Last Updated: 26th August, 2021
The biggest barrier that people face when learning a foreign language is the lack of interaction with native speakers. Social media platforms have bridged this gap to some extent in the past few years but since the interaction is usually text-chat based, they too aren’t of much help when it comes to building fluency in a foreign language. Online language learning platforms like Verbling, italki, Preply, Cambly, Livemocha, Babbel, Busuu, Memrise, Fluento , Mondly , LingQ, Anki, HelloTalk and Lingoda answer this very need by offering audio/video chat with native speakers.
These platforms are changing the way people learn foreign languages. They help people across the world master new languages by connecting them with native speakers via live audio/video chat. Learners can choose to join a group session or a one-to-one private session as per their preference. FATbit’s business analysts, who always have a keen eye for growing online businesses, began an in-depth study of the working of these businesses to outline the features required to make a language learning start-up stand apart.
Working of a Language Learning Website
A language learning marketplace has 3 main entities –
- The tutor creates a profile on the platform and a request is sent to the admin for approval.
- The admin after verifying all the information approves/disapproves the profile. The approved profiles get listed on the platform.
- The learner browses the platform for tutors using filters such as specialization, experience, price, language, and so on, and a list of all the relevant tutors is displayed.
- The learner then selects a tutor and checks his/her availability calendar for the online session.
- After making the payment, the learner then books a session with the tutor. The payment of the lesson is however kept in the platform’s escrow account.
- Once the lesson is completed successfully, the system releases the payment of the tutor after adjusting the commission.
Revenue Generation Streams of Online Language Learning Platforms
As we studied the revenue generation model of leading language learning portals, we found that they are not leveraging the full power of their platform and missing out on many possible revenue channels. We curated a list of all the possible revenue channels so that new players can have an advantage over the existing ones.
- A commission cut from the fee students pay to the tutors.
- A monthly subscription for students to access classes on the website out of which a percentage will be distributed among the tutors.
- Monthly subscription for tutors to feature, manage, and conduct their language learning courses on the website
- On-site promotion for tutors
- Banner ads
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Building an Online Language Learning Platform
Before actually starting to build a language learning platform, it is essential to keep in mind that the design of the platform is key to providing learners with the best learning experience possible. It is not sufficient to develop advanced functionality, however, to fit that functionality into an intuitive user interface and back it up with an aesthetically pleasing user experience. Below discussed are some points on how the prominent pages of the platform should be designed.
The homepage of a language learning website should have a simplified and intuitive design so that all the offerings are conveyed in an effortless manner. The best shot in this context is an eye-catching and informative first-fold area that allows visitors to navigate the website further. Some suggestions on how the home page should look like:
Place important links such as classes, tutors, signup, etc. in the top navigation bar.
- Put on a catchy website message in the website banner.
- Use a background image in the banner to make the banner more attractive.
Implement a Getting Started feature that asks users which language they are fluent in and which languages they want to learn leading them to the signup page.
- The section below the first fold can be used to feature popular language learning classes, top teachers, and testimonials of learners.
- Other than that, the footer area should feature quick links to various content-based pages and social media handles.
2. Classes Page
As for the layout and design of the Classes landing page, it should unlock a whole new range of options for learners. Below is a list of suggestions that you need to pay attention to while designing the classes page:
- The page right away should tell learners about the classes, their types, and access level.
- Live sessions should be featured at the top of the page.
- Other classes (for private lessons) can be featured below.
- There should be an option to filter results based on the language they want to learn, level of difficulty, and tutor of their choice.
- Classes results should be featured with useful information such as class name, language, difficulty level, lesson description, tutor’s name, and class timings.
In addition to this, the language learning platform should support different types of classes. Here are the most common types of language learning classes.
- Live Sessions: Live online classes for the most popular languages that users can access but cannot join.
- Private Classes: Private sessions that tutor and learner schedule beforehand.
- Class Recordings: Recordings of past sessions that can be accessed by learners once a tutor provides them the access.
3. Tutors’ Page
This page will feature the tutors listed on the website. Like the classes page, the tutors’ page should also list tutors with a brief introduction and relevant filtering and sorting options. Here are the elements that the tutors’ page shouldn’t miss:
- Filter tutor results based on the language they speak and teach, price, and availability.
- Sorting options based on popularity and price.
- View general information about teachers like name, a short introduction, rating, nationality, language expertise, etc.
- Options to visit tutor profiles, book demo class, and message them.
In addition to this, a tutor profile page in a language learning platform should offer detailed information about the tutor helping learners make an informed decision while choosing a tutor. A tutor profile page should have elements somewhat similar to this:
- Tutor’s résumé highlighting his/her career achievements.
- Tutor’s demo video.
