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NE Language Project Speaks LearnSpeed

In the cold gray murky part of England, just south of Scotland, sits one of the UK’s most innovative language schools.

Ed O’Neill graduated university qualified to be a lawyer. But his love of travel and languages led him to another calling. While living away from his native England in Russian, Ed began teaching english and loved it. In 2010, he moved back home and founded language school NE Language Project.

Today NE Language Project services the North East of England including Newcastle, York, and Edinborough and is growing rapidly. Mainly teaching english to adults, French and Spanish are also becoming very popular. They are adding languages all the time. Most students are foreign professionals looking to boost their skills to work in the U.K.

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Ed has found a model that really works. “We’re not that concerned about online and software based language systems. It’s just not the same”, says O’Neill. “You can’t really compare how effective one-on-one tutoring is for language against other methods. Our process just works better.”

Ed’s entire business is virtual and he currently manages it by himself using LearnSpeed. “There would be no way I could do it without LearnSpeed. Before I used to keep the student schedules in spreadsheets. When I was on my own that was fine. But when I added 3 or 4 tutors, it quickly became unmanageable”, says O’Neill.

Ed says that the single biggest impact LearnSpeed has had on his business is offloading much of his administrative work onto the instructors themselves. Tutors manage their own schedules, meet with students in-home or at university libraries, and file their session reports all through LearnSpeed.

“Session logging was the most surprising thing we didn’t think we needed until we had it with LearnSpeed. The communication system is also critical. Before I used to use text messages to communicate with tutors, but now I just use LearnSpeed’s Task system. Everything goes out, reminders are sent, and I’m alerted when things get done.”

Many of LearnSpeed’s features have provided elegant solutions to Ed’s problems. “For example…living in the UK, it’s not assumed that everybody has a car. Most people don’t”, says O’Neill. “We use LearnSpeed’s user tagging system to assign the tag ‘car’ to the tutors who own one. Then we can easily filter who can work with students away from public transit.”

LearnSpeed allows Ed to focus on revenue without adding the expense of administrators. “It pays for itself many times over”, he says. “We couldn’t expand the company without it and I intend to be the premier language school in the U.K. very soon.”

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