Pay What You Want – EDULANG’s Social Experiment lets Buyers decide How Much to Pay


Yesterday evening I got an interesting email from Brad Patterson, the social media mangager (although he and I don’t like that title) and part time Panda impersonator of EDULANG.

Apparently one of my last posts over at with the title “Thoughts on the Future of Ed-Tech Business Models” gave the last push to a very “ballsy” move of EDULANG with the introduction of their new “Pay What You Want” option for their ESL flagship products English Addits and the test simulators for TOEIC and TOEFL.

To give you a bit of background, EDULANG is a French company in the ESL space located in the gorgeous town of Morlaix in Brittany. Last year I had the chance to visit Brad Patterson to do an interview about SnaPanda, the mobile English dictionary app of EDULANG. Michel Nizon was so kind to give me a tour through the company and an overview about the companies 10 year history. As Brad points out in the video embedded below, EDULANG created some really great products Michel and his team truly believe in.

But back to PWYW. The reasoning behind this move is to bring EDULANG products into as many hands as possible according to Brad’s video message. On top of that EDULANG is also going to give 50% of the price to the organization Room to Read.

The first time I came across this kind of business model was also in the ESL space. Jason Renshaw of English Raven followed a similar model two or three years ago already. Giving 50% of the revenue to charity is new, though.

Brad also wrote a post on the EDULANG blog about the PWYW project in which he quotes my old friend China Mike in the comments

I think that teachers would be very willing to buy from any brand that stands for what the teacher believes in. If there is a trouble with brands it is that many of them don’t stand for anything that resonates with teachers. I bet that teachers are probably more critical of brands than most but just like everyone else they are starved for authencity.

Of course, I agree with Mike and my reasoning also went into the direction that teachers prefer smaller brands or even colleagues as their material providers. The minimum is a brand that has personality through its staff.

I salute Michel, Brad and the team at EDULANG to take the first step and try to make a change in the ESL business space. Though I have to say that I am somewhat doubtful about the monetary outcome for EDULANG (please prove me wrong!) I am sure that at least parts of it are going to work.

For example, I would probably set a minimum price with the part that goes to the charity included. Really looking forward to the results of this social experiment and I will keep you updated.

And if you haven’t already, check out my EDUKWEST on Tour with Brad Patterson in the EDULANG HQ earlier this year.

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at

  • Thanks for the post, Kirsten.  

    The world is flat and the opportunities are endless for those that step up their game.  As always it’s a question of reach and attention.  To reach further you have to have a large commercial force (expensive and not feasible for a SMB like us) or a strong social media presence earned through positive branding and smart SMS strategy.  For the attention, it has to be personal and something the public can identify with.  We have already seen a lot of support from teachers and we’re excited about the first results these past 24 hours.   

    Exciting times !