English Corner Online was conceived by Jonathan Dykes, Chief Executive of the IHLS Group (www.ihls-group.com) following a trip to China. Jonathan discovered that Chinese university students often gather in a corner of their campus on a Friday evening specifically to practise speaking English to each other. Foreign visitors to these ‘English Corners’ are relatively few but enthusiastically welcomed.
Jonathan’s idea was to take this event online, thereby allowing learners of English to practise speaking with other students anywhere in the world. The idea was developed by the team at Net Languages, the IHLS Group’s Web-based language school (www.netlanguages.com). English Corner Online Ltd. was subsequently set up in Northern Ireland, with the support of International House Belfast (www.ihbelfast.com).