1. Effective and Fun. Language learning at school usually revolves around sitting in chairs and teachers providing grammar and structures for children to use. Our programme has been developed to focus on what kids like to do and then to do these activities in another language, with plenty of repetition and structure.
2. Learning through Play. Play is at the heart of Lingotot sessions. Babies and young children learn, grow and have fun through play. Lingotot play sessions help them understand the world and other cultures. Singing songs, reading together and having fun with friends gives them a head start to develop socially and emotionally.
3. English is Not Enough. Our global community means it is vital to be able to communicate with other communities around the world.
4. Early is Better. If it’s introduced early and well, children pick up a second language naturally, just like they learn their mother tongue, instead of learning it in “second language” mode like we do as adults - constantly translating from one language to another in our heads!
5. All Round Educational Boost. Research suggests that children who know two languages can gain an academic and social advantage over those who speak only one. Children have an amazing ability to learn language and this happens best when it is interactive, engaging, child-centered.
6. Excellent Communication Skills. Speaking and Listening are the cornerstone to literacy development. A broad and rich language curriculum ensures such skills are developed, leading to a good start in phonic work. In fact, Lingotot can introduce young learners to foreign- language letter sounds!
7. Increased Self-Esteem. Children love being able to communicate in another language. Our classes encourage talking, imitating, play-acting and sharing their language skills right from the first lesson. Children and adults alike make lots of new like-minded friends too!
8. Prepare Them for the Future. Competence in foreign languages is increasingly valued by universities. Languages become compulsory in English primary schools in 2014 and will form part of the new EBaac at secondary school level.
9. Acquire a Lifelong Advantage. Learning another language offers a lifetime of possibilities and adventure. In later life, knowing another language not only helps you make friends, finding jobs etc, it can also help stave off illnesses such as Alzheimer’s
10. Learn a Language Together! Lingotot sessions benefit the whole family. Parents and children learn, play and bond together. The sessions are designed for you to attend with your child so that you can be fully engaged with their learning and carry on using new language together at home.
2012 was an eventful year for all of us! We’ve witnessed a man jumping from the edge of space, athletes from across the world descend on London for the Olympics, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, more shootings in America, the death of Whitney Houston, yet more mental weather and we all survived the predicted end of the world!
It’s also been a fantastic year here at Lingotot, so good in fact I had to have a cup of coffee and a little sit down when I wrote a list of everything we’ve done, it’s absolutely loads. I've written a little bit about our achievements under the photos below.
We know that our success is thanks to wonderful and enthusiastic parents, delightful little Lingotots, nurseries and schools. We couldn’t do the job we love so much without you! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you soooo much for your continued support and wish you all the best for a fantastic 2013.
This time last year I was running Lingotot as a one-woman band and to be honest I was struggling keeping up with the demand. Caroline, David and Susanna joined the Lingotot family in January 2012 as franchisees and so we started to grow. Over the next few months, they established new classes across Newcastle, Tyneside and Northumberland.
In April, I took on the delightful Helen to lead my classes locally and to teach Spanish. She’s done an excellent job and everyone loves her. She’ll be gradually withdrawing from teaching for me to build up her own franchise area and I’m sure all the mums will secretly be cursing when they see me come back!
September was a super busy time for us with the schools starting a new academic year, especially after we were endorsed by some local LEAs and recommended to their primary schools. This was the month we expanded further and welcomed Katherine and Abigail on board as franchisees. They’re both doing a fantastic job, especially as neither of came from a teaching background, but they do share an absolute passion for languages for young children. In September we also took on a mini army of tutors to help deliver our classes.
During the course of the year we also introduced two new languages; Mandarin and Spanish. I fell in love with the sound of Mandarin and have enjoyed playing peekaboo with my little girls. Peekaboo in Mandarin is 躲貓貓 or duǒ māo māo. I think it's super cute as it translates into ‘hiding kitten’ Awwww!
Bring on 2013!
Now at the end of 2012 we’re about to take on some new franchisees both in the North East and in other parts of England. I’m delighted we’ll be introducing language to children and their families across the UK and I’m very much looking forward to an awesome 2013!
