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Popular English ESL YouTuber launches innovative new language learning app 

From the popular ESL YouTuber, Maximiliano Lobos comes an innovative new language learning app that harnesses pronunciation recognition technology to help students get results and reach their language learning goals. 

The life-changing gift of language learning 

ESL teacher, Maximiliano Lobos

Maximiliano Lobos, YouTuber, ESL instructor, and creator of 123 Inglés. (Photo via curso123ingles)

Popular among the Hispanic community on YouTube, Maximiliano Lobos is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher who has been teaching English for free on his channel for 13 years. 

He began his channel “undostresingles”  in 2008 at the age of 22 as a simple, amateur experiment. However, over the years this side project gradually grew and gained a space among Hispanics in the United States, who seek a free and quick way to improve their English. Now, his channel has over 550,000 subscribers and has broadcasted more than 80 million lessons. 

For many, Maximiliano’s free lessons have been a life-changing gift. Under his videos, one can find hundreds of testimonials in the comments from grateful viewers who have been able to learn English as a second language thanks to Maximiliano’s lessons. One such testimonial is that of Wilder Andrade, a former Colombian military man who managed to reach the United States with a contract in hand to work for a security company, all thanks to his good level of English-speaking. 

Wilder writes: “Maximiliano’s classes on YouTube literally changed my life, and I can say that I owe it mainly to him.” 

Making dreams come true through collaboration 

After years of teaching on his channel, Maximiliano is now expanding his “classroom” with his first mobile application. He says this new app will be a “total innovation” as it incorporates various advanced functions such as pronunciation recognition technology to better help students reach their goals. 

language learning app,

123 Inglés, the innovative new language learning app by ESL YouTuber, Maximiliano Lobos.

“It is a dream come true to launch this application after all these years,” he says. “During this time of pandemic I took advantage of it to make the app.” 

The app came about through an unexpected collaboration. Maximiliano tells that one day, while at his house, a former YouTube student who turned out to be a programmer called him and offered to develop the app. “He said, ‘Teacher, let’s make an app; you put your classes, and I program the app.’ So we became partners,” relates this YouTuber. And the rest is history. 

You might be interested: Innovative attitude: the 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur

Now, the app is ready to launch with 90 video classes where grammar is taught, as well as vocabulary, practice and pronunciation. There are also a variety of fun activities and exercises such as crossword puzzles, complete the sentence exercises, order the sentence, discover pairs, true and false, and exercises with voice recognition technology that tell students if their pronunciation is correct.

The app delivers the first 10 classes at no cost. It’s called “123 Inglés” and it’s available for download on the App Store and Play Store by clicking here.

shopping small business

Small Business Saturday a day to support your local Latino small businesses

Despite the disadvantages Latino small businesses face, they have outstripped small business growth’s national rates. However, they encounter barriers that other small business owners and entrepreneurs might find easy to overcome. Frequently, financial education and language barriers drag down Latino small businesses compared to other demographics. Still, “when there’s a will there’s a way,” and nobody believes this truth more than a Latino small business owner.

shopping small business

Despite the disadvantages Hispanic businesses face, they have outstripped small business growth’s national rates. However, they encounter barriers that other small business owners and entrepreneurs might find easy to overcome. Those barriers are related to low levels of education and literacy, especially in the financial literacy arena, lack of English language skills, and difficulties in navigating the financial system in the United States.

When I arrived in this country in 1990, I realized that this society was based on the power of literacy and the written language, a great disadvantage for a number of immigrants who come from countries where literacy is a luxury, or from areas where large indigenous populations speak native languages, many of which do not have a written format. They come from societies based on verbal or oral communication and solidarity networks. It is still a common practice for small businesses to keep their finances in a pen and paper fashion.

