National Geographic Article

BELTA Day '19 Major Sponsor: National Geographic tells us what they do and why!

Last year there were over 1.5 billion people worldwide who studied English as a foreign language. It’s a big number. It’s big because education is embraced by the entire world and there are more students than there have ever been, and English is considered an essential part of a 21stCentury education. In fact, in much of the world, the ability to speak English as a foreign language is considered a tool of opportunity and social access, a path to a greater future and success. And as a result, there is a passion for learning English – not as a replacement for native language but as an additional skill like maths or science. There are already five times as many non-native speakers of English as there are native speakers. And that number is growing.

At National Geographic Learning we serve English language learners by reflecting the mission and work of National Geographic in our materials. We try to bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life. That’s our version of Alexander Bell’s original goal for the magazine – to be about the world and all that is in it.

Come and have a look at our materials during the next BELTA Day and you will see that they are like workbook versions of the magazine – filled with incredible photography, fascinating stories and the real work of the National Geographic explorers. Explorers in particular, resonate with teachers and students because the explorers’ search for knowledge and understanding is the very essence of education. The theme of this year’s BELTA conference is ‘Language Learning: Focusing on Success’. We believe that our learning materials help students travel the world, to learn about different countries, culture, people and their customs so they become successful global citizens, all while learning English.

We believe it is an incredible world and we want to share that with students and teachers. We want students to be filled with awe and curiosity by amazing photographs and stories of their world and all that’s in it. Because we know that a curious student is a motivated student, and a motivated student will be a successful student. We’re always mindful that we’re not just teaching vocabulary and grammar. We are opening up the world to students who have otherwise not experienced it. We want students and teachers everywhere, all over the globe, to experience the world and to develop their own voice.

Besides having great National Geographic content, we also work with TED Talks and we are TED’s exclusive partner in English language education. TED Talks are the single most widely sourced video by English Language learners, popular both because of the ideas in the talks and because of the natural English used by native and non-native TED speakers. By the way, in your attendee bag you will find a free demo code for our award-winning video-based language learning app called ‘Learn English with TED Talks’ which gives you access to 4 TED Talks, don’t forget to redeem it.

Ultimately the incredible content we have from National Geographic and TED enables us to develop textbooks that are relevant, motivating and powerful learning tools that bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life.

We are very proud to be a main sponsor of the BELTA Day 2019 because we feel connected to the mission and the goals of the BELTA organization to encourage the professional development of English language teachers. In this world of the 21stcentury and the skills that have emerged as being critical to succeed in this world and to be successful, developing skills needs to be addressed across education and this would not be possible without the incredible efforts of BELTA.