At I Can Read, we love to read. We want to share the joy of reading with your children. Our primary focus is to help children overcome the challenges of reading, also to aid them in overcoming the difficulties they may face. Our attentive Reading Specialists look out for these challenges faced by each budding reader, and use our unique methodology to help them get through it the stages. You will observe progressive improvement in the student’s reading, writing, spelling and speaking skills week after week – developing them into confident and independent readers.
The I Can Read secret
The I Can Read formula is developed over 15 years of study in Child Psychology and English Literacy research, with linguistics science in particular. From the extensive research, it shows we have a fair understanding of the challenges children face. More than 300,000 students have benefited from our method and there are proofs that the system works.
Invest in education; plant a seed for the future
If you love children, and strongly care for their future, you are in the right place! Parents all around the world want the best for their children. I Can Read provides an effective reading system for their needs. I Can Read is a low and solid investment business with a high return on investment (ROI). It is a business that will bring you a stable passive income while providing a service to the community.
The Projected Size of the Global Private Tutoring Market by 2018
of the Global Market is represented by Asia
The Forecasted Global Market for Private Tutoring Services by 2022
On the 26th of September 2019, I Can Read was awarded as an “Honouree” by Brands for Good, under Community – Social Giving and Engagement.
This award was presented to us in recognition of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme, I Can Read with JOY. The programme has provided more than 200 children from financially-disadvantaged families with free I Can Read classes, empowering them with the skills needed to read fluently and independently in preparation for primary school.
Mr Tan Aik Ping, Executive Director of I Can Read says, "We believe that any organised community, business or corporation plays an important part, however small, in contributing to the betterment of the society." We are elated to have received this award and continue to work towards our goal of sponsoring 300 children by the year 2020.
About Brands for Good
Brands for Good is a non-profit organization that recognises small-to-medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong with threefold purpose - firstly, helping "good" brands differentiate effectively and create transformative value by their intangible assets; secondly, making waves with ASEAN brands-for-good stories so as to inspire the world; and thirdly, building a global community of responsible and inclusive business.
Digitising with Online Learning
Ask any student in Singapore what school life has been like these past few months and they’ll likely mention video classes, computer-aided lessons and other virtual tools and platforms.
Online learning is here to stay, even as students of all levels returned to brick-and-mortar classrooms and learning centres after months of home-based learning earlier this year.
The shift to blended learning — a mix of e-learning and face-to-face teaching — among schools and enrichment centres has opened portals to growth opportunities for homegrown enrichment provider I Can Read (ICR).
Set up in 2000, the firm provides English language training for teachers and literacy courses for pupils from 2.5 to 12 years old. It began developing online resources and platforms for teachers and students in 2018 and now operates in 13 markets across Asia and the Middle East.
“We’ve been working on ways to deliver our training programmes and curriculum online for some time, but getting schools and parents to accept e-learning, especially for young kids, was difficult,” said ICR chief executive Chan Huang Yee.
“The Covid-19 crisis has changed that,” added the 47-year-old.
BEYOND THE FOUR WALLS OF CLASSROOMS
The decision to go online follows the company’s move to license its curriculum to other schools in 2018.
Previously, it only trained teachers and taught students at its 24 physical centres in Singapore. Since licensing its curriculum, ICR has built a network of more than 160 centres and partner schools.
“With the expansion into licensing, we were looking at how to train teachers in huge numbers — including those not in Singapore. That’s how we came up with ICR University (ICRU), our online training programme for teachers,” said executive director Tan Aik Ping, 48.
Launched last October, the programme provides English teachers with online lessons, quizzes to test their mastery of modules, and training to develop lesson plans based on the ICR curriculum.
After completing the classes, they attend video meetings with ICR trainers on Zoom, Google Meet, and other third-party platforms to practise their lessons, demonstrate how they would interact with students and receive feedback.
The ICRU programme has trained 150 teachers to date.
DIGITISING CLASSROOM LEARNING
When the spread of Covid-19 forced nations to close schools and implement virtual classes, ICR saw another business opening.
It began digitising physical teaching resources, such as flashcards, workbooks, activities and games, for teachers to create interactive online lessons on teaching platforms, like ClassIn.
“Hong Kong, China and Vietnam were the first markets that we operated in that shut their schools at the end of February,” said Ms Chan.
“We immediately started to think about how we could digitise our offline games and activities, redesign our learning pathways and change our training processes.”
That early pivot stood the firm in good stead when other nations, including Singapore, subsequently closed schools.
ICR Online, an online subscription service with a variety of online English lessons for primary school students, made its debut in April. It has been offered to more than 1,100 students in Singapore.
The company plans to launch this subscription service to students in the 12 other markets it operates in too.
