Oxford University Press and Viacom/Nickelodeon Consumer Products have entered into a global agreement to provide a new English Language Teaching programme targeting 3-6 year olds. This collaboration is the first of its kind for OUP’s ELT division and the course will represent Nickelodeon’s first fully comprehensive ELT product.
Currently in development, the OUP-Nickelodeon course and materials will be available worldwide in early 2019, with an initial focus on the East Asian markets, including China. The story-based programme will use course books, videos, songs and online materials featuring "flagship" Nickelodeon character Dora the Explorer, in what is described as a "rich multi-media experience, for use both in the classroom and at home.
An additional range of readers, available in all markets outside North America, will feature Dora plus other brands: Team Umizoomi, and Blaze and the Monster Machines.
Via OUP's relationships with primary schools around the world, the programme will bring "fun, engaging content to young learners with characters they know and love", the announcement said.
Peter Marshall, managing director for OUP’s ELT division, said: “For millions, learning English is the gateway to new opportunities worldwide. Partnering with Nickelodeon is a remarkable opportunity for us to engage with children in a new way. Drawing on positive and fun role models like Dora the Explorer will enable us to create a bespoke programme that is both effective and enjoyable for our young audience.”
Mark Kingston, senior v.p, International, for Viacom/Nickelodeon Consumer Products, added: “Nickelodeon’s characters have captivated kids for decades and now they will engage and empower young students as they start their English language learning journey. The goal with our collaboration with Oxford University Press is to create a compelling ELT programme that both teachers and parents can use at school or at home.”
The global market for English language learning is growing, and currently valued at nearly $2.5bn, the announcement said. The British Council forecasts that by 2020, two billon people will be using or learning English, with students learning English as a foreign language at an ever earlier age.