02:36PM, Wednesday 11 November 2020
A former Furze Platt Senior School student is helping people across the world learn English through a hit social media account – amassing half a million followers.
Sam Mansfield, 24, who is living in Perth, Australia, has set up his own venture ‘15 Second English’.
He posts short, 15-second clips to the sharing platform TikTok to help those looking to improve their grasp of the language.
His videos have proved hugely popular, with some – including one where he teaches people how to ‘fix their English’ – collecting more than a million views.
Another, in which he teaches how to shorten words into informal ones such as ‘going to’ into ‘gonna’, amassed nearly six million.
Sam, whose UK address is in Norfolk Road, started ‘15 Second English’ in April after losing his full-time job in Australia due to COVID-19.
Staying in a family friend’s spare room in Perth, he thought there would be a market for people looking to improve their English during lockdown, and now juggles his TikTok account whilst working on the mine sites of Western Australia.
Sam said: “Never did I expect it to reach this sort of following.
“It is mainly vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Really basic stuff. Saying the names of different fruits, sports, foods. Or just saying ‘do not say this’ and correcting grammar mistakes. All in 15 seconds. To the point, quick and snappy.
“One video went viral and ended up getting a million views in a few days. I just kept putting them out and in the space of six months or so it has accumulated a crazy following.”
He added that his biggest audience is in Asia, where people may need to learn English for work but do not have the time or finances for large, time-consuming courses.
Starting off in the world of marketing, Sam left Maidenhead in 2018 and travelled to Asia, where he began thinking of the idea of teaching English as a foreign language.
“I have found my passion and decided that this is going to be a business for me now,” he said.
Sam is unsure about where his future lies, saying he is considering doing some teaching qualifications but is keen to advance ‘15 Second English’, adding he is ‘really enjoying it’ in Australia.
“I want to take this further as a business and create publications, like books, with it,” he said.
“I think with how many people I have been able to reach with TikTok, I would like to focus on this first.”
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