Just one week after launch, Latviaâ€˜s latest online learning community has attracted well over 1,000 registered users, has members from over 45 countries, and is currently growing by 20% every day.
www.learngratis.com was officially launched on September 1st by the Lingua Franca Language Centre, of Akas Iela 5/7, Riga. Responding to an uncertain business climate, the language centreâ€˜s founders, Matt Ettl and John Whitmore, together with English teacher Mike Jones, decided to try a new, radical approach to offer their language teaching online and for free!
The website has already become popular among the Latvian community at home, in the United Kingdom, and in the Republic of Ireland. However, there are also growing groups of users in countries such as the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Russia. The founders are currently promoting the website to companies in Latvia and abroad who can use the course as a free supplement to their language training programmes.
www.learngratis.com was created as a simple answer to a difficult problem many more people in Latvia, and all over the world, want to learn new languages than can afford to pay for private classes.
The website has been designed to be family friendly and suitable for use by individuals, students, and in company training programs. The grammar-topic chapters contain video lessons, interactive tests, and related vocabulary.
The designers behind the site hope that by providing free language tuition they can stimulate peopleâ€˜s interest in learning new tongues and encourage people to react to the global economic crisis by increasing their skills and abilities.
The three founders of www.learngratis.com are all foreigners who have come to Latvia to learn the local languages and experience the local culture. They hope that their website will give other people the skills and linguistic confidence to likewise partake in the ever closer global community.
Although it is still early days, the reaction to the website has been so positive that the founders have already started to investigate the possibility of launching courses in new global languages such as French, German, and Russian early next year.