Thousands of people in 55 cities across Ukraine simultaneously participated in an interactive English language lesson. The reason? To break the Guinness World Record for “Largest Language Lesson in the World.”

Germany currently holds the record, with 6,287 participants having gathered in Cologne’s Kölnarena, an indoor arena now known as Lanxess Arena, in March 2006.

Organizers in Ukraine hope the May 28 event drew 9,000 participants. A final count will be published at the end of June, reports the Kyiv Post.

Group of people standing inside room and listening (U.S. Embassy Kyiv)
Participants gathered in venues across Ukraine, including at America House Kyiv, which provides information about the United States. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv)

The 35-minute session was broadcast from Lviv in western Ukraine. Participants learned how to use the phrase “would rather” in various sentence constructions. For example, “Would you rather have coffee or tea?” All ages and language levels were invited to participate in the free lesson.

The nongovernmental organization GoGlobal organized the May 28 event in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko officially declared 2016 as the Year of English Language in Ukraine. The effort includes a certification for foreign-language teachers in line with European recommendations. Learning English will also be a bigger focus in the training of public servants and local government officials.

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