Celebrate Chinese New Year 2013 by singing along to one of our fantastic Mandarin karaoke songs! "If you're Happy and You Know it". Singing is a great way of learning a language with your little ones.
This week it was reported that not enough UK schools are offering lessons in Mandarin Chinese, putting the country’s economic recovery at risk. Research conducted by the British Council and HSBC said the number of schools offering the language was ‘stagnant at best’ You can read more here
Did you know that Lingotot offers Mandarin classes in schools, nurseries and community centres from children aged 0-11? Contact us
to find a class near you or to recommend your child's school to us.
Many highly qualified linguists toy with the idea of completing a PGCE and becoming a teacher of MFL, yet they worry about a number of issues: the cost of the course; more time away from employment to study; no guarantee of a job at the end of the course; fierce competition for teaching jobs; horror stories about paperwork, verbal abuse towards teachers and general poor behaviour in schools.I trained as a teacher and taught in secondary, middle and primary schools in the UK and overseas before founding Lingotot. I LOVED teaching, especially the more challenging classes. Ask all my family, friends and ex-colleagues - I was about the most enthusiastic and dedicated teacher you could get! I never thought in a million years I would give up teaching in a "proper" classroom. But then I had two little babies and everything changed. So I started my little Lingotot classes as a way to keep teaching and earn some extra money. I wasn't prepared for many things when I set sail down the self-employment route. I didn't expect the classes to be so successful, I certainly didn't expect to love the mechanics of running my own business. But the biggest surprise was that I fell totally and completely out of love of traditional classroom teaching.
I do miss the pupils (well most of them!) but I certainly don't miss the politics, paperwork and power games. Oh yes, and the marking!Instead I have a job I love, teaching really fun and relevant lessons to young children. I get to share that with their parents too, it's a lovely family affair. When I go into a school to teach
, the children are excited and look forward to their very interactive classes. Aside from the teaching I get to set my own timetable and work the hours I want to, meaning I never miss a nativity play.
Don't want to work on Mondays? No problem!So I refer back to my opening point. If you're a graduate (or maybe you're not but you speak another language fluently), why would you spend £9,000 for a year of hard graft doing a PGCE, plus all of your living costs for that year, with no guaranteed job at the end of it (and even if you get one the NQT year is even worse!)? You could come and join Lingotot as a franchisee instead. You get to teach immediately with no daft targets, marking or demanding headteacher. The fee is half the cost of a PGCE, you get to start earning straight away
, you choose when and where you want to work AND your business becomes a valuable asset you can keep running or eventually sell on.Would you like to find out more or do you know someone who might be interested? Take a look at www.lingototfranchise.co.uk and start exploring the possibility of running your own childrens language business now.Angela, MD of Lingotot Ltd and happy mum to two little girls.
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.
We are very proud to announce the launch of our newest language - Mandarin! Many believe that Mandarin is the language of the future, including Michael Gove who recently announced that modern languages are to be made compulsory in English primary schools in 2014. He is partic
Since Chinese is the communicative language of approximately 15 per cent of the world's population, proficient speakers of Mandarin should be able to find jobs in such competitive fields as business management, sales marketing, government, information technology, international relations, tourism, education, translation, hospitality and public relations. Of all foreign languages offered in colleges and universities, demand for Chinese shows the highest proportional increase in enrolment.
Here is a little video of our welcome song to get you in the mood for our newest addition. We've added subtitles in English, Simple Chinese and PinYin to help.
If you'd like to book onto a Mandarin course (or indeed French or Spanish!), please get in touch. Enjoy the video!
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.