Open letter from our CEO – COVID-19
I would like to send my best wishes to our employees, trainers, students and all the other people in our language community. I hope that you have managed to stay healthy and adapt to our new temporary way of living, in various degrees of lockdown, isolation and quarantine wherever you are located. I know that some of our teachers and students have been unwell or are busy caring for loved ones and I appreciate that many parents (my wife and I are included here) are now homeschooling their children for the first time ever. This is all happening while simultaneously trying to adapt to working from home meaning that many of us are with greater time constraints than usual.
The safety of our students, teachers and staff members is our first priority and that’s why I want to emphasize how proud I am of the fact that so many – around two thirds – of our students have been able to make the temporary switch from face-to-face to online classes in order to keep up with their language learning. I also want to say a huge thank you to our teachers who, in many cases, have had to adapt their teaching methodologies and get up to speed in record time with the use of online platforms. Well done students, well done teachers, well done our Academic Support Team! By continuing to learn during this time, you are ensuring that your language skills remain fresh, that your brains remain healthy and challenged, and that you are moving ever closer to your ultimate language goals. You are also providing vital work to our teachers at a time when so many others are finding it impossible to keep working and they will be forever grateful for this. And for those of you who have put their courses on hold, thank you for believing in us, for having the patience and confidence to wait until the crisis is over, and for making us realize that you truly see us as your long-term language training partner.
I also want to thank our amazing permanent staff – our Language Trainers family – for adapting so well and enthusiastically to the new mode of working at such short notice and for the financial sacrifices they have all had to make to keep the business afloat. You are all working harder than ever ensuring that we now have real-time reporting on how our thousands of learners and trainers are managing their learning transition during the crisis. You are busy developing many more online courses for individuals, closed groups and open groups, and are providing much more specialized academic support to those teachers who are new to the online world. You are also developing new improved methods for presenting our latest language tests to our corporate clients so that they can get free and quick evaluations of their teams on which to base their future language learning training needs.
It is so inspiring to witness that not even a pandemic cannot stop us from our mission – helping individuals connect and understand each other, so they can break down barriers and open their hearts and minds to different cultures, while assisting organizations to close deals and explore new markets. Our teachers and students in more than 20 countries around the world have kept going. Of course, while we are very happy that online language learning has proven to be such a great success, we are still eager to see this crisis behind us so that those clients and teachers who wish to return to face-to-face training can do so as soon as possible. We may need to implement some new distancing guidelines, such as how far students and teachers should sit from each other and whether they should wear face masks, but I am confident that we will more or less be back to normal within the next few months, hopefully sooner.
So for now, once again I thank everyone for their understanding, ask everyone to continue to respect social distancing and stay at home as much as possible, and wish everyone a very safe and healthy end to this crisis.
Alexis Sheldon – CEO, Language Trainers
Any language, anytime, anywhere (and online)