LSI San Diego at Comic Con

September 1st, 2017

LSI San Diego student meets the Avengers at Comic Con

This summer San Diego hosted the annual International Comic Con. So what is Comic Con and why do LSI San Diego students love it? Comic Con is a huge convention which focuses on comics and comic inspired artforms. The event is a chance to see the amazing impact comics have had on today’s art and culture. If you have ever wanted to meet your favourite superhero in person, this is the perfect place to do it!

Unsurprisingly our students at LSI San Diego were more than happy to go along and explore the events downtown. The many different events feature well known movies, comics, cartoons and lots more!  Apart from meeting their favourite superhero characters, our students were also able to take part in a free laser tag course.

It is always an exciting and busy time in San Diego. Not to mention an ideal opportunity to celebrity watch as many famous faces can often be spotted amongst the crowds! And although badges sell out every year well in advance, even just walking around downtown outside of the convention is a summer highlight for many of our students!

If comics are your scene, then maybe next July, you can join us at LSI San Diego to catch Comic Con 2018.

Successful First Year for Junior Programme at London Ealing

September 1st, 2017

This summer LSI ran their first ever junior programme at London Ealing. Our new junior programme took place at Ealing Green College, located in the leafy west London suburb of Ealing. This was an ideal venue, providing large, bright, well-equipped classrooms. Across from the college, was Walpole Park – the perfect place for our students to picnic at lunch time.

The 300 students who attended the summer school were a mix of mainly European nationalities, aged 12-17. Our course Co-ordinator, Elena Darnell, ensured that most host families were within walking distance or a short bus ride away. The daily programme involved morning English lessons from 9.00 to 12.50.  Classes were followed by afternoon social activities and sightseeing trips. Full-day excursions were also organised every Saturday.

Gavin Taylor, centre manager, comments on the atmosphere in the school. “I had a great team of teachers who fully embraced the summer- school remit to deliver fun. The lessons were all student-centred, focusing on getting them to talk. Activities such as role plays, debates, games and projects all helped the students to open up more and get to know each other. ”

So what did our students enjoy the most? It seems from the feedback we’ve received that our social programme was especially successful. Highlights included a boat trip on the River Thames, a day trip to Brighton, a shopping trip to Camden Town and a guided tour of Kew Gardens. Another favourite was the Friday night disco which saw 200 students going crazy to the music of our resident Spanish DJ. Even one of two of the teachers were encourage to get down and get funky much to the amusement of their students! In addition to the social programme there were  many positive comments about our homestay families. All in all, our first year in Ealing, has been a total success.

Finally we’d like to thank all the students, teachers and group leaders who made the summer school such an enjoyable experience. See you again next year!

Junior programme at London Ealing

LSI Paris Over the Decades – a Teacher’s Prospective

September 1st, 2017

LSI Paris is one of LSI’s oldest language schools being founded back in the early 1970s. Since its early beginnings the school has been relocated on numerous occasions and seen many changes in staff, teaching methods and students. One constant at the school for the last 33 years is the academic director, Sylvia Kabbani. We talked to her about her time at LSI and what keeps her here after so many years.

Sylvia Kabbani Director of Studies at LSI ParisSylvia: I started working for LSI Paris in August 1984 as a French foreign language teacher. From the start, I really liked the friendly atmosphere in the school. The relationship between colleagues was excellent with the sharing of professional good practice being commonplace. It gave me the chance to meet students from all around the world. It made me want to travel myself!

In the early 1990s we moved to rented premises in the 12th arrondissement.  At this time I was teaching and acting as centre manager. Then, little by little, I was given more and more responsibilities. By the mid 1990s I was supervising a small team, organising excursions to Provence. After LSI became an approved TEF centre in 1998 and received its accreditation from the  Private Institution of Higher Education in 2003,  I was appointed to my current post,  Director of Studies. From this point onwards my main role has been to look for ways to improve the quality of teaching in the school.

Thirty-three years later, I am still here and happily so. It is such a great chance to work with people from all over the world. Meeting students from so many different cultures helps me to stay open minded.

LSI: So what does the future hold for Sylvia?

Sylvia: Maybe another thirty-three years (jokes). I think I’m spoilt after working at LSI. It’s truly the best place to be!

 

 

Thank You to LSI Brisbane

August 20th, 2017

Hello everyone! My name is Adriano Felix and I come from Brazil. I’d like to tell you about my time at LSI.

Six years ago I was a student at LSI Brisbane and I gotta say that it was one of the best experiences ever! The staff were so helpful and kind. Considering that I couldn’t speak a word of English, it was a hard job for them. They really made me feel like I was in the right place and such an amazing atmosphere.  I would say that  it was at LSI that I met some of my best friends. I was really living the dream!

I’ve never taken the opportunity to thank  the people who helped me along the way. Especially as they made my days easier while studying there. I don’t even know if they are still working there but I would like to say a big thanks to David, Sandy, Chris and the whole LSI crew.

After studying at LSI Brisbane I decided to stay a bit longer in Australia, and guess what? I met my wife, a beautiful Australian woman. Yet another reason to say thank you to LSI. IT’s down to LSI that I was able to speak to her and even more, I convinced her to marry me . Now we are living in Brasil and waiting for our first baby. Perhaps I should stop here, but really the whole point of this message was to say a huge thanks to you guys, and keep doing it right!

Thanks to LSI Brisbane - Adriano with wife

 

WW1 Trenches Breeding Ground for Modern English

August 15th, 2017

Most of us, at some point in our lives, will indulge in a spot of  ‘binge drinking’. Perhaps some of us will be lucky enough to have a  ‘cushy’ job. Ever wondered when these modern English terms were first coined?

