LCF Clubs Blog
Why after school clubs are more important than ever before
A recent report showed a drop in attendance at after school clubs for art and music. If you’ve followed LCF Clubs for a while, or even if you haven’t, you should know that we’re huge proponents of after-school clubs. They are, after all, our bread and butter – and we’ve helped organise and run them for thirty years. This statistic is somewhat worrying, particularly to us and also to parents across the country; however it does highlight the importance of third-party after-school clubs such as LCF. Let’s find out what makes us different from school-organised clubs, and why we feel the service we offer is more important now than ever before.
Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
School's Out for Summer, But Language Learning Doesn’t Have to Be
Much to the excitement of countless schoolchildren across the nation, schools have now broken up for their annual summer holidays.
Whilst this is great news for kids, ice cream men and water parks, it can be tricky as a parent to ensure that your child is maintaining their passion (and ability) for language learning. Of course we're not going to suggest taking your children to extra classes -- as tall an order as that would be -- but there are some ways that your kids can have fun over summer while remaining engaged with language learning. Here are our top five.
Are Longer School Days the Answer to Educational Issues?
It may still be a long way off in the UK, but certain areas of the United States are about to adopt a new approach to maximise learning: an extension of the school day.
According to a recent news report, a school in Norridge, Illinois is to extend the school day by 25 minutes for children above a certain age. The aim of this move is to encourage the kids to learn more, but also to ‘streamline the teachers’ planning’. When we read the article here at LCF Clubs, we couldn’t help but wonder about the implications of a longer school day, if such a thing were to happen in the UK. Particularly we wondered whether or not a longer school day would help in educational and behavioural issues we so often see in schools. So let’s look at this issue in a little more detail.
EnglishZone: The Best Way for Children to Learn English as a Foreign Language
At LCF Clubs, we’re a little bit obsessed with language.
That doesn’t just mean languages other than English, though. In fact, in addition to our fun and engaging French and Spanish after-school clubs, we also cater to those wanting to learn English too. Teaching English as a foreign language has been one of our key goals since the early days of LCF, and that goal has manifested itself in the form of EnglishZone. This is our unique online resource designed with the express intent of helping children aged 3 to 11 to learn English. Let’s find out more about EnglishZone and how it could help you or your child to really get to grips with the English language.
Jazz-Mataz: Fitness and Music for Your Pre-Schooler
You'd be forgiven for thinking that we're entirely focused on language education here at LCF Clubs, but there's a lot more to us than that. For example, have you heard about our Jazz-Mataz groups for pre-schoolers? They're a superb way to introduce your young one to the world of fitness and music all at the same time. Even better, you can enjoy a free trial of a Jazz-Mataz group in your area! So let's take some time to look at these unique pre-school groups in detail - and why your little one will just love them.
What's in a club?
So what do you and your child get from attending a Jazz-Mataz group? Well, let's start with the basics. The primary reason for these classes is to blend physical exercise with music. The most natural way to do this is, of course, through dancing - but we also include lots of other activities in each group too. Here's a small cross-section of the types of activities your pre-schooler can look forward to:
- Playing simple percussion instruments
- Games based on music
- Fun fitness routines
- Nursery rhymes with songs and dances
- ...and much more!
The benefits of a Jazz-Mataz club
When we launched LCF way back in 1985, our main aim was to engage children with education on all-new levels, whilst also having a lot of fun. We couldn't see why it wasn't possible to do both (and we like to think we've proved it). That ethos then extended to our approach to engaging children with fitness and music, and thus Jazz-Mataz was born. There are plenty of benefits of attendance, including confidence-building, improved fitness levels, associating exercise with fun and discovering a passion for music at a young age. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a child experience the joy of music.
There's nothing to lose
With our free trial offer, there's really no reason not to try out Jazz-Mataz with your pre-schooler. You never know: you might just discover a life-long passion you never knew they had. There are lots of groups available across the nation, so be sure to contact us today to find out where your nearest one is. We've seen time and again that the Jazz-Mataz group is an excellent place for younger children to meet new friends. After all, it's not always easy to do when you're not in school yet! We're proud to offer a service that helps bring children together in the spirit of fun and fitness.