A full version of its ICR Champs mobile app, which offers gamified English lessons, will launch next January. It is currently testing a limited version of the app in China.
“We wanted to create an e-learning tool that is a lot more engaging for students. When we looked at what was on the market, we found that most gamified apps had weak pedagogy, and most e-learning apps were quite boring, so we decided to make our own,” Mr Tan explained.
CLOSING GAPS IN DISTANCE LEARNING
In the early days of starting the business, ICR needed to set up a physical centre or fly their instructors to overseas partner schools to train teachers.
ESG also helped the company to drive business efficiency and productivity with an online platform that enables its headquarters in Singapore to monitor the performance of centres in other markets in real time.
ICR hopes to bring its remote e-learning approach to other countries like India next.
“The Covid-19 situation has made many countries much more receptive to e-learning,” said Ms Chan.
“In the last few months, schools in countries as far as Brazil have contacted us to set up online classes for students. There are huge markets that are now open to us because distance is no longer an issue with our ICRU and ICR Online platforms.”
The firm’s online offerings now make up 7 per cent of its revenue. It hopes to grow this to 30 per cent in the next three years.
WITH ONLINE LEARNING, ‘THE SKY’S THE LIMIT’
I Can Read (ICR) has amassed a pool of teachers who conduct lessons remotely from the United States, Taiwan, Canada, South Africa and Singapore for students in its other Asian markets.
“This was out of necessity. Some of our foreign teachers went home and couldn’t return due to travel lockdowns, but we intend to continue this,” said executive director Ngo Tong Yong.
Ms Dawn Nair, an ICR professional development executive who trains teachers in the region virtually from Singapore, said the firm has fine-tuned the online training process to a tee.
“You want to make sure the lessons have plenty of interactive elements, whether that’s having different types of questions or requiring the children to use their mouse to move things around,” said the 40-year-old Singaporean.
CEO Chan Huang Yee stressed that the company’s digital transformation is a powerful new engine for growth. “If we can tap our existing brick and mortar centres and partner schools to deliver e-learning content to existing and new students and reach out to new markets, the sky's the limit.”
Singapore — Jolted by a news report about how children from low-income families lag behind their peers because they lack the means to take part in enrichment activities, a private education centre took the unusual step of offering classes to underprivileged children for free.
Since February, private education centre I Can Read has been sponsoring 20 primary school pupils on a yearlong English literacy programme, where they have English enrichment lessons weekly. These classes usually cost between S$385 and S$590 per term of three months.
In partnership with AMKFSC Community Services, the I Can Read with Joy (Joint Outreach for Youth) project caters to children in Primary 1 to 3 enrolled in a student-care centre at Cheng San. Under this programme, I Can Read teachers volunteer their time every Monday to teach the 1.5 hour-long classes.
The children come from low-income households, or from families grappling with housing or employment problems. They might have also been subjected to complex issues such as abuse and family violence, Mr Phua Chun Yat, head of planning and organisation development at AMKFSC said in an interview with TODAY.
They were placed on the programme after their teachers observed they were struggling with their schoolwork.
While education has “levelled the playing field” in the past, it is no longer this way today, because families with the financial means can give their children a head-start, said Ms Chan Huang Yee, executive director of I Can Read.
And having a good foundation in reading skills can be a “game-changer” to help children develop and be more independent in their learning, she added.
As some of the students were shy at first, teachers said they had to heap words of praise and encouragement, and generously dole out gold stars and stickers to coax them out of their shell.
Teacher Joseph Helliwell, 25, said, unlike his usual students who are “used to seeing a sticker”, the I Can Read with JOY children are very happy whenever they receive a sticker or get “good work” written on their scripts.
“All of them want to receive that comment,” he said.
The children do not get homework because the teachers want to be able to guide them in class. And “talk time” is set aside for each session to encourage the children to freely chat about their day
A parent who wanted to be known only as Mrs Choo said her nine-year-old daughter used to have difficulty identifying words, but is now able to read more.
The 37-year-old nurse is unable to spend enough time with all her children to supervise their homework. Besides the nine-year-old, she has a pair of 11-year-old twins and a six-year-old son. And tuition is too expensive, she said.
Teachers told TODAY that it is rewarding to see how their efforts have paid off in just over a month. “We had an eight-year-old student who was very shy and withdrawn, who initially gave only one-word answers … But six weeks later, she’s telling me (excitedly) about her holiday and going on the ferry to Batam,” Mr Helliwell recalled.
Teacher Natalie Kerr, 30, said: “It’s so rewarding to see their progress, (especially) in their social skills … It’s no longer just about teaching a regular class but about helping people that need it the most, these children (who had a) hard childhood.”
Ms Chan said I Can Read hopes to work with other family service centres on a long-term basis, and team up with the National Library Board under their National Reading Movement.
