Archive for June, 2014

Malta – ‘Unmissable’ Places to Visit

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Malta might be small in size  but it has an amazing variety of places to visit so deciding on a shortlist of five was difficult.

Here are the LSI top 5 ‘unmissable’ places to visit in Malta

June2014Valetta 1. Valetta. Packed into just one square mile, Malta’s capital city has been described by UNESCO as “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world”. Brimming with cultural influences and architectural styles from the many different settlers and traders to the island, Valetta is a harmonious melting pot. Definitely one for culture vultures.
June201Gozo 2. Gozo. With its slower pace of life, welcoming locals, open countryside, raw rugged coastlines, sleepy unconverted villages and traditional crafts, Gozo show a glimpse of what it’s larger sister Malta was like a few decades ago. A slice of old world charm.
June2014MaltaBlueLagoon 3. The Blue Lagoon. Situated on the sparsely inhabited island of Comino, the blue lagoon, renowned for it’s clear, turquoise coloured water, is the perfect spot for diving and snorkeling. Don’t forget to pack your own lunch though.
June2014Club 4. Paceville. The liveliest, hippest place to hang out in for those who love to party. St Julian’s nightlife district is second to none with its multitude of clubs, music venues, bars, restaurants and cafes. Learn what it really means to party hard!
June2014Hypogeum 5. The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.  A fascinating underground necropolis discovered as recently as 1902, this UNESCO World Heritage site is packed with tombs, paintings, statues and rock carvings. Worth visiting just for the  spooky Oracle Room where a woman’s voice will not echo, but a man’s will.

 

Interesting Trivia about Malta

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Despite its small size Malta packs a real punch in terms of it fascinating history and culture. We thought we’d give you a small taster of interesting facts about one of our favourite lesser known European countries.

Our top trivia …

June2014Mapof-Malta Malta actually consists of many islands but only three are inhabited: Gozo, Comino and Malta. Malta is considered to be one of the smallest countries in the world with the largest island ( Malta) measuring only 27km by 17km.
June2014MalteseFlag Malta was controlled by Great Britain from 1814 until 1964 when it gained its independence. English is still one of the main languages spoken alongside Maltese.
June2014Troy Malta is a famous haunt for film crews being the location for films such as Gladiator, Captain Philips and Troy and more recently the TV series Game of Thrones.
June2014Diving With its clear azure blue waters, Malta is a diver’s paradise frequently being listed as one of the best diving spots in the world. One of the most famous diving spots is the Blue Hole near Gozo.
June2014MalteseBoats In Malta, the boats have eyes. These quaint boats known as Luzzu, still in daily use by local fisherman, are decorated in bright colours with eyes painted on the prow to ward off bad luck at sea.

 

If you’d like to check out Malta in person and maybe study at our school there, contact us at LSI Malta

Tai Chi Class at LSI London Hampstead led by World Champion Ye Yongxiang

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

When Ye Yongxiang “Lillianna”  first arrived at LSI London Hampstead over a month ago she stood out as being a very special and talented lady. At the age of only 27 she is the current world champion in Tai Chi (Yang Style) winning this prestigious title in the ‘International Kung Fu Championship’ held in Hong Kong in March this year. Following in the footsteps of both her grandmother and mother (who herself was world champion 20 years ago), Tai Chi has always been a fundamental part of her life. Brought up in Shanghai in a highly educated family imbued with traditional Chinese values, she has been studying Tai Chi from the age of three initially from her mother but then from one of the top masters in Tai Chi.

Lillianna receiving her Gold Medal with her mother

Lillianna receiving her gold medal with her mother

Lillianna uses descriptions such as ‘moving yoga’ and ‘eastern ballet’ to try and explain the grace and poise of Tai Chi to complete novices. Despite being  a martial art and thus a contact sport, the emphasis in Tai Chi is in inner strength and controlled movement rather than physical force and has strong meditative and religious undertones.

