Chaucer tells us that April is the month when people like to go on adventures. Certainly, starting a new company in this economic climate requires a certain spirit of adventure, though the team behind Your English Supplement (Yes) are hardly reckless. They are the same people who spent the last 14 years producing the monthly English-learning magazine, Think in English. “We’ve had a long time for experimentation”, says editor Nick Franklin, “and this time we think we’ve got the recipe right”. The team describe Yes as building on the experience of Think. “We’ve always had a tremendous response from loyal readers”, comments artistic director Marina Carresi, “but there were a few things we couldn’t put right under the Think structure”. Much of the focus this time round is on embracing new technologies and getting customer service right. “The customer has to be the main focus”, remarks subeditor Nathan Burkiewicz, “so customer service can’t be subcontracted out”.
The biggest innovation as far as content is concerned is to break down everything – texts and audio – into five- to ten-minute modules so that the learner can make maximum use of her or his free time. “The longer the text, the more effort is required. By breaking things down the time investment is smaller, so people can take every opportunity to learn. We all spend our time going places and waiting; having something interesting to read or listen to in order to develop language skills is a stimulating way to take advantage of this downtime. We expect to be read on the loo!”, jokes Nick. Yes is available as a digital download, as an iPad app and in a collector’s paper edition from www.yes-mag.com. (Facebook: www.facebook.com/YesZine).