We have been chatting to Catherine who recently founded Lingotot West Oxford. Lingotot West Oxford offers French, Italian and Spanish lessons in a variety of settings across West Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds - community classes, nurseries and preschools, KS1 and KS2 provision in schools alongside lunch and after school clubs.
My passion for languages started at a young age with holidays throughout Europe, my parents paid for us to have language lessons before every trip which we then put to practice in the local boulangerie or ordering a beer for Dad!! I went on to graduate with a degree in French and Italian, with periods living overseas in both countries.
After an extended period globetrotting I began a successful career in the travel industry for many years, during this time I took a break and returned to Sardinia to reconnect with the Italian language and culture. Here I taught English to people of all ages and backgrounds in private and public sector locations. This is when I caught the bug for teaching and on return to the UK in 2013 I continued working within the travel industry but missed those classroom days incredibly.
Family followed shortly, and then Covid-19 struck and redundancy from the industry, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and reconnect with what I’ve enjoyed most during my working career – combining teaching with a passion for language learning, and the inevitable cultural benefits that stem from this.
I first discovered Lingotot when I was on maternity leave with my second child, Alberto. I was desperate to be involved as there is little provision for young children in my immediate community but unfortunately with two children under five at the time it wasn’t the right time financially. Fast forward to a post Covid-19 world and with my children growing up it now seemed the perfect time to take the leap and indulge my passion.
For me when my two children were very young I couldn’t find anything language based for my children, as their father is Italian and with me speaking two languages I felt there was an opportunity to bring language classes to my community.
Within the North Cotswolds where I am based there is limited infrastructure for mums and dads with young children, and into West Oxfordshire where there is more available there was still an opportunity to bring languages into the baby and toddler landscape and add more variety for mums.
I love that the classes combine songs, nursery rhymes and games that the children and parents are familiar with which makes it even easier for children to pick up the new language. Lessons are so dynamic, interactive and fun, and more importantly children pick up and are able to use the language very quickly, after the first lesson.
I am extremely passionate about children learning languages and the indirect collateral benefits this brings – from cultural appreciation to assisting with literacy and problem solving and helping them build confidence and social skills. It really is never too young to start learning a language and my children are able to sing some of the songs in Italian, French and Spanish after just a couple of lessons – they love it so I’m sure other children will too.
I am launching Lingotot West Oxford in the Easter holidays with an extra-curricular activity club full of fun activities – forest school, team challenges, games, songs and stories will all feature as part of our daily plan, along with a couple of extra surprises! I will then be launching in the summer term with community classes for 0-5s in the North Cotswolds, Carterton and Witney.
I am also beginning to work with primary schools and nurseries in the area as restrictions lift offering after school and other extra-curricular activities, alongside helping schools recover from lockdown and help deliver PPA cover for their modern foreign language provision so that their children are able to catch up.
Having spent many years in the corporate world for me the freedom of making my own decisions and seeing the direct impact this has on my business and customers is exhilarating. It’s important for me that my children grow up with a strong female role model so seeing their mum happy in running her own business is a huge motivation. And of course helping children find the connection with language learning and seeing babies bounce along and do the actions to songs, and older children speaking the language after just one lesson, it’s beyond rewarding!
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I have been a Lingotot Franchisee for 6 years and it has been the best decision of my life! Work-life balance now restored, ultimate job satisfaction andcontinuing to grow! Love it!”Michelle Marsland
I've been a franchisee since May 2018, and I couldn't be happier. After a long stint in the corporate world, followed by a career break to raise a family, I've finally found a fulfilling role for myself, doing something I absolutely love, and which really does work around family life - rather than just claiming to.Sofia Colás
I have been a franchisee of Lingotot for since 2012. My business has gone from strength to strength and we now teach in lots of schools and nurseries as well as running community classes. I have 4 tutors who work for me who also love their jobs. If you are thinking of a language teaching franchise you can’t go wrong by choosing Lingotot.Abigail Curtis
Lingotot are the only franchisor in the UK to offer a fully NCFE accredited Level 3 Business Award in Franchising.
Would you like to teach with fully accredited training provided? – As well as offering franchisees a fully NCFE accredited Level 3 Business Award in Franchising, we also offer them
Lingotot offers the ONLY PRIMARY LANGUAGES QUALIFICATIONS FOR CHILDREN IN THE UK