Ready to get started with Jazz-Mataz today and see for yourself just how much fun it can be? Use the links above to find out more about our free trial to attend a local group. Alternatively, you can get more information about LCF Clubs or Jazz-Mataz in particular by simply calling us on 01489 786473 or emailing email@example.com.
We'd love to talk you through the LCF ethos in more detail, or introduce you to some of the other services we offer here at LCF Clubs. Oh, and of course, we can't wait to see your jazz hands!
Four Unusual Ways After-School Clubs Help Children and their Parents
There are many benefits of after-school clubs, which we have discussed here on the LCF blog a number of times, so you may already be aware of the help that LCF foreign language clubs can provide. Interestingly there are a few more advantages you may not have thought about ? some of these actually apply to the parents rather than the child. So let?s not keep you in suspense any longer: here are our top four.
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Surprising Social Benefits of After-School Clubs
Many children look forward to going to school, mainly because of the fun they can have each day with friends. Some children have a different experience, and can find it hard to make friends. Which is why we at LCF Clubs are so proud of one key benefit of our after-school clubs: the ability to create lasting social bonds. Let's take a few moments to look at just how we do this, and why it's something you might want to look into if your child is having trouble forming social bonds at school.
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Importance of Storytelling in Language Learning
Stories are a big part of much of our culture and heritage. For that reason, we at LCF Clubs used stories in our lesson plans since the very beginning. When it comes to the teaching and learning of languages, stories can have a strong and long lasting effect, particularly when you are young. Telling stories is a brilliant way to engage with children, and introduce new vocabulary and grammar.
Let?s have a look at why we use stories in our language clubs, and how stories can help children of all levels take on and retain far more information about the French or Spanish language.
Want To Know If Language Learning Is Right For Your Child? Find Out For Free
There are lots of options these days for kids of all ages, it can be difficult to find a club or activity which is exactly the right choice for them. Some children have an interest or enthusiasm for a subject already ? but sometimes they need to discover this themselves. Does your child also have the interest needed to become a French or Spanish enthusiast? Find out without any financial commitments - enjoy a free trial session of an LCF Club! Here?s how it works.
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
2014: The Year of Language Revolution in Primary Schools
From September 2014 all UK primary schools will need to teach a foreign language at KS2 level. While this is a fantastic step forward for language teaching, we?re aware that there are some potential issues. A lack of experienced language teachers and funding cuts have made it difficult for schools to prepare, but LCF believes that with our help schools in the UK can make 2014 the year of 'language revolution'. Let's have a look at how LCF clubs can help strengthen language teaching in our Primary Schools. Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Celebrate the Beautiful Game with Free Activities from EnglishZone
There are only a couple of weeks left until teams from across the world will be competing for the World Cup 2014. Last week we had a look at the free French and Spanish Babelzone content we?ve made available, so for this blog post we thought we?d continue that trend - but this time it's for English learners. You can now enjoy a collection of footie-related games, animations and activities within our EnglishZone free trial site. So, if your French and Spanish isn?t up to scratch (or not yet, at least), you can still make the most of our free World Cup celebration.
Without further ado, let?s take a look at what you can enjoy 100% free on the EnglishZone website.
Get into the World Cup Spirit with a Babelzone Free Trial
The World Cup is on it's way, and football fans everywhere are preparing for another fantastic competition. We at LCF are also celebrating in our own language inspired way. The World Cup is fantastic because it brings so many people together. Just for a few weeks, differences are ignored and the focus is on the tournament. Good sportsmanship is an important part of this competition. So in the spirit of the World Cup, we?ve arranged some free activities within our Babelzone free trial, that you can enjoy without charge. Let?s take a look at what?s up for grabs in more detail.
Become an LCF Franchisee and Be Your Own Boss
Would you like more freedom in your working life? Maybe you'd like to work from home, with hours that suit you? If you answered yes to those questions, have you thought about becoming an LCF franchisee? You can enjoy the benefits of working from home, and setting your own hours. But you?d also be giving something as well: the gift of education to countless children. Let?s have a look at the details of becoming an LCF franchisee and why it could well be the right choice for you.
