Learn a Language Your Way Video

Learn a language with the experts

Cactus is a leader in language learning, with many years’ experience designing and implementing language courses for all needs and interests. We know that different people learn in different ways, and we can help you to learn a language your way. Discover all the options with our Learn a Language Your Way Video.

Learn a Language Your Way Video

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Your language learning options

Whether you are looking for a 10-week evening language course to fit into your working week, a private language course via Skype or face-to-face, a TEFL course to enable you to teach English the world over, or a language course abroad where you can truly immerse yourself in the language and culture, Cactus has the language learning solutions you need.




If you have a language learning or language teaching query, please visit our blog or get in contact with us either by Facebook or by Twitter. Alternatively, feel free to contact us here or call to speak to one of our advisors on  00 44 (0) 1273 830 960.


Teacher zone: how to make language classes engaging

As experts in the language education industry, Cactus has over 15 years’ experience designing and implementing language courses. If you have a language learning or language teaching query that you can’t find the answer to, please get in contact with us either by Facebook or by Twitter or contact us here.

In line with our new teacher training courses for foreign languages, we’re bringing you our best tips for how to make your language classes engaging.

  1. Activate Schemata

Whatever your lesson aims, find out what your students already know about the target language/topic. This shows you, the teacher, the language your students already have, encourages revision and recycling, and is good opportunity for some peer teaching and peer correction. It also shows your students what they lack, and shows them the language they don’t have, thereby creating a need for that language, which in turn motivates them to participate in the activities that follow – “I don’t know how to say this, I need to pay attention here!”. Activating schemata benefits both the teacher and the students on many levels. Images, realia, discussion questions, what happens next and problem-solving questions are some ways of activating schemata.

  1. Personalise your activities

Generally people prefer to talk about themselves, or about what they know. Remember – if someone doesn’t have a lot to say about a topic in their own language, they will have even less to say in a foreign language. By personalising your activities and finding a way for your learners to relate the questions to themselves, their lives, their experiences and their opinions, you will find that they have a lot more to say, and will be much more engaged.

  1. Vary Interaction Patterns

Increasing student talking time and reducing teacher talking time is key to maintaining students’ engagement levels and ensuring they progress at a good speed. However, it’s also important to remember to change things up – people don’t want to be working with or talking to the same person all the time. So change the pairs around, do the activities in groups of 3 or 4, change the classroom set up and physical arrangement. Keep things interesting by not being predictable.

  1. Cater for different learn styles

People learn in different ways so it is important to cover all bases by including a variety of activities that cater for different learner styles. Remember to have a good balance between aural, visual and kinesthetic tasks – this will keep your students engaged and also ensure that their learner style needs are being met. If you’re in a classroom that cannot accommodate a running dictation then get students to the board for feedback – you can incorporate ‘catering for different learner styles’ at all stages of the task cycle.

  1. Be Interested

Don’t use materials or activities you find boring, tedious or pointless. If you don’t like the materials or activities then this will show, and your students will not like them either. Be interested in what you are teaching and who you are teaching, and your students will be interested in what is being taught. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain enthusiasm for topics or language points you have taught many times before – so find different materials to teach the target language. Use authentic materials, take information from the internet, video clips, music, YouTube, TED talks etc. Bring the outside world into the classroom and your students will relate and participate fully.

Cactus has a wealth of information and tips on language teaching. Visit our blog or sign up to our newsletter for further information about language learning and teaching.

Of course, you can always call us on 00 44 (0) 1273 830 960 for information and advice on anything related to languages.

Find your Dream English Teaching Job

So you’ve passed your TEFL course – congratulations! You are now qualified to teach English and the world is your oyster.

