VIPKid, an innovative educational tool that bridges divides

VIPKid, an innovative educational tool that bridges divides
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English Language Education

Being a native English speaker opens many doors. There are abundant opportunities for North American expatriates in Spain to find work as English teachers in various capacities, with some teaching in schools as Auxiliares de Conversación, or others in private academies, as freelancers, or providing in-company classes. The demand from Spanish people of all ages for English classes is constant throughout the year but halts altogether during the summer months forcing these teachers to be resourceful to make ends meet.


A new resource has emerged that allows these and all other North American English teachers to teach lessons online from home, with the flexibility to control their schedules. This innovation has come in the form of  VIPKid, a leading educational startup based in China.


Bridging Divides

VIPKid, founded by Cindi Mi, pairs English teachers with a constant influx of students from China, where the demand for English lessons is steady and growing. Online education has effectively bridged the divide between the supply and demand for educational services. English teachers are required to wear an orange shirt, the standard uniform of VIPKid and utilize a reliable internet connection, as well as to pass a series of interviews and paid trial lessons. The mechanisms of the service allow the teachers to present their availability to the parents who can reserve one-to-one lessons for their children ages 4-12. Parents can receive suggestions of teachers that have aligned interests with their children, in subjects such as sports, music, and entertainment.


Taking a leaf out of Netflix’s user-friendly interface, VIPKid allows parents to grade their children’s teachers with star ratings, and teachers can access the feedback so they can learn from it and adapt to the needs of their students.


The Value of Online Education in China

Chinese parents are prioritizing high-quality education for their children, especially in the realm of English language comprehension. Since its inception four years ago, VIPKid has scaled up to more than 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students, and project revenues reached $750 million in 2017. Its stock has more than doubled in 2017, ascending to a market value of $15 billion. VIPKid announced in August that it would target the US market by offering Mandarin lessons soon enough.


Mi has said that her ambition is to “deliver the most efficient way to learn, rather than the cheapest per class.” She believes Chinese parents will jump at the opportunity to pay for English lessons if they can see a quantifiable return on investment.


Mi recognized a lucrative vacuum and rose to the occasion by creating a profitable service that was enticing to both the teachers and students that utilize it. By presenting them with the infrastructure to connect with each other, Mi’s innovation allowed all parties involved to benefit strongly.


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