Tencent, the biggest gaming company in the world, and educational games startup Age of Learning have teamed up to bring English learning apps to China.
Tencent and Los Angeles-based Age of Learning will launch ABCmouse, an immersive English learning program for children in China. The aim is to make it more fun for Chinese kids to become fluent in English.
Age of Learning’s team of child development and language learning experts created the ABCmouse English learning curriculum, currently comprised of more than 5,000 learning activities organized into hundreds of lessons and a structured learning path, based on extensive research on second-language acquisition. Tencent has integrated this curriculum into a new ABCmouse mobile application and website, and is responsible for product development, marketing, sales, and customer support.
Tencent localized the ABCmouse program for China, including integration of ABCmouse with QQ, China’s leading instant messaging platform serving 783 million monthly active users, and with WeChat / Weixin, China’s leading social network and content platform serving more than 1 billion monthly active users.
The integration will maker it easier for parents and other family members to follow and participate in their child’s English language learning. As part of the localization effort, ABC Mouse, the animated mouse who guides children through the English learning program, was redesigned specifically for the China market.
“Online education is very important for Tencent,” said Dowson Tong, senior executive vice president at Tencent, in a statement. “Age of Learning is the market leader in the United States and an ideal partner, with deep expertise and a ten-year track record of success creating effective learning experiences for millions of children.”
The curriculum is designed for children between the ages of three and eight. It focuses on teaching English as a second language in the same natural sequence as their native language: listening and understanding, speaking, phonics and reading, and then writing.
Lessons include instructional animations featuring an English teacher and six children in an international school setting, along with more than 5,000 interactive English learning activities including games, songs, puzzles, art activities, and books. Speech recognition technology has also been incorporated into the newly designed product, prompting children to record their voices as they become confident and proficient in speaking English words, phrases and sentences.
“Our goal at Age of Learning is to help children build a strong foundation for success in school and in life. For children in many countries, English fluency is an essential part of that foundation,” said Doug Dohring, founder and CEO of Age of Learning, in a statement. “We’re extremely pleased to partner with Tencent to bring our unique ABCmouse English learning curriculum to China.”
The new ABCmouse English learning program is available on all major platforms, including iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and computers. It can be accessed at abcmouse.qq.com and from all major app stores in China.