The next step is finding your dream teaching job – but this isn’t always as simple as seems. To give yourself the best chance of finding work teaching English, we’ve put together our top tips for finding a TEFL job:

1. If you have yet to book your TEFL course:

  • It’s good to read up on TEFL jobs even if you haven’t yet qualified! The first piece of advice we would give is to train in the location where you wish to work; this will give you good access to local job vacancies that arise and means that you’ll be there for interviews (sometimes even before your course has finished).

2. If you already have your teaching qualification, but have not yet decided where you want to work:

  • Now’s the time to do some internet research: a good starting point is to check how many English language schools there are in your chosen destination (tip: there are often more opportunities in rural locations than in big cities, where competition is high).
  • Expat forums are a great way to find out what it’s really like to live in your chosen country, and they are a good opportunity to do some early networking; some also show local job posts.
  • Consult the many TEFL recruitment sites that advertise TEFL jobs all over the world. Some people feel more comfortable contacting potential schools and employers prior to their arrival, and these sites are a great way to line up meetings and interviews in advance.
  • Cactus TEFL offers post-course careers advice and support, as well as free access to our very own TEFL jobs board and job alerts. Here you will find potential employers from all over the world, gain an understanding of what it’s like to live and work abroad, and receive expert advice as to the right path for you upon course completion.

3. If you already have your teaching qualification, and are in the location where you want to work:

  • Job searching in-country is the best way to find your dream teaching job. You are already on the ground to read local press and find out about newly-available positions, plus you are readily available to visit schools, attend interviews and meet staff before committing to a job (as it is, after all, just as important that it is the right environment for you).
  • Again, check out Cactus TEFL’s job board for jobs in your area. English language schools in Asia regularly seek ESL/EFL teachers, so sign up for job alerts if you are looking for work particularly in Japan, Taiwan, China or Korea. There are also usually jobs available through Cactus for English teachers in major European cities.

Good luck! If you require help or advice at any point, don’t forget you can contact Cactus TEFL on info@cactustefl.com or 00 44 (0) 1273 830 960.

¿Qué debo hacer para aprender inglés?

La respuesta es simple: cuanto más tiempo dediques a aprender y practicar inglés, más rápido aprenderás. Para aprender inglés necesitas practicar.

A modo de guía, si quieres llegar a un nivel intermedio de inglés (B1) partiendo de un conocimiento cero, te llevará:

• Varios años si estudias 2 horas a la semana
• 6 meses si estudias 15 horas a la semana
• 12 semanas si estudias 30 horas a la semana

8 consejos que te ayudarán a aprender inglés más rápido:

1. Relájate y disfruta
Cuando estamos estresados, si algo nos da vergüenza o nos produce frustración, el cerebro produce hormonas de estrés que actúan como un mecanismo de defensa. Esto ralentiza todo proceso cerebral, excepto aquellos necesarios para sobrevivir. No te lo tomes demasiado en serio y te darás cuenta de que aprendes más rápido de lo que crees.

2. Práctica, práctica, práctica
La práctica hace al maestro. Aprende palabras y frases y úsalos con tu profesor, otros estudiantes,tu familia de acogida – con todo el mundo. No es necesario ser perfecto. Cuanto más practiques, más rápido vaa a progresar en inglés.

3. Reduce la velocidad
La fluidez no implica hablar rápido – significa ser capaz de hablar inglés sin tener que pensar en cómo decir las cosas. Cuanto más practiques todo tipo de habla, más fácil te resultará.

4. Lee
A través de la lectura se aprende mucho vocabulario, expresiones y frases hechas, es una forma rápida y fácil – puedes leer en tu teléfono o tableta, mientras viajas o unos minutos mientras desayunas. Aprovecha la oportunidad y memoriza palabras y frases que te interesen.

5. Establece metas
Ponerte metas te mantiene encaminado y es ideal para motivarte. De esta manera se fragmenta el proceso de aprendizaje de inglés en objetivos fáciles de conseguir y así podrás ir alegrándote por tus logros. A cambio, te ayudará a aprender rápidamente, te mantendrá motivado y te marcará el calendario que tienes que seguir. Piensa en los motivos que te han llevado a aprender inglés y basa tus objetivos en esto.

