Latest Step in Age of Learning’s Global Expansion Combines Strengths in Education Technology and Digital Curriculum with Rakuten’s Leading Expertise in E-Commerce and Marketing in Japan
Education technology leader Age of Learning announced a major partnership with Rakuten, Inc., to bring ABCmouse English Learning Academy to families in Japan. Launching and exclusively available through Rakuten, the new ABCmouse app provides a highly engaging digital program for children ages 3–8 to learn English, a top priority for Japanese parents and educators. This partnership further accelerates Age of Learning’s global growth, building on the company’s success in the United States, where it has helped educate tens of millions of children to date, and in China, where it launched a major partnership with Tencent last year.
“Rakuten strongly believes in the power that English can bring to a person, an organization, or to society as a whole,” said Koji Ando, Rakuten Group Managing Executive Officer and Senior Vice President, Investment & Incubation Company. “Together with Age of Learning, we are looking forward to helping empower the next generation of Japanese global leaders through the ABCmouse English language learning service.”
Age of Learning CEO Paul Candland said, “Rakuten is the ideal partner for us to expand into Japan, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be working with them. As the third-largest economy in the world, Japan is an important market for Age of Learning as we begin the next stage of our global growth scaling our impact to help many more children around the world build a strong foundation for academic success.”
The Rakuten ID membership program, with more than 100 million registered consumer accounts in Japan, is integrated in to ABCmouse, making it easy for parents to subscribe and pay for ABCmouse, log in, and earn Rakuten Super Points for discounts on other Rakuten products and services.
Early childhood education is a top priority in Japan, and English language learning has become increasingly important throughout the country. Beginning in 2020, English classes will be mandatory for public elementary school students.
Developed by Age of Learning’s team of language learning experts, the ABCmouse English learning curriculum guides children ages 3–8 through a Step-by-Step Learning Path with more than 5,000 language learning activities in an immersive online English environment. ABCmouse takes an authentic approach to teaching English as a second language, helping children learn the new language in the same way they learn their native language, starting with listening and understanding; then speaking; then phonics, reading, and writing.
Research shows that ABCmouse significantly improves children’s abilities to understand and speak English as a second language. Japanese children and families have responded very positively to initial market testing of ABCmouse in Japan, with tens of thousands of children using the product to date.
The new ABCmouse program builds on Age of Learning’s first product, ABCmouse Early Learning Academy, a comprehensive digital learning program for children ages 2–8, which is the #1 educational app in the U.S.
Rakuten makes ABCmouse available on all major platforms in Japan, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.