Language Learning as Business

Language learning is a big part of our mission life. Many of us have spent many months sitting in language school classrooms! Our fields have a lot of experience helping people learn language, and many of us have learned about our host contexts and built relationships through language acquisition.

Can language learning also be a viable business and a reliable source of income? Employing a focused commercial approach in Chile, we are hoping to find out!

GSI and OM Chile

With GSI's support, OM Chile is launching a Language School in Santiago. We have identified a market for learning English as a second language in the public, among high school and university students and working adults, and a preference in the culture for community learning in small classes. We believe that English classes could potentially be a profitable business, with OM Chile offering a convenient location in the city, competitive prices, and quality teaching delivered by caring English teachers, which is what our market research says the Chilean public looks for when they choose an English learning environment.

There are many points of connection between a Language School business and OM Chile's ministry. English lessons are already included in the residential mission training program for Latin Americans preparing for international mission stints, and there is already a qualified English teacher on the team. OM Chile has a number of vibrant local ministries which have attracted a network of local volunteers, who help raise awareness of OM locally. OM Chile's ministry centre in Santiago is a happening and friendly place that can embrace and take in a Language School, offering a unique international environment in which to practice oral English. And finally, OM's international mobilization network can be tapped as a source of qualified and dedicated English language teachers.

Business and Ministry

At the same time, various business actions have to be taken to set up the Language School. A full-time manager of the language school business has been identified and brought in. Resources have been set aside for marketing the school to the public. Additional English teachers will have to be recruited in future, and some upgrading of the existing classroom is needed, however the ball is rolling with the business ready to be launched.

Language learning, particularly English learning, is a growing global need that many people everywhere are prepared to pay for. The business could potentially contribute real value to society, up-skilling and blessing learners. Also, language learning is best done in conversation and in community, and this could create many opportunities to build relationships and touch people's lives. On the other hand, there are many mission-related language schools which have not proved to be financially sustainable. Pray for the launching of OM Chile Language School. It will be a learning experience for this mission field to combine business profitability with holistic ministry

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