Participants at 2016 Internet Marketing Week SBDCNJ - Rutgerts School of Business NJ

Several business courses are offered through SBDC around the country. Here: Sunny Kancherla, Director, NJSBDC E-Business Division at Participants at 2016 Internet Marketing Week SBDCNJ – Rutgers School of Business NJ

Americans are used to a highly functional literate society based on written communication in almost every aspect of their lives: school, media, business, banking, you name it. The rise and imperative use of technology leave many behind. Digital dexterity and knowledge are mandatory in any business environment wanting to compete in the real world.

Most foreign degrees are usually assessed by independent evaluators or academic institutions without certain equivalence. For instance, a six-year professional degree in an area of expertise, common in many Latin American universities, might be compared to an undergraduate degree in the United States.

Professional and entrepreneurial immigrants might have some advantages over their counterpart immigrant workers but only if they master the English language. Even so, they encounter difficulties in starting a new business until they get some degree of acculturation and understanding of the system’s mechanisms.

Being there, doing that

Carlos Quintana, a California community organizer that leads an organization called “Manos Unidos” –yes, this is not a typo- says he works with people from Mexico, Argentina, Peru and other countries who often are wary of applying for a grant, joining a chamber of commerce or volunteering for a city advisory commission because they have experience with corrupt agencies in their native countries.

Many, Quintana says, have the drive to start businesses but don’t understand the rules about taxes, accounting, and payroll. Also, he mentions the digital divide; Latinos are not using computers, which are a primary source of information. His organization, like many others throughout the country, can help them figure out planning and licensing requirements and can connect them with Spanish-speaking accountants and tax preparers.

However, the language divide is still a concern for many Latino business owners who would like to grow their businesses and find out about opportunities in state, federal or the private sector. The tricky part is to find a program designed for learning enough specific English business vocabulary to get by at a reasonable cost.  Specialized packages can go from $1500 and up, just to start. Some universities do offer continuing education short programs such as University of South Florida or Columbia University summer courses. However, these classes are too expensive and more suitable for corporate employees or international business students.

Latino small businesses

CHELSEA, MA – JULY 23: Adult education students listen at Centro Latino in Chelsea, a suburb where the Latino population has boomed. (Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Additional barriers in financial literacy and best practices

A report from the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, 26 counties in northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, states that although they have seen an impressive growth in their Latino small businesses –among the six states in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, Minnesota had the highest percentage increase in revenues for Hispanic businesses, at 248 percent for the period 2002–2007–, they still lag behind national levels.

“The low average for gross receipts may be partly due to the average size of Hispanic-owned businesses. Many of them are microenterprises, or establishments with zero to just a few paid employees. But there are other factors besides size that keep Hispanic-owned businesses from reaching their potential.” Among others, the report mentioned causes such as having a fear of government and established institutions, a limited understanding of American business processes, and encountering a lack of culturally friendly or linguistically appropriate services at local institutions.

Likewise, they have detected “difficulties understanding and communicating with the state and city structures necessary for opening a business. Examples include the need for a federal and state tax ID, registration forms, and property taxes. Also, many Latino entrepreneurs have limited experience with effective business sustainability practices. Limited knowledge in fields like accounting, commercial bank accounts and credit history poses a major roadblock for businesses that would otherwise be of great contribution to Minnesota’s general economy.”

Unfortunately, I have not found many options other than maybe small initiatives at local community level dealing with these barriers, and I would love to hear from more of them. Latinos are very entrepreneurial; the wealth and employment potential they can bring to their communities should not be underestimated. Moreover, they should be taken as an unbeaten role model to be successful against all odds.

shopping small business

Small Business Saturday: Against the odds, Latino small businesses thrive

Financial education and language barriers drag down Latino small businesses compared to other demographics. Still, “when there’s a will there’s a way,” and nobody believes this truth more than a Latino small business owner.

shopping small business

Despite the disadvantages Hispanic businesses face, they have outstripped small business growth’s national rates. However, they encounter barriers that other small business owners and entrepreneurs might find easy to overcome. Those barriers are related to low levels of education and literacy, especially in the financial literacy arena, lack of English language skills, and difficulties in navigating the financial system in the United States.