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Babelzone: An Online World of Language Learning Fun
The internet has revolutionised the way we shop, socialise, relax and ? more importantly ? learn. It?s this latter point that led us to create Babelzone, an interactive primary language learning website for use in our clubs (Le Club Français and El Club Español) and during school lessons.
Babelzone can be used independently as a learning tool in classrooms and at home, plus it is also a place to have fun! Children can play games, sing songs, take quizzes and read along with stories in their target language. Let?s take a few minutes now to look at exactly what Babelzone is, and how it can help children of all ages to gain a better understanding of language.
LCF After-School Clubs: Much More Than Just Language Lessons
When LCF Clubs -- then known by its full name, Le Club Français ? was formed in 1985, our main raison d'être was to teach children language skills that would serve them for their entire lives.
Though we began teaching French, it wasn?t long until we started teaching Spanish and English as well. Now, more than twenty-five years later, LCF Clubs are still dedicated to providing top-notch language education ? but there is another side to our clubs. We aim to introduce children to much more than just language learning: giving kids music and movement opportunities to enhance their learning.
Five Ways Learning French Can Help In Later Life
It's very common for people to have the urge to learn another language. Unfortunately it seems to be easier to learn another language while you are still young. Usually lifestyle issues get in the way as you get older, work and family commitments can make it harder to dedicate the time needed to learn at a pace that is satisfying.
That?s why we at LCF Clubs think it?s so important that kids begin language learning as early as possible. There are all sorts of reasons that learning French (or any other language) during the primary school years is a great idea, so we?ve picked out our top five.
Without further ado, here they are (in no particular order)?
Image courtesy of Prawny / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Unexpected Benefits of After-School Language Clubs
For years now, primary school children have had the option of attending a wide range of after-school language clubs. Some of these are part of the national curriculum and focused solely on meeting certain criteria; others are more based on fun, socialising and learning. At LCF Clubs, we think we offer the best of all of these worlds. Lets look at some of the unexpected and surprising benefits that afterschool language clubs can bring...
LCF Clubs Make Spanish at Primary School Fun, Engaging and Educational
Primary school is one of the most important times of a child?s life. It?s where they?ll forge potentially lifelong friendships, as well as discover passions that may stick with them forever. That?s why we at LCF Clubs feel it?s so important to open the door to as many possibilities as possible. Traditionally, the options that are offered to enable learning Spanish at primary school are very limited, but with one of our clubs, it can be a hugely fascinating, rewarding, and fun venture. Let?s look at why learning Spanish at primary school can be so useful, and why we feel it?s so important for children to at least have this option.
What happens when teachers aren't equipped to teach languages? We have the answer...
A recent study published by the CfBT Education Trust and the British Council reports that many primary school teachers don't feel confident enough to teach languages to pupils. The study suggested that 'Almost a quarter of primary schools in England have no staff with a language qualification higher than a GCSE.' Here at LCF Clubs we are worried about primary school teachers being put under extra pressure. Our club organisers and teachers have the necessary language skills and resources to be able to teach primary MFL easily and comprehensively. Don't put any extra pressure on your teachers, call us today about supply teaching. Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Teach French with LCF: The Easy Way to Open Childrens Minds
Teaching a language can be a very satisfying and rewarding career choice. Imagine being responsible for the enjoyment children can get when their minds are open up to the new experiences and opportunities that speaking another language can bring! There really is nothing quite like hearing a classroom full of children speak word-perfect French in a way that you have taught them. Teaching French with LCF can bring you that job satisfaction. Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
French for kids: Learning Early Can Make All the Difference
It has long been known that learning a language whilst you are still a child can be easier and quicker than it is as an adult, but what are the other benefits of learning while you are a child? Globalisation is making our world a smaller place, which brings with it new challenges and opportunities for future generations. It's now more important than ever (not just for employment reasons) to broaden your childs horizons and help them to learn another language, or two!