6. Aprende con un amigo

Si tienes un amigo con tu mismo nivel de inglés proponte aprender inglés juntos. Podéis probar a hablar inglés (sin que os de vergüenza), ver una película en inglés o incluso viajar a un país de habla inglesa juntos. Si tienes a alguien a quien no quieres defraudar esto jugará un papel importante en tu motivación y progreso.

7. Deja de disculparte

No pases tanto tiempo disculpándote por tus errores y usa ese tiempo para alegrarte por los logros que estás haciendo. Cada vez que abres la boca para decir algo, estás mejorando – así que ¡cree en ti mismo! Cambia esos “No hablo mucho inglés” por un lenguaje más positivo: “Estoy aprendiendo; ¿Podría hablar un poco más lento? “. Sentirte bien con tu inglés te dará un impulso y ganas de aprender aún más.

8. No te rindas

Aprenderás inglés más rápido si aceptas desde el principio que requiere de esfuerzo y

determinación. Para lograr hablar inglés de manera fluida, es probable que tengas que pasar por malentendidos, momentos de frustración y de vergüenza así como un atleta tiene que sobrellevar el dolor, las lesiones y las derrotas en su camino para lograr una medalla de oro olímpica. Cada palabra que dices te está ayudando a aprender inglés, sea o no lo que querías decir. Por eso, salta los obstáculos para poder lograr el nivel de inglés que deseas más rápido.

¡Buena suerte!

Cactus trabaja con escuelas en todo el mundo seleccionadas meticulosamente para ofrecer cursos de inglés que se adapten a todos los intereses y presupuestos. Desde programas de cursos académicos de inglés en Londres hasta cursos intensivos de inglés en Nueva York, nuestros cursos son idóneos para quienes quieren aprender inglés para los negocios, por placer o para viajar.

FREE Language Learning Webinar – Fri 3rd July

Join the Journey: Learn a language with Cactus!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s really like to take a language course, now is your chance to find out – from the comfort of your home or office!

Date: Wednesday 3rd July

Time: 1.00pm – 1.30pm BST

Registration: Google Hangouts

Cactus is hosting a free half-hour webinar via Google Hangouts to explain what a language course is all about. Answering common questions about our courses, listed below, this short webinar tells you everything you need to know about our evening courses, with the chance to ask your own questions in a Q&A session at the end.

  1. Who takes a language course?
  2. So I’ve booked my course. What happens next?
  3. What level am I?
  4. Who is my teacher?
  5. What will I learn on my course?
  6. What are the classes like?
  7. What progress will I make?
  8. What support will I get?
  9. Why should I book with Cactus?
  10. What happens at the end of the course?
  11. What other options are there for learning a language?

Whether you are interested in learning a language to improve your career prospects, travel the world or chat to foreign in-laws, an evening course will prepare you for any situation. You can take one course on its own or progress through the levels to achieve greater fluency in your chosen language.

Join us with no obligations – it’s all free. You’ll just get great advice and information on language learning and language courses. Join the webinar and you will also receive an exclusive discount off our evening language courses!

To register, sign up here via Google Hangouts.

Cactus offers 10-week evening courses in 15 locations and 21 languages across London and the UK. Courses are available at all levels and start in July, October, January and April.

How much language can you learn in one year?

New year is a great time to learn a new language, as it not only ticks off a worthy resolution but it gives you valuable skills to take forward. But the big question is – how much language can you really learn in one year?

Whether in preparation for an overseas business trip, to secure a deal with foreign partners or to maximise your employment potential, learning a language will put you one step ahead in the global community and bring you instant respect and admiration.

By making it your goal to learn or improve a language in 2015, you can track your progress from January to December and see how much you’ve learned over the year. Be honest about the time you can commit each week to your target language and make realistic short-term goals; this is the secret to keeping focused and energised!

