U.S.-Mexico Foundation

Grantee: Fideicomiso F/ 2001089 Bécalos

Program: Bécalos Online English Learning Scholarships /Global English

  • Grantee Location: Mexico City
  • Focus Area: Education
  • Geographic Focus: National
  • Amount: $5,000 USD
  • Partners: Fundación Televisa , Asociación de Bancos de México, Secretaría de Educación Pública

Statement of Purpose
The Bécalos Online English Learning Scholarships program offers an excellent option to improve proficiency in English. The program will be offered to recent university graduates from the Bécalos program, high school technology program (bachillerato tecnológico) and teachers who have  benefited from a Bécalos program.

The program addresses the reduced employability scope that a Mexican graduate faces as a result of non-existing or poor quality English language learning in Mexico. Bécalos identified need that showed that their graduates are facing huge challenges in finding well-paid employment due to their poor English level. Therefore, a massive-scale intervention to improve English proficiency is key to the professional success of Mexican graduates..

The United States is Mexico's largest trading partner and as such, demand for English speakers is large, and a requirement for many job opportunities at multinational companies. However, according to Education First studies, only 2% of adults in Mexico claim to have a high level of English. There are over 6 million companies in Mexico, of which 99% are small or medium enterprises and employ 79% of the workforce. Moreover, 46% of Mexicans do not receive any training on the job, according to a study in the fourth quarter of 2010 by Randstad Work Monitor. Due to the lack of training in the workplace, in the absence of government training schemes, the low level of English taught in public schools, and high cost of private English classes, very few professionals in Mexico have access to English training that would allow them to be hired by a multinational company or be promoted to a managerial position.

There is a huge gap and impact on social mobility between those who speak English and those who do not.  In addition, that knowledge of English is directly associated with the possibility of finding a well-paid job. Therefore, there is a relation between household income, proficiency in English and computer skills.

A strategy for the labor market should give priority to the low-income population as a group with less opportunity to finance this type of learning, but able to get better paying jobs by acquiring the appropriate language skills.

Online education is a global trend that has its pros and cons. The use of technology is an innovative tool that, when reaching a specific audience of graduates, can prove to be an effective an efficient way of teaching a language.

The fee for each program is only $15.00 per year. This opens the possibility of posting the program on the USMF website to invite donors to contribute to these individuals’ programs.

Program Expected Outcomes
English Proficiency improvement in 20,000 low income students and teachers.

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