History of Linguaphone Group

Linguaphone was founded in 1901 and is among the most established international language schools in the world.

Over the last century, millions of people in over 60 countries have upgraded their career and enhanced their lives by learning a new language with The Linguaphone Group. Linguaphone uses a network of trusted licensed partners and distributors to make sure the courses are available to adults and children all over the world. This includes both licensed language schools like Direct English and Pingu’s English.

The first to combine written course materials with audio recordings, Linguaphone quickly became an industry leader in international language teaching. Linguaphone’s world-renowned language programs include the Linguaphone, Pingu’s English and Direct English courses.


Pingu's English

An award-winning TV show that’s loved by children and parents alike, Pingu™ was chosen for its universal appeal and accessibility, as well as the strong moral message it represents.

Pingu’s English was developed following the purchase of exclusive English Language Teaching rights for the Pingu TV series from HIT Entertainment Limited (Mattel, the leading American brand for kids products) in February 2006.

Applying over a century of training experience of Linguaphone Group, Pingu’s English combines proven play-based educational techniques with creative activities and high-quality learning resources written by UK experts.

Direct English - Louis Alexander

Direct English courses were developed by Louis Alexander; a world-renowned English Language Teaching expert and prolific writer. He still holds the world record for greatest number of books sold by an individual an individual author in one year (4.7m), and his spirit lives on through the many thousands of people who have used his talents to learn such a valuable language.

Company Details

Linguaphone Group Ltd is a UK registered private limited company.

  • Registration number: 5694539
  • Registered office:  Linguaphone Group, Liongate Enterprise Park, 80 Morden Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 4PH, United Kingdom

Discover more about what makes unique Pingu’s English unique both for our students and franchise partners.

Pingus English


english for kids 3-9

Pingu’s English extended its 4th Level to the English training for kids aged 7-9+.


Pingus’s English has launched the International Kindergarten curriculum in partnership with Kingston University London, UK top leader in Early Years Education, based on the ever popular Pingu’s English brand. The curriculum with be broadly based on EYSF principles, but will bring in the very best elements of other systems, such as Reggio Emilia and Montessori and deliver stimulating half and full day courses in its premium branded schools around the world.


Pingus English
Pingus English


Global map Partners Pingu's English

Over 20 Countries

Pingu’s English reached over 20 countries including Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Europe thanks to the opportunity to Franchise the Pingu’s English Formula Worldwide.

Pingu Comes Onboard

The business expanded further with the acquisition of the exclusive global English language teaching rights for Pingu from HIT Entertainment Limited, one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and intellectual property rights owners. With these rights, the Linguaphone Group has developed the pre-school children's English course Pingu's English.


Pingus English
Pingus English


Direct English

Linguaphone Acquires Direct English

The acquisition of Direct English in from Pearson Education Limited, part of Pearson Plc, the world's largest educational publisher, served to not only consolidate but also significantly enhance this belief and our position as world leader in the adult assisted learning marketplace.

Meeting Demand

To meet this enormous, inherent global demand for English, the Linguaphone Group is now focused on providing tutor-supported adult and pre-school children's English language training courses through an impressive network of centres around the world, operating under the Direct English, Linguaphone and Pingu's English brand names.


Pingus English
Pingus English


Mr Roston's Legacy

A bust of Mr Roston was sculpted by Jacob Epstein for his 70th birthday, which we still preserve in our Head Office.

The Linguist

Roston published a new monthly journal “The Linguist” and contributed to it a history of language teaching ideas from the ancients through Comenius to modern theorists. It is in the second issue of this journal that a Linguaphone advertisement appeared containing the definitive description of the Linguaphone Method.
Linguaphone courses were in use in 92 countries, with overseas branches in Australia, Belgium, France, Holland, Norway, South Africa, U.S.A. and even Latvia.


Pingus English
Pingus English


George Bernard Shaw

Even George Bernard Shaw finally succumbed to Linguaphone's attraction and made a special recording 'Spoken English and Broken English'. 

The autographed original now rests in the British Museum in London.

On The Record

With the arrival of "Berliners" or flat records, the gramophone came of age and with it Linguaphone's opportunity to reach out to a wider public. Linguaphone courses were in use in 92 countries.


Pingus English
Pingus English


The Rosenblum Method

Jaques Roston’s name first appeared on a little pamphlet in which he explained his ideas on language teaching, and in particular the primacy of the spoken word. He also published it in an advertisement for his classes, using “The Rosenblum Method” (his original name).

Roston was one of the first pioneers to recognise the potential for language teaching using Edison's invention of sound recording (1877) and Alexander Graham Bell's development of wax cylinders (1888).

The Linguaphone Group Founded

The Linguaphone Group was founded in High Holborn, London by Jacques Roston, a translator and language teacher who emigrated from Russia, at the turn of the century.


Pingus English

Licensing Opportunities



Licensing Opportunities

Learning Experience

Find out more about how become an exclusive franchise partner.

