How to Build an Internet Company Teaching English to Spanish Speakers Online with Marcus Carter

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Students Empowered

15 Years 

Technology Expiernce leveraged into Nonprofit LMS Development

Skilled Trade Career Categories Served



To succeed in any kind of global business in our interconnected world, one needs a good handle of the English language. In Spain, and in many other Spanish speaking countries, English teaching is not always presented in an interesting manner, often resulting in less-than-successful language ability. Enter Marcus Carter, whose own “Carter Method” at the Carter School of English approaches English learning through practical but engaging techniques, and use of technology.

Originally from the UK, Marcus has been residing in Spain for many years, teaching English in different types of schools, and to all age groups. He became frustrated with the way English was taught, leaving students feeling unconnected and less than confident, so he dove into different teaching methodologies, hoping to find a way to make learning English easy and quick. Eventually he created the Carter Method and opened his own schools, attracting students of all levels.

Marcus also knew that he needed to stand out in a crowded market. His emphasis on phonetics, along with a willingness to apply a multifaceted technology stack, has helped him reach a wide variety of students, from children to business people, and he eventually had three schools, with a total of 23 teachers.

That facility with technology served him well when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of his brick and mortar schools. Marcus was able to get his teachers to switch to online teaching, using digital whiteboards, Zoom, and funneling traffic via TikTok, Instagram, and Telegram to his website.

LifterLMS: The Missing Link

Although he’s located in Spain, Marcus has students in South America and Mexico as well, areas where good English skills are increasingly critical for global interaction, but where students are not always adequately prepared. Eventually demand for classes had Marcus looking for ways to digitize his course content.

He had always been a WordPress user, but was unfamiliar with learning management systems (LMS.) He had started using a stand-alone membership plugin to create digital courses, but it proved clumsy and unreliable. He was not yet aware that software existed that could help him create digital courses easily.

Although unfamiliar with LMS software, Marcis eventually happened upon a LifterLMS tutorial video in YouTube by Ferdy Korpershoek and realized that LifterLMS was the ingredient he had been missing. Soon he was reformatting his course content to input into LifterLMS, and using the LifterLMS Universe Bundle to set up payment gateways and groups.

"I've had quite a few students go through the course on the LifterLMS plugin and everybody loves it."

One of the big advantages of the groups add-on is that it allows Marcus to create custom portals for businesses as opposed to individual learners. He customizes the group to reflect the company’s branding, opens a small number of seats, and sends the company the link so that they can register, try the product, and opt for a license that fits their needs.

Challenges of Online Language Learning: Interactivity

LifterLMS offers Marcus other advantages as well; he notes that one of the benefits of digital courses is that they allow a student to go back to a lesson over and over again, in order to learn the concept well. However, learning a language as a functional tool of communication needs interaction as well.

"What I'm doing with the digital course is turn it into something more and more interactive."

Using Adobe Captivate, Marcus has created interactive videos that he has embedded into his LifterLMS lessons. What makes these videos stand out is the use of semi-transparent overlays displaying phrases and phonetic symbols to make the videos interactive. Students can then click on the overlays on the screen, hear an audio feedback, and change the state of an object to something else.

To embed the interactive videos into LifterLMS, he uses iframes that he imports from, a CDN who markets themselves as offering exceptionally fast content delivery.

If you're going to use something like interactive videos, if you want to blow the learners away, start looking at something like that, because that makes a massive difference.

Marcus had previously hosted his lesson videos on YouTube. However, not only is YouTube unable to accommodate interactive videos, the platform makes it difficult to prevent pirating. Having his lessons created in Captivate and input into LifterLMS means that while he still shares content on YouTube, he is now free from the limitations and disadvantages of YouTube for his premium and private course content.

The Carter Method prioritizes making learning both engaging and fast, so the teachers Marcus hires have to be more than educators; they need to be able to make learning fun to drive motivation. That motivation is also the reason behind emphasizing more natural learning, starting with listening to vocabulary the way young children first learn to speak. Phonetics are also a major priority, as they figure so prominently in how a person understands, and is understood by, native speakers, so they are often the focus of Marcus’ social media videos.

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