After launching its Arabic-language web presence in 2015, Lingoda unveiled a new Russian-language website (http://www.lingoda.ru) today, which will help expand the school's foreign language offerings into this yet-untapped market of over 200 million potential students. In addition to the Russian website, students can now also pay for their course packages in Russian Roubles (RUB). Thanks to a successful partnership with Russian-speaking YouTube personality Anastacia Kay, Lingoda was able to introduce its service and generate a first wave of student registrations from that part of the world.
Numerous reports including research data from The Economist Intelligence Unit consider the Russian e-learning market in an embryonic stage with only 2% of the world's share. At the same time, the market has one of the highest yearly growth rates at 20% and is catching up fast with other areas of the world. The situation is particularly pronounced in the area of language e-learning, in part thanks to a Russian government mandate requiring English skills for all new incoming civil servants but also due to a need by Russians to improve their foreign language skills in preparation for international events like the 2014 Winter Olympics and the upcoming 2018 World Cup.
"This expansion marks a big step in Lingoda's evolution and will help solidify our position as a leader among online language learning providers", noted co-founder and Managing Director Felix Wunderlich. "The Russian-speaking market was the logical next step for us. Russian speakers are demanding foreign language courses at an ever-increasing rate and combined with the large but thinly spread population and the high internet penetration we see a great opportunity for growth. It can also prove key to accessing other Eastern European markets in the future." Also in preparation for the expansion, the school recently moved its central office to a bigger location in the Mitte district of Berlin where a freshly hired group of Russian-speaking student advisors joined the team.
German remains the most sought-after language offered by Lingoda, with 53% of its students choosing to learn the language of Goethe and Schiller. The second most-popular language is English, with 23% of all students opting to learn the modern Lingua Franca.
It is worth noting that in both Germany and France, the local language is the most popular to learn. Indeed, a whopping 81% of Lingoda students in Germany are learning German and 60% of students in France are learning French. The results show that Lingoda's classes are an attractive choice for expats and newcomers to a country, due to the flexibility and personalized service the unique learning format offers.
Co-founder and Managing Director Fabian Wunderlich explains: "Lingoda is very popular with expats and university students in particular, because we offer a unique and flexible learning format that can adapt to a busy work or school schedule better than a traditional language school. With Lingoda, students can attend classes 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. All they need is a computer with a microphone and an internet connection.”
What’s next for Lingoda?
- Publication of learning materials as PDFs, free of charge to the general public
- Implementation of WebRTC technology for the learning platform, allowing Lingoda to better tailor the learning experience to students’ needs
- New course structure, offering tailor-made courses for travel & business plus the ability to complete a full CEFR level with a one-time payment