English, baby!

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English, baby!
English baby logo small.jpg
Web address www.englishbaby.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Education, Social network service
Registration Required for some services
Available in American English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish
Owner Versation
Created by John Hayden, co-founder, CEO
Launched 2000
Revenue undisclosed
Alexa rank 118,937

English, baby! is a social network and online curriculum for learning conversational English and slang[1] based in Portland, Oregon.[2] The service is used by more than 1.6 million members, making it one of the largest, most well-established and highest rated[3] online communities of English learners and teachers. English, baby! is most popular in China,[4] where roughly a quarter of its users are based. Other countries in which the service is popular include Turkey, Brazil, India, Egypt, the United States, and Taiwan.[5] [6]

The company offers a free membership as well as a paid, premium membership and frequently uses celebrities in its English lesson videos.[7]

Lessons[edit]

English, baby! is home to several thousand English lessons.[8] Many of the lessons feature celebrities teaching a term or phrase and discussing how they learned English if it is not their first language. Celebrities who have taught English lessons on English, baby! include NBA All-Stars such as Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, Olympic gold medalist figure skaters Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, and musicians Sheryl Crow and Girl Talk.[6]

The website also produces an English lesson soap opera series and reality TV style videos.[9] Other lessons are based on MP3s instead of videos and based on improvised conversations between native English speaking actors. Most lessons include grammar instruction, quizzes, and vocabulary words. Much of the lesson content is only available to premium "Super Members" who pay $5 per month. These members also have access to a live teacher to answer questions for them.

In addition to students, ESL teachers can create lessons on English, baby! or use content from the site in their classrooms.[8]

History[edit]

English, baby! was founded in 2000 when John Hayden returned from working for Hitachi and teaching English in Japan.[6] He found that many students lacked a means of learning conversational English and started English, baby! to create an online experience similar to traveling in the English-speaking world or studying abroad. Hayden remains the company's CEO.[4]

In 2005, Versation Inc., a parent company for English, baby![10] was created. Versation also produces alumni management and recruitment software for colleges and universities.

Following the popularity of sites like MySpace and Facebook, English, baby! introduced social networking features in 2006, enabling members to create profiles on the site. In 2009, English, baby! registered its one millionth member.[9]

English, baby! has content-sharing partnerships with companies such Nokia in China, and HOOP Magazine in Japan.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dizik, Alina. "Mastering the Finer Points of American Slang". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Cuti, Jaymee. "Slang for English Learners". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "English, baby! Review". Top Ten Reviews. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Yan, Ling. "林來瘋 帶動學習英語熱潮". CNA. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Dan. "English, baby! signs up celebs for ELT". Professionals in International Education (PIE). Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Fine, Larry. "NBA stars, celebs help fans learn English on website". Reuters. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Carolyn, Hastings. "Jason Simms Speaks English, baby!". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Davis, Os. "DREAM FACULTY TEAM: EUROPEAN NBA STARS TEACH ENGLISH ONLINE". Ball In Europe. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Fleming, Ryan. "Slang-Lish". Willamette Week. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Dubner, Stephen. "What Will Globalization Do to Languages? A Freakonomics Quorum". Freakonomics. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Dan. "English, baby! signs up celebs for ELT/". Professionals in International Education (PIE). Retrieved 24 August 2012. 

External links[edit]