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Move to “proper” online solution, ELT providers told

Schools need to develop a “proper solution” for delivering English language programs or risk closing down, an edtech entrepreneur has warned.

E2Language recently started setting up English language providers on its new E2Classroom platform. Photo: pexels

"Zoom screen sharing documents from your desktop is not going to fly for longer than a couple of weeks"

Jarrad Merlo, the co-founder of Australia-based E2Language, is urging English language providers to ramp up online provisions. The provider has recently launched its E2Classroom platform to help schools make the shift.

“We’ve spoken to a number of teachers and they’re starting to burn out from lesson preparation”

Failure to adapt to a new market caused by the coronavirus pandemic – where a different mode of delivery is necessary – will cause staff burnout and slumps in revenue, which could lead to the closure of some schools for good, Merlo suggested.

In an article published online, Merlo laid out three possible scenarios ELT schools will face depending on the duration of coronavirus lockdowns. The only solution, which is both immediate and long-term he believes, is if bricks and mortar schools adopt technology and teaching practices from existing online providers.

“There’s a lack of leadership and expertise in online ELT,” he told The PIE News. “E2Language is raising its hand saying, ‘we can help you move to a proper solution fast; we know what you’re going through and we know what we’re doing’”.

“We’ve spoken to a number of teachers and they’re starting to burn out from lesson preparation; shifting to digital delivery is stressful especially after the novelty wears off and you’re looking at it as semi-permanent.”

E2Language – endorsed by NEAShas been building its E2Classroom infrastructure platform for the last two years, and it is now reaching out to English language providers. They can cater for both small schools and large institutes.

The provider is currently partnered with Pearson on its PTE Academic test and Cambridge-Boxhill Language Assessment on its OET medical English test.

Agile schools are beginning to pivot their offerings and sign up to the new platform. “We can get a school up and running on the white-label platform really quickly,” Merlo explained.

“What seems to have happened is that [providers are] so focused on the present moment – for good reason – that they are just doing whatever they can,” he said. “They’re not looking for a solid proper solution. At some point they need to look up and see the future because everything has changed.”

“Zoom screen sharing documents from your desktop is not going to fly for longer than a couple of weeks,” Merlo said. 

“If you don’t shift to a proper solution in the next two weeks, students will seek out existing online providers who have proper online platforms and scalable, less expensive solutions.”

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