A few highlights in the history of Languages International …

Languages International - Milestones - 30 years


The company was formally incorporated. Small classes were started in our first house in Princes Street (described by a European retailer as ‘one of the most beautiful language school locations in the world’).


Chris Woolcott was the first New Zealand school principal to visit Japan to promote New Zealand as a destination for individual study. During the eighties, Chris and Frances Woolcott spearheaded the marketing of New Zealand education in Europe, North Asia, South-East Asia, Central and South America, and the French Pacific.


Frances Woolcott was a founding executive of the Federation of Independent English Language Schools of New Zealand (FIELSNZ).


The University of Cambridge gave approval to Languages International to run the first RSA/Cambridge certificate-level teacher training course in New Zealand for English language teachers (now known as the Cambridge CELTA). This led to the creation of the Languages International Teacher Education Centre, which has subsequently run Cambridge diploma-level courses (Cambridge DELTA) and created its own TESOL Professional Development Course for non-native speakers.


Languages International became the first language school in New Zealand to gain ISO accreditation.

Languages International reached agreement with the Auckland City Council for long term leases on historically protected houses in Princes Street in exchange for serious renovation work. Since 1994, the Woolcotts have renovated five of Auckland’s heritage buildings for the school.


The company’s board was formalised. Brian Corban BA LLB QSM agreed to take the position of Chairman. Brian is well-known and respected in New Zealand. He also later went on to become Chairman of Radio New Zealand and of New Zealand’s largest power company, amongst others.


Languages International is a founding member of the Association of Private Providers of English Language (APPEL).


The school opened its state-of-the-art learning centre and new student cafe.

The New Zealand National Business Review described Languages International as ‘One of New Zealand’s Most Exciting Educational Companies’.

Senior academic staff published two international English language textbooks with Macmillan-Heinemann and Oxford University Press.


Languages International moved outside Auckland for the first time, opening a new branch in Christchurch. The site was chosen because it retains the qualities of a character building in a central location.


Languages International won an international award as the best English language school in the Southern Hemisphere. The Language Travel Magazine Star Awards for language schools are voted for by language travel retailers all around the world. In our Southern Hemisphere category, we competed against schools in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Languages International became one of the first educational institutions in New Zealand, and the first English language school in the world, to become certified carbon neutral.