Technology in Language Learning: How Wall Street English Is Responding to Covid-19

At Wall Street English, we are committed to the health and safety of our learners. As the Covid-19 situation progresses, we have responded by progressively extending our language learning programs to allow our students to study 100% online, including classes they would otherwise have taken in our centers.

Because technology has always been an important component of our blended learning method, our English language learners are already well-positioned to benefit from additional digital offerings.

Blended learning, online

Technology has always been an essential part of the Wall Street English learning method and product, ever since our founding in 1972. With the launch of a new online platform in 2016 and ongoing upgrades and new features since, Wall Street English has further cemented its commitment to delivering an engaging and blended learning experience.

Our blended learning method is a mix of in-classroom instruction, interactive digital exercises, and a busy and active center community that provides the most efficient and engaging approach to learning English. Typically, our learners spend 60-70% of their study time with preparatory multimedia exercises, having the choice to complete these either through our online platform or directly in our centers, and the rest of their study time in face-to-face classes; in response to the current crisis, digital access is being extended to a 100% online experience, including virtual classrooms, to be sure that our students can continue to progress through their courses uninterrupted.

Proven effectiveness

By extending our service to a complete online digital learning model during the Covid-19 outbreak, Wall Street English is able to continue delivering service to our learners while they comply with safety instructions to remain in their homes. Because we are constantly investing in developing and improving our products and services — with a particular emphasis on technology — we are ready to meet the current needs of our learners.

The 100% online approach had already been tested in China starting in 2018, and has been expanded to B2B audiences in other countries over the last year, such as Italy. Research conducted in September 2018 showed that learners believe online classes can make a positive contribution to their study experience, providing greater flexibility for their busy schedules and offering a wider choice of opportunities to practice speaking the language.

Many of the benefits of digital learning are explored in the white paper, The Role of Technology in Learning.

Due to this prior development we were able to quickly ramp-up and deploy the online classes using teachers in countries across our franchise network, increasing the classes offered 10-fold within just four weeks. In the week beginning 30th March we offered over 7000 classes globally, just in that week, with greater numbers to come as more countries and students joined the platform.

In these challenging times, providing access to this digital classroom platform has given our learners continued choice of when, how and at which pace to learn, with full access to all components of their blended course. By maintaining the availability of our flexible class schedules, our students are given the accessibility they need even in these times when the physical centers are closed by decree.

Personal support

Wall Street English’s center-based approach has always been a key differentiating factor in learning progress and success, with students valuing the overall learning experience of our brick-and-mortar centers. Our students recognize that at Wall Street English, support and advice comes not just from their teachers but from the full center team, a critical factor to positive learning outcomes. With the interim transition to 100% online learning, that committed guidance continues – the center team now engages online to motivate, answer questions, and give students all the extra assistance they need.

Investing in technology

All of this is made possible through Wall Street English’s ongoing investment in technology. Between 2013 and 2016, over US$20 million was invested in a complete upgrade to our platforms, curriculum and materials, and significant investments have been committed on an ongoing basis, with dedicated in-house product and technology teams based in our offices in Barcelona, Spain and Chennai, India. Working in close collaboration, these teams are testing and adding new features to improve the learning experience and student outcomes, and were crucial in our speedy response to deliver the online classroom to all 160.000 students worldwide during this crisis.

The future is now

Modern consumers demand flexibility over where and when they learn a language. Technology makes that possible. Thanks to our investments in technology and our strong commitment to meeting learner requirements for flexibility and accessibility, Wall Street English has been able to react and deploy a 100% online digital learning solution to all its students through its franchise network during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To learn more about Wall Street English’s Covid-19 response, its blended learning method, the deployment of the 100% online digital learning platform, or Wall Street English’s franchising opportunities, complete the form below.

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