Lingumi is an application from the UK for learning languages for preschool children. Its main feature is that the whole learning process is gamification-based and specially designed for children from two to six years old.
Lingumi's curriculum is based on research from the Oxford’s University and aimed at memorizing vocabulary and grammar.
Before founding Lingumi, Toby Mather studied languages at Oxford and spent a year teaching English to children in Russia and Italy. Back then, he met his future partner Adit Trivedi who was a computer scientist from the University of California. None of his family spoke English, and he well understood the issue of learning languages.
While teaching, Mather noticed how difficult it was for children after 6-7 years to acquire new languages. Scientific supervisors explained this by the fact that language skills are better developed in preschool children. To learn foreign languages, a person needs to have many synapses — neural connections in the brain.
Up to 6 years old, the baby's brain is like a sponge — it quickly absorbs information. But, when a person turns 6 years old, their brain literally begins to cut off synaptic pathways that are not used.
In 2016, Mather and Tricedi managed to launch a program of a fun and playful learning for children from two to six years old.
The first prototypes were made of paper and tape and tested in kindergartens all over London. The founders created a set of "learning cubes" that interacted with a tablet or smartphone to teach sounds, words, and even phrases.
Surprisingly, the children had fun: they began to confidently repeat and memorize words in new languages, for example, in Chinese, which they had not previously used in teaching. Parents were happy to buy a toy for their child.
In two months, the company succeeded to release 35 new versions of the beta application. The educational toy was constantly improved and supplemented.
Lingumi's mission is to make learning English effective, accessible and fun for 500 million children. Over the years, the company gathered a professional team of 14 people and invested over 1 million pounds in research and development.
Now it continues to keep prices at an affordable level for most parents and has
more than a hundred fun games in its arsenal.
In addition to the application, Lingumi sells physical training products such as game cubes (interactive foam cubes) and huge word cards (large colorful training cards containing more than 70 verbs and nouns).
In recent years, the number of families who used Lingumi with their children has grown from 5 test families in Germany to 50,000 worldwide. Currently, the startup is going to scale its platform to new global markets.