How To Build An Online Language Learning Website Like Verbling– Business Model & Key Features

How To Build An Online Language Learning Website Like Verbling– Business Model & Key Features

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Last Updated: 02 April, 2024

In this age of globalization, learning a foreign language is no longer difficult. Non-native speakers can get in touch with native speakers to learn a foreign language with the help of online language learning platforms. These include Verbling, italki, Preply, Cambly, Livemocha, Babbel, Busuu, Memrise, Fluento, Mondly, LingQ, Anki, HelloTalk, Lingoda, and so on. Below we discuss a few top players.

Top Players in the Online Language Learning Market 

Preply 

Preply is an online language learning platform that successfully connects learners with language experts worldwide.

italki

Is another online language learning platform that connects native speakers with learners in a one-on-one learning environment. 

Lingoda

Lingoda provides online language learning classes by connecting learners with native speaker teachers in small group classes or private lessons. 

VIPkid

An online platform that connects children with English-speaking tutors in-real-time for immersive, one-on-one language learning sessions.

Cambly

Cambly is an on-demand English tutoring platform that caters to learners of all levels. It connects them to native speakers via video chat.

Verbling 

Is a leading online language learning marketplace that pairs individuals with teachers for language learning.
That said, In this blog, we discuss in detail the working of Verbling and how a similar language-learning platform can be built.

A Pioneer of Language Learning Platforms – Verbling

Headquartered in San Francisco, US, the company was founded in 2011 by Jake Jolis, Mikael Bernstein, and Gustav Rydstedt. The initial platform – Verbling Friends connected users who were interested in learning each other’s language via video chat. It was backed by Y combinator and in 2015, the company raised $2.7 million in series A round funding.

In October 2016, Verbling Enterprise was launched. It is a platform that is designed for corporates to upskill their workforce, i.e. employees can take language lessons online. Further, in 2017, Verbling launched iOS and Android apps. Currently, the platform has over 10,000 teachers in more than 70 languages. Besides some common languages like English, French, Spanish, and so on, there are some not-so-common languages like Turkish, Portuguese, and more.

Verbling’s Method

Verbling provides individuals looking to learn a language with unparalleled convenience and for a fraction of the price in-house tutors or brick-and-mortar schools provide. Mainly, Verbling involves one-to-one sessions with native speakers of the chosen language. Learners can use Google Hangouts-powered chat to resolve their queries.

Interested in Building a Language Learning Platform like Verbling?

Working of a Language Learning Website like Verbling

An online language-learning marketplace has three main entities –

  • Admin
  • Tutor
  • Learner
  1. The tutor creates a profile on the platform and a request is sent to the admin for approval.
  2. The admin after verifying all the information approves/disapproves the profile. The approved profiles get listed on the platform.
  3. 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.
  4. The learner then selects a tutor and checks his/her availability calendar for the online session.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 like Verbling

Offering online language learning to individuals and organizations is a growing opportunity for revenue generation for businesses like Verbling. In this section, we have curated a list of all the possible revenue streams so that new entrants 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

Steps to Build an Online Language Learning Platform like Verbling

Building and launching an online language learning platform like Verbling may seem to be a cumbersome task. However, with the right planning, strategy, and information, this can be done seamlessly. Follow the below-mentioned steps to successfully launch your online language learning platform. 

Steps At A Glance

  1. Choose the right niche
  2. Identify the right technology to build your online language-learning platform
  3. Choose the right set of features 
  4. Consider other impeccable features to stand out from competitors
  5. Include important pages in the language learning platform
  6. Different Approaches to Launch Your Online Language Learning Platform 
  7. Market your platform

1. Conduct Market Research

Before you delve into the development process of building an online language learning platform like Verbling, it’s pivotal to understand the market by conducting thorough market research. Identify the potential competitors, their strategies, and potential gaps in the market that your language learning platform can fulfill. Also, determine your target audience on the basis of:

  • Demographics
  • Age
  • Language Proficiency Level
  • Preferred Learning Methods

2. Choose the Right Niche

Based on the market research, select a particular niche that your language learning platform will target. This could include a particular language catering to a specific type of learner like beginners, advanced learners, business professionals, or individuals simply seeking to learn a particular language dialect. Additionally, you can decide on the type of sessions you are going to offer like one-on-one tutoring, group classes, and so on to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
3. Identify the Right Technology to Build Your Online Language Learning Platform 
Identifying the right technology stack is crucial for the success of an online language learning platform. Consider front-end and back-end development technologies, along with a robust database management system.

