Berlitz, the international language instruction company headquartered on Alexander Road, is looking for franchise owners to bring language instruction to local classrooms in after-school programs.

Tom Godfrey, director of Berlitz Kids North America, says no foreign language skill is needed in order to own a Berlitz Franchise, and hire instructors and train them in the Berlitz teaching technique. Godfrey says franchise owners pay a $5,000-a-year royalty fee, and in return can take advantage of the company’s training methods as well as its well-known brand.

The Berlitz Kids After-School program offers English, French, Mandarin and Spanish classes at public, private or charter elementary schools. The 130-year-old Berlitz method for teaching languages involves the instructor communicating with students only in the language being taught, and allowing students to work out grammatical rules rather than necessarily explaining them overtly.

Berlitz will hold two open houses in its Princeton headquarters for those interested in becoming a Berlitz Franchisee: Wednesday, August 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday, August 17, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. 888-281-9757 or www.berlitz.us/aspfranchise.

Godfrey says overhead costs for franchisees are limited since the classes are taught in existing school facilities and there is no requirement for a brick-and-mortar presence. “We have found that parents prefer us to bring the instruction to the children rather than have the parents bring the children to us,” Gordon says. “Since the children are already at their elementary schools, they can stay after school on class days to enjoy their language program.”

Gordon says the programs are typically paid for by the parents. He says there is a big demand for language instruction, especially since Berlitz only operates 50 of its private language centers in the United States. “As parents look to develop their children’s skills for success in their lifetimes, the most common languages requested are Spanish, Mandarin, French, and English. Demand for Mandarin has increased substantially,” Gordon says.

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