Record high demand for English, Mandarin and Spanish means there are numerous opportunities to teach languages, identifying where students are from, what services they are looking for and how you position your products and services is important in making the most of the opportunities for any language education business.

Worldwide the language learning industry’s revenue was $US 56.3 billion dollars, the majority of this revenue is from English language learning.

World Wide Language Learning Market

Globally there is an increasing demand for digital English language learning products and tools like our Virtual Classroom Software now make it easy to reach student from anywhere in the world. So how do you know where to focus your energies when doing marketing for either your offline or online language school?

Digital English Language Learning Purchasing:
Top Fifteen Countries for 2013 and 2018

Which students to market to for online english

Source: Ambient Insights


The AmbientInsight-2011-2016-Worldwide-Digital-English-Language-Learning-Market-Overview gives some great information on this trend. In summary the major digital English language learning products include:

  • Self-paced eLearning (courseware)
  • Collaboration-based Learning (live online classes and live online tutoring)
  • Digital Reference-ware (eTextbooks, audio, video)
  • Mobile Learning apps and edugames
  • Mobile Learning value added services (VAS)

There are a number of catalysts which are fueling this growth:

catalysts which are fuelling this digital english growth

There is a strong demand for learning English in emerging economies like China, India and Brazil and the market in these countries is huge. The regions for the highest growth rates in digital English language learning products are Africa (20.5%), Asia (14.2%) and Latin America (13.8%)

The growth rates for Western Europe (4.5%) and North America (5.3%) are much lower. Though these two regions have the second and third largest buying revenue after Asia, the markets here are mature with established revenue streams. There is still a strong demand for digital English language learning products in Russia and Eastern European Countries as well.

Some African countries have recently changed government policies to promote English learning. In 2014 Moroccan government announced the transition to English as the language of instruction starting with medical and engineering programs.

In other African countries English may be the official language even though only a small percentage of the population speak it. For Example in Zimbabwe only 3%, speak English already and in Zambia 4%, while In South Africa only 7% speak English at home. Yet in these three countries English is the official language.

In terms of revenue growth, the countries with the highest growth rates are Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Mozambique, Malaysia, Kenya, Laos, Indonesia, and Uganda. All of these countries have growth rates that are more than three times higher than the aggregate global growth rate (11.1%).

Ghana, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Angola, and Vietnam all have growth rates above 30%. All of these countries are in either Asia or Africa and are located outside Western Europe and North America. While in Scandinavian countries students are fluent in English before they leave high school, so consumer demand is low in Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

Top 10 Worldwide Digital English Language Learning 5 year Growth Rates by country

best countries to teach english

Source: Ambient Insights


If you already have students from countries where the demand for English is high it would be worthwhile to nurture these contacts to get a footing in these markets.

If you're not already using LearnCube you can try our Free Virtual Classrooms Software or for a complete online school you can schedule a demo of our Virtual Language School Platform

Another great source to research new markets is the ICEF Monitor website: Four trends that are shaping the future of global student mobility

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to market online is by email. Creating effective emails - Anatomy of a good email