LSI Scholarship Awarded to Princess Sirindhorn

November 24th, 2017

The York Institute in Bangkok recently presented an LSI Scholarship to Princess Sirindhorn. The Thai princess is the daughter of the late and much loved King Bhumpoi. The princess was awarded an intensive 8 week course at LSI Canada with free half board accommodation included. The scholarship was presented during a formal ceremony. Whilst the Princess herself will not be taking up the award she will be choosing a member of her own staff to attend.

LSI Scholarship awarded to Princess Sirindhorn in a ceremony at the palace

LSI Scholarship Awards and the York Institute

The York Institute is one of the twelve companies which set up the Thai International Education Consultants Association (TIECA). Since the 1980s  the association has coordinated exchange programmes between Thailand and the US and Canada. Many Thai students have benefitted from these exchange programmes. More recently the York Institute have been working to attract Thai students to Northumbria University and Birmingham University in the UK.  Over  the last few years,  LSI been approached by TIECA to offer scholarships. We have been more than happy to help!

Halloween Party for LSI students in London

November 3rd, 2017

This year, the teams at LSI London Hampstead and Central went all out to celebrate Halloween. A Halloween party was organised in a hip Islington Venue, the Taproom, and students from both schools were invited to attend. As usual there was a fancy dress competition during which even Santa made an appearance. Students and staff had great fun parading along the Halloween catwalk. The LSI London Central team then had the solemn task of choosing the winner. A scary drag queen was presented the winning prize of a day trip to a UK destination of their choice.

In addition to the fancy dress parade, students were treated to the screening of short horror films. These films had been made by students in class earlier in the week, and were watched with great hilarity. There was also a scary quiz with students teaming up to beat students from the opposing school.  A Halloween party celebrated with much fun and frivolity and without a single pumpkin in sight!

Halloween Party organised by LSI London Central and London Hampstead

Find out how students in other LSI schools celebrated Halloween.

Impressions of Paris – A Source of Eternal Love and Inspiration

November 2nd, 2017

One recent student at LSI Paris, discusses her impressions of Paris and of LSI. Rebecca Rosen is from Denmark and it appears that living in Paris has been a long held dream.

“My first trip to Paris was when I was 8 years old. I was on a trip with my mum who used to live and work as an au pair there when she was younger. I clearly remember my first impressions of Paris, its people and its contagious spirit. According to my mum I was so taken by Paris that I said: “Mum, I want to live here some day.”

In March 2017 I decided to follow these dreams. For six months, I stayed in the city and was able to experience Paris at first hand . It was a snap decision made a few weeks beforehand and not particularly well-planned . I had no specific aim apart from at long last getting the chance to explore and experience the culture of the French city that had stolen my heart as a child.

Having studied basic French in school for 5 years, I had some knowledge of the language. However this was an opportunity to learn more and I was eager to reach a higher level. So, one afternoon upon wandering around le Marais I went to enrol at LSI Paris. I followed the course for four weeks and  vastly improved my language skills. More importantly, though, I met some truly wonderful people, some of whom I still speak to regularly.

Looking back at my trip I’m very glad that I found someone with whom I had a common ground.  Going to LSI for the first month of my stay definitely helped me to settle into my new, though temporary, life. During my stay I got to further indulge my interest in fashion and art. The streets of Paris have an inspiring, creative spirit that  is absolutely contagious.

If, like me, you appreciate aesthetics and thrive on beautiful surrounding, history and interesting people, Paris is definitely the place to be. It’s a place that I plan on returning to as soon as the chance presents itself. Allez! Découvrez Paris – la meilleure source d’amour et d’inspiration éternelle.”

Find out more about study at LSI Paris.

Rebecca Rosen Impressions of Paris - Eiffel Tower and Marais District

Halloween activities at LSI Berkeley

November 1st, 2017

Halloween activities at LSI Berkeley including the Mummy dressing competitionAs the end of October approached, LSI Berkeley held its annual Halloween party and students had a great time getting dressed up in Halloween costumes. Risa from Japan won the costume contest with her spooky nun costume. And what a fabulous prize – a gift card and two movie tickets! Students also got the chance to partake in other traditional Halloween activities at LSI Berkeley. There was pumpkin carving and a mummy wrapping contest! Another favourite game for students is bobbing for donuts. This is where these tasty treats are suspended on strings and students try to eat them. Not easy to do when your hands are tied behind your back!

For many students it was their first time celebrating the holiday and they really enjoyed getting to chance to experience this aspect of American culture. After all, the USA is often considered to be the home of Halloween! Find out more about the origins of Halloween.

Halloween costume competition

Read more about real American culture at LSI Berkeley.

From English Language Student to CELTA Teaching – Anna’s Story

October 26th, 2017

At LSI we love to hear what motivates our teachers to teach. We asked Anna about her path to CELTA teaching. What makes her story even more interesting is that Anna comes from Russia. She had to learn English before learning to teach it! Now in her role as a CELTA teacher she shows fellow teachers how to teach English.

