Archive for February, 2014

What do the Olympics mean to you – LSI Boston students give their thoughts

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

For the past couple of weeks, the world’s attention has been focused on Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympics took place. The events officially began on February 7 and ended on February 23, 2014. It was the first time Russia had hosted the winter games in its 22 year history. Recently LSI Boston sat down with four students to talk about the 2014 Winter Olympics. The following is a conversation between four students: Bruno (Brazil), Ramazan, (Turkey), Katerina “Kat” (Czech Republic) and Abdulaziz “Aziz” (Saudi Arabia).

 

Feb2014LSIBostonStudents
What do the Olympics represent to you?

Katerina: “It represents people who have worked really hard to get there. The athletes are the best in the world.”
Aziz: “The Olympics represent another area besides politics and economics. It shows the ability of people who want to achieve their goals in the sports field.”
Ramazan: “It is an organization where people can show themselves.”
Bruno: “It’s not just for the athletes, it is for the countries.”

Are the Olympics important in your country?

Katerina: “I believe the Olympics are important in my country. The people like to watch and support the Czech athletes. If the athletes succeed and they win some medals, it brings the nation together and people are proud to be Czech.”
Aziz: “For some it is and for others it is not.”
Ramazan: “For Turkey it is not so important when I compare it to the World Cup. We are not so interested. The country’s population is young but we still aren’t interested in it.”
Bruno: “For my country the summer Olympics are very important. The winter Olympics are not so important. We only have 14 athletes in Sochi. But in general the Olympics are important. Normally the whole country watches it on TV. The next summer Olympics are in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro!”

If you could participate in one event which would it be?

Katerina: “If I could participate, it would be in the opening ceremony. I’d like to organize the events, the programs. I could be useful.”
Aziz: “I would say soccer, but for the the winter games, any competition would be awesome.”
Ramazan: “For the winter I would want to participate in the snowboarding event because I like adrenaline!”
Bruno: “I would be a snowboarder…an extreme sport. Or I would do speed skating. It is beautiful.”

Do you prefer to watch the winter or the summer games?

Katerina: “Personally, I prefer to watch the winter Olympics because part of the winter Olympics is ice hockey. Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the Czech Republic and it is my favorite too.”
Aziz: “The summer games because it is closer to my environment.”
Ramazan: “I prefer the summer Olympics because my country is better in the summer than in the winter.”
Bruno: “For me, of course I prefer the summer. I know the rules and I know the sports. I like to watch the winter sports because it is curious and different for me. But I prefer the summer Olympics.”

What is the best part of the Olympics?

Katerina: “The best part is the opening ceremony. And also the sports where the Czech athletes participate. To be honest I always watch ice hockey. If we beat Slovakia like we did yesterday, then I am very excited!”
Aziz: “In my opinion, the best part is the competition and allowing people to focus on the different sports.”
Ramazan: “I thought about the opening of the games. All nations from all over the world can stand side by side without fighting. This is my favorite part.”
Bruno: “The final moments of a game are the best. Everyone is looking, waiting, and expecting. It is an important moment for the fans, the athletes, and the country. The fans are crazy, and people are cheering.”

How can you relate the athlete’s dedication in training to the dedication required to learn English (or any language)?

Katerina: “In both you have to have the will to succeed and you have to work very hard.”
Aziz: “You have to plan and imagine. There is no magic You have to practice and practice until you reach your goal.”
Ramazan: “You have to practice. The athletes have to practice to be successful, and the same for English.”
Bruno: “For me you have to like the language or the sport. You have to practice every day. If you can speak another language or you are good at a sport it can open doors in your life.”

The Olympics games play an important role in the international community. It is not only a time for athletes to compete against each other for the coveted medals, but it is also a unique two weeks when athletes from all over the world meet and develop cross-cultural relationships. As our students note, the Olympics can serve as a great reminder to students learning English, or accomplishing any life goal, that to be successful one has to, plan, practice, work hard, and love what you do!

Travel Tips for Boston

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Whether you are studying in Boston or just on a quick visit we recommend trying out the following as the top 5 things to see or do in Boston.

Freedom trail, Boston Freedom Trail
One of the biggest reasons that Boston is known as a walking city is the Freedom Trail. The trail is marked by a red brick or painted line which takes you to 16 historical sites as well as some of the most popular areas in Boston. It takes 2-3 hours to walk the whole trail, which has many places to eat along the way, and is a great way to get to know the city.
Top of the Hub, Boston Top of the Hub
This restaurant, which is located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower, has an incredible view of the city and the Boston skyline, which you can enjoy as you have a drink or something to eat. In addition to the view, there is also live jazz music every night, which creates a great atmosphere for hanging out with friends, family, or that special someone.
Science Museum, Boston Boston Museum of Science
With over 700 interactive exhibits, this museum has something for everyone. You can learn about dinosaurs, see live animals, experiment with science, or go to the Charles Hayden Planetarium. The Boston Museum of Science is also home to the Mugar Omni Theater, which is a domed IMAX theater, whose screen goes beyond your peripheral vision, allowing you to feel like you are a part of the movie. It is definitely the best movie theater that you will ever go to!
Fenway, Boston Fenway Park
America’s oldest ballpark, which opened in 1912, is home to the Red Sox, Boston’s professional baseball team. Whether you like baseball or not, you have to catch a game at Fenway Park, Boston’s most popular tourist destination. Bostonians live and breathe sports and love their Red Sox more than most things in life. You can enjoy a game at Fenway Park any time between April and September.
Duck Tours, Boston Boston Duck Tours
If you want to take a tour of the city, Boston Duck Tours is the way to go. On this unique tour of Boston, you get to explore the city in a Duck, which is a vehicle that can travel on both land and water. The drivers of these Ducks, each with their own interesting personality, share their vast knowledge of the city during the tour. td>

Come and join us in Boston – we look forward to welcoming you to LSI Boston!

