Brazilian Kids Learn English by Video Chatting With Lonely Elderly Americans

FCB's touching work for a language school

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It's such a great, simple idea: Young Brazilians want to learn English. Elderly Americans living in retirement homes just want someone to talk to. Why not connect them?

FCB Brazil did just that with its "Speaking Exchange" project for CNA language schools. As seen in the touching case study below, the young Brazilians and older Americans connect via Web chats, and they not only begin to share a language—they develop relationships that enrich both sides culturally and emotionally.

The differences in age and background combine to make the interactions remarkable to watch. And the participants clearly grow close to one another, to the point where they end up speaking from the heart in a more universal language than English.

The pilot project was implemented at a CNA school in Liberdade, Brazil, and the Windsor Park Retirement Community in Chicago. The conversations are recorded and uploaded as private YouTube videos for the teachers to evaluate the students' development.

"The idea is simple and it's a win-win proposition for both the students and the American senior citizens. It's exciting to see their reactions and contentment. It truly benefits both sides," says Joanna Monteiro, executive creative director at FCB Brazil.

Says Max Geraldo, FCB Brazil's executive director: "The beauty of this project is in CNA's belief that we develop better students when we develop better people."


Client: CNA

Project: "Speaking Exchange"

Agency: FCB Brazil

Executive Creative Directors: Joanna Monteiro, Max Geraldo

Digital Creative Director: Pedro Gravena

Creative: Vinícius Fernandes, Bruno Mazzotti, Daniel Alves, Mauricio Bina

Creative Technologist: Márcio Bueno

Digital Production:

Project: Lia D'Amico

Technology: Gerson Lupatini, Caio Mello

Account: Mauro Silveira, Alec Cocchiaro, Pedro Führer, Thiago Figueiredo

Planners: Raphael Barreto, Lia Bertoni, Pedro Schneider

Media: Alexandre Ugadin, Tiago Santos, Fábio Tachibana, Sandra Carvalho, Fábio Menezes

RTV: Vivi Guedes, Ana Flávia de Lucca, André Fonseca

Production Company: Hungry Man

Director: Ricardo Mehedff

Co-direction: Fábio Pinheiro

Photographers: Fernando Young (Brazil), Grant Weiss (Chicago)

Production Company: Hungry Man

Account Production: Mariana Marinho

Editor: Rodrigo Resende

Managing Partner: Alex Mehedff

Executive Production: Alex Mehedff, Rodrigo Castelo

Postproduction: Hungry Man; Psycho

Postproduction Supervisor: Rodrigo Oliveira

Sound Producer: Timbre

Client Supervisors: Luciana Fortuna, Nicadan Galvão, Diego Marmo, Ricardo Martins

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.