Kris Jagasia : Fluency in English Opens the Door to Greater Earning Opportunities and Improved Life Outcomes

August 5, 2022

English language learning changes lives. Research is clear. Fluency in English opens the door to greater earning opportunities and improved life outcomes.

English is spoken by over 1.35 billion people, the official language of more than a quarter of countries in the world. English is our global lingua franca.

Without this common passport, inequity compounds.

Too many English Learners are struggling. Research shows that the last few years have disproportionately impacted these learners, a student population that is the fastest growing group in the United States, making up 1 in 10 learners. Without focused interventions, the cracks of inequity will turn into an impossible chasm.

Meaningfully delivering high-quality education to learners means ensuring that every learner has access to high-quality language learning.

We believe, and know from research, that teachers offer the best bet to addressing the inequities faced by English Learners. But teachers face huge demands on their time. Schools around the world struggle to find high-quality language teachers.

We are on a mission to solve those two problems. We build research-backed tools that save teachers time and allow schools to rapidly upskill new teachers. We also look to fill in the gaps, pairing schools with high quality teachers from our global network of instructors.

Off2Class is the ESL teacher toolkit that saves time and drives equitable English Learner outcomes.

Tell us about yourself?

I am the son of immigrants. From childhood, I was taught the value and importance of learning. Whatever they had, my parents invested in my education.

That helped inform not just the founding of Off2Class but my own life. I’ve had the privilege of teaching English to four students: my nephews living in Switzerland, and two Syrian refugees in Toronto.

As far as Off2Class, I originally started working in corporate finance. I had the chance to work with some of the market leaders and eventually move to the Middle East.

While in Istanbul, I met up with a friend (James Heywood) who was teaching English online in the region.

This was the early days of teaching online (2013) and we quickly saw that, while there was a demand for online learning, the content and material teachers were using were still created with print audiences in mind. Teachers needed fit-for-purpose content and tools for English Learning online.

So we started creating.

Fast-forward a few years and we’ve built a company whose tools are used in over 120 countries by thousands of teachers daily. We are used by schools in over 100 US K-12 districts and are growing rapidly.

At the end of the day, what keeps me excited is seeing Off2Class power learning. We do that empowering teachers with time-saving tools and content.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to focus on key foundational hires. To scale sustainably, the ‘infrastructure’ layer of your team is everything.

What problem does your business solve?

We know ESL teachers need high-quality digital content and time-saving tools. Content and tools that will free them up to spend more time with their students.

And, when it comes to improving outcomes for English Language Learners, research (and our own experience) tells us that the more quality time teachers have with students, the better.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Meaningfully delivering high-quality education to learners means ensuring that every learner has access to high-quality language learning.

We believe, and know from research, that teachers offer the best bet to addressing the inequities faced by English Learners. But teachers face huge demands on their time. Schools around the world struggle to find high-quality language teachers.

We are on a mission to solve those two problems. We build research-backed tools that save teachers time and allow schools to rapidly upskill new teachers. We also look to fill in the gaps, pairing schools with high quality teachers from our global network of instructors.

What is your magic sauce?

We have always, and always will, strive to work with teachers, rather than try to replace them. We are built, from the ground-up, to enable online learning.

We are built on rigorous pedagogy and with a keen appreciation for the importance of high-quality instruction. We are laser-focused on saving teacher time.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Off2Class is on a mission to bring high-quality, English Language Development lessons to every English Learner in America.

In some cases, our curriculum and assessments aren’t enough, as there can be a lack of educators available. We’ll leverage our incredible tutor network in over 100 countries to help us achieve this lofty goal.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

It’s tough to pick one, but rewriting our entire code base to switch from a pretty slack bolted-on WordPress environment, to an entirely new infrastructure, was pretty intense!

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Try us out! We offer free lesson plans and support on our website. We host webinars, job boards and have a huge Facebook community of teachers that provide on-going advice and professional learning.

Whether you’re an ESL teacher looking for great content, a school looking to save time or looking for a great ESL teacher to hire, Off2Class can help.

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