British Council English Online

Working closely with the British Council, BrightLemon successfully created one of the biggest global online communities, with more than 10 million unique visitors a month.





In the wake of a British government initiative, the British Council initiated the build of a new project titled ‘English Online’. It would consist of a new a website to help provide the latest in innovation and resources for teachers and students of the English language.


british council homepage




The main target audience is Chinese users who wanted to study English. This site had to be an educational hub for students, with varying features to aid different learning styles. It had to have community features to allow for a social learning experience.




Many of the English language learners would be at beginner stages, therefore the site had to be built in three different languages: English, Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional. We enabled the multi-lingual capabilities of Drupal to do this.


We created personalised profiles and community features, such as discussion pages, commenting, and blogs. Once that was complete, we adapted the site for mobile and tablet.


The site also uses badges, gamification and user points to encourage students to complete tasks online and rewards them for their hard work.


British council user role page




We built a dynamic and innovative community that could host the required resources, as well as deliver the British Council’s high-level aims.

The new social features implemented by BrightLemon achieved an extremely rapid growth in numbers, well-exceeding the British Council’s expectations.


  • It has become one of the largest community learning portals within the education sector.

  • It has 130,000 registered users

  • There are over 10 million unique visitors a month




“Our [community] site was built in Drupal - an open source CMS - and BrightLemon led the development which contained multilingual capacity as well as an in depth registration and customer relationship management system as a foundation for our community driven website for English learners across mainland China and Hong Kong. All of this has contributed to over 50,000 members in our first year since launch.” - Andrew Newton, British Council.