4. Choose the Right Set of Features

This is an essential step as determining the right set of features will determine the usability of the online language learning platform. First of all, listing a few interactive features that will make 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, and 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.

5. Consider Other Impeccable 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. 

  • 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 language learning platforms to comply with the GDPR policies. Having a GDPR-compliant platform builds the trust of the customers in the platform and improves 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.  

Maximize Your Business Potential with These Striking Features

6. Include Important Pages in the 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. Discussed below are some prominent pages that should be included in the language learning platform along with how they should be designed.

  • Homepage

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 message on the website banner.
  • Use a background image in the banner to make it more attractive.
  • Implement a ‘Get Started’ button that leads a user to the signup page. Then ask users which language they are fluent in and which languages they want to learn.
  • 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 like FAQs, about us, blog, and social media handles.
  • 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 this 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.
  •  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(s) 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 a 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 resume 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 a lesson by the tutor (trial/paid).
  • Tutor’s availability calendar to book a session.
  • Tutor’s reviews and ratings from past students.
  •  Tutor Signup Page

The page for tutors to signup 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 include 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

  • 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 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.

PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM FOR BOOKING & SCHEDULING A CLASS

  • Powerful User-Level Dashboards

In addition to the pages mentioned above, there should be powerful user-level dashboards as they act as a centralized place to see information such as progress, classes scheduled, classes completed, goals met, and so on. The three interactive dashboards include a learner dashboard (mentioned above), a tutor dashboard, and an admin dashboard.

  • Learner Dashboard: Displays the wallet balance, number of classes, number of lessons scheduled, upcoming lessons with the options for canceling, rescheduling, entering the classroom, and so on.
  • Tutor Dashboard: Displays total earnings via charts, upcoming lessons, availability calendar, and so on. It also features history, account settings, discussion forums, and more.
  • Admin Dashboard: Displays the stats for total revenue, admin earnings, total lessons, completed lessons, canceled lessons, total users, top-class languages, and so on. Using the dashboard admin gets complete control to manage the language learning platform. It also features user management, order management, CMS management, settings management, reports and analytics, and so much more.

7. Different Approaches to Launch Your Online Language Learning Platform 

The next step is to develop and launch the language learning platform. Primarily there are two approaches:

  • Custom development
  • Ready-made software solution

While custom development is tailored to your specific requirements, off-the-shelf solutions have industry specific built-in features and functionalities that are time tested. Additionally, custom development can be time-consuming and expensive, whereas ready-made solutions are cost-effective and have quick time-to-market.

8. Market the Platform 

Marketing after the launch of a language learning platform is pivotal. It helps in building brand awareness to attract both language tutors and learners. Several marketing channels can be utilized such as:

  • Social media
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Email marketing
  • Advertisements

Closing Thoughts

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 hands-on experience. Explore how Yo!Coach has helped its clients in transforming their business ideas into profitable ventures. View Portfolio

Want To Know more about Yo!Coach?

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Comments (5)
shahin naghizadeh

hi ,
i want an online language learning video chat platform for mobile applications (ios/android) and website .
can you help me ?

Web Designing Company Denver, CO

Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog. I must say you are doing a great job. Keep doing such hard work. Your blogs are really very informative. Keep posting! Good Luck for your upcoming updates.

Joe

Different interfaces for different user types is a smart idea. Also, I have used CometChat so I believe that integrating it on your website can develop a viable online tutoring store (only if the tutors keep the pricing right).