A Short Proposal for Virtual Language School in Costa Rica Teaching English as a profession is one

Teaching English as a profession is one of the world's fastest growing industries. English is the language for business professionals around the world, and will remain so for some time to come. As the international business community becomes more 'globalized' the demand to speak English with confidence grows every year.

There is no replacement for one-on-one language learning, where the student learns from and addresses a native speaker directly, face to face. However, I am proposing a business plan that capitalizes on the convergence of technology, business and education. www.speakenglishnow.com will lead the way in meeting the emerging demand for learning English via cyberspace.

The company will offer the convenience and expertise to students in Costa Rica and other parts of the globe, to learn English at their own pace and leisure from the comfort of their computer screens. The plan intends to create not just a virtual classroom for those desiring to learn, but a global community of business people and students, bridging cultural gaps and eliminating borders.

Speakenglishnow.com will be a startup, for-profit website/company that will provide live, online, one-on-one tutoring services for students and businesspersons around the world via broadband internet connection through webcam, chatrooms and headsets. The company will initially launch its services in Costa Rica with English speaking tutors. Eventually the company hopes to meet a growing demand for business English throughout the world.

A few of the advantages the website will have over in-class teaching sessions are:

'Students shall receive the undivided attention of a given tutor, to ask questions and focus on specific language needs.

'They shall receive specialized language curriculum designed for the worker or the student.

'It shall provide a cross-cultural exchange between teachers and students around the world.

'It shall give access to a variety of tutors or teachers for any given student should he decide that one is inadequate.

As the offshoring/outsourcing movement becomes more prevalent for American firms, Costa Rica increasingly becomes an attractive location. With a highly educated work force, companies can set up shop there for a considerably lower amount than it would cost similarly in the States. With call centers popping up all over the country the demand for English grows exponentially. Www.speakenglishnow.com hopes to create a global database of native English teachers who will be available to conduct live, on-line English tutoring sessions with students and business professionals to meet this growing demand.

Here is how it will work:

A base fee of $5.99/month will be applied to each customer as a subscription fee. This will cover basic administrative costs of running the website. Then the tutors will be paid hourly, per session and they will set their own rates. The rates will be fairly competitive, since most of the teachers will be based out of Costa Rica and the going wage for English teachers there on average is around $5/hour. Payment transactions can be made online via Paypal or via other money transaction services.

Www.speakenglishnow.com will test market its services in Costa Rica. The company will ally itself with English language schools located within the San Jose area. The website can function as a supplementary learning tool accessed at the convenience of the student. If the business is successful in Costa Rica, then there are plans to extend services into parts of Asia.

Currently there are existing services that provide online language instruction for paying students. However there are shortcomings to each that Speakenglishnow hopes to overcome. For example, www.Speakshop.com is only for Spanish learners. The ETC learning center is an online language school whose primary target market is the high school/college level English student and is not marketed for the business/professional student. www. Enlgishtown.com is marketed for the business professional but is also very high priced.

Advertisements will be placed in various newspapers on the campuses of Costa Rican universities and in Costa Rican trade publications. We will directly approach some of the bigger Costa Rican companies to announce our services as an alternative to contracting private English instruction schools or as a complementary measure, perhaps even creating a pricing plan and package that works best for them. Also web banners will be placed in some of the more frequently visited websites in Costa Rica.

As one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, with 50,000 jobs in over 165 different countries, the demand for English grows as globalization and international business increases, especially in countries such as China, South Korea, Brazil and Costa Rica. Speakenglishnow.com will position itself in the marketplace as one of the first virtual classroom services available worldwide to meet increasing demands for learning, and will be the site for teachers of EFL to find potential students from around the world and earn additional income beyond what they earn in-class.