So how much language can you expect to learn in one year?

This depends on factors such as:

  • Your existing level
  • Your learning style
  • The amount of time you have
  • The amount of self-study you do
  • The number of participants in your group
  • If you can spend time in a country where the language is spoken

We can offer a general guideline to help you plan your language training. Let’s take the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which all Cactus courses are designed around, whereby A1 is beginner level and C2 is proficient.

If we take the most extreme case of wanting to progress from beginner level (A1) in January to proficient (C2) by December, you will need 375 hours of 1:1 class time* plus 255 hours of self-study.

That’s a one-hour class every day of the year – but of course, realistically, you’re more likely to study for a couple of hours at a time, and may put it many more hours on a holiday or business trip.

Let’s say you know the basics in a language and want to gain a bit more confidence, but there’s no rush. Transitting from beginner (A1) to elementary (A2) will require 45 hours of 1:1 classes, plus another 30 hours of self-study. If you do two-hours a week you will reach your goal in under six months!

Break it down into days, weeks and months and it’s easy to design a course that complements your learning style, suits your lifestyle and reflects your end goals. Whatever your language learning resolutions, your teacher will sit down with you at the beginning of your course to plan the content and make sure that you end the year on a linguistic high.

Bon nouvel an…feliz año nuevo…guten Rutsch…happy new year!

Cactus Language Training specialises in organising language courses for individuals and groups, having done so since 1999 for clients all over the globe and for diverse needs and budgets. Our expertise in the field of face-to-face tuition is second-to-none. With an extensive network of approved teachers and a strong in-house academic team, we are able to tailor a language course to suit your specific learning needs, anywhere in the world and whenever is convenient to you.


Cactus Worldwide Monthly Blog: September 2013

Welcome to the September edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! This month we’re taking you behind the scenes to meet the people behind two of our most popular partner schools…


Hello, and welcome to September’s edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! My name is Ollie, and I am Product Manager for our agency, Cactus Worldwide. Our team of experienced course advisors are here every day to discuss options with you and help set up a varied range of unique language-learning experiences, all over the globe, throughout the year, for all of our wonderful students.

This month’s blog is aimed at letting you take a look at some of the people behind two of our most popular partner schools in Europe – The Language Centre in Denia, on the east coast of Spain; and Centro Fiorenza on Via di Santo Spirito in the heart of Florence, Italy.

If you have any questions about anything you read here, please feel free to contact me directly via oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com and I’d be happy to answer any questions.

1. Spanish in Denia with Cactus Worldwide & The Language Centre

Firstly, please meet Mari Carmen Timor, the Principal of The Language Centre, situated in the historic part of Denia on Carrer de la Barbacana! TLC is a comfortable, modern and spacious school, fully equipped with wi-fi, audio-visual equipment, air-conditioning and drinks machines. It is an ideal location for families, individual adults or juniors all year-round, with a range of course and accommodation options to suit students of all shapes and sizes.

Denia is located half-way between Alicante and Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Still not sure? Click here to see its exact location on Google Maps.

Here is what Mari Carmen has to say about her school, and why it’s worth considering a visit to Denia this autumn/winter:

Who are you?

My name is Mari Carmen Timor and I am currently the FEDELE president for the Valencian region of Spain, as well as school principal at TLC Dénia Spanish school (Dénia, Valencia). My personal philosophy is that it is important that students experience everything there is about a language, its people and their culture, as well as a receiving a high quality education.

How long has TLC Denia been in operation?

TLC Dénia first opened its doors in 1994 and since then I have strived to continuously stay at the forefront of teaching methods, along with keeping our accommodation satisfactory and our range of activities interesting. We specialise in offering families travelling with children the opportunity to learn the language together. For those students who want to experience a relaxed and friendly city, where they can integrate with the local people and their culture, TLC Dénia is the ideal place for studying Spanish.

