Being multilingual in the business world is a highly coveted skill. Particularly in the journalism, marketing, finance, law, medical, tourism and host of other sectors. Professionals that are fluent in one or more languages continue to be in high demand, and even command higher salaries. While it is undoubtedly valuable to learn Chinese, Spanish or French to strengthen one’s language arsenal for international business dealings, English has become the official language of commerce, tourism, travel and communication in general.
One in four people speak English at a level of competency. Adding up to around 1.7 billion people worldwide, multinational companies like Samsung Electronics and Nokia Corporation have established English as their common corporate language. Furthermore, various countries strongly encourage learning a foreign language or teaching English as part of a required primary curriculum. With a growing demand for access to effective language learning technologies and software, Lingo Media Corporation (TSX-V: LM; OTCQB: LMDCF), a developer and marketer of English language learning products, is on a mission to ‘Change the way the world learns English’ through innovative online and print-based technologies and solutions.
A Year of Rapid Progress
In an effort to build their international presence, the Toronto-based company, along with its subsidiary, ELL Technologies, made 2015 a landmark year through the successful development and launch of ground-breaking suite of software products and r strategic sales contracts.
In the fall, ELL Technologies released the inaugural title of its pre-reader level Kids program, Winnie’s World. Preschoolers without prior knowledge of the English language are now utilizing the program to learn over 500 English vocabulary words, and cover lessons that cover numbers, colors, clothing, family, food and feelings. Children are assisted through narrations in their native language. Winnie’s World, made possible through HTML5, is cross-platform and multi browser capable.
Lingo Media and its subsidiary also landed a number of landmark contracts, including:
- Partnering with Proloux, a subsidiary of the University of Guadalajara, to provide accredited certification for ELL Technologies’ software programs.
- Entering into an agreement with ISA Corporativo for advertising services throughout Mexico’s metro stations in exchange for software licenses.
- Selection by the Peruvian Navy to provide software licenses to ELL Technologies’ training products
- Securing software licensing contracts for ELL Technologies’ programs with municipal government in Caldas Department, Colombia.
- Co-publishing their 550 millionth unit of PEP Primary English and Starting Line textbook programs with People’s Education Press in China.
A Home Run in Colombia
After securing animpressive listing of sales contracts already in Mexico, Peru and Colombia, the most notable partnership for ELL Technologies was announced at the end of September: a significant multi-million dollar software custom development contract with eDistribution SAS to provide a digital resource library of more than 20,000 learning objects or lessons for Colombia's National Learning Service (SENA). SENA is the largest vocational organization in Latin America, and aims to improve the foreign language levels of Columbia’s workforce.
“SENA is a very significant contract, with the organization training seven million Colombian constituents in manufacturing, hospitality, and tourism,” said Michael Kraft, President & CEO of Lingo Media. “It’s a home run. A lot of our deals are singles, doubles and even triples; but SENA is really a home run. This organization is one of the most respected in Latin America and provides us with a very significant calling card for credibility in the education and training industries in Colombia, in Latin America and beyond. Additionally, this contract is a distribution milestone for the company with the opportunity to work with Distribution SAS on our fist deal together in Colombia. eDistribtion has a large percentage of the digital learning and training market and this initial contract opens many different sales opportunities for us to work on together going forward.”
Due to the rapid growth within Lingo’s digital-learning software division, the company announced their fourth consecutive profitable quarter earlier last month, representing revenue growth of 441% and a profitability increase year-over-year for the third quarter. “It is noteworthy that the revenue and profit in this quarter was almost entirely derived from the rapidly growing digital-learning software division,” said Kraft. “The legacy textbook publishing income is generated throughout the year but is recorded seasonally only in Q2 and Q4 as royalty revenues."
Moving Towards the Forefront of EdTech
An issue that has plagued language classrooms is the lack of personalized learning. Everyone takes the same course, at the same pace. Furthermore, many of the language learning products currently available are outdated, nearly decade-old technology. With technology changing at an ever increasing pace, by granting access to an enormous digital library of supplemental learning materials and resources in addition to the online course, instructors are now able to provide engaging, interactive lessons and custom tailor curriculums based on an individual student's level and progress.
“What is most significant for us with the SENA contract beyond our first priority of providing a great product for vocational training in Colombia is the very significant expansion to our content library representing the achievement of a major product milestone,” said Kraft. “We end up with this vast library of digital resources that we can offer as an add on to our wide range of existing online courses for our current and future customers outside of Colombia. When we sell our ELL Technologies Scholar Program, which is an online course for universities and colleges, we can say to the institution, not only are we selling you an online course, we are providing you access to our library of more than 20,000 lessons and digital resources for students. That way, learning institutions can offer and serve different levels of practice, exercises and supplemental learning for all of their students and cater to their individual needs. The students can search within the library by subject matter, by level, by country, etc. etc. as all the digital resources are meta tagged.We envision this digital resource library providing us with a unique selling proposition to meet the needs of our customers – universities & colleges, governments and corporations - and to position the company by providing unique and impactful leading edge products and solutions that will create long term recurring relationships.”
With 2015 drawing to a close and a focus on customers, products and solutions, Lingo Media and ELL Technologies are positioned to move to the forefront of the EdTech market and continue this record breaking momentum into the next year by paving the way for upcoming bilingual professionals. English is in demand and the company will be offering a unique product like no other available in the current marketplace. “It’s great to see this year’s growth in digital revenue and earnings. However, the most significant part of this company going forward is our product and our solutions combined with this digital resource library that we’ve built. It positions the company at the leading edge of the EdTech market to enter into strategic distribution partnerships and ultimately to generate more sales contracts and more revenue growth.”
For more information about Lingo Media and ELL Technologies, visit www.lingomedia.com.
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