Language is the basic form of communication. It is the medium with which you share your ideas, feelings and thoughts with others in order to be understood in a better way. We have a total of over 7,000 spoken languages in this world. There are some folk, tribal and local languages that are yet to be discovered too. Given that we live in a world as diverse as this, it is only fair to say that it would benefit us if we load ourselves with multi linguistic skills.
There are many institutions that offer professionally certified courses in multiple languages. But unfortunately, given the onslaught of the covid situation, so many institutions had to be put under lock and key or they had to be converted into a virtual one. Starting an online language school is currently the best option for a person interested in starting their own online educational website as a recent study shows that the projections is to reach USD 25.73 Billion by the year 2027.
So, why the delay?
Let’s get you started.
What do you require in order to start an online language school?
To have the best online tutoring website, your platform needs to be simple, yet intriguing, intuitive as well as extremely interactive. Hence when you are designing your platform, you have to step into the shoes of the three main people who will be accessing your website so that it will be easier for you to design according to their wants and needs.
The below are the basic functionalities that your application needs to be able to manage for you to attract the attention of the right audience, and also to retain and grow your customer base.
- Users (tutors and students) profiles·
- Ongoing course details·
- Payment processes·
- Cancellations and withdrawal processes etc.
- Multiple registration & login gateways·
- Learning module scheduler
- Module price listing etc.
- Multiple registration & login gateways·
- Multi-currency and payment gateway options
- Sort & filter options
- Assessment and results page·
- Interactive features
- Rescheduling or cancelling option
- Feedback, reviews and ratings
Now that you are aware of what all are the necessary features and processes that need to be built in and managed by your virtual language tutorial, you can now begin to formulate a plan on how you are going to develop your online tutoring software.
It is not necessary that you need to have all the technical knowledge for you to develop and own an application. There are different ways in which you can develop your platform. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you want, the time you have allotted for the development, the extent of knowledge you have regarding the technicalities, the budget you have for your entire project all play an important role in deciding which method you want to decide for your application.
Develop the software from scratch: It can either be developed completely by yourself or you can also hire a team of developers to do it for you (depending on your budget). However, this will definitely weigh a bit more on your pockets given the amount of planning, work and time that goes into developing it from ground level.
Purchase a readymade software (a turnkey solution): This is the method in which the application will already be developed with all the basic features. You will also be given an option to customize it per your needs. This method is the most popularly opted one since it is economically more efficient and the time required for the development is next to nil, except when you require some customization.
Once you have decided up on the method you want to develop your application with, you can decide upon the business model.
The major drawback in this niche is the communication barrier between the students and teachers. The main aim of learning a new language is to be able to converse fluently and get the right dialect while speaking and this is because of a major lack in interacting with the native speakers. In the past online learning portals used to offer text based learning modules but now the virtual platforms are built in such a way that they connect students directly to the tutors who has registered based on their language of choice, type of class (one-on-one or group class), model of communication (text or video) etc. Basically there are three business models which you can adopt in order to manage your online business more effectively.
1. Massive Open Online Course: MOOC is the vanilla online tutorials kind where the students and teachers register themselves and based on the student’s requirements teachers are assigned and they can interact with one another at the scheduled time.
2. Flipped Classroom Language Learning: This is the model in which the student takes lead and gets in touch with the tutor for consultation purposes only.
3. Blended language Learning: There is no need for the continuous presence of a tutor during the entire course period. Hence this model is formulated as a mixture of classroom sessions and online packages.
Let us head to the vital part of this business. I.e.-
How to generate revenue out of your online learning portal?
There are multiple ways in which a virtual tutoring platform can make money. In this section we have collated the most effective ways that you can use in order to help raise income flow to your online tutorials.
1. Charging a percentage of the tutor’s fee as commission
2. Charging membership fee or a subscription amount from tutors and students
3. Charging for promotional activities and advertising for tutors
Hope that you are now aware of what all you need to know and equip yourselves with in order to plan, develop and manage an online language learning platform. This is just a brief article lightly grazing on the most important pointers that needs to be concentrated upon on priority basis. If you need any further assistance with any part of the process of starting an online language school, do feel free to reach out to us.