What’s happening at TLC Denia this autumn, and why should students come to Denia and take a Spanish course?

As autumn falls I think many of us consider taking on new challenges in our lives, and for those who wish to learn or improve a language it is a fantastic time to start. The summer heat wanes making way for that magical change of light that autumn brings. The streets that were before filled with tourists now have a nostalgic calm about them.

Far from looking like a shadow of summer, Dénia thrives with the sound of its kitchens. Its wide range of restaurants makes the low season months absolutely perfect for those of our students who wish to enrich their stay with the best quality food.

For students who are nature lovers, Dénia and the surrounding area in the autumn offers wonderful mountain scenery with extensive trails of varying difficulties through breathtaking terrain, suitable for hiking or cycling. 
Not forgetting, of course, that Dénia is dominated by the ‘Montgó’, a 750-metre mountain remarkably similar to ‘Table Mountain’ in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a truly spectacular sight.

Due to all of this and much, much more, studying in the autumn months is a fascinating experience both inside and outside the classroom. And thanks to a select set of activities, our students always have a broad view of authentic life and customs here in Dénia.

2. Italian in Florence with Cactus Worldwide & Centro Fiorenza

And now, please meet Augusto Merlini, the owner and Director of Centro Fiorenza in Florence! Centro Fiorenza is a medium-sized school that hosts 120+ students during the high season, and a few more even at their sister school on the Isle of Elba (2014 dates and prices will be up soon!). The school prides itself on providing a welcoming, family atmosphere in an international environment, and attracts consistently excellent feedback from our students.

Centro Fiorenza is located on Via di Santo Spirito, slightly set back from the Arno in the centre of Florence. Still not sure? Click here to see its exact location on Google Maps.

Here is what Augusto has to say about his school, and why it’s worth considering taking a trip to Florence this autumn/winter:

Who are you?

I am Augusto Merlini, the owner and director of Centro Fiorenza – International House Florence. I have been running Centro Fiorenza since 1982, first as a teacher in Florence and then when we opened our summer school on Elba in 1984 I spent whole summers there teaching and entertaining our students. Now I am in charge of our marketing and promotion.

What’s happening in Florence this autumn/winter?

florence duomo

Are you an art lover? If so, then don’t miss this exhibition! Forte Belvedere, the most beautiful exhibition space in Florence, has reopened after 5 years, with works by Zhang Huan. You can admire sculptures of enormous Buddhas and paintings with Huan’s particular technique in ashes. To finish the show enjoy an “Aperol Spritz” or “Hugo” at sunset on the terrace overlooking the city on one side, then turn round and take in the breathtaking view of the Tuscan countryside on the other side.

Also don’t miss a string of events in Florence and the Chianti region in September and October such as tasting Chianti Gallo Nero, Chianti Classico and Super Tuscans along with food of the region (Tagliatelle ai Funghi, Pappardelle al Cinghiale, the famous Peposo from Impruneta and many other specialties!).

And of course, you should also come and enjoy an Italian language course at Centro Fiorenza!


I hope this has been of interest, and may have given you some ideas for the colder months which are on their way! I’ve just had a peek at a few budget airline websites, and you can certainly still steal a return flight to Alicante, Valencia or Pisa in November or December for less than £100 – so it really is a great time to go. Happy planning 😉

Any questions, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Best wishes,


Oliver Donovan
Agency Product Manager
Email: oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com

April is TEFL month at Cactus

Throughout April we will aim to answer all your TEFL questions, such as:

“What is the difference between TEFL, CELTA and TESOL?”

“Is a 4-week TEFL course as intensive as everyone says?”

“How do you know which TEFL course is best for you?”

We will be posting a series of videos discussing and answering the most common TEFL questions. So make sure you’re a fan or following us and don’t miss out!



For transcripts of the videos and even more TEFL related questions, as well as information on thousands of courses around the world visit www.cactustefl.com.