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Linguaphone Acquires Direct English

Linguaphone, the world’s leading language learning company, today announced the acquisition of Direct English, a globally franchised provider of English language teaching. The move consolidates Linguaphone’s position as the world’s leading provider of distance learning and assisted learning language training solutions.

Direct English is part of Pearson Education, the world’s largest educational publisher, which in turn is a part of Pearson Plc. The Direct English Learning System was completed in 1997. Over the last 6 years Pearson Education has built an impressive network of 55 English language training centres operating in 14 countries, as well as a strong licensing arrangement in the USA and Canada.

Linguaphone was established in 1901, and has been a pioneer in self-study language learning around the world ever since. The company operates via an international network of subsidiaries, joint venture and third-party distribution companies. The network was first expanded during the 1930s and today Linguaphone sells its products in over 60 countries.

“We are focused on consolidating the self-study and assisted learning market on a global basis” said Clive Sawkins, CEO of Linguaphone. “Direct English’s product and service offering and in-country expertise complements our own and both businesses share a core vision – a strategy based on the absolute belief that the future of language learning lies with assisted learning solutions. Integrating the two businesses will put us in a strong position to accelerate our growth curve and respond even more fully to market demand.”

“The Linguaphone and Direct English brands will continue to exist in parallel” Sawkins continued. “The geographical fit is ideal and each will focus on those localities where they have built up a strong market presence.”

John Fallon, CEO of Pearson Education, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said “While Direct English has performed well this year, it is in the business of managing franchise and licence operations which is not something we do anywhere else in Pearson. This sale enables us to focus all our effort and investment in our market-leading English language teaching publishing business. We wish Direct English well for the future.”


For further information, please contact:

Diana Lott Head of Marketing International ELT Linguaphone Group United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 8687 6115 Fax: +44 (0)20 8687 6410 Email:


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