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New education franchise partnership announced for Direct English across Myanmar

During the Myanmar Trade and Investment conference taking place in London, Mr Derek Price, Chief Executive Officer with the Linguaphone Group, parent company of Direct English, confirmed GUSTO College as their new Direct English Master Licensee partner for Myanmar.  This exclusive partnership will see GUSTO College open their first Direct English training school in Yangon, before developing a nationwide education franchise presence across the country.

education franchise

Mr Douglas Barnes, Director, Department for International Trade – Burma, Mr Derek Price, Chief Executive Officer, Linguaphone Group, Mr Win Htein Win, Founder and Principal, GUSTO College, Ms Aye Thiri Maw, Executive Director, GUSTO College, Dr Myo Kywe, Chairman of National Education Policy Commission, Myanmar 


The signing ceremony between Direct English and GUSTO College was witnessed by Mr Douglas Barnes, Director of the Department of International Trade (DIT) in Burma, Mr Peter Crowhurst, Chief Executive Officer of the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar and Dr Myo Kywe, Chairman of National Education Policy Commission, Myanmar.

Linguaphone Group already has a strong presence worldwide with their education programs, including within the ASEAN markets of Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. They also already have a presence in Myanmar with their pre-school English language training and kindergarten brand, Pingu’s English.  Now adult students across Myanmar will be able to enrol in the popular nine-level Direct English language training system too – featuring over 85 learning hours per level, and a brand-new online learning platform.

education franchise

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Derek Price, Chief Executive Officer of the Linguaphone Group said:

“As one of the fastest growing markets in South-East Asia, appointing a strong Direct English partner in Myanmar is critical to the Group’s expansion plans for the ASEAN region. We are therefore absolutely delighted to welcome GUSTO College to the global Direct English Master Licensee team. As an established education business in the Myanmar market, we are confident that GUSTO will deliver our prestigious international Direct English brand across Myanmar passionately and effectively and look forward to supporting them wholeheartedly with this exciting new venture”.

 education franchise

Mr Win Htein Win, Founder and Managing Director of GUSTO College said: –


“As a leading education organisation in Myanmar, this partnership highlights GUSTO’s ongoing commitment to the capacity development of the Myanmar population. Due to recent economic development and influx of FDI into Myanmar, improving English language skills is absolutely essential. We are therefore very proud and delighted to collaborate with the Linguaphone Group with their extensive experience in delivering English language training programs worldwide. “

Commenting on this exciting new partnership, Mr Douglas Barnes, Director of the Department of International Trade (DIT) in Burma said: –

“I am delighted to witness the signing of this partnership agreement between the Linguaphone Group and GUSTO College, Myanmar. This is a great example of the type of partnership that DIT Burma is striving to support to grow the UK-Myanmar bilateral trade and investment relationship.

“I am especially pleased that DIT have played a role in supporting both parties in developing this relationship, which is now being formalised today. My congratulations go to both companies but particularly to Direct English, as they take a further step in widening their footprint in the Myanmar education sector. I wish you a long and successful partnership.”

education franchise DIT UK


For more information please email Ms Sarah McAllister, Head of Marketing (New Business), Linguaphone Group by email at,  or mobile at +44 (0)7799 723 218

Direct English, a leading provider of English schools, signs a new Master License agreement in Turkey, riding on the growth potential in Middle East and Asia.

Turkey has just joined Direct English’s successful partners worldwide with their shared mission to make a difference to the future of learners through its Premium education.
The new Master Licensee for Turkey, Marife Egtim Ogretim Hizmetleri Limited, already comes from a strong, successful background in education, both in Turkey and Iraq.

The company is planning to officially launch its first Direct English school in Istanbul in March 2019, with the aim of expanding its business nationwide further and increasing enrolments in its tuition, legal and IT learning centers, which are already proving successful. Trading as the 3 Brothers education company, it cooperates with higher education institutions and universities in Iraq and Turkey, and already trains over 750 students and retains 500+ teaching and professional resources.
Derek Price, CEO at Direct English, says: “English language education is fuelled by an ever-increasing need for people to speak English, have more global opportunities and become cosmopolitan leaders. We are happy that Turkey is now onboard and can provide this meaningful opportunity to ambitious learners in Istanbul.”

