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October 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 5

ISSN 1755-9715

The Learn&Lead Concept for Language Schools


This new concept was developed by the team at HARMONY ACADEMY, Slovakia between 2010 and 2019.

It brings answers to the following questions:

How can we overcome a crisis in our school/company?

How can we stop a decrease in the performance of our school/company?

How can we improve quality and increase performance at the same time?

How can we convince our customers that we are worth more money?

Where can we find money/funds for further professional training of our staff?

How can we sustain our language school in today´s rapidly growing and changing world?

The LEARN&LEAD world has been created by and for dedicated teachers, managers and business owners who believe that everything is POSSIBLE. No matter how difficult it might seem at the beginning, if it makes sense to you, then it makes sense as such. Imagine a world where you can be who you really are, where you can do what makes you happy.

Of course, it takes time and you need to overcome lots of obstacles on the way but once you know the WHY and achieve connection first within yourself and then with others, you create the HOW and consequently produce the WHAT.


Simon Sinek, The Golden Circle

Your journey is then destined to be valuable, enjoyable, and eventually successful.



WHAT did we have to do? WHAT was the situation at our language school like?

To stop the decreasing trend in the “performance” of the school and find a new direction for the school to sustain its business for the future.


HOW did we manage to develop it?

In learning partnerships with language school and training organisations coming from the countries in the European Union. We got support from the Grundtvig and Erasmus programmes + funds and the established National agencies in these countries. In 2010, we started off the first Learn & Lead project where we set the following objectives:

  • identify our needs and our leaders,
  • develop new training programmes,
  • develop a new model of a learning-teaching organisation.

A picture I drew in July 2010 during the “Leadership for Teachers” training course led by Adrian Underhill at Pilgrims, Canterbury, the UK.


WHY did we undergo this process?

Because my responsibility as the Principal Manager was to find a future for my school/my teachers/trainers. This is what they “told me” during the training led by another Pilgrims trainer Kevin Batchelor in August 2010 when we all set off for the adventurous journey. I chose to find a future for my team at HARMONY.

A poster worked out by Harmony trainers at the Pilgrims training led by Kevin Batchelor at Harmony in Slovakia in August 2010.

This picture is the description of the journey which we set off for in July 2010. I drew this picture in May 2015 and realised the “current position” of where we were at that time.


Description of the Learn&Lead Functional School Management Structure (LaL SMS)

The Learn&Lead Functional School Management Structure (LaL SMS) perfectly fits the needs of a smart organisation. This structure is based upon the Learn&Lead Trainer Career Path that not only offers teachers and trainers a professional training career, but also invites them to become part of the school management.


The Learn&Lead Trainer Career Path

As a language school grows and develops, so do its trainers. Naturally, we choose one of them to become our Director of Studies who manages both the courses and trainers at the same time. Often these Directors of Studies miss their teaching/training time and find themselves “trapped “in the administration and organisation of their school. Often, they decide to quit and get back into teaching, believing they have failed.

If you apply the LaL SMS to your school from the beginning and/or anytime during your school lifetime, you open new job positions and distribute the admin and responsibility along with the managed freedom among all your staff. The corresponding DoS position in the LaL SMS is the Trainer-Leader position (an academic trainer/junior manager) who trains/teaches 40% of the time (in a week), networks (via social events, social media, mentoring/coaching younger colleagues) 20% and manages the academic aspect of the delegated courses (monitoring quality by observing classes, reports from the classroom, mentors and/or coaches, colleague-trainers who teach/train in their delegated courses).

As a result of this variety of work that requires the integration of other skills, a Trainer-Leader sets her-/himself apart from the trainers and starts to specialise in 1. teacher-training, 2. automotive, 3. tourism development and so on.

The LaL SMS helps your school “bring up “your own leaders who help your school establish the 2nd Level of services that you offer to customers for added value. This is very closely linked to their “second qualification “that goes hand in hand with their acquired experience in the chosen industry and attendance at the specifically chosen and structured training programmes.

The main advantage of the LaL SMS is that your trainers (teachers) are offered a career that can be developed from Trainer Level 1 (a competent replicator) through Trainer Level 2 (an aware practitioner), to Trainer Level 3 (an expert facilitator) as outlined in the EPG ( ).

