Linguaphone was established in the city some 30 years ago and became a household name for its self-learning language kits developed by its British founder a century ago. The Linguaphone Group - with its headquarters still in London and more than 200 training centres in more than 25 countries - was established in 1901 by Jacques Roston, a translator and language teacher. What distinguished Linguaphone from other teaching institutes were Mr Roston's 'Repeater' and 'Solophone' - which enabled students to listen to individual tracks through earphones without disturbing others as they were learning. With the devices, it developed into the world's leading provider of assisted-learning and distance-learning language training solutions. However, Anita Poon Yuk-kang, associate professor in the department of education studies at Baptist University, said such records and tapes had become outdated. 'Linguaphone was once very popular in the '70s to '80s. But then its approach of learning a language by repeatedly listening to the same material and speaking it aloud on your own was phased out,' she said. Dr Poon said the introduction of the government's Continuing Education Fund, which subsidises adults to pursue continuing education and training courses, had hastened Linguaphone's decline. 'Since then, there have been many language courses opened where people can use government money. But Linguaphone's self-learning kit was not eligible for the fund so its business declined sharply.' Linguaphone had tried to extend its business by opening language classes, but it was too late, she said.