WYSTC speaker interview: Anders Ahlund from EF Education First
We’ve confirmed a range of speakers for the WYSTC 2015 seminars and workshops session and recently we spoke to WYSTC 2015 speaker Anders Ahlund, President of International Sales and Marketing at EF Education First to find out more about international education, EF’s new Travelmoji app and English proficiency across the globe.
EF recently launched Travelmoji, an emoji keyboard for mobile devices dedicated to all things travel. How and why did EF decide to develop and launch Travelmoji?
Anders Ahlund: Building a keyboard of travel emoji’s made perfect sense to us as our mission is to break down the barriers of language and culture. Emoji’s are a universal language and make communication between nationalities and cultures easier – something that we are all about.
How is social media and digital communication changing language learning?
Anders Ahlund: Social media and digital communication have revolutionised our society and we can see the clear effects in language learning. For example, all students who travel with us get an account to MyEF, a social and academic network where students can start learning even before they travel, do their placement test, connect with other students who are travelling to the same destination and much more. We also see that students are making use of their new language learnings everyday through their interactions on social media.
2015 marks 50 years of Education First, what have been the most remarkable changes in international language travel, in your opinion, over these years?
Anders Ahlund: Globalisation makes travelling and discovering new cultures less difficult and expensive, which opens up the world for new generations. Meanwhile, technology provides new and efficient ways to learn.
At WYSTC 2015 you’ll be reporting on the findings from the most recent EF EPI, how important is English proficiency for millennials? In thinking of the younger generation- Generation Z- do you think another language stands to compete with English in terms of becoming the most important to be proficient in?
Anders Ahlund: We don’t believe that any other language can compete with the status of English as the world’s lingua Franca. It is the world language of international travel and business. Millennials will want to work and travel abroad to a larger extent than their parents and therefore, learning English is of the essence for this generation. However it will be more and more important to have a second language besides English to stand out in the more globalised and competitive job market.
Join Anders’ session:
Seminar | EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI): Findings from the fifth edition
Friday, 25 September | 14:00 – 15:00