Language Courses with a difference

The trigger for Ruth’s love of languages was a school exchange to Germany at the age of 14.  It was there that she realised that you have  a lot more fun if you actually speak the language, rather than obsessing over grammar and exams.  Graduating from Oxford in 1995 in Modern Languages, she worked across Europe, Australasia and the Middle East, before founding Speak Out in 2012. Every Speak Out course is driven by Ruth’s realisation at the age of 14, so she is passionate about helping everyone develop confidence to speak, speak and speak some more.

Ruth lives in a cottage in the countryside of the Scottish Borders with her partner and their 2 daughters, enjoying music, mountain biking and the outdoor life, and travelling to the French- and German-speaking world as often as she can.

Ruth Allan: French & German

Laura Sollgan: German

Laura studied Linguistics and English in Germany and at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating, she taught English linguistics at a German university before moving back to beautiful Edinburgh. Here, she finally decided to teach her mother tongue instead!


Laura enjoys dancing Forró, singing and cooking and she's currently learning another foreign language herself: Español!

Laurene Huck: French

Laurene was an English (ESL) teacher in France for four years. Before working for the French ministry of Education, she spent a year as a teaching assistant in Ireland, which made her realise how much she loved sharing her love of French language and culture. She is convinced that speaking is the best way to learn and enjoy a language, even if she loves grammar books!  

Laurène lives in Edinburgh, where she spends her time reading, cooking and dancing.

What do the learners say?

Valentina has a Bachelor's Degree in Language Sciences from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Brescia and a Master's Degree from the Università degli Studi di Verona. She followed that with 9 months at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge through the Erasmus Exchange Programme.

Since graduating, Valentina has used her langugage skills as much s possible, from small translation jobs to teaching languages to company employees.

"I take great pleasure in engendering understanding in others and I truly believe there is always something new to learn in the transmission of ideas benefiting both teacher and students".

Valentina Pogliaghi: Italian

Laure holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Heritage from La Sorbonne University in Paris. In addition to using her native French to help students improve their language skills, she enjoys discussing aspects of French culture. 

In her free time, Laure continues to maintain strong cultural connections with France and works with a French travel agency as a greeter for French tourists visiting Edinburgh. She loves cinema, Japanese culture and travelling abroad to visit her friends and family.


Laure Greenhill: French

Pablo Fernandez: Spanish

Pablo comes from Cantabria, in the north of Spain. He has been a foreign language student since he was a child and his passion for languages led him to teaching. He has worked as a Spanish and English teacher in Spain for the last few years. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Audiovisual Communication from the University of the Basque Country and he is in the final year of his Spanish Language and Literature degree. He decided to specialize in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.


Marianne Dupeux: French

Marianne has always been passionate about words and languages. She realised when studying in Norway that her ‘university’ English was very good, but lit was not as good when she had to speak practical, everyday English.  She became convinced that the best way to learn a language is to speak with others as much as you can. That's why she arrived in Scotland in 2014 to be a French Assistant for a year and explore the lochs which reminded her of Norwegian fjords, and never left!  Marianne loves sharing information  about the French way of life, culture and current affairs, because a language isn't just words it's a way of thinking and being. In her free time, she likes to read, watch films and series and she never misses an opportunity to hike in Scotland!

Andrea Santos: Spanish & Portugese

Andrea is from Madrid. While she was finishing her degree in Audiovisual Communication, she started teaching Portuguese, discovered her love of teaching and finished a teaching course at International House (Madrid.) That was 2 years ago and since then, she has been teaching in Madrid and Edinburgh as a teacher specialisng in Spanish as a foreign language. ‘I love teaching and showing my students my beautiful language and the incredible Spanish culture. I am looking forward to meeting you, so we can discover together the fascinating world of Spanish! ‘



Rachel-Rose McWhirter: German

Rachel-Rose is originally from Edinburgh and lived, studied and worked in Berlin for 4 years. She first discovered her love for German through a high school orchestra exchange with Germany and studied German and German Literature at The University of Edinburgh.  Shehas a passion for the German language and culture and with extensive knowledge of all things German she loves to help others to learn this beautiful language!  She knows that confidence is key in learning a new language and always strives to create a fun, relaxed and encouraging atmosphere for her pupils to learn German at their own pace. In her free time, Rachel-Rose enjoys playing violin, visiting art galleries, travelling, jogging, socialising and reading German literature.