The story of ABC360 all began with a Chinese couple’s search for better English-speaking skills. Like all other Chinese students and professionals, Mr. and Mrs. Jing Li were trying to improve their communication skills; and that is when they met Ms. Lois Gabriel online. They eventually became students and teacher, respectively; however, Jing Li, otherwise known as “Shawn,” had a dream to make English accessible for all students in China. He noticed that, like he and his wife, the biggest problems hindering Chinese speakers from being able to communicate fluently using English were time and money, so that is when his idea about ABC360 kicked off.
Shawn and Lois, his English teacher, put up Englishbreak Online English School in 2011. The company only had three teachers at the time, and all of them were home-based. There were about 70 students during Englishbreak’s first month. The school was truly a work of heart and its beginnings were very humble.
“In the daytime, we looked for students who wanted to study English with us. There was no online marketing at that time, so we talked to people and tried to convince them to enroll in our classes. Sometimes we would talk to people for two hours and nobody would want to study, but sometimes we got lucky and one came to study with us.” said Shawn.
The team and the teachers worked hard together in looking for teachers and students. They also worked diligently in making the website, but that of course did not stop them in their quest for making English accessible for all.
“I would study for ten to twelve slots in the evening. Of course, I paid for it.” recalls Shawn with a laugh.
By the end of the year, Englishbreak found its first one-room teaching center on the fourth floor of the Lyman Ogilby Centrum Building in Baguio City, Philippines, and hired its first office-based teachers. Training sessions were conducted more conveniently, and the quality of lessons improved as connection and power problems were weeded out.
Englishbreak moved to a bigger office in the same building by the end of 2012 and by that time, the student-teacher ratio increased to one teacher catering to about 10 to 15 students in a day. The student population also increased from 70 to 300 in a day.
By 2013, Englishbreak experienced a steady rise in both its student and teacher count. The company had about 500 students learning every day and employed about 40 office-based teachers to teach them.
Englishbreak then skyrocketed to fame by being awarded as one of the top ten out of a hundred English schools in China. It then changed its name to “ABC360” in order for students to be able to say and remember the name more easily. Following these events, ABC360 then opened its doors to provide English services not only to our own students but also to other English institutions.
By 2014, ABC360 was booming in both its student and tutor population with over 3,000 students learning and about 200 teachers teaching each day. To accommodate the growing number of our teaching force, ABC360 opened a branch office at Camp John Hay in Baguio City where our teachers from the Rocky and iShow accounts shared their knowledge with many Chinese learners.
ABC360 has now moved to its new main office in the fourth basement of the Cooyeesan Hotel Plaza in Baguio City where it continues to provide English for all and better chances to good teachers.
Now, we additionally want to extend our teachings opportunities to native English speakers because we know they can offer even more. As they teach their native language, they will be able to share more about their culture and their native tongue. In this way, they can improve and help our students holistically and analytically. With this in mind, Chiang Mai City, Thailand, is the perfect place to provide this chance. Here, many English speakers want to settle because of its wonderful weather and kind people.
Our branch in Thailand started with just 3 home-based tutors and 10 online students. The number of tutors has increased as days go by. At first, the company’s challenge was marketing our native speakers so as to show what they can offer. It was also a challenge for the company at the beginning to attract native English speakers to stay in the company for a long time. After 3 months of research and adjustment, the company finally was able to find a way to attract experienced native English speakers, and ABC360 established a working place they could call their second home. ABC360 is now attracting a host of newly enrolling students who want to study with native English speakers. Together, we know students can learn English in a natural and easy way.
From our humble beginnings based in a Chinese couple’s home, to being one of the top online English schools in China, we know our continued drive for excellence can help us become the top online English school in China.
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