We've had a look at some of the benefits of enrolling your children in a French club for kids.
5 Ways School Clubs Can Help A Child Flourish
LCF has been running after-school and lunchtime clubs for children for over 20 years. We know how important it is for children to enjoy extra curricular activities, to enable them to get the most out of their education. If you're thinking about sending your child to a school club, but are unsure of the benefits, take a look at our article. We've looked at the top 5 ways school clubs can help your childs development.
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
New content for Juniorzone!
LCF Clubs is excited to announce that 'Juniorzone' (a resource in Babelzone for Secondary level learners) has been updated to include loads more activities for Spanish and French learners. For French learners, there are now 12 thematic units. For those who learn or teach Spanish, 4 units have been completed, with more on the way! Babelzone is our popular online resource used by Primary Foreign Language teachers and young learners of French and Spanish. With the addition of Juniorzone, Babelzone is now a resource that Secondary/KS3 teachers will be able to enjoy as well.
LCF exhibiting at Bett 2014 - win a pair of Beats headphones!
Come and see us at this years Bett Show at Excel London between the 22-25th of January. We'll be demonstrating Babelzone and Englishzone so if you haven't tried these outstanding language resources yet then this is your chance to see them in action. While you are there, don't forget to sign up for our competition to win a set of Beats headphones! Each entrant will also receive 3 months free use of Babelzone and Englishzone.
Read more >
Arsene Wenger wins 'public language champion' 28/11/2013
Arsenal football club manager Arséne Wenger has been given the title of 'Public Language Champion' in the first year of this new award, voted for by Guardian readers. Wenger is fluent in English, French and German and learned Japanese while coaching Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan. Arsene Wenger said: "Being voted Britain's first ever Public Language Champion is an incredible honour. I am very proud that Arsenal and I can help raise the profile of language learning in schools. I hope that this award and Arsenal?s Double Club can show that learning a new language does not always have to be a challenge and sport can help make it enjoyable learning." sources: British Academy, The Guardian
LCF enters Chinese market
We're very pleased to announce that LCF products, and in particular Englishzone and our new online teaching facility for English, are now being marketed throughout China by a specialist company in Beijing, Meridian Marketing. The methods for accessing potential clients, especially over the internet, differ dramatically in China. the team at Meridian are very enthusiastic about the prospects for LCF and we look forward to significant business gains with them. Below is the contract signing photo of our Managing Director John Ellis and Brian Mclean, Managing Director of Meridian.
Toddler brain scan gives language insight
Research in the Journal of Neuroscience from a study done by scientists in the UK and USA suggests that infants are better at learning two languages between the ages of 2-4 years. The scientists looked at the distribution of myelin in the brain, which they found to be 'fixed' from age 4, suggesting that 'the brain is most plastic in very early life'. Their research suggests that 'immersing children in a bilingual environment before the age of four gives them the best chance of becoming fluent in both languages,'. Read more >
Celebrate European Day of Languages with Babelzone
In celebration of this years 'European Day of Languages' on Thursday 26th September, LCF Clubs is offering free access to Babelzone for a limited time. Babelzone is our popular online learning site for French and Spanish games, stories, songs and worksheets. Read more >
Image credits http://edl.ecml.at/ European Centre for Modern Languages and Council for Europe
Congratulations Grace and Indira
LCF Clubs would like to congratulate Grace and Indira from Bristol, who recently received our award for 'Outstanding Club Member Achievement'. Indira and Grace have attended French clubs with Anna-Kate Fuller in Bristol since reception year. Their award was presented by Anna-Kate at an end of term presentation, following the performance of a play which was written and directed by both girls. Brilliant work Grace and Indira, you should be very proud of your efforts!
A lack of language skills is holding back British exporters
In a recent survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce business owners reported language barriers were holding back trade. A staggering 70% of respondents had '...no foreign language ability for the markets they serve.' UK businesses are looking for people with language skills to help them break the barriers into foreign markets. LCF Clubs can provide your child with the language skills necessary to become confident and fluent in another language. Help them to stand out from the crowd and encourage them to learn a language with LCF Clubs. Our clubs are fun and affordable, and can give children the confidence and inspiration they need to take languages further. Find a language club near you today >
Full site access to Babelzone and Englishzone FREE this week! Offer extended until 21st June.
