Following our 15-year spell in teaching English locked within the borders of the city the idea was born to widen our horizons and “Go Online”. Since we had a very good methodology team and a number of Native Brits and Americans to develop the content it wasn’t a bad idea at all. That is how LanguageBox.co was born. However, the arithmetic is always easier than making the numbers so we also had to go through several turning points.
Using a real time English teaching wasn’t “The Big Thing”
When the platform was first launched, we had prepared a flexible schedule for online classes in a virtual classroom with a number of professional English teachers. We had trained the teachers to work effectively in this environment and there was a lot of enthusiasm among team members. Very soon, though, it was becoming evident that the majority of our students are busy working people who’d rather sit back and listen to the teacher than take an active part in the online lesson. The teacher would explain something then he or she would ask a question but more often than not there wasn’t a response from students. Imagine how difficult it was for the tutor to keep the discussion going and to maintain the dynamics of the lesson.
Even though there was a steady growth in sales attendance was rather poor, and when there were enough students attending a session, few of them were willing to actively participate. Sessions had to be cancelled. Teachers were getting demotivated. Something had to be done. What was the problem? We had brilliant teachers, excellent content, the platform was working fine, people bought our product, but they weren’t crazy about the live teaching.
Then it struck us. Why not use the same teachers and the same content to create video lessons? Lessons that our students can watch at their convenience as many times they want. Then they will be referred to the self-study sections and do the follow-up exercises. They will get the same value for money and they won’t be pressed to attend online classes at inconvenient times. How liberating! In a year’s time we had all the levels recorded with teachers and we gradually abandoned the live teaching sessions. It was a relief for both the team and the customers and it seemed to be working just fine. This is how we sell our product these days and the feedback we get is rather encouraging.
Making a web-based English Learning platform and restricting it to the limits of a country was not very wise either
Learning English is a global phenomenon and limiting it to one or two countries, especially when it comes to something web-based as languagebox.co, is certainly unwise. When were ready to launch the product on the international market, we had several objectives. We were willing to provide quality language teaching to even the most remote country in the world. We wanted to deliver a product at a reasonable price to every single language learner in the world and it had to be authentic English with lessons recorded with Native speakers and content developed by dedicated and committed professionals in the field.
Our ambition was and still is to respond to the needs of local English learners, so we are developing our product in some of the most popular languages around the world. This means that we record the video lessons with English teachers from different nationalities, who explain the grammar and vocabulary in their native language.
Our first such attempt was to record the lessons with a professional English teacher from Russia, who teaches the material through her native Russian. It was a challenge but it worked out well and we went on to do the same with a Spanish teacher who did the lessons in Spanish. From here on our goal is to record the lessons in other languages, but it it is a laborious process and it is bound to take lots of time.
The deal is to get a global coverage but still respond to local needs of English learners
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