Decades of experience
LAL Language Centres was set up in Torbay in 1980, and offers language courses with leisure programmes for adults and young learners around the world. The LAL group of schools is owned by a large German tour operator, FTI. We have schools for adults in Boston, London, Torbay, Florida, Cape Town, Malta and Gozo. We also run residential summer schools in the UK, USA and Malta.
You can find out about all our schools and courses at lalschools.com.
Our Mission Statement
LAL’s mission is to empower people to communicate effectively with the global community by means of an excellent and enriching learning experience.
In the pursuit of this mission, we will embrace and continuously pursue the values of relevance and integrity. We will deploy innovative means and cultural sensitivity. We will aim to exceed expectations, and to foster the personal and professional development of our students and staff alike.
To achieve the mission, our business objectives will be to:
- offer comprehensive language learning services
- operate in a socially responsible manner
- grow LAL’s market share and profitability
- maintain and develop LAL’s reputation
1980: LAL Language Centres founded in England
LAL was set up in Torbay in 1980 to bring German tourists over to the English Riviera to learn English. Students were taught in various locations around the towns, including their host homes.
1981: LAL Sprachreisen founded in Germany
Following the success of LAL in Torbay, A dedicated language travel agency was set up in Germany to deliver students to LAL Language Centres.
1983: Frosch Touristik opens in Germany
The Frosch Touristik travel company opened in Germany in 1983. LAL became part of FTi in 1986.
1984: Torbay Language Centre opens in Paignton
After successful trading and teaching students in diverse locations around Torbay, LAL bought part of a former private school in Conway Road, and opened its first year-round school.
1985: IELS opens in Malta
The Institute of English Language Studies opened as a joint venture between LAL and the Festa company in Malta.
1992: Florida Language Center opens
LAL opened its third school in Fort Lauderdale, USA.
1996: Cape Communication Centre joins the LAL Group
The Cape Communication Centre, which had been founded as an independent company, became an LAL school in 1996.
1996: Unified branding
As Cape Town joined LAL, all the schools received unified branding based on the companies’ initials. TLC, IELS, FLC and CCC were to be seen for the next ten years.
1998: First CELTA course run in Torbay
Teacher training was launched at our school in Paignton in 1998, and has continued ever since. We have an almost unbroken pass record, and we now offer the advanced DELTA course as well.
1998: First Summer School
The Torbay Language Centre opened a residential Summer School at Shebbear College, a boys’ boarding school in Devon. It was to prove a winning formula.
1999: First LAL website launched
LAL launched its first website in 1999, with information about programmes for the year 2000.
2000: Airtours buys FTI
British holiday company Airtours, which became MyTravel shortly afterwards, bought FTI.
2003: FTI bought back
Dietmar Gunz bought back FTI from MyTravel, to run it as an independent company again.
2003: Summer School at Kelly College
The popular Summer School for young learners moved to Kelly College in Tavistock.
2005: Major refurbishment of Torbay Language Centre
The group’s first school was closed for the winter, and teaching transferred to our junior centre in Torquay, while major refurbishment was carried out. New entrances, a landscaped garden, an improved general lounge and a new lounge for adult students, as well as a large reception area, took shape in time for reopening in March 2006.
2006: Schools rebrand as LAL
All the LAL schools were renamed to reflect their membership of the LAL Group, and new branding was introduced. It was to prove short-lived.
2007: Second Summer School in Taunton
After eight years of successful summer schools in Devon, a programme at Taunton School was launched in 2007.
2008: Summer School opens in Boca Raton
Following the success of Summer Schools in the UK, LAL Fort Lauderdale started its own Summer School at Lynn University.
2009: Third UK Summer School opens in Winchester
St Swithun’s School became the host for our third Summer School in England.
2009: New corporate identity
A unified brand for LAL Language Centres and LAL Sprachreisen was introduced in 2009, introducing the red LAL roundel for the first time.
2010: LAL London opens
Our second year-round school in England opens in Twickenham in January 2010. The first student surprised our staff by arriving an hour early by mistake.
2010: Fourth Summer School opens in London
LAL opens its fourth summer school at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham.
2011: LAL course book published
“Round the World” is LAL’s first course book for young learners. It is devised and designed in-house, with five levels from Elementary to Advanced.
2011: First Summer School in New York
LAL opens a Summer School at the Rosehill Campus of Fordham University.
2011: Major refurbishment at LAL Cape Town
LALs school in Cape Town undergoes a major refurbishment, including all classrooms and onsite residence.
2013: Summer School opens in Berkhamsted
Berkhamsted School becomes our latest Summer School campus in the UK.
2015: LAL Boston opens
LAL begins trading in Boston, Massachusetts, having acquired and refurbished the Language Skills school in Friend Street.
2015: New Summer School in Brighton
LAL Launches another Summer School in England at the American Express Community Stadium and the University of Sussex.
2016: London refurbishment
LAL London undergoes a major refurbishment.
2017: LAL enters Ireland
LAL collaborates with Apollo Language Centres and starts offering courses in Dublin and Cork.
2018: First CELTA Course abroad
In partnership with METEN,LAL operates a highly successful CELTA course in Shenzhen, China.
2019: LAL enters Canada
LAL collaborates with ELS Canada and ALI Montreal to offer courses in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.
What we do
LAL works hard to ensure to the satisfaction of our students who come to study with us and improve their English year after year. A talented and hardworking team is absolutely essential in achieving this, and we aim to assist our employees by doing the following things:
We aim to motivate our employees by providing them with a friendly and positive working environment, supporting them in the best way necessary and setting realistic and achievable targets and goals.
To ensure that our employees fully understand the way that the company works and the procedures in which they need to follow, a series of clear and concise Policies and Procedures are set out and are easily accessible for staff to read and understand.
Hard Work and Dedication doesn’t go unnoticed at LAL, and employees undergo regular performance reviews to ensure that they are happy and doing well. Employees are rewarded in the form of Long Service Awards, Employee of the Month Awards, Birthday Presents, Christmas Letters and Christmas and End of Summer Parties.