June 25, 2022

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Holly Owley is a processor who democratizes English learning dreams of going international

Before the age of 6, researchers talk about language acquisition. This is also the way to learn a language like mother tongue. After 6 years, we are talking about learning because, already, some hue systems are starting to die. By age 8, the larynx certainly develops: when a child learns a new language, he or she will always have the pronunciation of his or her mother tongue.

“This is why it is important for children to begin learning languages ​​as soon as possible in order to have facilities for comprehension and recovery.”, Underlined by Julie Boucon, co-founder of Holy Owly and former chief accounting manager at Luxury Watchmaking.

The idea for creating this app to democratize English learning for children came from his sister Stephanie Bourgeois. After a year as a purchasing director at General Electric in Shanghai, he returns to Besancon with his family. The young woman wants to maintain her 7-year-old son’s English level – almost bilingual in a year – but Stéphanie Bourge can search between cartoons or game applications in English, and nothing really satisfies her. Missing real learning method …

Almost 1 million euros were raised

Julie approached Buchanan to design the Holy Oval together. The two entrepreneurs will set up a language center in Besancon. The test lab will run for three years with more than 200 students. Language teachers and researchers will be part of the adventure of creating the Holy Ovley app designed for young children from 3 years old.

The first edition was released in March 2017. The application is available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. ” This allowed us to raise funds from 900,000 euros and recruit everyone Technical, design and educational skills to develop the new version released in September 2020 », Refers to Julie Pugon.

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Holy Owly has recorded 380% growth in 18 months since the launch of this new version. ” We are number 1 in the French market for English applications for children , Julie Bougain promises. More than 10,000 families or more than 250,000 children a day use the Holy Oval to connect daily. A non-binding subscription costs 99 9.99 per month. For 12 months, the price drops to 4.99 euros per month. The family fee is also offered at 95.99 euros per year with 4 profiles.

Towards more gambling

The application for children aged 3 to 12 years consists of 5 minutes of signing in a day to learn 3 words or 3 sentences in 7 structured steps. ” It may not seem big, but it can be more effective than an hour a week », Julie Bougan promises. During this daily ritual, children will discover, select, categorize, and memorize images, and in two stages, will learn again through oral training, thanks to voice recognition.

The technologies accumulated in the application – artificial intelligence and voice recognition – are integrated into a unique teaching method.

“Compared to other applications, we have an education system, which is integrated into a fun application, the progress is based on the program proposal. Others are games for learning English,” explains Julie Bougan.

Holly Owley offers different learning. ” This means that each child has a personalized learning pathway tailored to their progress and oral learning, as this is a strong feature of the child’s oral learning language. She continues. The new version of the app lets you further “camouflage” using video game codes. Kids can create their own incarnations and identify with superheroes, with a winning point system.

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Our goal is to improve the family market

First Resource Digital in the school market

From September 2021, another edition is also designed for teachers: The Holy Owl for School. Currently 300 schools use it. ” We are the first digital resource in the school market », Julie Bougainville insists. ” The idea was to provide a ready-made solution for teachers She continues.

Since 2015, they have been required to provide 45 minutes of English twice a week from CP. In fact, it is clear that this is not the case. ” They are not well trained, have no common learning methods, and many are practically embarrassed by their lack of knowledge of the language. , Explains Julie Bougan. The application is distributed by the Portos School Publisher. This solution targets classes from CP to CM2 with an overhead projector for those who do not have a tablet or digital equipment to train individually or in groups.

It comes with educational guides such as application preparation and assessment sheets, but also sets of ancillary activities that need to be done in class to complete learning. “This is an inclusive tool as it has been tested in so-called Ulysses classes with children with disabilities. The programs were as good as the traditional classes.”, Julie Boucon adds. ” Digital technology is an interesting lever to democratize learning She cheers.

International development

While the concept in schools is interesting, the heavy processes in the national education system cannot keep pace with the growth of startups:

Our goal is to create a family market for parents who know that mastering English and of course other languages ​​will be a prerequisite for improving their children’s future employment. »Stands for Julie Pugon.

Both entrepreneurs are now focusing on the international market, especially the most innovative way of learning the Chinese language. “Often, we propose ourselves in the writing of this language, which seems too complicated for us. In our teaching method, we do the same: that is, we provide oral learning, which allows children to use their ability to hear sounds well and reproduce them,” he explains.

International trials have already been conducted to find promising markets. From the spring of 2022, new languages ​​will be available. ” We rely heavily on Spanish and Chinese for the much-needed North American market in digital resources.e ”, refers to the co-founder. To do this, Holly Owley opens its capital in January to fund the internationalization of the application. Objective: 3 to 5 million euros.

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