Dr. Karyn Koven has been around education her entire adult life, either as a university student, high school teacher, counselor, or administrator. And it’s this experience that allowed her discover how underserved many students are when it comes to learning foreign languages. Seldom do students walk away from years of studying language with any fluency, regardless of whether or not they pass the classes.
The problem is real. According to the 2017 International and Foreign Language Education Overview released by the Department of Education, a whopping 90 percent of Americans don’t speak a second language, despite most having taken (and presumably passing) language curriculum at some point in their lives.
So she did what any sensible type-A problem solver would do in her shoes: she started own fully-accredited online language school.
LanguageBird’s mission is to create a community of learners who master speaking a new language with confidence. It’s about people and culture not software. And it isn’t exactly what most people think of when they imagine a school. Instruction is one-to-one between teacher and student, and no one has to be in the same room. A network of teachers and students from around the globe connect with each other using video and online portals. They’re able to offer 11 languages, everything from the staples you’d see in most high schools, such as Spanish and French to less common languages like Arabic and Russian.
The outcomes have been terrific. Students completing courses through Karyn’s school actually walk away learning the languages. That’s probably a big reason why LanguageBird was able to obtain accreditation from the WASC and have their courses approved by the NCAA. You can even find LanguageBird courses listed on the University of California’s course list.
You could chalk up Karyn’s success to the fact that she’s equal parts educator and entrepreneur. She also isn’t one for wasting valuable time or resources. This includes the different software she implements into her workflow.
So when she was evaluating options for how to enroll students, she didn’t want a system that would require her to hire a developer whenever she needs to build a form or make a simple edit on an existing form. Luckily, there’s a form building software that helps with such things.
Enrolling New Students with JotForm
Right on the LanguageBird site is a JotForm-powered enrollment form that asks students and parents anything you’d imagine you’d need from a prospective student. There’s a section for detailing previous language courses taken, high school information, preferences for courses they’d like to take and during what times, and even a section for parents to provide their signature electronically and agree to the terms and conditions.
But the real beauty of her enrollment form is that it accepts tuition simultaneously alongside student enrollment information. LanguageBird uses JotForm’s integration with Stripe, which enables her to accept credit card payments directly through the form.
The form lets enrollees opt to pay for a full year’s worth of courses for credits, a single semester, or language tutoring session packages. She even uses JotForm’s coupon code feature that allows her to offer discounts and special promotions.
Simple-to-use technology allows Karyn to focus on growing LanguageBird, which now enrolls about 200 students, has over 100 alumni, and has even added a couple of administrative employees (in addition to her teachers around the world). In just a short year since it was founded, LanguageBird has shown what’s possible when it comes to students learning languages. And JotForm is happy to have played a part.
Do you know a foreign language? Feel free to say “Hello” in whatever language you prefer in the comments below! And does your organization use JotForm and want to be featured in an upcoming case study? Fill out our case study request form and we’ll get back to you.