Steps to Ownership

What the next steps are? What markets are still available? Find our more here by selecting your country.


Our Pingu's English Global Partners

Read all about the latest Pingu’s English news and developments.

Steps to Ownership

Do you need advice on how your business plan can be adapted to our model? Please write us to opportunities@pingusenglish.com. Our Business Development Team will be more than happy to help you.


Join us at our next event and learn more about the unique Pingu’s English method.

Want to talk to an Franchise Expert? Keep in touch with us.


Proven Method Worldwide

Pingu’s English students receive an activity pack that features a range of supplementary learning materials. This pack includes charming models of kids’ favorite characters from the show, as well as creative coloring and drawing materials. Parents are also given access to a broad selection of learning resources to assist with the child’s development outside of school hours, regardless of the parent’s existing English language abilities.

Learn more

Pingu’s English teaching centers have now opened up in more than 20 countries worldwide, and we’re consistently on the lookout for new, mutually beneficial franchise arrangements. A combination of unique course structure and exclusive educational rights over lovable little Pingu is what’s made Pingu’s English such a successful franchise. By using this iconic branding across all of the Pingu’s English teaching centers and resources, the company’s services have become a unique proposition on the market.


We at the British Chamber of Commerce worked with Linguaphone Group to find them a new in-market partner for the Korean market. Throughout the engagement we had with Linguaphone Group, we found them to be passionate about education, supremely professional in their approach to business and both responsive and personable in their interactions with ourselves and Korean partners. Korean investors were attracted to the best-in-class program which Linguaphone Group offers, the strong reputation of the company and the heritage with which it is associated. These are qualities that resonate globally.

British Chamber Korea

 Sean Blakeley, BCCK CEO

Our Experience with Pingu’s English has been profitable and positive from the first year. We relied on their professionalism and heritage, their staff is always prompt to assist with the latest trends and ideas on the market. We were looking for a brand who can guarantee us quality and a solid method but at the same time would leave us the freedom and flexibility in order to succeed in our challenging and competitive market like the Italian one. We built Pingu’s English project in Italy by mixing their huge international experience in the English training with our knowledge of the Italian market. All this enabled us to do the right decision for our winning investment. Today we have over 40 Pingu’s English centres and thousands of happy children learning English.

Daniele Arboit

Pingu's English Master Franchisee Italy

From our first training session in London 2009- from the academic side to customer service -we felt confident and well equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful Pingu’s English Master Licensees” At the moment, our services to all 23 networked schools across the country are effectively and efficiently backed by Pingu’s English.  No doubt that we see no limit to expand our business to cover 30,000+ schools in the near future!

Nipat Ungpakornkaew

Pingu's English Master Licensee Thailand

I knew about Pingu’s English School through a friend. After research about the school, I decided to enroll my daughter and it was one of the best things I could do to her. She loves studying at Pingu’s English and she cannot wait to the day of the class. I also love Pingu's English School, because there she learns by playing and I can see her progress day by day.

Léia Rodrigues

Pingu's English Student's mother / Brazil

Now she is studying at Pingu’s English School, my daughter only wants to talk to me in English and she is always singing the songs.

Cristiane Doimo

Pingu's English Student's mother /Brazil

Regarding the teaching method they use a figurative storytelling way of starting the lesson,  trying hard to involve the child and make the them curious about the situation. Tom is very happy to go to Pingu’s English because he perceives the School as a playful moment and not just as a learning moment while at the same time he is learning a new language


Pingu's English Student's Mother /Italy

We love Pingu’s English School because the school gives my son the opportunity to learn and develop different skills, especially English skills. He is excited every time to go to school and is always happy when he comes home.

Sapavoot Preedawipart

Pingu's English Student's Mother/ Thailand

Pingu’s English School is not just a school; it is as a second home for my kid. I like it when I see my kid growing and learning in a friendly and safe atmosphere. Most of all, I can see a lot of improvement in his English listening and speaking skills

Piyatida Tudteam

Pingu's English Student's Mother/Thailand

I have being running my own school for 15 years. When I met Pingu’s English, it was love at first sight. Now I am offering the best English Course available to my students and they are loving it as well as their parents. Thank you Pingu’s English!

Giedre Paula

Pingu’s English Unit Franchisee in State of Mato Grosso do Sul

Brazil is a huge Market and the preschool english education industry is growing very fast. All our franchisees are happy with the Pingu’s English methodology as well as the operational manuals Liguaphone offers to Unit Licensees. They feel very well assisted.

Ronaldo Vieira

Pingu's English Master Franchisee in State of Sao Paulo

Abbas always tells me that Pingu's English is the most fun he has all day. I am very glad that this place makes him feel that way and noticeably develop his language skills too


Pingu's English Student's Father/Bahrain

Our students are very enthusiastic in studying at Pingu’s English. They always tell us how much fun and how much they learn here. Parents also keep saying how proud they are with the knowledge and improvements their children are making.

Willian Veloso Rocha

Pingu’s English Unit Franchisee in State of São Paulo