Posted by ER On August - 4 - 2010

Vadim: In 2004 while serving as a camp counselor in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg, I became acquainted with a group of young people from Australia who were there on holiday. They were very friendly and I had a great interest in getting to know them better, but unfortunately I was unable to communicate with them because of my poor English. My lack of English speaking skills was a big shock for me, because I had recently graduated from school and had received the highest grade of 5 in English. After they left, I made a promise to myself that I would learn English no matter what.One year passed, and my English had not noticeably improved.

Although I studied a lot on my own and read many highly recommended grammar books, my progress was slow due to a lack of practice with native English speakers. I wanted to attend a language school, but I could not afford to, so I had to find another way of getting the necessary practice. Around this time I discovered Skype, and I began using it to find international friends that I could communicate in English with.

Then I realized that there were a lot of people online like me who were searching for the same thing. I decided that I could help them, so I took a course to become TEFL certified and when it was completed I began to look for students. I had become best friends with a teacher from America, and together we came up with the idea of EnglishRepublic.

Kai: My desire to establish EnglishRepublic arose out of my love of travel and interest in knowing and understanding diverse cultures. One thing I’ve discovered in my journeys to different countries is that English is truly an international language. However, I also discovered that many who had the same desire to learn about and communicate with people from other societies were unable to do so due to inadequate English skills.

There was a lack of convenient and accessible English teaching programs, not to mention the prohibitive cost to attend many language schools or hire a private tutor. In addition, there were not a lot of native English speakers readily available to help them. The internet is a worldwide tool that is easily accessed by many, and I realized it could be an extremely useful way to reach people who shared a desire to communicate in English, but were unable to find local resoures or were limited by programs that focused on grammar and did not provide any consistent, convenient or efficient way for students to practice their English skills.

Therefore, when I was approached by Vadim with the idea of starting EnglishRepublic, I was very excited to explore this opportunity to not only use my teaching skills and experience to help others, but to also acquire a greater knowledge and understanding of other cultures.