When I arrived in this country in 1990, I realized that this society was based on the power of literacy and the written language, a great disadvantage for a number of immigrants who come from countries where literacy is a luxury, or from areas where large indigenous populations speak native languages, many of which do not have a written format. They come from societies based on verbal or oral communication and solidarity networks. It is still a common practice for small businesses to keep their finances in a pen and paper fashion.

Participants at 2016 Internet Marketing Week SBDCNJ - Rutgerts School of Business NJ

Several business courses are offered through SBDC around the country. Here: Sunny Kancherla, Director, NJSBDC E-Business Division at Participants at 2016 Internet Marketing Week SBDCNJ – Rutgers School of Business NJ

Americans are used to a highly functional literate society based on written communication in almost every aspect of their lives: school, media, business, banking, you name it. The rise and imperative use of technology leave many behind. Digital dexterity and knowledge are mandatory in any business environment wanting to compete in the real world.

Most foreign degrees are usually assessed by independent evaluators or academic institutions without certain equivalence. For instance, a six-year professional degree in an area of expertise, common in many Latin American universities, might be compared to an undergraduate degree in the United States.

Professional and entrepreneurial immigrants might have some advantages over their counterpart immigrant workers but only if they master the English language. Even so, they encounter difficulties in starting a new business until they get some degree of acculturation and understanding of the system’s mechanisms.

Being there, doing that

Carlos Quintana, a California community organizer that leads an organization called “Manos Unidos” –yes, this is not a typo- says he works with people from Mexico, Argentina, Peru and other countries who often are wary of applying for a grant, joining a chamber of commerce or volunteering for a city advisory commission because they have experience with corrupt agencies in their native countries.

Many, Quintana says, have the drive to start businesses but don’t understand the rules about taxes, accounting, and payroll. Also, he mentions the digital divide; Latinos are not using computers, which are a primary source of information. His organization, like many others throughout the country, can help them figure out planning and licensing requirements and can connect them with Spanish-speaking accountants and tax preparers.

However, the language divide is still a concern for many Latino business owners who would like to grow their businesses and find out about opportunities in state, federal or the private sector. The tricky part is to find a program designed for learning enough specific English business vocabulary to get by at a reasonable cost.  Specialized packages can go from $1500 and up, just to start. Some universities do offer continuing education short programs such as University of South Florida or Columbia University summer courses. However, these classes are too expensive and more suitable for corporate employees or international business students.

Latino small businesses

CHELSEA, MA – JULY 23: Adult education students listen at Centro Latino in Chelsea, a suburb where the Latino population has boomed. (Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Additional barriers in financial literacy and best practices

A report from the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, 26 counties in northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, states that although they have seen an impressive growth in their Latino small businesses –among the six states in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, Minnesota had the highest percentage increase in revenues for Hispanic businesses, at 248 percent for the period 2002–2007–, they still lag behind national levels.

“The low average for gross receipts may be partly due to the average size of Hispanic-owned businesses. Many of them are microenterprises, or establishments with zero to just a few paid employees. But there are other factors besides size that keep Hispanic-owned businesses from reaching their potential.” Among others, the report mentioned causes such as having a fear of government and established institutions, a limited understanding of American business processes, and encountering a lack of culturally friendly or linguistically appropriate services at local institutions.

Likewise, they have detected “difficulties understanding and communicating with the state and city structures necessary for opening a business. Examples include the need for a federal and state tax ID, registration forms, and property taxes. Also, many Latino entrepreneurs have limited experience with effective business sustainability practices. Limited knowledge in fields like accounting, commercial bank accounts and credit history poses a major roadblock for businesses that would otherwise be of great contribution to Minnesota’s general economy.”

Unfortunately, I have not found many options other than maybe small initiatives at local community level dealing with these barriers, and I would love to hear from more of them. Latinos are very entrepreneurial; the wealth and employment potential they can bring to their communities should not be underestimated. Moreover, they should be taken as an unbeaten role model to be successful against all odds.