Lingotot (UK) Targets International Expansion
02 Mar 2021 - County Durham firm has franchises around the UK and is looking at opportunities overseas after adapting to the challenges of lockdown
County Durham-based children’s language company Lingotot has set itself ambitious plans for international expansion this year.
The franchise business launched in 2010 in Consett by qualified languages teacher Angela Sterling is looking to expand into at least two foreign markets.
This is on top of the 18 new UK-based Lingotot franchisees the former North East Business Awards winner is hoping to sign-up in the next 12 months.
Four new franchisees have already been added to the Lingotot’s network in January in Maidenhead, Berkshire; Eastbourne, East Sussex; South Havering, Greater London and West Oxford, while another three potentials are waiting in the wings.
This is despite the challenges thrown down by the pandemic, which has seen education across the board thrown into turmoil for much of the past year.
With Lingotot’s UK franchise base now standing at more than 50, Mrs Sterling said the next obvious move was to spread abroad.
She said: “We have someone in every area of the UK and have a master franchisee in Ireland, so we have set ourselves the target of opening in two new countries this year.
“We were already on the cusp of opening in a few countries before the Covid outbreak hit and they are now starting to come back online.
“It is the obvious next step and we are working very hard to get there.”
Lingotot tutors more than 20,000 children every week in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Welsh, Mandarin and English as a second language, using a mix of active, communicative and interactive teaching methods.
Like all businesses, it has had to adapt the way it runs since last March.
It has had to cope with the challenge that its language classes for children aged zero to 12 usually take place in schools, nurseries and community settings, which have for much of the past year either all been closed or forced to operate under strict social distancing measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Lingotot has adapted, however, and introduced a number of innovative ways to safely continue lessons.
These have included launching a forest school programme allowing for socially-distanced outdoor learning, creating a summer school syllabus and introducing a new interactive online learning platform which was ready in time for the start of the first nationwide lockdown.
Mrs Sterling admitted she has been surprised at how well the business has performed.