Ollie Phillips in Spain – Sneak Preview

Cactus Ambassador Ollie Phillips is all set to go to Spain to make us want to learn Spanish…

You’ve seen Ollie tell us why he learnt French in France as a player for Parisian team Stade Français – now he’s learning Spanish and is all set to go to Spain to get the rest of us in the mood, too!

Next month Ollie will jet off to Seville with Cactus – a vibrant city of flamenco, tapas and fiestas – before heading to the coast to try Spanish & Surfing in Cadiz. We’ll be making a video to show what this beautiful part of Spain has to offer and to highlight the many benefits of learning Spanish in a country where it’s spoken.

About Ollie

ollie_phillipsA professional sportman who has travelled the world playing rugby, sailing in the Clipper Round The Wave Race, commentating for Eurosport and Sky (in French) and delivering workshops to global brands, Ollie has first-hand experience of the importance of language in international communication and understanding.

He has come on board as Cactus Ambassador as he is passionate about sharing his experience to inspire Britain’s younger learners in particular to learn a second language – opening the door to infinite career and other opportunities.

Cactus runs language courses in over 120 destinations abroad, as well as private and corporate language training, evening courses in the UK and TEFL courses worldwide.


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.

New Language Courses in Canary Wharf

From April Cactus will be offering its popular 10-week evening language courses in City Harbour, only 2 minutes from Crossharbour DLR station and 10 minutes from Canary Wharf.  View map & school details…

With one 2-hour class per week, from 6.30 to 8.30pm, you can easily learn a language after work. Get started now and you could be speaking a new language in time for this summer, by the end of June to be precise.

Language courses available in Canary Wharf include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Courses start from £205 including book and are taught by experienced teachers in small interactive, sociable groups. They run on different nights of the week and start quarterly form 17th April. Book early and you can get £10 off!

“Good value for money and good teachers…” Jody, Spanish student

“I really noticed a continuous improvement week after week.” Rudiger, Spanish student

To find out more visit www.languagecoursesuk.co.uk or call 0845 130 4775.

For previous Canary Wharf students, this move will affect only the location of their course. All other course details, e.g. days and times, remain unchanged.

Why are the Canary Wharf courses moving?

We have appointed a new centre in Canary Wharf, based on feedback received from our students.

During each course we ask for your comments via questionnaires. Your input actively shapes not only the course you are on, but our future course offering.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted feedback or took part in our survey for helping to continuously improve our courses.

Cactus has 17 training locations across London, including Baker Street, Bond Street, Canary Wharf, Clapham, Gloucester Road, Greenwich, Highgate, Holborn-Russell Square, Islington, Kings Cross, Notting Hill, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Shepherds Bush, Soho, Victoria and Wimbledon.

Show some love this Valentine’s Day with our special date and gift ideas

Why not treat your Valentine to an experience they won’t forget this February?  Instead of the usual clichéd hearts and flowers, surprise your loved one with Cactus lessons in the language of love!

For all Francophiles, Cactus is offering special “French Tuesdays” in partnership with Cafe Rouge.  It’s a chance to learn the basics or brush-up old skills, while enjoying delicious contemporary French cuisine.  The sessions are available every Tuesday from 6.30pm-8.30pm at locations in Hampstead, Knightsbridge, Leicester Square, Wimbledon and Brighton, until 21 February 2012.  To book your place, simply visit https://www.cactuslanguagetraining.com/caferouge/

Or Cactus’ language gift vouchers make the perfect gift for all language lovers.  Available in multiples of £10, they can be redeemed against any Cactus products.  So if you want to whisk away your partner to romantic Rome for a language holiday to learn Italian, or simply fancy learning together with one of our many evening courses, there’s sure to be an option to spark your passion.  Visit https://www.cactuslanguagetraining.com/en/promotion/gift-voucher

Cactus announces winner of Spanish Facebook competition!

Cactus is delighted to announce that Chris Parker is the lucky winner of our hugely popular Spanish Facebook competition.  Selected at random from 1,000 entries, Chris will be jetting-off with a friend for a fantastic two-week break at the prestigious Malaca Instituto in Malaga next year.

Our language holidays offer the perfect opportunity for students to completely immerse themselves in their chosen language and culture.  Chris will take Spanish classes in the mornings and then be free to explore the sights and sounds of the city in the afternoons, putting his new skills into practice.  For more information on the course, simply visit https://www.cactuslanguage.com/en/book/course.php?course_id=81

Well done Chris – and watch this space for more competitions!