“Hello! My name is Anna Neil and I am a teacher and the newest teacher trainer on the Cambridge CELTA course at LSI Brighton. I’ve been teaching English for 7 years and truly enjoy it but my path to this career wasn’t a simple one. Nor was it the most obvious one! In fact you could say I’ve had some career twists and turns on my path to CELTA teaching.

When I first moved to Brighton in 2007 it was to pursue a career in event management. I chose a Master’s programme at the University of Brighton. However as a non-native speaker I needed to improve my level of English first. I was determined to pass the Certificate of Advanced English and the IELTS exam which I managed to do successfully within a year. Living in a foreign country and being immersed in its language has made me aware of the experience that students have when learning a language.

Although my previous studies were in the business field I have always been interested in languages. My fascination with linguistics was formed as a student of English and has continued throughout my career as a teacher. After a short career in business, I moved into English teaching, gaining relevant qualifications between 2010-2011. Soon after, I took a job at LSI and have been teaching there ever since.

In addition to teaching classes, I became interested in preparing and delivering teacher development sessions. Since 2011, I have run a number of workshops in-house as well as sessions for the Sussex Director of Studies Association. All these various forms of teacher development have made me realise that I was ready to further my teaching qualifications and gain deeper insights into the profession. I successfully completed a Diploma in TESOL in 2015 and have recently finished training to become a teacher trainer on LSI’s CELTA courses in Brighton. I am currently teaching on my first CELTA teaching programme.

I’ve found teaching to be a very rewarding and inspiring job. As a teacher I try to plan dynamic and interactive lessons. I have a particular interest in using technology in class as it allows me to achieve this. I believe that on going professional development is an essential part of any job. As such I would encourage all my fellow teachers to never stop learning.”

Anna Neil has gone from teaching English to students to CELTA Teaching

Anna sitting in front her students

Find out more about LSI Brighton’s CELTA training courses.

LSI Building Relationships in China

October 16th, 2017

We are very pleased to welcome Jess Ge to the LSI team.  Jess will be working as the LSI Marketing co-ordinator in China and is based in Ningbo City, Zhejiang province. Over the last 13 years Jess has had experience of placing A-level students in top sixth forms colleges. LSI plan to utilise Jess’s knowledge to build up closer links for  LSI Independent Sixth Form College.  In addition, Jess will work alongside Chinese agents to place students on language courses  across all our LSI language schools.

One of Jess’s first tasks was to  attend ICEF Beijing alongside Seán Buckley, Principal of LSI Independent Sixth Form College. Seán and Jess were kept very busy during the ICEF workshops. First Seán gave a presentation on “Getting into Top Universities” which was translated by Jess. The talk was very well received by the audience. Then Jess and Seán met with over 30 local agents, who all expressed a strong interest not only in the Sixth Form College but also in the language schools.  Follow-up meetings with a range of agents have already been held, with plans for groups and individuals to attend our courses being made.

As a result of such positive feedback, Seán will return to China in early November. He will attend an international education event at Hangzhou Greentown School, a visit set up by Jess.  He will give a keynote talk on STEM education and will meet students at the school.  Hangzhou Greentown School is very international in its outlook and has a tradition of sending students to be educated abroad.

We all hope that this will be a very fruitful development for LSI.

LSI Marketing in China - Sean and Jess meet agents

An Unforgettable Cultural Exchange!

October 9th, 2017

LSI London Central student, Vinícius Andrade de Jesus talks about his reasons for leaving Brazil to come and study at LSI . He reveals his thoughts about the whole experience and opportunities for cultural exchange.

“I first came to the UK six years ago, but it was only for a quick sightseeing trip around London. Anyway it was enough time to get me impressed by this fascinating city.  It has an incredible cultural richness, a cosmopolitan spirit and I love that it seems so vast and diverse.

So that’s why this time I decided I was going to come and stay a bit longer. Honestly it was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. It was great studying at LSI, having classes with a very nice teacher while being in  central London, close to so many amazing places in the capital city of the world. The other great aspect was of course being able to speak English all the time, which surely helped me improve my speaking and listening skills and gave me confidence to talk to people anywhere.

I met people from every corner of the globe and made so many friends. I particularly connected with a guy from Saudi Arabia, but also made friends with people from Turkey, Switzerland, Poland, Japan, Spain, Palestine, France, Chile, and of course Brazil. This was easily one of the best parts of this experience. The possibility to spend time with people from various cultural backgrounds and learn so many things with them.

Add to this the wonderful trips we went on together around Britain. Places such as Cambridge, Bath, Brighton, Liverpool,…) and please believe me when I say that it’s hard to out into words just how exciting and  unforgettable experience this is.

Now I really wish I could go back in time and live it all again. But since that’s not possible, I’ll probably just book another course at LSI next year. Perhaps I’ll see if I can persuade my girlfriend to come with me. I’m sure she’ll love it, as will anyone who decides to take the plunge. It truly is a BRILLIANT life experience!

LSI London Central student Vinicius Andrade enjoying the cultural exchange at the Tower of London

LSI Paris Over the Decades – a Teacher’s Prospective

September 17th, 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!

 

 

Successful First Year for Junior Programme at London Ealing

September 5th, 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 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.