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Children’s language-teaching company wins award for fifth year running

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 30 November 2018

A language teaching company which holds classes in Bromley recently won a prestigious award for the fifth year running. Picture: Rocio Blanco

A language teaching company which holds classes in Bromley recently won a prestigious award for the fifth year running. Picture: Rocio Blanco

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A language teaching company which holds classes in Bromley recently won a prestigious award for the fifth year running.

La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children triumphed at the children’s education awards ‘What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2018’ last month to win Best National Licensed Activity for 5-12 year olds for the fifth year in succession.

The company has been successfully teaching early language learning to nursery and primary aged children for 35 years.

The methodology includes immersion in French and Spanish from the very beginning, lots of repetition from week to week and introducing the language through fun games, songs and activities.

La Jolie Ronde currently has more 1,660 out-of-school classes which run across the UK and Ireland.

After many years in the corporate world, Bromley local Rocio Blanco decided to set up her own Spanish classes as extra-curricular lessons across Bromley schools, adopting the methodology of La Jolie Ronde.

“The idea planted itself in my head three years ago now,” said Rocio.

“After many years working in various commercial and managerial roles in UK and Europe and for other people, I wanted to use my bilingual skills more and benefit the local community, so I started visualising language classes for young children.

“I came across La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children, who were looking for Spanish speakers to join them, so with my passion for languages and fluent in Spanish I applied and ‘My Spanish Owl’ was born!”

Rocio teaches 5-12 year olds, and has seen her business flourish in the last few years.

She said: “My business and classes have steadily increased year on year due to demand from parents, who had heard how much fun my classes were, and who wanted their children to learn Spanish.

“I also received interest from local primary schools and nurseries who were looking to set up Spanish clubs at lunchtimes and after school.

“When you’re interacting with the children and all having fun whilst they’re learning, there’s no time to think about anything else!”

When asked why she thinks language classes are so important for children, Rocio said: “The benefits of introducing foreign languages to young children are extremely important as language learning also helps develop a number of other skills.

“Children tend to be like sponges – they pick up pronunciation with ease, therefore the earlier a second language is learnt the better.

“Sadly, the curriculum requirement for language learning isn’t until Year 3 - children aged seven and eight - therefore my weekly classes give earlier ages a head start.

“Children learn quicker than adults as they are at a special ‘window of opportunity’ in which language learning is intuitive and natural. “Languages forge friendships, cultural ties, and economic relationships.”

Speaking about the company’s win at the awards, Rocio said: “Winning this award for the fifth year in a row brings with it a great deal of pride.

“2018 was an exceptional year, with voting very fierce across all the categories right up to the end, so thank you to everyone who voted.

“We have once again demonstrated how popular our language classes are with parents and carers and the children we teach.”

Rocio believes the that an important part of her classes is the element of fun that comes with learning a language.

She said: “First and foremost, my classes are designed to be a fun learning experience. Not everyone is born to be a natural linguist but that doesn’t matter.

“My Spanish Owl uses the tried and tested La Jolie Ronde methodology, revolving around making the classes fun by learning through interactive songs, games, stories, rhymes and role-plays without any pressure.

“My pupils are simply having fun with their friends and learning a new language at the same time without even realising it.”

To find out more about Rocio’s Spanish classes, email myspanishowl@hotmail.com or visit www.thespanishowls.club.

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