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Lingo Media seeing English language learning products shine brightly in pandemic world

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With over 1.6 billion people globally learning English, Lingo has developed a SaaS platform that seamlessly blends education and technology

Lingo Media Corporation - Lingo Media’s cool English language learning products shine brightly in pandemic world

Quick facts: Lingo Media Corporation

Price: 0.055 CAD

TSX-V:LM
Market: TSX-V
Market Cap: $1.95 m
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  • Toronto-based education technology company has a suite of products designed to teach English to a global population
  • Novel speech recognition technology allows users to analyze pronunciation and simulate real-life conversation scenarios
  • Major strategic partnerships in South America and China, which are its main target markets

What Lingo Media does:

Lingo Media Corporation (CVE:LM) (OTCMKTS:LMDCF) is an education technology company which develops English language learning products to support learners — from classroom to boardroom. The Toronto-based company publishes English language learning material in multiple media formats for international markets. It develops books, tapes, videos, compact discs, and online content.

With over 1.6 billion people globally learning the language, English-as-a-second language (ESL) products and services are an estimated $56 billion industry, according to data from Ambient Insight. What’s more, digital ESL applications are booming in both market value and popularity, democratizing access to the world’s most popular language.

Against this backdrop, Lingo has developed a software-as-a-service (SaaS) learning platform with a complete suite of products that seamlessly blends education and technology by way of two distinct business units: ELL Technologies and Lingo Learning.

ELL Technologies provides online training and assessment for English language learning, while Lingo Learning is a print-based publisher of English language learning programs in China, where Lingo Media has a particularly strong presence.

Lead product ELL Technologies is aimed squarely at academic institutions, governments and corporations offering lessons and teaching material.

A major differentiating feature of the product is Lingo’s speech recognition technology that allows users to analyze pronunciation and simulate real-life conversation scenarios. Users can record and compare themselves with native speakers to match their pronunciation.

How is it doing:

Lingo revealed in May that it turned a year-over-year net profit during the first quarter of 2020 as the company added new customers and key distributors. For the quarter ended March 31, net profit was C$233,619, or C$0.01 a share, compared to a net loss of C$314,522, or C$0.00 loss per share in 2019.

It has been a busy spell for Lingo amid the sweeping shift to remote learning as schools close their doors to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Lingo subsidiary ELL Technologies is holding webinars to help English teachers adjust to teaching remotely.

The first webinar to be led by David Boughton, ELL Technologies Director of Pedagogy, is designed to share best practices from the company’s online education programs and help teachers hone the skills it takes to keep students engaged in a remote environment.

ELL Technologies has enhanced its language learning platform with new features, including additional resources for teachers and white label capacity for distributors and customers. Chief among the new features is ELL’s Studio App, which lets students practice pronunciation using their mobile devices and provides instant feedback to help them improve. The app builds on the company’s Studio Desktop and Speak2Me features by integrating anytime access, progress tracking and teacher monitoring capabilities.

For teachers, ELL has added file assignment and lesson assignment features, which let teachers supplement the regular curriculum by assigning additional content to specific students. For its white label business and other customers, there are new interface customization options available for institutions or course providers to add their own logos, colors and course descriptions.

The group has entered a distribution agreement with JPH Consultoria Academica in Guatemala and renewed an agreement with FloridaBlanca in Colombia for an additional year. It also renewed its agreement with Innovalingua de Mexico SAS de CV in Mexico and inked new distribution deals in Ecuador and Mexico.

Lingo also completed the development of chat functionality in its new Learning Management System (LMS) and developed a resource allocation functionality feature for the LMS for teachers.

In March, ELL Technologies inked an agreement to sell its interactive language learning solutions to Accent Plus SA. Accent Plus is using ELL Technologies' English for Success (EFS) and Portuguese learning solutions in a blended environment that combines in-class instruction with interactive online tools outside of the classroom.

In December last year, the group hired a sales manager to expand sales in Latin America. The company’s business model rests on establishing alliances with academic intuitions around the world. In keeping with this tack, ELL Technologies has signed an agreement to license its interactive English for Success solution to Liberty University.

Lingo has a multimillion-dollar contract is with Colombia’s National Training Service, SENA, where it is developing a digital content library. The contract hit a number of major milestones for Lingo as a significant partnership with a leading government body in Latin America.

Similarly, ELL Technologies secured a sales contract with FOCUS Your Mind Colombia to implement its new online English language learning program, one of several agreements in the country.

Nearby in Peru, the company has a distribution partnership with Telefonica Group, a dominant telecommunications firm in the region. It also has alliances with education publisher Gale Cengage and language assessment tool provider iTEP.

The company has expanded the existing market for PEP Primary English program (print-based) into an additional province in China.

Inflection points:

  • On a long-term basis, Lingo will get a boost as it has implemented a number of functionality and feature upgrades to its platform teachers and students
  • The work with its channel partners to renew existing contracts and to build new business is promising
  • Additionally, it has expanded its distribution network and expects new relationships to drive sales contracts
  • The company has also said it is evaluating M&A opportunities to position the company for accelerated growth.
  • It has said it will continue to release new product features throughout 2020, on top of its expanding library of content

What the boss says:

Commenting on the sweeping adoption of remote and e-learning trends in the markets that the company services, Lingo Media CEO Gali Bar-Ziv said: "We live in a new world, with a new normal and new learning reality, with the sudden shut-down of schools creating unique challenges for teachers." 

“Through years of work with eLearning and remote blended teaching, our team has gained extensive knowledge that can allow teachers to adapt quickly. We want to give back to the education community, and this is a great opportunity to support our teaching colleagues around the world and improve outcomes for students," he added.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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