For over 60 years we have been working to build stronger ties through our English, Arts, Education and Society programmes. We operate in five Palestinian cities through our offices and contact points.
Since 2006, Souktel has delivered mobile information services that connect thousands of youth with jobs, training, and entrepreneurship support. Based in Ramallah, Palestine, Souktel changes lives across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--partnering with leading education institutions, government ministries, NGOs, and telecom companies.