You spoke, and we listened!
Feliciations! Поздравляю! Congrats! Mabrouk! Mazel tov! Global Language Network is celebrating its 14th year in operation! When I founded GLN in 2005, I was fulfilling my life-long dream of making the world a better place while doing what I love. At GLN, our mission is to “Use language as a tool to help fix our world” and for the past 14 years, we have been re-framing language education in a way that engages teachers and students inside and outside the classroom.
Our mission, communicative approach, “no English challenge,” diverse network, volunteers, partners, and vision of “building a Network of Givers, for Givers, by Givers” are all aspects that have set GLN apart and has earned us the rank of top language classes in DC on Yelp, year after year. Our unique pricing model is an innovation for the industry and has led many curious learners to GLN with our affordable pricing and “rewarding participation” approach.
One of our challenges has always been: how can we incentivize language learning with our limited resources?
For our die-hard GLNers out there, you have seen the various phases of our pricing model over the years (from free, to small fees, to deposits of various degrees). Every pricing change has been with one thing in mind: better serving our students. We have come to realize that a “deposit” system creates a transaction-focused relationship that we have been doing everything to avoid. We do not want customers. We want to expand our wider GLN family and continue building our diverse network of professionals who share in our love of language, cross-cultural understanding, and, we believe, a shared mission to use our unique tools to make the world a better place.
Anyone who knows how many long hours (and all-nighters) have been pulled by our team to provide an excellent experience in language learning and cultural networking knows that every move we make is to better serve our network and to bring life to our mission.
For this reason, we listened to feedback from dozens, perhaps hundreds, of students like you and we have decided to retire our “deposit” system.
Since we believe you share our vision of building a Network of Givers, for Givers, by Givers, we want to shift our transaction-focused model to one that symbolizes teamwork. In our unending commitment to keep our services the most affordable, quality language classes in Washington, DC, our base price is still just $200 per class (!). However, now that will serve as an up-front $200 fee (instead of partial fee and partial deposit), just as you would pay for any other education, class, or service. In keeping with our participation and attendance model, we still plan to reward good attendance and participation and will give back $100 (minus the $5 PayPal fee) to each student with the same good attendance policy as before.
Making our pricing model “50-50” helps us feel, and remind ourselves, that we are in this together. We are working hard to find ways to inspire social change and we hope to have some exciting developments in our pricing model down the road; changes that will reward our students for driving social change.
For now, however, the only changes are just the 50-50 split and retiring our “deposit” system for our new system of giving back.
Practically, you will receive a “refund” (funds reversal) to your original payment just as you did before. However, we want to highlight the reality: our students are paying next to nothing for a top-quality class ($200) and, on top of that, we are giving back $100 for students who adhere to the attendance policy.
We are always open to feedback and we invite you to share your thoughts if you have any questions, comments, or feedback. If you can think of a better name than “$100 give back” please post a comment below!
We of course recognize that the registration fee has increased ever so slightly from the past. The reality is that our costs go up each semester and we have not changed our minimal fees in four years. We appreciate your understanding and support as we make small changes which we believe will bring a big impact, not only on our ability to serve the public, but on our ability to continue building an amazing Network that is focused on Giving back. Thank you for your amazing commitment to our organization. You inspire us to be even better and we absolutely love serving you, day in and day out. Thank you for these past 14 years and here’s to many, many more years of continued success, growth, and social impact!
As always, I am eternally grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve you,
Founder and Executive Director
President and Chairman of the Board
PS – Several of you have asked what the difference is between 6-10 week classes and 12 week classes and why a 6 week class has the same $200 fee as a 12-week class. We have held 12-week semesters for years and only in the past few years have we created the shorter, 6-10 week classes due to popular demand. The course fees help us cover our fixed costs, which have the same base rate as a 12 week class, even if it’s just 6 weeks. Why offer 6 week classes at all? We listened to the hundreds of students, teachers, and partners who simply could not join our 12-week classes; either due to work or personal travel, other commitments, or simply because they found out about GLN mid-semester. We designed a way for you to join without the full semester-long commitment; an abbreviated semester that we call our “Executive Session.” We really hope to see you join us this Fall for one of our 70+ language classes, whether it’s for 12 weeks or even 6 weeks.