Franchise of the Day - Listen to Read



Maria Meagher, owner of the Listen To Read franchise in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales which services the areas of The Southern Highlands, Campbelltown and Goulbourn, loves her work with Listen To Read and is glad she made the decision to take a change of direction in her teaching career.

In late 2011 Maria decided to move from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney to Mittagong in the beautiful Southern Highlands, a one and a half hour drive from Sydney. It’s said that moving house is one of life’s stresses, how about buying and starting a  business in an area you are not familiar with as well? “I enjoyed the challenge and spent a lot of time laying the ground work for the business in the latter part of 2011. I took on my first students in 2012,” explains Maria.

Maria had been teaching in the area of Special Needs for about 12 years and was always passionate about improving the literacy of her students. She had used a few other reading programs throughout her career but when she saw the Listen To Read program she knew she wanted to be involved.

The Listen To Read Multi-sensory program uses a unique reading curriculum combined with special Sound Therapy filtering. The program is delivered via an app for iPad or computer. The curriculum focuses on intensive phonics instruction and  advanced word attack skills. The audio lessons are recorded using special Sound Therapy high frequency filtering, which stimulates the neural pathways to retrain the auditory centres in the brain. This improves memory and concentration and  enhances the development of reading skills through intensive auditory stimulation.

Franchisees, like Maria, use the app in weekly tuition sessions working with up to three students in a class at a time. The progress of each student is closely monitored throughout the average 12 week program.

Students purchase the app based program to use at home as well and are expected to do 30 minutes of active listening a day to ensure their success. Extra passive listening, whilst going to sleep for example, aids the development of reading skills  through extra stimulation of the neural pathways. Franchisees can also sell the app to interested clients who cannot attend weekly tuition sessions and/or choose to complete the program as a home based study program.

When asked what she enjoys about running her Listen To Read franchise, Maria explains it in this way; “Throughout my teaching career I have always gravitated towards and enjoyed teaching small groups of students. Listen To Read enables me to do  what I love. I can effectively change a child’s or adult’s life in matter of weeks. It is extremely rewarding to watch their reading progress rapidly, however witnessing the transformation in confidence and self esteem is what I enjoy the most.”

After reading many testimonials from satisfied clients, the founders of Listen To Read, Catherine McLennan, Rafaele Joudry and Helen Walden were not surprised that Maria was nominated in the category of ‘Excellence In A Small Business’ in the 2013 Southern Highlands Business Awards For Excellence. “Maria embodies what we are looking for in our franchisees, she is passionate about helping struggling readers, has a caring nature, is highly organised and is able to follow our policy and  procedures very effectively. She understands that being successful as a franchisee is about getting out and promoting herself in the local area. We look forward to extending Listen To Read in 2014 to other states in Australia and hope to attract many  more franchisees who possess the qualities that Maria does,” explains cofounder Catherine McLennan.


A chance meeting several years ago of three independently successful women, Catherine McLennan, Rafaele Joudry and Helen Walden, has resulted in the creation of a world first Australian owned and developed, multi-sensory reading program known as Listen To Read. The Listen to Read program is gaining momentum in the quest to find real answers for the estimated 46 per cent of Australians who have some difficulty with reading tasks.

Listen To Read is an app based reading program which combines two specialised programs.

Firstly the Listen to Read Reading Curriculum teaches through a combination of intensive phonics, advanced word attack skills and some whole word approaches. The Sound Therapy component is a unique listening system based on the discoveries of  ear specialist Dr. Tomatis. It uses high frequency sound to stimulate neural pathways to retrain the auditory centres in the brain. This intensive auditory stimulation improves memory and concentration and enhances the development of reading skills as the reading jigsaw is pieced together.

The voice and classical music in the program which supports the phonics framework are recorded with special high frequency Sound Therapy filtering. The program employs auditory, visual and kinaesthetic (body awareness approaches) throughout to teach the brain to decode unknown words. A detailed workbook reinforces the concepts of the program and is a great way for franchisees and parents to monitor improvements throughout the administration of the program.

At present the Listen To Read Program is available in New South Wales through weekly small group classes in franchised areas. At present we have classes in the Sutherland Shire, the St. George area, The Southern Highlands and the Illawarra.

Option 1:

Franchisees conduct a thorough assessment to determine problem areas which need development.

The client (usually the parent) is informed regarding findings of the assessment.

Recommendations are made and discussed.

Commitment is given.

Student is signed up for weekly tuition classes at the earliest opportunity and the app is purchased for use in classes and at home for homework purposes.

Classes begin and the student is closely monitored by a trained teacher as they progress through the 12 week program using the app.

Homework and revision is given by the teacher at the end of each lesson and discussed with parent.

Student is reassessed to ascertain overall reading age improvement at the end of the course.

Option 2:

Parents choose to purchase the Home Based Program and supervise the lessons for the student themselves.

Franchisee makes several support phone calls throughout the 12 week course.

There are two income streams for franchisees: Tuition Fees and App sale commission.

Early trials of the program with both individuals and schools show students making gains of up to two years in their reading age in just 12 weeks.

The founders of Listen To Read are keen to expand in 2014. “We are looking for highly motivated people with either a teaching or business background to help us make this program readily available to all those who need it.”

Do you:

• Have a teaching qualification or degree or wish to engage teachers to work in your franchised business?
• Still love teaching but want to be your own boss?
• Have a passion for education and literacy?
• Believe in using the latest technology to help make learning easier?
• Want to work from home, start part time and build the business up?

The Listen To Read franchise offers:

• Highly rewarding work
• Generous franchise boundaries
• Low cost entry
• High market demand
• Fast return on investment
• Ongoing support from Head Office
• Part time staff when you get busy
• Running your business part time or full time
• Highly structured program delivery (all the work has been done for you)
• An experienced, committed team
• Excellent Program results (we offer our money back guarantee with confidence)
• A great team of committed, passionate people, and
• A comprehensive Policy and Procedures Manual

Come and join us. Help all those who struggle with reading. The work is enjoyable, stress free and exceptionally rewarding. It really does feel good to make a difference in the life of a struggling reader!

We are extremely passionate about our work and want to find others who are also passionate about helping those who struggle with reading. Let’s make Australia, the lucky country, the literate country as well

All franchisees are allocated an exclusive territory and are given initial and ongoing training in the delivery of the program, and in the policy and procedures for running an effective franchise.

For more information contact Catherine McLennan:

Phone: 1300 473 234 (1300 4 READING)

Program enquiries should be directed to 0410 618 472