Global English delivers English language skills as a software service

Global English delivers English language skills as a software service

Summary: The Web 2.0 Expo has dominated much of the news lately, and a lot of my time.

SHARE:
TOPICS: India
3

The Web 2.0 Expo has dominated much of the news lately, and a lot of my time. So it was a nice change to recently meet with a company called Global English.  

It teaches English to the employees of top multinational corporations such as IBM, Deloitte, Hewlett-Packard, using unique online techniques.

It is sold as an online service using the enterprise software model, and costs $400 per seat per year. Multinational corporations are using the service to improve the English language skills of their professional staff in places such as China and India, and 98 other countries.

The company is 8 years old, private, profitable, with revenues between $20m and $30m, and about 100 staff.

Labor Crunch

But isn't English already a common skill among people in tech and business sectors? Deepak Desai, CEO of Global English says that this is not always true.

"The competition for staff means that global corporations are having to look further afield. Outside of the major cities, fewer people speak English as a second language, or speak it well."

This is true even in India, where English is widely spoken. "I was surprised at how large our business in India has become," says Mr Desai, who grew up in Mumbai, India.

Global English uses a variety of learning techniques and technologies, some involve voice recognition to check on pronunciation. And it has a broad range of metrics to measure and check on progress. If you lag, you'll get nagging emails to do better, and your boss will see your report card.

But it's not just English that is taught. It also teaches the cultural context of the language.

"People need to know how to converse in different situations," says Mr Desai.

Lingua Franca 2.0

English is certainly the lingua franca of business and technology. And combined with the Internet--the other lingua franca of our times--it makes for a killer communications application.

I consider the English language, plus the Internet, as the key technology accelerating the globalization of our economies. But will English continue to dominate?

Global Mandarin

Mandarin is the language that many business professionals are learning. As China's economy grows ever larger, Mandarin is certain to challenge the dominance of the English language in global business transactions.

Mr Desai nods, and says that his children are learning Mandarin. But Global English won't be changing its name anytime soon. "It is important to focus," he says. Which is very true.

 

Topic: India

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • TutorABC

    I think you have not tried TutorABC which deliver a much better service and I tried Global English. They are just freetalk and big group for an internet based room. TutorABC offers a real experience of learning like a real university setting or case study like for professional like myself to improve my understanding of English as a culture, not just free talking. My boss from the states told me last month that my confidence is up better and more fun when we chat because I can catch up with his special phrases, not just copy the sound. like Catch 22.
    aaanoella
  • Taiwan

    I found a site called TutorABC. Please let me know if you know about it.
    aaanoella
  • RE: Global English delivers English language skills as a software service

    Hi Tom,

    I was tried to email you, but pressing the email button
    didn't give me your email address...so I guess I will just
    post it in the blog.

    I run an online website called Teacherjames.com
    (www.teacherjames.com) and was wondering if you
    could write about us...

    Teacher James is a new way of LEARNING ENGLISH
    online by SOCIAL NETWORKING.
    No long term tuition fees. Pick your own teacher. Pay
    as you go.

    TEACHER JAMES OFFERS:

    1. Students to search for their own Private Teachers by
    WATCHING teachers' video introductions of themselves
    and SEEING their educational background,
    work history, certifications, interests, and much more.

    2. Allows students and teachers to decide what PRICE,
    what TIME, how LONG to take a lesson.

    3. Students can take just one class (for last minute
    translation help) or long term classes (for long term
    English learning).

    4. All billing is handled by Teacher James staff. Student
    purchase "TJ Points" through Paypal or Credit Card. Use
    these points to pay for classes.

    5. Students and Teachers learn through the online "e-
    English Classroom" which includes: Live Video Chat,
    Text Chat, Whiteboard which can display
    images, videos, Word documents, Excel documents,
    Powerpoint documents, and
    much more.

    6. All lessons are RECORDED so that the student and
    teacher can go back and review at any time, any
    number of times.

    7. Students can learn in groups of 2, 3, 5 or more. The
    "e-English Classroom" can allow any number of
    students in different locations to come
    together online and learn from one English Teacher.
    Everything can be done with video and audio
    capabilities.

    Thanks,

    Damon (damon@teacherjames.com)
    info@...