In three decades VLLC has come a very long way. We have helped thousands of people learn to speak a second, third or even fourth language. When VLLC first started, the only way to really learn to speak a language well was to study it at school or university or to take a year or more off and absorb yourself in the country, culture and language. These were not options for everyone and very often the choices of languages were somewhat limited.
VLLC began to change the way languages are learned. We were told we didn’t stand a chance when we began a journey down the mother tongue method of learning. Many experts in linguistics told us it would never work. Well I guess VLLC has shown them wrong and 30 years later we are still helping people speak languages and doing so with more languages than ever before.
When I think back, I see the faces of people who had vision and goals to try something new for their lives and the lives of others. In the early days, Japanese was our most popular language as Japanese tourism counted for 75% of Australia’s tourists. Speaking Japanese opened up new career choices for many young people or those who wanted to change careers in their 30's or 40's. Many of these early students are still involved with Australia/Japanese business in various ways.
Technology the Language Driver
Technology has been a driving force behind the 30-year success story of VLLC. Starting out with the Phillips Language system, that is no more, but which many of our early students will fondly remember, the 5 hours a week language learning system was born. At the time, with the system, 5 hours a week was deemed sufficient, but many students studied for 10 hours or more with more than impressive results. Language laboratories with students sitting in cubicles, while being watched over by a supervisor was how it worked and with motivation and support, VLLC was soon producing some of the best foreign language speakers the world could ask for.
Our reputation for producing outstanding foreign language speakers soon became known and we began to tweak and improve the systems and methods we used before eventually creating our own. In just 2 short years VLLC was a growing, stable and successful language school and business, and our Melbourne and Sydney centres of excellence were established. To get to this stage was hard work but worth every moment and every bump in the road.
We developed more languages as needs arose. Some of the most interesting stories are from students who wanted to learn the language of family and love. I remember two Australian girls coming in to see me to beg for us to start Greek as they were married to brothers and felt isolated within their new families. They convinced us to develop a Greek language program which has continued to help Greek/Australian families since.
Ahead of the technology curve
Technology was to become our friend, and the Internet, along with digital technology, was about to revolutionise how VLLC operated. We were cautious of the internet at first, we respected the technology and took baby steps when incorporating it and the digital technologies that came with it into our language learning systems. Our evolution was simple yet intentional.
Technology revolutionised how VLLC teaches languages. Firstly, we moved our language systems onto an online platform. This streamlined our processes and made it possible to repeat a phrase, and find a place in a text or spoken recording at the click of a button. The secret to successfully learning a language was to attend a learning centre twice a week for 2.5 hours at a time but the technology made the learning experience better.
Moving with the internet
The next step was when the internet became more prevalent and we developed VLLC’s online client. This meant students could learn on their own, at their own pace, in between coming to the centre for tutorials to back up the learning and keep the effectiveness in place. At VLLC we know how valuable it is having someone who speaks the language on hand, and this led to the third step of our evolution.
The third step has been to embrace the whole online learning approach that the world is getting used to. With a full online learning program with online tutors and enhanced teaching systems anyone can learn a language with VLLC anywhere in the world. The lessons we learnt when teaching the languages, the old ways have been adopted into our online language learning systems and this means we deliver exceptional results for anyone and everyone, anytime and anywhere.
VLLC has become international, our classrooms can be found in any living room or bedroom and our first-class tutors come to you on your laptop or mobile device whenever you need them. We now share our dream of helping people speak a foreign language globally and our business is no longer limited to Australia but anywhere on the planet. To learn a language all you need is a device and internet connectivity. Our old-school lessons, passion and understanding of how language learning works remain the same, how this is accessed has just been extended and improved. You will still need at least 5 hours a week but that 5 hours can be in the comfort of your own home, quietly at your office desk or even at 39,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean if you have connectivity.
So, from old school classroom studies to an advanced online learning system VLLC has evolved to become one of the leading language learning centres in the world. We currently teach 12 languages, and more are in the pipeline. We have plans to offer language learning for kids as well as an advanced learning program taking language to a degree level. In 30 years, we have begun to conquer the world and the next 30 will see us achieve even more. And it all started by you wanting to speak another language!