Where We Began
In a world of education providers, we wanted to be that little bit different. Our English as a second language (ESL) journey, or as some people call it, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), began many years ago.
Our team of founders saw that the existing offering for ESL in many places around the world was simply not good enough. Too many providers were offering a low-quality product for a high price, and ethically we felt this was wrong. From extensive research, we found that this was a particular problem in China, where there are around 400 million learners and spoken English is ranked as being among the lowest standard in the world despite consumers being among the highest spenders per capita.
We, therefore, decided that given it had/has the largest number of ESL learners in the world, China would be our first target. However, many people warned us that to set up a Chinese business, manage it and grow it is a VERY VERY difficult task for a foreign company. Whilst the market might be massive, it’s “not an easy market”, was something we heard a lot! Nevertheless, we decided to take on the challenge, and so, ChitChatCrew was born.
What Were Our Aspirations?
ChitChatCrew was founded to do several key things:
And What Happened Next?
Well, after going live, we saw several thousand users sign up in the first weeks and months. This grew to five figures after the first year as the business model developed and our platform offered a variety of live and recorded English classes, created weekly articles, daily quizzes and developed an English chatroom with over 300 active participants every single day. We also increased our Chinese social media presence to 100,000 followers thanks to the high quality of our video content, our platform and the popularity of our English trainers.
This was all very positive, but one key challenge emerged in the opening two years of business: the users enjoyed the excellent quality of the materials offered but they wanted to use them to pass a test – something we didn’t offer! Unlike many language learners in the Western world, who may want to improve their language ability to develop themselves and their skillset, the majority of our users in China were mainly intent on learning English to excel in an exam. We had to apply our new market experience and knowledge to address this… hence Anglia Education was created.
Why Anglia Education?
The challenge ChitChatCrew faced meant it was essential to explore the English examination market. There are several big players around the world in this field, particularly the British Council, who own the IELTS exam and are partners of Cambridge Examinations. There is also the TOEFL, TOEIC and the SAT, among others. However, we found an alternative that was particularly exciting, high quality and could be used for ALL ESL students around the world: Anglia Examinations Worldwide HQ.
Anglia HQ offered UK Government Education Department “OFQUAL” regulated and accredited assessments that were not only of a similar quality to the organisations listed previously but were also written to the worldwide standard of English, The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Anglia Examinations is/was also owned by an OFSTED “outstanding” institution, The Chichester College Group, was originally formed in 1986 and had an outstanding track record of assessing 100,000+ students each year in more than 50 countries.
After numerous meetings with Chichester College, over the course of many months, it was agreed that Anglia Examinations would appoint ChitChatCrew and its newly formed sister organisation, Anglia Education, as a Master Franchise partner.
Not only would this new partnership give Anglia Education and our students access to 19 world-renowned qualifications, but it would also allow us to take an active role in promoting the Anglia Examinations brand, books and syllabus moving forward. Furthermore, there was great scope for Anglia Education to develop its own innovative ideas, products and to foster further partnerships in the ESL field.
But did we do that? Find out in The Birth Of Anglia Education: Part Two!
You can also learn more about our company, our products and our team on the many other pages of the www.angliaeducation.org website.
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Find out more about Anglia Education.