Pushed out of their comfort zone by the pandemic, language schools have sought new forms of operation and interaction with their students.
A solely online education, once considered unimaginable, has brought many advantages. For one, language schools saw their market broaden beyond previous location-based limits. They are also no longer limited by the number of classrooms. At the same time, online teaching has put more pressure on schools to lower their prices for language courses, even though they have yet to catch up with their pre-pandemic revenues.
The new norm for most language schools The Slovak Spectator spoke to is a mixture of online and in-person teaching. Teachers and students have become so accustomed to this form of education that they do not want to return to exclusively in-person learning anymore.
“The pandemic has helped shatter any prejudice against the online form of communication,” said Katarína Lovíšková, managing director of the International House Bratislava language school, one of the biggest in Slovakia according to the Largest in Business ranking for 2021.
Familiarity with online teaching an advantage
The lockdowns, introduced during the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020, forced language schools to switch to online teaching from one day to the next. Some of them had experience with online education before the pandemic, but most teachers and students feared online classes.