Refurbishment at the Willows Residence at LSI Cambridge

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

LSI Cambridge reopened the newly refurbished Willows Residence in January this year.  LSI originally purchased the Residence back in 2010 and since then the residence has proved very popular with our students resulting in the decision to extend and renovate the residence.  Working with a local company, we have added two new en-suite double rooms, two new studio flats, a new lounge and a brand new kitchen, taking the total to 12 rooms available to our students. We also took the opportunity to completely replace all of the washroom facilities, showers and furniture, meaning we now have the ideal of a beautiful Victorian property with all the modern creature comforts you would expect from a new-build. Check out these photos from the makeover.

The Willows Residence EntranceThe Willows The Willows Residence main shared kitchen Main Kitchen
The Willows double bedroom in studioDouble Bedroom The Willows Residence studio bathroomStudio Bathroom
The Willows Single bedroomSingle Room The Willows Residence studio KitchenStudio Kitchen
The Willows single room ensuiteSingle Room Ensuite The Willows Residence studio room ensuite Studio Bathroom The Willows Single room with deskStudy Area Single Room The Willows Residence single room with wash basin facilitiesBasin Only Single Room

Important Annoucement : TOEIC tests have been suspended in the UK

Friday, February 7th, 2014

LSI have received notification from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the international body that administers the TOEFL and TOEIC exams, that TOEIC tests will be suspended in the UK until at least March 7. The TOEIC test scores are commonly used by applicants to demonstrate English language proficiency to the UK Visa an Immigration Office. ETS has been asked to suspend any further testing as a result of an on going investigation by the UKBA about the potential abuse of this testing system by some test takers.

Any students/test takers who have booked a TOEIC test at one of our UK schools will therefore have the test cancelled and the exam fee will be refunded. LSI will keep our students informed as to when the TOEIC will be resumed and students will be able to reschedule  the exam. LSI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. All other English language test (TOEFL, IELTS and the Cambridge Language Assessment examinations) remain unaffected by the UKBA decision.

 

Some Fun and Fascinating Facts about Boston

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Did you know …

Harvard College, Boston Boston Latin School was established as the first public school in America in 1635. The following year, in 1636, Harvard was established as the first college in America. Boston is currently home to the most colleges and universities in the United States.
Boston sports teams have won the most championships (8) since 2000, and have won a total of 34 championships in their history (Celtics – 17 NBA Titles, Red Sox – 8 World Series Titles, Bruins – 6 Stanley Cups, Patriots – 3 Super Bowls Titles), which is the second most among all US cities. Boston Red Sox Boston Celtics Bruins Patriots
Boston sister cities Boston has eight sister cities – Kyoto, Japan; Strasbourg, France; Barcelona, Spain; Hangzhou, China; Melbourne, Australia; Padua, Italy; Taipei, Taiwan; and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.
The Boston subway opened in 1897 as the first underground metro in North America. Today it is affectionately known as the “T” and is run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Boston transport
Boston University Bridge The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue is one of the only places in the world where a boat can sail under a train passing under a car driving under an airplane!

Come and join us in Boston – we look forward to welcoming you to LSI Boston!

Language learning tips : Learning English Outside of the Classroom

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Tim Redmond Director of Studies LSI BostonThis month’s language learning tips are provided by Tim Redmond, the assistant school director and Director of Studies at LSI Boston. Tim focuses on learning English outside the Classroom.

 

The biggest piece of advice that I can give to students who are studying English abroad is to take full advantage of the opportunity they have. In order for students to maximize their learning experience, they must spend their time wisely both inside and outside of the classroom. Many students focus on the time they spend inside of the classroom, which is of course important, but fail to fully utilize the free time that they have when they are not in class.

 

First, students who are studying English abroad have the unique opportunity to meet and study with students from many different countries. With this in mind, students should try to make friends with people from other countries, and practice speaking English with them during breaks, at lunchtime, after school, and on weekends. The more time that students spend trying to speak English outside of class, the faster they will be able to improve their speaking and listening skills.

 

Second, students should take advantage of the fact that they are studying in a country where they are surrounded by native English speakers. Whether they are eating at a restaurant, walking on the street, or spending time with their host family, students should focus on using their English skills outside of class. They should make a real effort to read, speak, and listen to English whenever they can.

 

Third, students should participate in after school activities, which include going to sporting events, visiting museums, attending concerts and local festivals, trying different types of food, taking city tours, and doing many different recreational activities. These activities give students an opportunity to practice their English in real life situations, make friends from different countries, and learn about the culture of the city and country where they are studying.

When it comes to learning English, it is important for students to realize that what they do outside of the classroom is just as important as what they do inside of the classroom.  Students who practice speaking English outside of class, do their homework and really try to live the English language will get the most out of their learning experience.