Harrogate entrepreneur talks the right language with online training venture
A Harrogate woman who built a successful training company teaching languages to business people and companies has taken her winning formula online.
Tina Kalantaridi spent more than a decade taking her team of language teachers into companies to deliver tailored foreign language training.
Now she has developed online training environment The Language Pod to allow business people to access bespoke teaching through a specially designed virtual classroom.
“Back in the day – particularly during the 1990s when in house corporate language teaching was in its heyday – I was sending out a fantastic team of language teachers to all sorts of companies,” said Kalantaridi.
“Languages were taught in conference rooms and private offices and the formula worked like a dream.”
Kalantaridi has since relocated from Cambridge, where her original language business was based, to Yorkshire where she has launched The Language Pod to meet the needs of businesses and individuals who want a more flexible approach to learning to develop their language skills for personal or career development.
“Attitudes and behaviours have changed radically over the past few years and with more people working flexible hours and, in many cases, being home-based at least part of the working week, language lessons in the workplace are not as viable as they once were,” she said.
Kalantaridi developed The Language Pod after carrying out market research to determine the current needs of businesses and running a pilot programme online in four languages.
“With the online learning market set to grow from its current value of around 165bn dollars to over 240bn dollars by 2023 I recognised the need to invest in a robust learning platform,” she said.
The Language Pod, which offers training in a host of languages including Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese, gives students access to live lessons with professionally qualified and vetted teachers, held in interactive virtual classrooms.
Kalantaridi said: “The platform is ideal for companies who are looking to enter a new export market or who have regular communication with foreign colleagues and clients but it is also useful for those recruiting from abroad and for individuals who want to learn for personal reasons, for travel or in preparation for moving overseas.”