Recent research carried out by the British Library shows that many terms in current everyday English were first used in the tumultuous environment of the First World War trenches. British Library documents covering the period 1914-1918 unveil terms such as  ‘washed out’, ‘fed up’, ‘snapshot’, ‘bloke’ and ‘blind spot’. Many of these words reflect the soldiers attempts to convey the exhaustion and brutality of their existence in the trenches. Unsurprisingly the documents also revealed new euphemisms for dying such as ‘pushing up the daisies’ and ‘snuffing it’.

According to the British Library researcher Walker, “It was a very creative time for language. Soldiers have always had a genius for slang and coming up with terms. This was a citizen army – and also the first really literate army – and at the end of the war, those that survived took their new terms back to the general population.”

Soldiers in the trenches coined many modern English phrases

Read more on the Guardian.

Soccer is coming to San Diego

August 6th, 2017

Adding to San Diego’s already existing attractions, it now appears that major soccer league is coming. NASL (the North American Soccer League) have just announced the setting up of a new club in the city ready for the 2018 season. Initially the team will play at the University of San Diego. However plans are afoot to build a purpose built stadium complex. The city will be home to NASL’s 10th club, following  the recent addition of  the San Francisco Deltas. Find out more about the new club.

LSI San Diego plans to add trips to the soccer matches to our 2018 leisure programme for our students. Alongside our famous beaches the soccer will be yet another fun thing to do during a stay with LSI.

Soccer coming to San Diego

University Pathway with Berkeley City College

August 3rd, 2017

LSI is now able to offer our students a great new University pathways partner. This opportunity is open to students with a high level of English who have completed an intensive course with us. Once LSI students have matched these criteria they can then transfer to Berkeley City College (BCC). Luckily BCC is conveniently located just across the street from LSI Berkeley!

Berkeley City College

Berkeley City College is a highly respected community college. Students can complete the first two years of their undergraduate college credit, working towards their four year Bachelor’s Degree.  Once the student completes their program at BCC they can then apply to state universities throughout the USA. As students will have already done two years at BCC they will need to do just two more to complete the four year  degree.

This new pathway partner is a great new addition to our growing lists of partners. More information can be found on our website.

 

World Student Day in Canada

July 26th, 2017

Every year Languages Canada holds a ‘World Student Day’. The event celebrates the international student community in Canada and the contributions they make to Canadian education, culture and economy.

This year the event took place on  July 7th in 14 cities right across Canada. Over 7000 international language students, from all over the world,  attended and took part.  Games, music, shows and all kind of entertainments were  organised by the language schools who were invited to set up tables at each event.

World Student Day in Vancouver

At the Vancouver event, LSI set up our own table and almost 200 of our students took part. At our table, we offered fellow students the chance to play the LSI Flip Cup game. Suggested by one of our students, it involved flipping plastic cups. Many LSI volunteers were on hand to explain the rules and to supply the cups. Lucky contestants who managed to flip the cup successfully received a small chewy reward. Despite the simplicity of the game, this fun, high paced game proved highly popular!

World Student Day in Canada , LSI Flip Cup Game

Over for this year, our thoughts turn to next year. Any suggestions for new games ideas are always welcome!

Direct Flights from Zurich to San Diego

July 6th, 2017

Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline, are now offering direct flights to San Diego. Great news for our Swiss students studying or planning to study at our amazing school in this popular Californian city.

Zurich to San Diego Flights

Flights will be non-stop, flying between San Diego and Zurich twice a week from June to September. The new route marks the first direct flight between the two cities.  Flight time is just 12 hours!

In addition, there are  also three direct flights a week from Zurich to Vancouver. Another opportunity for Swiss students at  LSI Vancouver to benefit.  Flight time is even quicker at just under 11 hours. Flights between Vancouver and Zurich are offered from June to September.

For more details about dates and prices about both these locations  visit the Edelweiss website.

Edelweiss flights between Zurich and San Diego

Swedish Swallows Return to LSI Zurich

July 6th, 2017

The return of swallows to northern skies is usually taken as one of the first signs of summer. At LSI Zurich our swallows return in June every year and they come from Sweden!

For over 15 years LSI Zurich have been hosting Swedish students from STAFFANGYMNASIET, a grammar school in Söderhamn, about 180km north of Uppsala. LSI Zurich director, Ian Cryer met up with the group over lunchtime sandwiches to find out what they thought about the classes and their overall experience with us.

Swedish Swallows at LSI Zurich - Swedish group over lunch

First, how did they find the teaching at LSI? It seems the students were both surprised and challenged by their classes. Apparently teaching in their Swedish school focuses on language recognition, not production. So whilst many of the group could read and understand complex texts, they still had difficulty speaking full sentences. The LSI approach of presenting language items, practising them, then moving on to free production was new and enjoyable. It meant our having to adapt by relocating some of them into lower level classes and their having to adapt by stepping up to the plate.

Only two of the students chose to stay with host families this year. The rest found furnished flats in the Sihlcity area of town about 20 minutes tram ride away from school. While missing out on the built-in language practice that living with a host family provides, they appreciated the independence. This was, after all, their first adventure abroad without adult supervision. Not that they weren’t checked up on! During the second week, their school principal and two other members of staff came by to visit. They sat in lessons with their students, recorded feedback and before leaving we discussed how the programme can be fine-tuned next year to make it even more successful.

All in all, a positive experience for everyone involved. We look forward to welcoming more Swedish swallows in June 2018.

LSI Zurich welcomes our Swedish swallows