“Ever since the kids discovered Voice Of America, they all just live in Voice Of America. It’s their favorite. They love it.”MiriamPeace Corps Volunteer, Comoros, Dec 2019
“Voice of America! People like it so much. The students love Voice of America, because they want to learn English. For the students, it’s an opportunity to have English content and video content that they can listen to and see people acting. It makes it easier for them to learn.”SalimComorian who works at American Corner at University of Comoros, Dec 2019
“The kids love Voice of America’s Let’s Learn English. It is very popular. Even parents really enjoy it, because it’s something that you can put on that you know is educational and safe. It’s really great, because kids everywhere love to watch videos.”OliviaPeace Corps Volunteer, Fiji, Feb 2020
"Because we do so much with Voice Of America, one of the things that I really like is that they are learning so much about American Culture, or just any culture that’s not their own… So I think that’s one of the cooler things, because it’s not just educational, but it’s also a cultural exchange."MiriamPeace Corps Volunteer, Comoros, Dec 2019
“The best SolarSPELL stories are always after they’ve watched the Voice of America videos and they're walking around asking, ‘Where do you live?’ and saying the specific address in Washington, D.C. from the Voice of America video. We have a world map now, and they'll ask ‘Where does Anna live? Where does Pete live?’ And I say, ‘They live right there in Washington, D.C.!’”DavidPeace Corps Volunteer, Samoa, May 2018
Shortly after the SolarSPELL offline digital library came into being, an introduction was made between Hai Do, Chief at the Learning English branch of Voice of America (VOA), and Laura Hosman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the SolarSPELL initiative. VOA had recently launched a new English language-learning series called “Let’s Learn English,” designed by certified American English teachers for beginners, which would debut a new video-based lesson every week for 52-weeks. When Do learned about the SolarSPELL offline digital library, he recognized the importance of being able to reach the world’s population that remains offline–which is about four billion people–with Voice of America’s new series.
For her part, Hosman also recognized the value of being able to provide such high-quality English language learning content to SolarSPELL library users, and so since 2015, SolarSPELL has included Voice of America’s Let’s Learn English content on all of its libraries.
Each weekly Let’s Learn English lesson features a video telling the story of Anna, who has recently moved to Washington, D.C., as well as supplemental instruction videos, worksheets, assignments, and lesson plans. Voice of America has since launched two additional series: Let’s Learn English Level 2, and Let’s Teach English (which features SolarSPELL in Episode 4!).
Each of these series has been added to the SolarSPELL libraries.
SolarSPELL co-founders Bruce Baikie and Laura Hosman have the opportunity to meet Anna, the star (and co-creator) of the Voice of America’s Let’s Learn English series, on a visit to Washington DC in January 2020.
Miftah, Comoros SolarSPELL Champion, pictured here with his English Club, who utilize Voice of America for English-language learning
Voice of America’s Learning English content has proven among the most popular, widely-used, and most requested content on the SolarSPELL libraries around the world.
Because of this positive response over the years, which you can read about in a number of the testimonials on this page, a Partnership Agreement has been signed between Voice of America and ASU-SolarSPELL, to signal both organizations’ commitment to work together to continue bringing this valuable content to offline communities around the world, many in the hardest-to-reach locations.