Archive for March, 2014

New Multiple-Entry Visas available for Canada

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Every year more than 35 million people travel to Canada. Recent changes in the visa regulations have now made it easier for travellers who require visas to apply for multiple-entry visas ( list of countries which require a visa ). For those travellers who have their applications accepted, the new multiple-entry visas will allow the holders to come and go from Canada for six months at a time up to a period of 10 years. LSI Toronto and LSI Vancouver have welcomed these changes as it will make it easier for some of their students who wish to break their studies with periods of travel outside Canada.

The reasons for the change are explained by Chris Alexander, Canada’s minister for Citizenship and Immigration.“As part of our plan to grow the Canadian economy and create jobs, our government is committed to attracting more visitors and business people to our country. By making the multiple-entry visa the standard visitor visa, we are evolving to meet the needs of international travellers who are looking for flexible, fast and convenient options to come to Canada. ”

Opera Performance at London Hampstead

Friday, March 28th, 2014

LSI London Hampstead experienced a rare treat last week when Ukrainian student Milana Sarukhanya performed Opera and Modern Classics to an enraptured audience. Despite being a busy lunchtime, the hall and stairways were packed with students, teachers and staff as hush descended as school director Sally Muse introduced Milana. Incredibly at only 18, Milana is already a consummate performer singing an aria from the Italian opera Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, a Russian romance and finishing with the George Gershwin classic Summertime (click here to listen to the full audio recording or see below a short video extract ). It’s difficult to believe with her talent and confidence that Milana is not already treading the boards of more prestigious stages than LSI so we had to find out more about her plans for the future and where she got her love of Opera .

Milana grew up in the Crimea in Ukraine and whilst none of her family were musicians,  her mother had always dreamed of becoming an actress and so when Milana started to show interest in singing and opera at the incredibly young age of 5, her mother was eager to nurture her fledging talent. From the age of 8 years old Milana received singing lessons and finally at 15 years old she began the rigorous training to become an opera singer.

“My mother was the one who has really supported and inspired me to achieve my ambition to become a professional opera singer. I owe so much to her. For me London was the best place to come to pursue this dream. England and Germany are universally acknowledged as the best places to study opera right now to be trained in the best techniques. Also there are many more job opportunities here than at home.”

It seems that Milana is now close to achieving her dream as she has been offered a place at the prestigious Royal Academy in London to study Opera and has applied for the “Raffy Manoukian” scholarship to help fund her course. As a non-native English speaker Milana is also required to demonstrate her English language level and so she is currently studying on the IELTS course at London Hampstead.

“I have enjoyed my time here at LSI. The teachers are great and I have made lots of friends. It was so nice that so many students and staff came to watch me perform. I really appreciated it guys!”

All of us at LSI wish Milana all best with her future studies and career. We’re sure we’ll see her name up in lights sometime soon!

Changes in LSI Marketing – Goodbye Mariló and welcome Carmelo

Friday, March 28th, 2014

It is with sadness that LSI says goodbye to Mariló Sanchez from our Marketing team. Mariló, who hails from sunny Andalucía, first started working for LSI back in September 2008 in the reception at LSI London Central. London Central is perhaps the busiest of all the LSI schools so it was a very hard training ground indeed but one that Mariló passed with flying colours and was invited to join the marketing team in 2011. Initially she worked and travelled in Europe and Russia where her amazing linguistic skills (she speaks French, Spanish, Italian and English fluently) were regularly called upon. More recently Mariló has also worked for LSI in Brazil.

“I have loved my time at LSI. I have met so many great people from all around the world, both clients and colleagues, and have had the chance to travel to some amazing places. I enjoyed visiting all the LSI schools, with the exception of Auckland, and meeting so many colleagues who have now become firm friends and who I will definitely keep in touch with.”

Marilo (centre in red) with colleagues at LSI London Central

Marilo (centre in red) with colleagues at LSI London Central

Mariló now takes on a new challenge with Brookfields, an international relocation company, where her excellent interpersonal skills will be put to good use. Stepping into her shoes in Marketing is fellow Andalucian, Carmelo Gonzalez, who has been working as part of our administration team for the last year. Carmelo has already had the opportunity to get some amazing on the job training shadowing Mariló on her final 3 week marketing trip to Brazil.

“It was hard work but great fun and I felt I learnt a lot from Mariló . I’m really looking forward to my new role.”

Funny and charming, Carmelo is sure to flourish in our Marketing Team.

Marketing colleague Andras Zareczky takes his hat off to his new team member, Carmelo

Marketing colleague Andras Zareczky takes his hat off to his new team member, Carmelo

LSI Berkeley gets a new school director

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

As LSI London Hampstead says a fond farewell to our wonderful ‘yankee’ director Greg Wickline, the doors are thrown open to a warm welcome at LSI Berkeley as Greg steps into the director’s shoes there in March. Greg has been with LSI since 2003 starting off as a teacher working in both our London schools.

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Greg says farewell to friends at Hampstead

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Greg with the team in LSI Berkeley

“My first ever class at LSI was teaching advanced English to a group of language teachers. It was a tough start so I was amazed when LSI asked me back!”So impressed was the school director that Greg was promoted to assistant school director in 2006 and finally took over the helm at Hampstead in January 2010. “I have loved my time at Hampstead and have met some wonderful people. I’m going to miss all my colleagues at Hampstead a lot but I am happy to be moving back to the US where I’ll be closer to my family.”What will Greg miss most about the UK (apart from all his many friends)? “Cricket and Arsenal football club!” It seems some English cultural pursuits will always have a place in his heart.