She also urged more education service providers to “fill the gap” and carry out similar projects so that these children can get extra help in subjects such as mathematics and science too.
Article extracted from Today Online Published: April 6, 2017 By Toh Ee Ming
It has been quite a journey for I Can Read – an education centre that specialises in building children’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Developed by educational psychologists Antony Earnshaw and Annabel Seargeant, the company’s “I Can Read” English Literacy System has developed a strong reputation and following among Singaporean and Asian parents over the years.
Interest in the company and its offerings were high, and this eventually led to an acquisition by franchise owner Mr Tan Aik Ping and his two partners Ms Chan Huang Yee and Mr Ngo Tong Yong.
Soon after taking over the helm, the three directors realised that the company was facing a brand identity crisis. “We needed a consistent brand story as there were multiple names and logos used for the company and its courses,” explains Ms Chan.
The company engaged a brand agency to review and refine its brand. Ms Chan notes, “Through our agency, we realised that what was needed was more than simply changing our logo. We had to first establish a brand strategy, and that started with understanding the behaviours and perceptions of key stakeholders through focus group discussions and research interviews.”
The impact of the branding revamp is undeniable says Ms Chan. “Besides attaining a clear brand strategy and brand personality that helps us improve our employee and customer engagements, there are tangible financial benefits – we’ve seen student enrolment increase by 20 percent as a result of our rebranding exercise.”
Having gone through a thorough branding exercise, Ms Chan shares key learnings that her company gained from the whole process:
1. Focus On Your Company’s Core Business Infrastructure First
“Don’t put the cart before the horse,” Ms Chan emphasises. In the early days the partners made a conscious effort to focus on the company’s infrastructure first, increasing the overall headcount, building an in-house marketing team and bolstering operations.
2. Commit the Time, Budget and Manpower
Branding requires a lot of time and commitment from senior management, who should lead the project. “The deadlines and pressure are very tough, and branding is costly. Be prepared for all this,” says Ms Chan.
3. Select the Right Agency
“After seeing a lot of different agencies, we chose a start-up that had a good synergy with us. Go with a company that takes the time to understand your company and your brand,” says Ms Chan.
4. Recruit Like-Minded Staff
Staff had to fit in with the new brand strategy and personality. To this end, the company came up with hiring profiles for all job positions, including the teachers and customer-facing staff. All 25 staff in the company headquarters were involved in the branding process.
5. Keep Your Pulse on What Is Relevant to Your Market
This way, your brand can easily be identified. Ms Chan elaborates, “Icons can get out of date and will have to be refreshed.” To stay in touch with customers’ preferences and needs, I Can Read involves students and their parents in the brand development process. For instance, the company recently held some events where the students created some new branding icons that will be used when needed.
6. Get the Right Partners on Board
Talk to companies that have already gone through a branding exercise. Says Ms Chan: “Don’t forget government agencies like SPRING and IE Singapore, which strongly support SME growth and can point companies in the right direction. Think beyond a grant, because it’s much more than that. We would have gone ahead with our branding exercise even without it because we knew rebranding was a necessity for us.”
7. Understand That Branding Is an Ongoing Process
Appoint brand custodians within your company who will oversee the implementation of the brand on all platforms and collateral such as the company website, social media, stationery, stock photos or images and even the furniture purchased.
“Compared to our new franchise partners, we found that our existing partners posed a tougher challenge in changing mindset to branding. Communication, education, investment of time and training are very important here,” says Ms Chan.
Article extracted from The Straits Times Published: September 14, 2016
Total English Learning Global Pte Ltd is the holding company for I Can Read (ICR) learning centres. With presence in six countries in Asia, ICR Learning centres offer pre-reading, reading and English literacy programmes to students aged between 2.5 and 12 years old.
• The plethora of brand names and logos for its various programmes diluted the strength of the corporate brand
• Customers were neither able to differentiate between programmes nor associate them with learning centres
• Inconsistent branding in its learning centres across Asia led to low awareness of offerings to different customer segments
• ICR conducted a brand audit and also studied how its competitors repositioned themselves in the market to target their customers
• Through audit and market research, the company learned that there was confusion amongst customers due to the varying brands for the different reading programmes
• ICR also found that customers could highly recall the “I Can Read” brand. Using insights from the market research, the company engaged a branding consultant to strengthen to strengthen its corporate and product branding
• To build a stronger and consistent brand image to enhance regional expansion TOTAL ENGLISH LEARNING GLOBAL PTE LTD
Improved brand recall in overseas markets 50% increase in franchise sales in Indonesia since Q4 2015 Over 30% growth in student enrollment in Vietnam since Q4 2015 20% improvement in walk-in rate at overseas schools since Q4 2015
Article extracted from SPRING Singapore Published: September 14, 2016