“500 million children learning English”: Introducing the Lingumi Mission, and your part in it

Written on

February 8, 2019

Written by
Toby
Founder & CEO

500 million children learning English:

Introducing the Lingumi Mission, and your part in it

When I was 22, I spent a year away from university teaching English to children aged 6 and 7 in classrooms in Russia and Italy. Every day, I gave groups of 20 children their first ever English lessons.

It was hard. It was hard for me, and for the children. Why? Because beginning English at the age of 6 or 7 is hard. They got 2 hours a week of English lessons (not enough!), in a big group (too many!), without any previous foundation in the language. The worst part is that they were beginning after the ‘magic window’ of 2-6 years, when the brain naturally and easily absorbs new languages. Scientifically, primary school is very late to begin learning English.

Making learning English fun is my passion, and I did make it fun for them. But paying £20 an hour for weekly classes or tutors is an impossible luxury for 99% of people. I realised that they should have been arriving in my classroom with an existing foundation in English, so the children could improve their English at school, not start learning it.

English will be a life-changing skill for the 500 million 2-6 year olds in the world who don’t learn English at home already. It breaks down borders between places and people, and opens up amazing opportunities. If they speak fluent English, your child will earn 50% more in the future, on average, than a non-English speaker.

So, I went back to finish my Modern Languages degree at Oxford, and began researching whether a parent, who can’t speak English, could teach their child a foundational level in English before they reach six years old.

The academics who advised me said, ‘probably’. So that’s what we’re trying to achieve at Lingumi. We’re making it more fun and effective for you to begin English at home with your child, and reducing the cost to get your child to a foundation level by 90%. And we’re inviting you to join our mission.

About the Lingumi mission

At Lingumi, our mission is to make English learning effective, affordable, and fun for 500 million children before they turn 6.

English will be the defining socio-economic skill for the 500 million 2–6 year olds in the world for whom English is not a first language.

English breaks down barriers between nations and individuals. Fluent English speakers earn 400% more, on average, than a non-English speaker. Yet the global average English level is too low for widespread professional use.

Every child should begin their first primary school English lesson with a foundation in English. That isn’t possible right now without spending thousands of pounds. We’ve got that cost down by 90%, and the quality of our curriculum means children are achieving real results, simply by playing with their mum or dad. As the Lingumi family grows, we can improve the quality of the curriculum, and reduce the cost of getting it to families.

Since the beginning of 2016, my co-founder and I have built a team of 14 people, and have invested over £1 million in research and development to make this possible. In two years, the number of families who’ve used Lingumi with their kids has grown from 5 test families in Germany, to 50,000 all around the world.

But that’s only 0.05% of our target - it’s early days, and we’re still a small community. Now we’re asking you, mums and dads of the world, to join us, and help us achieve this mission.

Why you should join the Lingumi mission

Do you have a child under 6 years old? Become an early member of the Lingumi family, and help our mission. It’s a lot of fun, and you can begin with your child today.

At the core of the Lingumi community is the research-driven Club Lingumi app, which helps you learn English with your child, from their first words, right up to speaking and understanding sentences. You can begin learning with your child today.

Our promise to you: we’ll guide you, we’ll be transparent about how much it will cost you, and we’ll tell you what to expect from the curriculum. Got questions? You can contact us at any time in the app inbox.

Our challenge to you today is to join the Lingumi Mission - and become your child’s first English teacher. Sign up to join the Lingumi Community for free here.