- Tutor’s general information like nationality, total experience, overall rating, etc.
- Option to recommend the tutor to a friend via social media (Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn) or through email.
- Tutor’s private lessons fee.
- Option to book lesson by the tutor (trial/paid).
- Tutor’s availability calendar to book a session.
- Tutor’s reviews and ratings from past students.
PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM FOR BOOKING & SCHEDULING A CLASS
4. Becoming a Tutor
The page of becoming a tutor on a language learning platform should be simple consisting of the following elements:
- Benefits of tutoring on the website
- Testimonials by existing tutors
- FAQ section that addresses general queries a user may have when becoming a tutor; for instance, how tutors get paid, how to create a class, etc.
- And, a registration form to apply to teach.
The registration form for becoming a tutor should accumulate the following details:
- Personal and contact information
- Languages they want to teach
- A demo video
- Professional experience and certifications
PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM FOR LISTING ONESELF AS A LANGUAGE TEACHER ON AN ONLINE LANGUAGE LEARNING PLATFORM
5. Learners’ Page
The language learning platform should have the following value-added features for the learners.
- A dashboard to have a visual display of all the important links like lessons (upcoming, scheduled, unscheduled, canceled, completed,), previous tutors, and much more at a glance.
- Students should be able to browse and search for the tutors as per their requirements by applying various filters such as language, price, proficiency level, accent, experience, gender, etc.
- There should be an online wallet for the students to make the process of purchasing lessons/Giftcards a hassle-free one.
- The students should be able to mark their favorite teachers.
- Most importantly, students should be able to edit/update their profile information like personal information, avatar, email, password, and much more.
Interactive Features for Effective Communication
Now that we have covered the working and design of the prominent pages of an online language learning platform, let’s list down a few interactive features that will make the communication on the platform seamless.
The platform must be equipped with an audio/video chat feature to enable the tutors and students to see and interact with one another. There are various third-party APIs to integrate this functionality in an online language learning platform.
AtomChat: Replace traditional language learning with a virtual classroom experience by integrating this optimized chat and video calling functionality.
Lessonspace: Setting the new normal for top-quality video conferencing, this excellent API is specifically designed to streamline remote learning.
Zoom: Built particularly for virtual conversations, meetings, and conferences, Zoom provides ideal features for remote communication.
Language learning becomes more enjoyable if done in groups. Language learning platforms should include a shared learning environment such as group discussions to prevent learners from feeling isolated.
Language learning platforms integrated with flashcards make it easy to review vocab, verbs, phrases, and grammar in exactly the same way the brain needs for maximum memory retention.
Screen sharing feature in online language learning offers the flexibility to present, lessons, assignments, learning materials to everyone present in the online classroom.
Real-time translation of text messages helps the students and tutors save time and effort and enhances the communication between them.
Maximize Your Business Potential with These Striking Features
Essential Features to Stand Out From Competitors
There are some other impeccable features that enable learners to get trained in a versatile environment and increase productivity to a greater extent. Let’s discuss some of them in detail:
Time-Zone Friendly: The platform should be time-zone friendly to enable global users to access the platform as per their time zone. The tutors will be able to set their availability calendar as per their time zone which will be seen by the learners in their own time zone sitting in any other country. This streamlines the coordination between the tutors and learners without any fuss.
Multilingual/Multicurrency: As the language learning platform will have users from around the world, it is important to integrate the multilingual and multi currency features. It allows the users to be comfortable under their own skin, explore more conveniently, and develop their learning/teaching skills. Localization features improve communication and clarity in learning, eventually increasing the engagement rate.
SEO Friendly: The best way to get users to your language learning platform is through a solid search engine optimization strategy. It is essential for the visibility of your business, especially when you are part of a saturated market like online language learning.
Secure: Users these days are exceedingly concerned about their privacy and security which makes it essential for the language learning platforms to comply with the GDPR policies. Having a GDPR compliant platform builds the trust of the customers over the platform and improves the brand positioning.
PWA: Users these days are burned out by all the necessary apps that are available in app stores. Having a PWA of the language learning platform will eliminate the hassle of downloading the app from the app store. In reality, PWAs are web pages that act like apps on mobile devices. They use offline push notifications and can be added to the homepage on mobile devices.
Building a unique language learning portal requires in-depth planning about key features. There is no need to compete with the already existing language learning businesses like Verbling, as they are already established in the market. All a new business needs to do is discover the untapped potential and create a solution for it. The best solution is to come up with an MVP and validate the business idea. This is where Yo!Coach can come into play.
Yo!Coach enables entrepreneurs to build an online language learning platform with all the advanced features mentioned above. The software is open to customizations and can be tailored as per the business requirements. Its live demo is also available to get a hands-on experience.
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