Thousands of Russians learning Olympic English

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are being held in Sochi, Russia. With English being announced as the official language of the games, organisers and staff are scrambling to learn enough of the language in time for the games.

The organisers have announced Education First (EF) as their official language education provider. EF has already organised an online learning centre for the 70,000-strong Olympic support staff, which will offer online language classes and support, especially in English relating to the Winter Games. Because online and distance learning are still not common in Russia, this will be an interesting exercise. I hope that the time pressure and excitement of the games will actually affect the national view on online learning.

EF has already trained thousands of people in advance of big sporting events, including 60,000 for the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year, and 80,000 in English and Spanish for the 2014 football World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Full article: Guardian.