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Wall Street English expands in five markets as number of learners set to boom

English language tuition provider Wall Street English has announced plans to expand into five new markets, as a report prepared in partnership with YouGov indicated the number of prospective learners looks set to raise considerably over the next five years.

Egypt is particularly attractive for investors. Photo: shadyshaker/ Pixabay

The report also identified some major barriers to learning English – the biggest is lack of time

The provider is seeking franchise partners and investors to develop its business in Spain, Germany, Poland, Taiwan and Egypt.

“While not the largest which Wall Street English is yet to enter, these are markets in which ease of execution, launch and market penetration point towards strong opportunities for a franchising partner,” WSE director of new business development Lex Baker told The PIE News.

“Egypt is prime territory for investors”

In the coming years, Baker explained, trends such as population growth, urbanisation, a growing middle class, increased global mobility and connectivity will all contribute to the growth of the English language teaching market.

A combination of these global trends and country-specific factors, such as the size of the demand and the economic growth, lead Wall Street English to identify its five new expansion markets.

While Germany remains a priority for investors due to the size of the market, economic growth is offering a “good window” for English language teaching businesses to enter Poland.

Baker added that the company is attracted to Taiwan by the opportunities offered by a growing urban population “ripe” for premium English language course provision, and Spain still offers a wealth of opportunities due to the strength of its demand.

Egypt is a very interesting market for investors, Baker said.

“Egypt is a strong Northern African market with high level of demand for English,” he said. “With no major player in the market, it’s prime territory for investors.”

Wall Street English opened 21 centres in 10 countries in 2018, while more than 25 are planned for this year. The first will open in Mongolia in March, part of a wider multi-centre regional agreement.

A report from Wall Street English and YouGov validated the expansion plans, showing that prospective English language learners are set to grow substantially over the next five years.

Surveying 4,000 individuals in eight markets (Germany, Italy, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, Japan and Chile), the report predicted that, “if the findings are broadly representative of the rest of the world,” English language leaners could reach 1.4bn.

The biggest potentials are found in Chile, China and Indonesia, where the percentage of respondents “very or quite likely” to study English in the next five years was 71, 59, and 69% respectively.

“Future career prospects are a [key] positive impact of learning English”

Generally, English speakers at intermediate level were  the most interested in learning more English, while only 35% of non-speakers said they would take up a course in the next five years. Classroom-based courses are still the most common, although there are differences across the market surveyed.

While in Japan and China respondents were more likely to have taken an online course, in the other six countries they were twice as likely to choose the classroom over distance learning.

“It is unlikely online learning will replace classroom-based learning anytime soon,” the report explained.

Across all markets, the major motivation to learn English was personal development (indicated by 63% of respondents), followed by making travelling abroad more enjoyable (45%) and boost earning potential (40%).

If the data is anything to go by, the benefits of learning English live up to people’s motivations, especially for their career.

“Nowhere is the positive impact of learning English more pronounced than on people’s views about their future career prospects,” the report stated.

Almost 70% of advanced speakers feel good about their career, compared to 35% of non-English speakers, a trend that holds true across all markets, especially in Germany and Russia.

In all countries, half of the advanced speakers of English said that speaking the lingo had helped them attain a job they wanted, while almost half of people with some level of English said they believed they earned more due to knowing English.

Advanced speakers were also generally happier with their job (on average, 18% happier than non-English speakers).

The report also identified some major barriers to learning English – the biggest is lack of time, indicating that “providers need to consider efficiency in the learning process they offer,” the report warned.

The others were cost (especially for Chile and Japan), lack of confidence (mentioned by respondents in China and Japan) and lack of motivation.

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