A recent report notes that a decline in U.S. foreign language learning could have negative impacts on the U.S. workforce, but new forecasts indicate the demand for online language learning tools could increase thanks to the prevalence of mobile devices.

Technavio analysts forecast the online language learning market in the U.S. to grow by almost 9 percent during the 2017-2021 forecast period, according to the firm’s latest report.

The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the online language learning market in the U.S. for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, Technavio analysts consider the revenue generated from the sales of foreign language learning products and services provided by online language learning providers.

The widespread penetration of smartphones and mobile devices and increased internet accessibility have boosted the online education system. This has led to the evolution of mobile learning, and consequently, many foreign language learning mobile apps are developed to provide online language courses to end-users.

All these fundamental developments in schools and colleges are encouraging language learning companies to invest in software, which can provide language learning solutions to diverse student population base in the U.S.

Next page: Four factors contributing to the growth of online language learning

Technavio education analysts highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the online language learning market in the U.S.:

  • Flexibility in learning
  • Significant demand from organizations
  • Increase in m-learning
  • Cloud-based language learning services

Flexibility in learning

Language learning through digital modes provides flexibility in terms of accessing the information, completing the course, and ability to access information anytime and anywhere. It has proven to be advantageous not only to students and institutions but also to faculty members and mentors. With the introduction of smartphones, tablets, and other devices, people can access the internet anywhere and anytime. This has paved avenues for mobile-based accessibility of language courses.

Jhansi Mary, a lead education technology research analyst at Technavio, says, “Language learning through cloud platforms has brought portability and flexibility in terms of accessing content from anywhere and anytime. Hence, any learner equipped with a computing device and internet connection can avail language learning services and courses.”

Significant demand from organizations

Companies in the U.S. are extending their workspaces to improve collaboration pertaining to project and task management among teams locally and globally. The workplace environment has become both globally and culturally diverse with organizations having an extensive geographical presence. For successful expansion into emerging economies that hold promising growth options, knowledge of languages that are most commonly used for business communication plays an important role.

“MNCs recruit employees from around the globe, bringing multi-lingual employees on board. This helps them achieve business development, better customer service, and improved revenues. Language learning also helps them to collaborate with foreign clients while fostering stronger relationships, especially with large corporations,” adds Jhansi.

Increase in mobile learning

The use of mobile technology and applications among corporations and institutions has enhanced connectivity and productivity of employees and students. The adoption of devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops has increased the use of the mobile internet that has made communication easier and more cost-effective. Mobile learning is playing a similar role in the education industry.

Further, as enterprises are adopting the BYOD policy to enhance productivity, the demand for mobile devices surges. Hence, the vendors of language learning products use mobile apps as a strong medium of content delivery and content centralization to reduce logistical costs. These apps use interactive graphics and animations in a digital format to help learners.

Cloud-based language learning services

The technology-aided learning environment, be it classrooms or workspaces, has facilitated smooth knowledge delivery. The entire ecosystem of storing, managing, and accessing information is fast shifting to the cloud. The adoption of the cloud-based services for language learning plays a major role in boosting the growth of the online language learning market in the U.S.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura