Furloughed Teacher Starts New English School Online

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Faced with working only half time and unable to find another job, English teacher William Perkins starts his own school online teaching English to students in foreign countries using Skype video conferencing software.

Faced with a 50% pay cut at his current teaching position, furloughed English teacher William Perkins starts his own English school, Williams English School Online. His new online school teaches one-on-one Skype English lessons to students worldwide who want to improve their English.

“Having my hours reduced at work really forced me to be creative. I knew how to build a website and how to teach English, so I decided to make my services available to students all over the world,” says William.

The school offers courses in Business English, TOEIC and TOEFL Test Preparation, Survival English, and General English. Each course is ten lessons and each lesson is 50 minutes.

Studies show that Skype English lessons are actually more effective than regular classroom lessons because students pay closer attention to their teacher. Students tend to listen more closely and try to speak more clearly when taking English lessons online. “Students speak better English more quickly with this method,” says William.

Students presently taking English lessons at Williams English School are from Finland, Japan, Viet Nam, and the Czech Republic. “Students find the school on the internet, and now I need to recruit more teachers to meet the demand,” says William.

Using Skype video conferencing software, a webcam, and a computer, students around the world are able to take face-to-face English lessons online relatively cheaply. The video conference call is free using Skype software, and the software is free and easily downloadable.

William has been teaching English as a second language for seven years and is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English. He became a Skype English teacher while teaching English in Japan. He founded another English school in Hawaii three years ago but was forced to sell it when the recession hit hard in Hawaii.

"The idea for an English school online came about as a result of having to sell the physical English school I founded in Hawaii," says William. "With this new school the overhead is very low, and I suspect many more teachers will teach Skype lessons in the future."

“That’s the great thing about America. You can still start a business on your kitchen table at home. The American Dream is alive a well. I’ve heard that more businesses are started during a recession than when the economy is good,” says William.


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