As you may have noticed, our websites suffered from some downtime this weekend. While we are bringing everything back to normal we would like to offer everyone the chance to use Babelzone and Englishzone for FREE. This is not just access to our trial sites with limited activities, this is access to the whole of each site! Over 300 songs, stories, games, sound bites and activities in French or Spanish and English, free for a week (until the 21st of June). Go for it!
Free cultural sessions for schools 20/05/2013
LCF Clubs is excited to offer complimentary cultural sessions (French or Spanish) to all UK schools! Help the children in your school begin their journey to loving languages by giving them the chance to experience France or Spain without leaving the UK. Our sessions are extremely popular already, so contact us to express your interest. Find out more about our cultural sessions >
Access Babelzone or Englishzone for under £20
This summer we have a special offer for Babelzone and Englishzone! You can now purchase a single user subscription for either of our popular online learning zones, Babelzone or Englishzone. The subscriptions are at the special discounted rate of £16+VAT and are valid for the UK Summer term only (from now until the 24th of July 2013).
Babelzone is a popular online learning resource for MFL (French and Spanish) aimed at KS1-KS3 level. Containing over 300 songs, games, stories, phonics, soundbites and printable worksheets; Babelzone is a fun and interactive resource for teachers, parents and students. Try Babelzone for FREE now >
Englishzone is an interactive online learning resource for teachers of TEFL and TESOL, and young learners practising for the Cambridge ESOL exams. With several different learning areas (such as Grammar zone, Phonics zone, Picture zone, and Practice zone) Englishzone is the perfect accompaniment to your English lessons. It can be used in the classroom for group or individual activities or for home study. Try Englishzone for FREE now >
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take advantage of this offer, specifying which learning zone you would like a subscription to.
Read more about the Babelzone offer >
Read more about the Englishzone offer >
What do you think of the new draft curriculum?
The Network for Languages London has an informative blog about teaching languages. This months focus is on primary languages. The Network for Languages London are keen for language teachers to share their opinions on the new draft National Curriculum. Some comments so far are that the list of languages is too limiting, and that it is a shame about the lack of 'Intercultural Understanding'.
Winner announced for LCF Clubs BETT Show competition 19/02/2013
LCF Clubs would like to congratulate Cheryl from South Wales! Cheryl (a teacher from a special needs school in South Wales) has won our BETT Show competition for a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Cheryl entered the competition by registering with us during this years BETT Show. read more>
Department of Education release a new National Curriculum draft 07/02/2013
The Department of Education have just released a draft of the new National Curriculum for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. For languages at Key Stage 2
Teaching should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one of the following languages: French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin or Ancient Greek.read more > (DfE website)
Practise your pronunciation with Englishzone 07/02/2013
Try out our new language learning tool for LCF Clubs learning zones, a voice recorder for help with pronunciation and vocabulary. This tool will be rolled out across Babelzone and Englishzone shortly. You can try the voice recorder in the 'FREE Trial' section of Englishzone.
NEW - Babelzone for Juniors - ks3/secondary French and Spanish resources 06/02/2013
Babelzone is expanding! More activities are being added in our new section for Juniors (Key Stage 3 French and Spanish). We are especially excited about some new songs that have been added, so for a limited time you can see them for FREE >
Win a Kindle Fire HD with LCF Tutors 31/01/2013
LCF Tutors - Any subject, anywhere! Introducing a new service for parents looking for tutors, and for tutors who are looking for clients. For the Spring term only, everyone who registers with LCF Tutors as a parent or a tutor, is eligible for entry into our fantastic competition to win a Kindle Fire HD. LCF Clubs has over 25 years of experience running childrens language clubs, why not register with LCF Tutors today and see how we can help your children learn even more! read more >
Win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet with LCF at BETT 2013 04/01/2013
Come and visit LCF at this years BETT (the learning technology event) in London, Jan 30th - Feb 2nd. See us at stand number D356 to register for a chance of winning a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
Why not take the chance to try out our online learning resources for teaching languages Babelzone and Englishzone. read more >
Congratulations Tara! December 2012
Tara from South Wales is the lucky winner of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet thanks to LCF Clubs. Tara won our Autumn term Babelzone competition for UK club members, she attends El Club Español run by club organiser Katherine Smith.