Babies and young children are like sponges for language learning. They are programmed to pick up any language they hear. This makes a great deal of sense. Babies all over the world are ‘citizens of the world.’ They can discriminate all the sounds of all languages, no matter what country they're born into. They already start to "tune in" to the language they hear more frequently from about 9 months of age. However, their learning power remains high until about the age of seven - take a look at the graph on the left. Michael Gove really needs to consider his plans to make MFL compulsory AFTER age seven!
Please watch this video to find out just how fantastic children and babies are at language learning! Patricia Kuhl is co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington. She's internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, and studies that show how young children learn. Kuhl’s work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the brain. It has implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for developmental disabilities involving language, and for research on computer understanding of speech.
Keeping the kids entertained over the summer holidays can be difficult. Many parents also like to make sure they do some educational activities too. Many more worry about the cost of such activities. Well, here at Lingotot we've devised a FREE week-long online craft club for kids. Each and every day of week beginning 13th August we will be posting a new French video online which demos a simple craft activity 100% in French for the children to watch, understand and copy - imagine Blue Peter in French! We will also sneak in some songs ;)
We really hope you enjoy doing the simple crafts together and please please send us your photographs of your finished masterpieces, or even short videos of you completing the lovely little tasks. You can email
them to us or upload them to our Facebook
To access the videos, simply click here
or find the link on our homepage
. Please share with all of your friends!
PS Don't forget to sign up for your new term of classes now to secure your place
Our very own Angela Sterling, Lingotot founder, was in the press this week talking about Michael Gove's plans to make languages compulsory in English primary schools. Speaking to The Journal this week she did of course welcome the plans, but here at Lingotot we think that languages should be made compulsory at an earlier age than the proposed 7 years old.....our little children pick up the language effortlessly and much like they learn their own mother tongue.
Angela also worries about the lack of funding for the scheme, "Primary school teachers do a fantastic job. However, the majority of them are not language specialists and cannot speak the language fluently. “Schools will need extra funding to train their own teachers or bring in specialist providers, like Lingotot, to fill the skills gap."
What a busy week here at Lingotot! Our wonderful and clever Lingotots have been creating some lovely crafts after following our instructions 100% in French at full speed! Quite an achievement! Here are some examples of their work: rainbows and little fish...
We're all excited her at Lingotot HQ as we've won the Netmums Preschool Class Awards!
The award is extra special too as it is completely parent-led. Our lovely LingoMums and LingoDads nominated us and then voted for us and we can't thank them enough.
We are very excited here at Lingotot with the news that languages are about to be made compulsory in primary schools.
According to the Telegraph, "Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, will say that subjects such as French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin or Greek will be made a compulsory part of the primary school timetable for the first time.
Ministers hope the move will make pupils better-equipped to compete in a global economy while reversing the “damaging collapse” in GCSE language take-up.
Currently about one in ten state primary schools offers no language lessons at all and a further 20 per cent only offer it to some year groups, according to the most recent official figures.
The move to make languages a requirement from age seven will form part of a new primary National Curriculum, taking effect in 2014."To read more from this article, please click here.
You can also read more about it on the BBC website
, "New curriculum 'to make languages compulsory from seven' "
A warm welcome to Lingotot HQ for LingoTed, our cute little language friend and mascot!
LingoTed will be going on lots of adventures over the coming weeks and we'll keep you posted on his comings and goings....he may even go for a sleepover with one of our Lingotots. Please get in touch if you'd like to volunteer to look after LingoTed for a few days and report back on his activities with photographs :D
For some people choosing a language is easy and obvious. Perhaps you are a native or fluent speaker of a language or you have relatives who are. However, if you are like many families here in the UK, perhaps your experience is limited to some basic school-level French and asking for two beers on holiday in Spanish! That makes your decision a little tricky.
You may want to consider the following as a good starting point on language choice:
* Do you have a strong preference for or a love of a particular language?
* Have you studied any languages or do you know them well?
* Do you feel comfortable using this language with your child(ren)?
* Are there any other family members with language skills?
* How often would you or other members of your family be able to use the
language with your little one(s)?
* Are there any languages spoken in your local area which you could easily
* What kind of languages classes or playgroups are available locally?
* Is there a Lingotot class near you? If not you could contact us about
* Do any local nurseries or childminders offer a second language?
* Do you live close to a university or similar institution where you could
easily access foreign-speaking babysitters?
Don’t forget that when you have chosen your language that dedication is they key - so stick with it!