Language Virtual supports difficulties in Ukraine with the help of Nova Ukraine


Valentina Burlak and Audrey Garon

NESPA Winner: Localizing, 2023

The Cypress, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA

Countries apart, two students join a remote video conference. Each week the two connect like clockwork for a grammar, vocabulary or reading lesson.

The Russia-Ukrainian War began in February 2022 when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reported that over two million children were displaced as a result. Lives disrupted, many sought to leave Ukraine.

Senior Anna Lin founded Language Virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program pairs English tutors who are high school students with children ages seven to 16. Currently, Language Virtual has over 700 students and 100 teachers in 15 countries and aims to connect the world through the English language.

After forming a partnership with US-based nonprofit Nova Ukraine, Language Virtual began to virtually teach Ukrainian students who wanted to learn English for the skill or because they moved to English-speaking countries. As of now, Language Virtual has over 10 Ukrainian students.

Sophomore Riley Ament has taught multiple Ukrainian students over the past year. Ament said lessons are sometimes interrupted by the war.

“A week ago, my student didn’t make it to a meeting. She’s in 4th grade. That was the day when Russia started lobbing missiles into Kyiv. My student’s WiFi and all of her internet had been cut off,” Ament said. “On that same day, she moved out to the countryside to live with her grandma. She’s okay now, but it was scary.”


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