Marking World Refugee Day 2022 earlier this week, language learning platform Babbel has announced that 200,000 Ukrainian speakers have so far taken up its free courses since their launch in early May.
Babbel began offering Ukrainian speakers the opportunity to learn German, Polish or English for free just weeks after the war started, in the hope to bridge a language gap for those affected by it.
Initially offering beginner level content to enable learners to start speaking useful words and phrases immediately, now the courses are available in full, offering levels from Beginner, Beginner 2, Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate (CEFR levels A1 – B2), and have expanded to include more ways to learn such as its Phrase Maze and Word Trax games.
Babbel’s data shows that the Ukrainian learners are varied in both their location and their choices of which language to learn. More than 45% of subscribers are joining from within Ukraine, followed by 19% of learners joining from Poland and 13% from Germany.
This is consistent with displacement patterns published in studies from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which show substantial internal displacement within Ukraine and major influxes of refugees in Poland and Germany in the months following the invasion. Across markets, more than 59% of learners are choosing to study English.
The language courses are available in Babbel’s app, available for download within the Apple app store, Google Play store, via babbel.com and via the dedicated landing page, which includes further offerings for Ukrainian refugees: ua.babbel.com.
Says Arne Schepker, CEO at Babbel:
“The creation of our Ukrainian courses is a project that our team poured their hearts into. As with many products, reality sets in when it is actually put to use. In this case, it’s humbling to see hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians learn a new language with our platform and do so successfully.”
In addition to language courses, Babbel offers language-based resources, including a phrasebook of key Ukrainian phrases for citizens in host countries. Babbel continues to host Ukrainian humanitarian organisations in the Berlin office, where a volunteering centre offers support for the care and accommodation of refugees.
All Babbel initiatives for refugees from Ukraine can be found here: ua.babbel.com.