Mr. Baraa Muhammed, CEO of Direct English Turkey, added: “We have always promoted the importance of learning to both boost the advancement of individuals’ careers and contribute to the country’s economic growth. That is why the English learning business is a natural evolution of our existing business model.
More than 80% of English school teachers have the professional competence and language level to meet the requirements of being teachers of English. However, teaching English is considered to be more of a subject in formal schools than a language that promotes communication and confidence. That is why there is an increasing need for it in Premium English schools, where students can develop the four language skills of speaking, reading, writing and understanding, as well as boost their confidence in a globalized world and work environment. We undertook several pieces of research into the English Training Market and decided that Direct English was our winning choice, in terms of training experience, know-how, learning technology and strong brand presence.” Mr. Baraa said.
Derek Price added, “We are aware that business conditions continually change. That is why we not only provide the best know-how, which has been acquired over the course of 115 years of teaching, and grant partners ongoing expert support that you would expect from a leading UK franchisor, but we also aim to keep delivering a world-class curriculum that has both updated teaching resources and a new online learning portal, Direct English Live!, launched last year.”


According to the European Life Quality Survey, members of the Turkish workforce who are proficient in English are more likely to consider themselves to be ‘well paid’ (Figure 4) and have better prospects for career development.

 english school statistic

One interesting finding is that about 22% of job advertisements in key Turkish newspapers are printed in English. In addition, proficiency/skills in English are generally the second or third item in the list of qualities that are sought in a successful candidate, so Turkish professionals have economic incentives to learn English.
Direct English aims to provide a motivating learning experience for students and professionals in Turkey that could help many companies to grow over the next few years, thanks to its proven blended method and qualified teachers who further strengthen the students’ in-class learning journey.

english school

4 ways to improve the way you learn English

Learning a new language is difficult! It takes commitment and perseverance, but it can be made to be more enjoyable too, and the result can be so rewarding and open up a whole world of opportunity. These suggestions may just help you get there a bit more smoothly.


1. Learn like a child…

Some things get better as we get older. We no longer need to have a tantrum when it’s time to have a bath, going to bed doesn’t feel like the worst thing in the world and if we want a messy room we can have a messy room, OK!

But something that isn’t such a perk, is how much harder it is to learn something new.

The sponge that once absorbed new information without much of a second thought has become a little rocky around the edges. Where possible, re-creating that child-like wonder when learning English can really help your enjoyment and progress. Put yourself in new environments where things around you are fresh. Research shows that when we are doing something we haven’t done before; new neural pathways are triggered making our brain better at its job.

Take your Direct English Live! app with you to spend time on it straight after your new experience, or better still – participate in your new experience using only English! Yes, it may be scary as an adult, but I bet you wouldn’t have found it as scary when you were younger!

2. We have two ears and one mouth

Which, as the saying goes, means we ought to listen twice as much as we speak. While this is also good practice in conversation – the same goes for learning English. If we don’t listen when we’re learning a new language, we won’t be able to speak it.

So, listen as much as you can. Find authentic materials that you enjoy – English music, radio stations, a children’s’ TV series (with subtitles if it helps) – anything where you can listen to as much English as possible. You will be surprised how much you will start to absorb while combining this with your English learning.

learn english


3. “The biggest mistake you can make is to make none”

Making a mistake when you’re practising the way you learn English is inevitable so it’s best to accept it right now and understand that the trade-off for – at worst, a bit of embarrassment, is to get better faster at communicating in English.  And the truth is most of the time you’ll still be understood.

You might not like to admit it, but you will probably make mistakes in your own language when speaking all the time!

Only if you’re talking to a pedant would the person you’re talking to stop you to correct you. If it’s a mistake that does affect understanding, you will find out – and work out how to correct it. Of course, when you’re working towards final tests or qualifications then these mistakes matter a bit more. But how will you find out what your mistakes are until you make them?

So, go for it. Mistakes and all!


4. Set specific goals – both little and large.

Setting only one large goal might begin to feel overwhelming and dent your motivation.

Try breaking it down into smaller, daily goals and make them specific and measurable. A little bit of study or immersion every day is better than one long slog once a week…

Set small habits that you can easily build into your daily routine to get some additional study time in. For example, set the alarm a little earlier to spend time half an hour on the Direct English Live! app before breakfast. Carry a bi-lingual dictionary with you to learn 5 new words on your journey to and from work. All of these smaller steps will make the big one easier to take.



Of course, with Direct English you will be encouraged, guided and supported by the team every step of the way.

With our multiple resources in centre and at home, you will be able to widely vary the way you learn and study to keep you motivated and on track to improve your English to the highest level you want to get to.

