First centre opened in Vilnius.
Second centre opened in Alytus.
Third centre officially launched in Klaipedia in September.
What made you decide to invest in a Pingu’s English Master License for Lithuania?
I was looking for a new challenge. I really liked the brand and I wanted to work with something that was well known and recognised. Once I had seen the system, its methodology and the coherence of the course I was convinced it was worth the investment. In addition, we wanted to invest in a business that gave us a lot of support and we have been very grateful for all the help and advice that the Head Office at Linguaphone Group provide us with.
What do you like most about being a Master Licensee?
I enjoy the challenges that each day brings, the new things we represent and giving a high quality service that you can’t find elsewhere. We recently asked for direct feedback from our parents, and they all said how impressed they were with the relationships we build between family, children and the centre staff. They felt that we ‘go the extra mile’, that we listen to our customers, solve any problems they have and treat everyone like they are an individual. They love our personal touch! Our parents also commented on how open we are, and that we do read and respond to feedback which is very important to them.
What are you most proud of?
I am very proud of all our centres in Lithuania – they are very well branded, cosy and welcoming. As a Master Licensee we benefit from a complete set of branded marketing materials, and we can call on the support team in the UK at any time for help and advice with artwork, centre branding and layout. I think our Pingu’s English branding sets us apart from other children’s language schools and makes us unique.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
We are in a competitive market which can be tough, and people here in Lithuania tend to be fairly conservative in their outlook, generally. It can be hard to convince them of the benefit of trying something new, which has proved challenging at times and has not been as easy as we thought. But we have persevered, and parents recognise the long term benefits of helping their children to learn English. They want to invest in their children’s future – this is a key message for us to get across.
What has been your highlight so far?
Before we launched we attended the Baby Land exhibition in the LITEXPO Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania. This show is aimed at both trade, parents and children and is visited by about 15000 people every year. Our successful pre-launch campaign at this expo brought us our first 30 students, 73% of whom re-enrolled this year.
We also had an open day for the Association of Large Families where we had a very good turn out – lots of families were taking demo classes and the parents had an organised discussion about bilingualism and its benefits for children. The discussion was extremely lively and all the families shared their experiences!
Another successful initiative has been the introduction of an intensive Pingu’s English weekend school for 7-8 year old primary school pupils. Children come to a Pingu’s English school once a week on a particular day of the weekend for a longer stay of 4 hours. We have expanded the usual Pingu’s English programme with crafts, games and communication practice breaks. This course is a huge success as children become more confident in building sentences and communication thanks to the flashcards. Parents are happy to see the results and tend to notice this especially while travelling.
AND FINALLY… who is your favourite Pingu character?
I like both Pingu and Pinga – Pingu is naughty, but not in a bad way, in an endearing way. Pinga is a bit different because she can be the annoying little sister at times, but she is very lovable!