Now a new chapter is just beginning for Greg in Berkeley. “I am loving being here already. The staff here are so friendly and welcoming and are really helping me to settle into the job. It’s great to be able to walk around in T-shirts and soak up the sun – there wasn’t much opportunity to do that in the UK!”

From everyone at LSI London Hampstead we wish you well at LSI Berkeley. We miss you!

Getting around Brighton with the VisitBrighton App

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

If you are planning to travel to Brighton either as a tourist or as a student, the VisitBrighton App (available for both iPhone and Android phones) will ensure you can make the most of your time in the city. This essential mobile guide includes:

  • Hundreds of business listings – each with images, description, opening hours, prices, contact details, location and directions – covering places to eat & drink, accommodation, shops, attractions, venues and things to do
  • Filters for type of cuisine, accommodation, shop and city area
  • ‘Live’ event listings so you know what’s on during your visit
  • Mini-guides to the ‘City Villages’ of Brighton & Hove
  • Links to themed walking tour podcasts
  • ‘Essentials’ information including travel, Post Offices, hospitals etc
  • Pre-set themed Itineraries

Download the app from itunes

Fun Trivia about Brighton

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Did you know the following interesting facts about Brighton?  

BrightonFacts1 Sea Life AquariumBrighton’s Sea Life Centre is the world’s oldest operating aquarium. It has the country’s longest underwater viewing tunnel.
BrightonFacts2 Volk’s railwayThe Volk’s railway is the world’s oldest electric railway line. It connects Brighton Pier to the Marina.
BrightonFacts3 Brighton MarinaThe Brighton Marina is the largest in Europe with over 1500 berths for yachts and boats.
BrightonFacts4 Duke of York’s CinemaThe Duke of York’s Cinema is the oldest operating cinema in the UK. It shows foreign and independent movies.
BrightonFacts5 Brighton Café CultureThere are over 400 restaurants in Brighton, and more cafés per square mile than anywhere in Britain.

We’re happy to receive any more fun trivia. Please send any titbits you have to bri@lsi.edu . Why not come and join us in Brighton – we look forward to welcoming you to LSI Brighton!

Language Learning Tips from LSI Brighton

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Michael Choguill director at LSI Brighton

Michael Choguill

Michael Choguill is currently school director at LSI Brighton but is also the leading light behind the provision of online tuition for professionals which is now available on the lsi website.Clearly Michael knows a lot about teaching English and is full of good advice for students.

Tip 1.

Many students think that they need to speak quickly in order to show others that they speak English well. This is not actually the case. Of course, we would all like to speak our second language at the same speed and with the same fluency as our native language but this is not always possible. There are many factors involved in speaking well: accuracy, vocabulary range, pronunciation and so on. If a student tries to speak quickly without taking these into account, the result is often difficult to understand.  Understandably, students want results quickly so it is important that we are all very clear about which results are achievable. My suggestion is very simple: slow down! There is no reason and little benefit in speaking a second language at break-neck speed. Teachers and students should work together on broader issues relating to good speech with an aim to improving intelligibility, in other words, speaking so that others can understand easily (and even enjoy listening!). Focus on intonation (the rise and fall of the voice for effect), stress and timing (for emphasis), joining up strong and weak words, pitch and rhythm. For many centuries, these characteristics were considered very important for good speaking, and today, good speakers still employ these techniques.

Tip 2.

When I ask new students what they think they should learn in class, many will answer: “Grammar”. This is absolutely fine. Without a good grasp of the grammatical system of a language, a students’ accuracy will be poor, and their ability to progress limited. However, the approach we take to teaching and learning grammar is important. If an intermediate student says they have to learn the Past Perfect, I will usually ask them why they think so. I do not usually receive a clear answer. Often this is because the student knows that the Past Perfect exists (it is in most course books and is often an item tested in traditional language exams). Unfortunately, they don’t know what to do with it in real life. They spend a lot of time studying the rules and doing exercises but when they are having a real conversation in English, they don’t use it or use it inappropriately. I suggest turning things around. We should encourage students to think about the real-life functions of grammatical structures. If a student needs to spend a lot of time talking about sequences of past actions and being very clear about the exact order of events then they need to use the Past Perfect (this is not something most students need to do very often). If the students want to talk about their regrets or the things they have failed to achieve they need the Past Perfect (hopefully, not such a common occurrence).  Basically, we need to teach grammar and students need to learn it, but it is essential that they understand how to use it and that they relate what they learn to practical situations rather than to theoretical ones.

‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ required for Group Leaders accompanying Under 18s to the UK

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

All LSI UK schools accept students from ages 16 years and upwards and in addition LSI London Hampstead, LSI London Hampstead Residential (King’s College), LSI Oxford and LSI Cambridge accept students from 13 years and upwards on our summer English for Juniors course. Presently any group leaders that come with a group are now required by law to demonstrate their suitability to work with children by  providing a Police ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ or ‘ Certificate of Criminal Record’ from their country of residence.

The UK schools have been informed by the British Council Accreditation Body that in cases where leaders arrive at the schools without the appropriate checks completed, the group leaders will only be able to have limited access and responsibility for their students and any additional supervision will be undertaken by the school staff and thus may result in additional costs for the group. LSI therefore stresses to all the groups we work with the importance of obtaining the necessary documentation before arrival.