Governmental partnerships for language learning: A commercial language platform for young workers in Colombia


  • Gustavo Garcia Botero Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Jacqueline Garcia Botero Universidad del Quindío
  • Frederik Questier Vrije Universiteit Brussel



Computer-assisted language learning, Duolingo, foreign language learning policies, labor market, mobile-assisted language learning


In June 2015, the Colombian government via the Labor Ministry announced a project for young workers called 40.000 Primeros Empleos. In the framework of this project, the Ministry of Labor signed an alliance with the language platform Duolingo as a strategy to provide participants with English learning opportunities and a free language certificate. With the help of a monitoring and evaluation perspective, this study describes Colombian English language learning policies and their relationship with the labour market. The discussion presented here intends to maximize the outcomes of these kinds of agreements and to provide insights for researchers and national stakeholders willing to carry out similar projects in their countries. Certification is also thoroughly analyzed as a means of estimating the possible impact of this partnership.


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Author Biographies

Gustavo Garcia Botero, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Gustavo Garcia Botero is a PhD researcher in Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research interests include language teaching and learning, educational technologies, mobile learning, and adult education.

Jacqueline Garcia Botero, Universidad del Quindío

Jacqueline Garcia Botero holds an M.A in Educational Sciences. She is professor and researcher at the Universidad del Quindío, Colombia. Her main research interests include language learning and teaching emphasizing on metacognition and e-learning

Frederik Questier, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Prof. Dr.FrederikQuestierworks at the Interfaculty Department for Teacher Training and the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His main fields of interest are learning technologies, innovation and Free & Open Source Software.


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