Englishzone - more fun and easier to use 02/11/2012
Englishzone is getting even better! Direct On site access (in Juniorzone) to BBC world news and sport. A great way for students to learn about English culture (or football!) while practising their reading skills. Learningzone - Englishzone, graded activities and resources organised as a structured and progressive course with assessments and ESOL examinations preparation.
Autumn Term Competition for UK LCF Club Members 01/09/2012
This autumn term LCF Clubs will be giving away a SAMSUNG 10.1 GALAXY TABLET PC to one lucky club member! read more >
Englishzone News 21/08/2012
In Englishzone, we are currently developing 2 new areas:
In this area, existing resources in Englishzone are now sorted into levels in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the Cambridge Young Learners English examination. Numerous interactive aids have been added to ensure that:
- the syllabus is covered (Grammar, Vocabulary, structures)
- students can access content independently and learn on their own
In the next development phase, LCF is designing a set of comprehensive progress assessments in all 4 language skills.
This area offers new resources for Elementary to Intermediate learners (At Secondary level). JUNIORZONE ensures that language learning continues at secondary level and offers the necessary progression from Learningzone. FREE TRIAL >
Head Office summer closure 3/08/2012 - 20/08/2012
LCF head office will be closed for two weeks over the summer school holidays. We are shut from close of business on Friday the 3rd of August, and will re-open Monday the 20th of August.
Englands teenagers lag behind on languages 22/06/2012
England's teenagers are lagging far behind their European peers in foreign languages, a major new survey suggests. It reveals nine in 10 youngsters aged 14 and 15 are unable to communicate their personal interests, experiences and ambitions in a foreign language. read more >
Le Club Français - An Autism Adventure 19/06/2012
Today we were excited to hear from Rebecca Mitchell, mum of one of our language club members in Worcestershire (club organiser Nedia Pillon). Rebecca's son has autism, and he recently started learning French with LCF clubs. You can read Rebecca's blog here
New curriculum 'to make languages compulsory from seven' 11/06/2012
Learning a foreign language will be compulsory from the age of seven in England's primary schools in an overhaul of the national curriculum, the education secretary is to announce.
Under Mr Gove's plans, primary schools could offer lessons in Mandarin, Latin and Greek, as well as French, German and Spanish.
Children can learn a language with LCF clubs from age three, give your child a head start and contact your local club organiser now. The first language club session is free!
Four-year-olds to start learning two foreign languages 18/05/2012
Children as young as four are to start learning two foreign languages under a radical plan unveiled by Scottish ministers to make them more employable when they enter the job market. read more >
LCF Clubs has been running language clubs in Scotland for 20 years. Contact your nearest club organiser for more details.
£500m language tax costing Scotlands economy 18/05/2012
A new study on the financial impact of the decade in decline of learning a language in schools has come up with the figure of £500m lost to Scotlands economy. The loss comes from missed business opportunities on overseas contracts or inward investment. The report, by the Scottish Government's Languages Working Group, has made 35 recommendations for improving the situation.
One of the most important is that children should begin learning a second language as soon as they start primary school, rather than primary six, as is now the case. read more >
'All children should learn foreign languages' 22/03/2012
A recent House of Lords committee has said that all children in the UK should learn a foreign language at primary and secondary school. The attitude to learning a language in the UK has prevented many students from studying in Europe. The UK is now facing competition from other European countries - traditionally the UK has attracted EU students keen to study English. read more >
Parents who are interested in helping their child to learn another language can contact their local language club organiser for more details. Learning a language with LCF Clubs is fun and affordable!