Speak Shop is an online tutoring model that helps Guatemalan professionals to have better incomes while providing a comfortable platform to learn Spanish.
According to Cindy Cooper, co-founder, "the site was created to provide more job opportunities to impoverished but expert Spanish tutors in Guatemala and to harness videoconferencing as a tool for learning languages and for cross-cultural interaction".
"It's a fair trade marketplace where tutors set their own rates and hours and students choose freely among the options of tutors, prices and schedules —she says-. Tutors also get free training from Speak Shop to learn how to market their services and teach online. This is the first website to put tutors in control of their livelihoods, and it is changing lives", adds Cooper.The company was created after Cooper travelled for an immersion program in Antigua, Guatemala to learn the language. There, she saw Spanish teachers often struggled to earn a decent living: students were seasonal and when hurricanes hit, visitors stayed away. Plus, the number of teachers often outstripped the demand for lessons. When she got back, she thought things through and came up with this web-based marketplace where teachers became entrepreneurs.
The system is very simple: students and teachers set a date and time for a meeting and they interact via web cam and chat. Monthly membership is $9.99 and rates per hour go from just five dollars. ::Speak Shop
Demo of a typical lesson.