Technology has made it possible for you to hop on Skype or another similar app and instantly talk with anyone. But what’s the point of talking to someone on the other side do the world if you can’t understand a word they are saying?
An interconnected world means a greater demand for language learning, as the people of the world realize that they now have access to cultures and business opportunities that were closed off before.
This also means that it’s a great time to start up your own technology-supported language learning business and capitalize on this new global need for language skills. So let’s look at a few models for online language learning that may be the right fit for your startup.
One of the most effective ways to learn a new language is to have conversations with a real native speaker of the language that you want to learn. The problem is access. If you don’t live in a place where those native speakers are you may have a tough time tracking someone down who will chat with you on a regular basis.
Modern technology is perfect to bridge this gap and we are now seeing companies pop up that act as a middleman between language tutors and people who are willing to tutor them. The business itself then takes a commission on the fee between the two participants.
So if you need an English Teacher (which is one of the most in-demand languages for business) all you have to do is go to someone like Preply, register and look for a tutor. Before you know it your tutor will be chatting with you over Skype.
Language Learning Apps
Language-learning apps such as Duolingo are now a popular way for people to pick up new language skills in their free time. Right there on their phone or tablet.
Duolingo has a genius business model. Users don’t pay to learn, but once they have reached a certain level of proficiency they get to practice by translating real material. These translations are then sold to paying clients who get a much better translations quality than machines can currently provide.
There is still a lot of innovation that can happen in the language app space though and perhaps you’ll be the one to create the next chart-topping language app.
This type of language learning product is much more traditional. It resembles correspondence language courses where students would listen to tapes and then teach themselves a language at their own pace.
The difference with creating and selling online courses is that you still have the advantage of interactivity. Your students can instantly send queries and it’s easy to create compelling value propositions that will keep students paying and learning.
For example, you can create weekly videos or do additional interaction via social media. Really, the only limit is your creativity. Online courses are great word-of-mouth products since people will tend to talk about a course they found easy and effective.
Profit and Pride
Providing language learning services is one of those rare business opportunities that not only stand to make you a good profit, but also means you’re actually making the world a better place.
That’s a pretty rare thing and it means you can pursue innovation without hesitation. There has never been a better time to get into the language business and for the few innovators that make it to the top of the pile the rewards are unimaginable.