Tell us about yourself and your background
My name is Sophie, I am an Applied Languages graduate and mum of one from Limerick. My passion for languages began when I took up French in secondary school, I had a great French teacher, whose classes made me fall in love with the language and I quickly realised that it was something I was good at and wanted to study further. I decided to study Applied Languages in the University of Limerick, I continued to study French and also took up Spanish and Japanese. What I especially enjoyed studying was language learning theory, especially early language learning and linguistics.
For the last 2 years, I’ve been very lucky to be able to stay at home with my little boy Jacob, but now I feel ready to restart my career. I was really focused on finding a role that would offer initial training and qualifications, continuous support via a decent CPD programme and allowed me to work part time . When I came across Lingotot keywords ‘language teaching’ ‘children’ ‘flexible’, it was the perfect role that I didn’t even know existed.
Why did you decide to choose Lingotot for teaching early years languages ?
I chose Lingotot because everything they represent and do appealed to me from the outset. I have always thought that there was a lack of opportunity for young children to learn another European language before secondary school in Ireland. Lingotot is the perfect answer to that need. I love the brand, their values, curriculum and methodology. The teaching steps within a Lingotot lesson clearly identify the learning needs of young learners. It makes use of active, communicative and interactive teaching methods, which come naturally to children as learning is through songs, stories, games, drama and play.
What also really appealed to me is the incredible support you are given from the Lingotot head team and network. They help you in every step of your journey. Initially, I was worried about running my own business, as I lacked experience. Lingotot provided all the resources, training, qualifications and made everything easy. I have the flexibility of running my business when, where and in the languages I choose, but I know I have a support network backing me if I need help.
Tell us a little about your typical day?
My day can be extremely varied . During the day I could be running a morning languages parent/toddler group and then visiting a nursery for two 30 minute sessions. These are super active classes and it means the staff can have a break while I keep the little ones engaged with songs, simple games and a story – all activities of course in the target language. In the afternoons, I teach French and Spanish to children in local community venues but also as an extracurricular activity in primary schools . This summer I hope to be outdoors more as I’ll be offering the Lingotot Forest School programme and languages holiday camps. I keep Fridays and the weekends totally free but I know some colleagues offer Saturday classes too.
The lesson plans are all provided and fulfil all the developmental milestones by age group which means I don’t have to plan from scratch, I know I am delivering quality content and I can put all my energy into engaging with the children to a high standard. When I’m not teaching, I catch up on the business or marketing side of things…or you might find me on one of the weekly CPD webinars Lingotot hold.
I teach the core curriculum to children under 4 years of age (and their parents/minders!) as well as to the two infant classes. Our accredited classes are suitable for children in 1st-3rd classes and 4th-6th classes. Teaching the older children creates stepping stones for them at primary level, making the transition to the later, more formal language learning a much more natural one. I also love supporting parents at home via our cute work booklets, online platform and designed resources.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to bringing fun language classes to my hometown of Limerick and interacting with local children and their parents. I am thrilled I took the plunge of running my own business and now my goal is to become the recommended choice for kids language classes locally. It is a steep learning curve and of course you have to put in the commitment in energy and hours- especially at the beginning – but now that I feel ready and I’m more confident, it’s so exciting.
Contact Sofia Colás at lingotot.ie and hear more about the opportunities for both becoming a Lingotot’s business owner or becoming an language teacher.