Cactus named ‘Agent of the Month’ by IALC

The International Association of Language Centres (IALC) is a global network of independent language schools. Cactus works closely with IALC schools in locations all around the world including destinations in the UK, the US, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ecuador and Australia.

Each month, IALC nominates a school and agent of the month, and Cactus has been specially selected to be ‘Agent of the Month’ for October.  Rich Ambler, Founder of Cactus, comments: “We are delighted to have been awarded this accolade, especially given the number of partner agents that IALC works with globally. We very much enjoy working with our IALC partners, not only because of the professionalism and efficiency of the staff, but also because of the high quality courses that they offer. IALC schools ensure quality through regular inspection, a code of ethics and a commitment to continuous improvement. On top of this, they provide a high level of attention to students, and a large range of language courses with accommodation and cultural activities included.”

Cactus appoints US PR agency - and builds media buzz

As part of its stateside marketing drive, Cactus recently appointed PR consultancy, MDP Publicity, to design and develop a US media campaign: https://www.mdppublicity.com/

MDP Publicity is a highly successful communications agency with a special focus on the travel market. The Agency brings vast experience, in–depth knowledge and perceptive insights to each campaign it undertakes and its principal, Meryl Pearlstein, is a specialist in media relations.

The appointment has already started to generate initial media interest in the states, with an article on Travel News Gazette: https://ftnnews.com/tour-operators/12127-cactus-language-training-vacations-around-the-world-mix-classes-with-culture-and-activities.html

Cactus also received a mention in The Chicago Tribune: https://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/ct-trav-0417-news-to-use-20110416,0,7835476.story

Tinka Bose, Head of Marketing at Cactus, comments: “Cactus has always been aware of the power of PR in engaging with customers, generating interest in our services and building the Cactus brand.  So we’re really pleased to have a US team dedicated to PR and are looking forward to seeing how the campaign grows and develops in the months ahead.”

Cactus launches specialist DELE exam preparation evening course

Cactus Language Training, the world’s leading language training company, today announced that it has developed a new, 20-hour Spanish course helping students to achieve their Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera. The course offers expert tuition for students and professionals looking to take language learning to the next level and attain this internationally recognised certificate.

Cactus has designed the course to be taught by qualified and experienced exam preparation teachers over three terms with one, two-hour class per week. Classes focus on the DELE exam tasks and cover the key skill areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary, with students advised to undertake four hours of additional home-study a week.

The next course is scheduled to start on April and will take place at one of Cactus’ top partner schools in Holborn in London. Students will then be prepared to sit their DELE examination in August.

Richard Bradford, MD of Cactus Language Training, commented: “We’ve designed this course to cater for any students of Spanish who are looking to achieve the diploma but can’t study during office hours.  The evening programme will prepare them for the DELE exam by providing small, friendly classes and a thorough grounding in all the key skill areas. We’re pleased to be adding this new course to our existing training portfolio which offers the best possible choice and teaching methods for anyone wanting to learn Spanish.”

For more information about this, and other exam preparation courses, simply visit: https://www.languagecoursesuk.co.uk/courses/exam-preparation.php

Cactus nominated for an LTM Star Award

The LTM Star Awards are unique, peer-voted awards in the international education industry that take place annually.  Education organisations vote for their preferred agent partners and vice versa, with the winners revealed in a glitzy ceremony in London every September.

This year, a record number of votes were cast, indicating that all those shortlisted are well thought of by their school partners. We pride ourselves on our high levels of customer service, and the great partnerships that we maintain with our partner schools not just in Western Europe, but all over the world. For this reason, it means a lot to us to be shortlisted again, and we are very hopeful that we’ll win the award.

The winners will be announced at the Language Travel Magazine Star Awards ceremony on 4th September 2010. Please wish us luck – we’ll keep you posted!

Find out more about Cactus’ language course locations around the world

Cactus supports 2010 National Awards for Excellence and LAFTAs

It’s awards time again and this year, Cactus is delighted to be sponsoring prizes for both the National Awards for Excellence and LAFTAs 2010.  The awards (organised by CILT -The National Centre for Languages) are one of the highlights of the languages calendar. Schools and individuals from all over the country enter the awards, which acknowledge the very best in language learning and education.

This year, Cactus will be offering two lucky winners the chance to learn Spanish on location with exciting, week-long languages holidays in Spain.  Cactus’ very own Jenny Johnson will be handing out the prizes at a special awards ceremony at the British Film Institute on London’s Southbank on 6 July. 

The CILT team has advised us that the standard of entries has been outstanding again this year, with a record number of entrants for both competitions.  So it just remains for us to wish everyone who’s put themselves forward for the awards the very best of luck tomorrow!