“Tai Chi encourages a person to be more reflective, spiritual even and I feel it helps to give a deeper understanding of life. It’s so beneficial too in many ways – it helps to improve your coordination, sense of balance and relieves stress. The only downside  for me is the gruelling training schedule which leaves very little time for socialising with friends and for relaxation.”

Lillianna in training

Lillianna in training

In addition to training, Lillianna teaches Tai Chi to students in Shanghai, some of whom are International students and business people. “My plan is to be able to teach at a higher level, maybe even internationally, and to do that I need to improve my English. I’m planning to take the IELTs exam and so decided to enrol on a course at LSI London Hampstead. Being here in some ways has been a bit of a holiday as I haven’t been able to do all my usual training and it’s been great fun socialising with my fellow students”.

Lillianna kindly agreed to give a demonstration lesson to her fellow students and teachers. After the initial warm up, Lilliana performed some classic Tai Chi movements before her enraptured audience and ended with teaching some basic Tai Chi movements. If you want to catch some clips of the class , check out our Tai Chi Class video.

June2014HampsteadTaiChiClass

Academic English Course – the Path to Success

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

This unique course, offered only at LSI Brighton, offers intensive preparation for students who wish to study at an English speaking university. Both morning and afternoon classes focus on the higher level speaking, listening, writing and reading skills required to succeed at university and help students to work towards specific English level test exams, such as IELTs and TOEFL, that are part of the university entry requirements.

The morning skills classes encompass topics such as effective note-taking, delivering presentations, technical writing, using the most appropriate register for written work and presentations, looking at the  fluency/accuracy balance. The classes also cover the vocabulary and grammar necessary to achieve good results . Afternoon classes focus on specific exam preparation and cover exam strategies and techniques. What makes LSI Brighton’s Academic English stand out from other LSI programmes is the ability to  study for IELTS and TOEFL as part of both the AM and PM classes, thus giving more flexibility to students who can only study in the morning.

Key features:

  •  Age: 16+
  • English level: Intermediate +
  • 1 – 12 weeks (other weeks available on request)
  • 30 lessons per week
  •  Available at LSI Brighton only

If you are serious about studying at an English speaking university, the Academic English course might be exactly what you’re looking for. For more information view our Academic English Video or contact LSI Brighton.

Keep to the Beat – Techniques to improve your English

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

MarkLaneAccording to Mark Lane, Assistant School Director at LSI London Central, learning English is great fun and it’s all about rhythm.

“For most of our students, one major reason for coming here to study is that they want to improve their speaking. We all have an accent that is not entirely natural when we speak a second language, and many of our students state that they would like to totally lose their own accent. It’s not very easy to do this .However, working on your English pronunciation and intonation can make a big difference to your speaking (and also your listening) skills. ”

“English is a stress-timed language.This means that there is a natural rhythm to the language and that stressed syllables follow a beat (they are said at regular intervals.) Not every syllable in a sentence has the same length or the same importance. The important information is stressed and then the rest fits into the gaps – e.g. Bob is going to France on Wednesday. If you only heard the stressed parts you would still understand the sentence.”

It’s good to practise this by trying to say the following sentences to the same beat. Try reading this out loud. You can clap on the stressed beats too if that helps!

(clap) (clap) (clap) (clap)
One Two Three Four
One and Two and Three and Four
One and then Two and then Three and then Four
One and then it’s Two and then it’s Three and then it’s Four
One and then after it’s Two and then after it’s Three and then after it’s Four

You could create your own different phrases, and see what you end up with, for example:

He likes eating eggs and he likes eating beans and he likes eating chips and he likes eating cheese.

Use your imagination, and don’t forget to keep to the beat!

LSI Canada Schools Become Designated Learning Institutions

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Good news! Both LSI Toronto and LSI Vancouver have recently been approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as Designated Learning Institutions in the International Student Program and therefore are able to accept students who come to Canada on study permits. Under new CIC regulations, as of June 1, 2014, all students who come to Canada on study permits will be required to attend only Designated Learning Institutions.

The new regulations will not affect students who come for less than 6 months, who are still able to study on a tourist visa.