Good luck! I’m off to practice what I preach and use these tips to brush up on my Japanese…


Alice Williams
Learning Development Manager | Direct English
Linguaphone Group Ltd



Interview with Chloe Taylor, Chief Executive Officer from the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (BCCM)

Chloe Taylor, Chief Executive Officer from the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (BCCM) gives her overview on the English Learning Training and franchise market in Myanmar.


franchise myanmar

What is the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (BCCM) responsible for?

BCCM is an independent, non-profit membership organisation which aims to promote, support and represent business interests in Myanmar. The British Chamber of Commerce Myanmar works closely with the British Embassy and Department of International Trade Burma to provide practical, business-to-business, on-the-ground support services for interested UK companies.
As well as promoting trade and investment opportunities to interested businesses, to help them access potential opportunities and establish links in Myanmar. As an organisation, we’re uniquely positioned to offer companies practical market entry services and often act as the ‘first point of call’ for British businesses looking to invest in Myanmar.


Why would an investor consider Myanmar for developing a franchise business?

Myanmar is catching up on decades of under-development and the economy is experiencing unprecedented growth, predicted to quadruple by 2030.
As the fastest growing economy in South East Asia, Myanmar has a young and dynamic population and borders some of the world’s most populous and successful economies. Myanmar truly is an emerging market for international investors to expand their footprint. Since the start of the reform process and lifting of sanctions, there is a growing increase in interest and investment from foreign investors to fulfil the gap of the country’s development in various sectors.


What is the potential for a quality English language training business for adults in Myanmar at the moment?

English is one of the official languages in Myanmar, alongside Burmese. The use of Business English is becoming essential to communicate with foreign investors, developed in response to the country’s increased levels of foreign direct investment in recent years. Demand for quality English language training schools for adults and professionals are high, to strengthen language communication generally, and to help communicate effectively with foreign investors in a professional working environment.


What is your impression of the franchise market in Myanmar at the moment?

Along with Myanmar’s growing economy, consumers are increasingly responding to international franchise brands in Myanmar. Key sectors with the best prospects for franchise opportunities in Myanmar include the traditional food and beverage, and fine dining sectors, as well as vocational and executive level education sectors too. Certainly, there is a growing recognition of international brands amongst consumers, opening up opportunities for the franchise and licensing market in Myanmar.


What tips would you give any potential Master Franchisees who may be interested in the rights to Direct English across Myanmar?

As Myanmar emerges onto the regional and world stage, the development of its education and training sectors will be crucial for its future. Direct English is an experienced global English language training provider, which experience across the Asian market, including in Myanmar. It is this experience and the brand and worldwide training program and curriculum which Direct English is known for, which are benefits to any potential Master Franchisees, who are interested in the exclusive rights to bring Direct English to the Myanmar market.


For more information on the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar please visit

For those interested in the opportunity to franchise Direct English across Myanmar, please contact



Interview with Greg Watkins at BCC Thailand on how to develop a nationwide English training business.

The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) is working with Linguaphone Group Ltd to help them identify a suitable Master Franchisee for the Group’s Direct English language program for adults across Thailand. Greg Watkins BCCT, Executive Director, shares his thoughts and advice for anyone considering investing in the Thai market.


What is the key role of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand?

BCCT’s mission statement is “to serve the needs and promote the development of British business in Thailand and as ‘Partners in Progress’ contribute directly to Thailand’s economic advancement”. In practical terms, this is achieved by helping members develop their businesses in Thailand. BCCT has more than 550 corporate members and organizes more than 100 events each year. It also advocates on behalf of members at the macro level for greater access to the Thai market and at the micro level to help members solve day-to-day operational challenges.


Why should an investor consider Thailand to develop a nationwide English training business?

Thailand is an entrepreneurial economy that welcomes foreign investment. Education and training is a big sector in the Thai market. Many international companies have made Thailand their ASEAN hub, stimulating demand for skilled English language speaking employees, but there is a significant skills gap in English language speaking employees to meet the needs of these companies. Thailand needs the relevant skills to become a high-value manufacturing economy. There is definitely a need for quality language training programs in Thailand.


What is the potential of a strong English language training program such as Direct English in Thailand?

The blended learning model of Direct English (which offers both classroom-based and online English language training) has great potential in the Thai market. The brand new online platform Direct English Live will allow students to access learning resources and teaching schedules online, as well as enabling staff to track and monitor students’ progress instantly. It is accessible on all computer, smartphone and tablet devices. I believe this platform will add even more value to Direct English. Thais are receptive to new technology and this new interactive learning platform could be an interesting learning tool to create a different learning experience for Thai people.
Employers in Thailand require higher levels of English language capability from their Thai employees. The comprehensive nine-level language system incorporating Business English is what I believe makes Direct English stand out from other English language training programs in the Thai market. The nine-level course is designed to align with the levels outlined by the Common European Framework for Languages. It offers international English language training from the beginner to the corporate executive, while the Business English course uses specific business scenarios to teach effective listening, speaking, reading and writing in a business context.