It also invites trainers to grow in managerial terms, i.e. at the same time becoming Trainer-Leaders (junior managers) and Trainer-Developers (senior managers).

This flexible structure brings lots of interconnections between your staff and opens the minds of trainers to think as a team rather than as an individual doing his/her own job in the classroom.

The first school utilising the LaL SMS delivers about 1,100 lessons (45 min.) a month and employs 30 trainers, 7 leaders, and 2 managers for this amount of work. Everyone works upon their own choices in terms of the volume of work. Leaders and Developers get paid according to the performance recorded in the combination of training and managing whereas trainers get paid for training performance only. Learning and networking form a natural part of their job for the school and a combination of project-paid work and/or voluntary work (developing social media, a Christmas party, etc.).

This is the picture that demonstrates the journey of the Harmony people discovering the Learn&Lead potential. As they went on they got connected to other language schools, partner organisations and got each step forward monitored by SAAIC. Today the Learn&Lead strategy and its products form the base of the PROLANTCAP Trainer Development Framework ( ).

  • We design and deliver programmes for trainers, teachers, and managers in partnership with the Slovak Association of Language Schools and other expert partners from abroad. Today Learn&Lead stands for a functional school management structure and invites language schools to connect in order to grow and develop for better and more valuable language training services across Europe;
  • We develop and implement innovations in language training in partnership with the Slovak Association of Language Schools and other expert partners from abroad;
  • We look for talent in the ranks of teachers, trainers, managers, and other members of the public and develop their potential for improving education in Slovakia and abroad;
  • We are changing the traditional structure of the modern education system in the belief that healthy dynamic growth and development of any organisation can be achieved only by constant and mutual learning;
  • We implement projects for personal and professional development of teachers, trainers, and modern managers;
  • We bring the latest information on developments and emerging trends in (not only) language learning in order to find the most effective opportunities for personal and professional growth;
  • We offer workshops, conferences and open forums, individual and group coaching, accredited programmes in continuing education and specialised, project-related, financial and business consulting.

We share our passion, the acquired knowledge, practical experience and results of creative work with partners as well as professionals and the public.


Here you can find our answers to the questions we needed to find answers to

How can we overcome a crisis in our school/company?

Accept the crises as an opportunity to learn and become more professional, original. Revisit each corner of your company and talk to every person you choose to be part of the future in your company. Make sure you bring a vision that your people buy into…ideally create it with them and let them take ownership for their decision-making. Be ready to take a risk and learn to delegate tasks properly (people, time, money-framed).


How can we stop the decrease in the performance of our school/company?

By developing new programmes and changing the management structure that is fully interconnected with the career path of trainers.


How can we improve quality and increase performance at the same time?

By introducing the Trainer-Leaders and Trainer-Developers positions in your course management structure.


How can we convince our customers that we are worth more money?

Make marketing part of your everyday routine at work. Communicate with your customers and listen to their needs. Make sure you make public their testimonials that form the best advert ever. Be patient and walk your talk.


Where can we find money/funds for further professional training of our staff?

There are public funds available (ERASMUS+, Vyšehrádsky fond, etc.) plus your private funds. In the LaL SMS we have a clear individual funding policy based upon a taught lesson (45 min.). Every trainer creates their own funding of further training by delivering the requested number of lessons in the desired volume and quality.

How can we sustain our language school in today´s rapidly growing and changing world?


  • becoming a teaching-learning organisation,
  • supporting the lifelong learning philosophy,
  • caring for your people,
  • meeting their needs that are interconnected with the needs of your organisation.

The Learn & Lead concept keeps developing via two key Strategic partnerships project within the Erasmus+ funding. The pedagogical development of Learn&Lead is being elaborated with KATOLICKA UNIVERZITA V RUZOMBERKU, Slovakia. The detailed description is given in this link, whereas the managerial development of Learn&Lead is being elaborated in the partnership with UNIVERZITA TOMASE BATI VE ZLINE, the Czech republic. The detailed description is this link .

Please feel free to contact Jana Chynoradska at for more information. She will be happy to share their findings with you.


Please check the Pilgrims courses at Pilgrims website.

  • The Learn&Lead Concept for Language Schools
    Jana Chynoradska, Slovakia

  • Nine Learn&Lead Principles of a Smart Person
    Jana Chynoradská, Slovakia