For Hungarian banker Karole Havasy* the offer of a senior job at a bank in the city of London was almost a dream come true but with one problem – how would her daughter Andrea, 8, who spoke only Hungarian, manage in the move to a British school?
Karole had heard from pals about a language school in her home in Budapest in Hungary specifically for kids aged between 5-12, with lessons based on exactly the same format kids would receive in English at a UK school – Andrea enrolled – and this summer took her place at a mainstream school in London as her mother started her city banking job.
With just four hours a week over a 36-week year at the English Learning Centre (ELC) Andrea had gone from no English through to being good enough to attend regular lessons at a UK state school.
School founder and Englishman Andy Thompson, 50, said part of his school’s winning formula was a passion that came from the fact he has children growing up abroad himself.
He said: “As an English dad I sympathise a lot with parents who want their children to learn English to a decent standard and the challenges that involves, which is why we opted for exactly the same standards that are employed in the UK as part of the English National Curriculum. Kids have the same lessons – with the added bonus that we also try and make it a place they want to come, for example with the use of iPads as a learning aid, and of course qualified native speakers.”
The unique approach has brought results – last year the school doubled its numbers at its two locations in Budapest and this year they are expanding to the Austrian capital Vienna with a new school opening in the city’s 19th district. Courses are between 14.00 and 18.00 each day.
For more information, the English Learning Centre (ELC) is holding an Open House from 14.00 to 19.00 at the school itself in Budinskygasse 12, 1190, Vienna, on 28 August for interested parents.
Anyone wanting to find out more should register to attend at www.englischkursefurkinder.org/anmeldeformular.php.
More details about ELC can be found at www.englischkursefurkinder.org or on 0676 714 9897.
*Name changed by the editorial team.