What is your impression of the franchise market in Thailand?

The franchise market is growing in popularity among investors and has already been successful in the Thai market. According to the Thai Franchise Association report, the service franchises including education have a 17% market share. UK remains one of the leading providers of international education services to Thailand. However, UK educational franchise may face strong competition from American and Australian franchises and local language training providers that have gained popularity among local consumers.

Are you able to offer any advice to nationwide entrepreneurs interested in the exclusive franchise rights to Direct English across Thailand?

Yes, in simple terms ‘engage’. The main focus will be in Bangkok initially but the need for improved levels of English language literacy up-country is increasing.


For entrepreneurs and companies interested in the Direct English Training Business across Thailand, please contact


Interview with British Chamber of Commerce | Cambodia

british chamber cambodia

The British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia worked with Linguaphone Group Ltd during 2017, helping them successfully find a new Master Franchisee for their pre-school English language and international kindergarten program, Pingu’s English.  Working with the Group again, they are now helping them identify a suitable Master Franchisee for the Group’s Direct English language program for adults across Cambodia. Here Ms Nipoan Chheng, Executive Director with the British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, shares their thoughts and advice for anyone considering investing in the Cambodian market.

What is the key role of the British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia?

The British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia has been established since 1995. Our core focus is to provide a forum for British business people in Cambodia to meet and develop their networks for mutual benefit, with a view to encouraging good commercial and social relationships within the Cambodian business community. We do this by assisting our members in building their networks, connecting our members to each other, and creating business opportunities to help them to grow their businesses.

Why should an investor consider Cambodia to develop a nationwide English training business?

The Cambodian market has some unique traits that make it a desirable marketplace for businesses to explore investing in. The Cambodian market offers strong economic growth that has seen the GDP grow by an average of 7% over the past 20 years, making it constantly rank in the top six fastest growing markets in the world. What’s more, the Cambodian population is also young and dynamic, with 50% of the county under the age of 25. As the middle-class grows in Cambodia and the GDP per head is increasing too, this is making the market more and more attractive. It is also a relatively easy place to set up a business as a foreigner, with no foreign ownership restrictions, easy access-to-work permits and visas. It is also seeing rapid expansion in the education sectors, as well as in construction and the service sector.

What is the potential of a strong English language training program such as Direct English in Cambodia?

There is a huge potential for a quality English program targeted at adults in Cambodia. English is a core part of the business world in South East Asia and Cambodia is ahead of the curve, regionally for its levels of English. Due to the population being so young, we are witnessing the rapid growth of the business sector and with this, large volumes of foreign investment, businesses and brands are coming to Cambodia. Naturally this is increasing the standard of English that is required in the workplace and candidates in the job market with certified English qualifications will stand out.

What is your impression of the franchise market in Cambodia?

The franchise market represents a large part of foreign brands coming to Cambodia. The model works well as the growth of consumerism here is leading to an increased demand for established international brands. We have seen a growing number of foreign brands arriving in the past five years, including Nike and Adidas, Costa and Starbucks, as well as luxury car brands like Jaguar Land Rover. These are often brought in under a franchise style or joint venture agreement, as brands look for an established local operator that already understands the Cambodia market, its consumers and how to drive the brand locally.

Are you able to offer any advice to nationwide entrepreneurs interested in the exclusive franchise rights to Direct English across Cambodia?

For local companies in Cambodia and nearby markets, looking to secure the rights to Direct English, I would suggest that they have the facilities and networks in place, in order to bring such a well-respected brand to Cambodia, or if not, the ability to do so. The private education sector is growing rapidly here. To represent an international brand such as Direct English, it’s essential to understand the market, the demand and fully evaluate the opportunity.

How have you found working with the Linguaphone Group?

We have already worked with Linguaphone Group Ltd to help them identify and secure a Cambodian partner who will bring the Group’s pre-school program, Pingu’s English to the marketplace. During this time, we have developed a fantastic working relationship together as their team have worked tirelessly with us to work with potential partners, both remotely and here in Phnom Penh. We could not be happier to have contributed to their success in bringing their strong British brand, Pingu’s English to the Cambodian market, and look forward to hopefully doing the same with Direct English too in the year ahead.

For entrepreneurs and companies interested in the opportunity to franchise Direct English across Cambodia, please contact or click here


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