Archive for October, 2014

LSI Berkeley Shares an International Feast

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Here in Berkeley we like to celebrate the beginning of fall in style. All of Berkeley is abuzz with the return of students to courses at the UC Berkeley campus, just as students here at LSI are starting to buckle down.  With so much excitement in the air, we thought it was time for one of our favorite events: a good old fashioned potluck!

October2014PotLunchWith students from over twenty countries sharing food from their hometown, it was a great opportunity to laugh and eat with friends, while also learning a little bit about the incredibly diverse cultures our students come from.  Students, teachers, and staff came together to share a meal that seemed to never end.  Some of the favorite contributions were: empanadas and brigadeiro from Brazil, risotto from Switzerland, sushi from Japan, latkes from New York City, a pineapple cake from Taiwan, and so much more!

As if this wasn’t enough fun for one Friday afternoon, we also got to celebrate the birthday of one of our most loved and appreciated teachers, Andrew Peritore.  Andrew contributes so much to LSI, both inside and outside the classroom, and it was great to see him honored by the whole school at once.  Though we might have all grown a couple belt sizes, we couldn’t be more excited to share the fall with such an amazing group of students.  And now on to Halloween!

The New Management Team at LSI London Hampstead

Monday, October 27th, 2014

We’d like to extend a warm LSI welcome to our new school director and assistant director at LSI London Hampstead, Maggie Carruthers and Kat Holloway.

From left to right: Kat Holloway and Maggie Carruthers

From left to right: Kat Holloway and Maggie Carruthers

Maggie Carruthers, our new school director, comes to us after seven and half years working as a school director for Kaplan in southern Brazil. Despite her rather Scottish sounding surname, Maggie actually hails from Brazil but has spent several years in London. With a CELTA, a BA in Law, and a Masters in International Law under her belt, Maggie is highly qualified and with a total of  14 years working in EFL as a teacher, senior teacher, academic director and school director, can call upon a vast amount of experience for her new role with LSI. Despite a busy schedule, Maggie still finds time to study for the diplomat exams, her long term goal being to work as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Maggie: ” I want to make a difference to people’s lives , which is one of the reasons I love teaching. As a diplomat though , especially somewhere like Afghanistan,  I feel I could really help to change people’s lives for the better .”

Our new assistant school director, Kat Holloway,  also has plenty of international experience and excellent EFL credentials with both DELTA qualifications and a Masters in English. Earlier customer focussed roles included advising on unforgettable gap years for eager but often inexperienced students, looking for their first independent, global adventure. In Kat’s first ever teaching role, she was thrown straight in at the deep end. She spent 18 months working in Taipei teaching students ranging from the Kindergarten all the way up to international businessmen, surely a challenge even for the most experienced teacher!

Kat flourished though and was soon looking for a fresh challenge. Moving to Madrid, she worked at both the Chester School of English and Hylands working as a teacher, then teacher trainer and finally during the last year as the Director of Studies.  Kat is really happy about her move to London.

Kat: “I’m sure I’m going to love living in London, there’s always so much to do. The atmosphere at LSI is so friendly so I know I’m  going to love working here and being part of the LSI London Hampstead team. ”

Welcome on board guys!

A Fond Farewell to Sally

Monday, October 27th, 2014

On Friday 24th October  school director, Sally Muse, said a sad farewell after seven years at LSI London Hampstead. It was a poignant moment for all the staff at the school  as Sally has become such an established and valued member of the Hampstead team.

It only seems like yesterday when the then school director Tania  announced that one of our newly appointed teacher’s was a dead ringer for American actress Cameron Diaz – that was our introduction to Sally!

Sally being presented with the photo

Sally being presented with the photo

An amazing teacher ( student feedback can’t be wrong !), and highly driven, Sally studied for both  her DELTA and a  Masters in TESOL whilst working as both a teacher and then Assistant School Director at London Hampstead. At times it’s been gruelling as Sally worked hard,  putting in long hours to achieve the highest standards in both her work and studies – successfully so in both cases. Her highly professional approach was recognised by our management team and when the previous school director Greg relocated to our school in Berkeley,  Sally was the natural choice to replace him.

On Friday the staff at Hampstead organised a little ‘goodbye’ party. Just to ensure that she won’t be  forgetting us too quickly, Sally was presented with a fun ‘class’  photo of  the LSI London Hampstead staff ( in their younger days !)

” I’ve had a wonderful time at London Hampstead, ” commented Sally.  “I’ve learnt so much and have had so much support from my colleagues. That’s what I’m going to miss most – the staff and the students but I’m so excited about starting out  on a new phase of my life.”

From everyone at LSI we wish Sally well with her upcoming wedding and plans to pursue a  career in EAP in a university setting back in her home town of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

LSI New York end of month Pizza Party!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

On the last Thursday of every month at LSI New York we throw a Pizza Party at lunch time. Students and teachers come together and socialize for a fun hour. Every month teachers nominate a Student-of-the-Month; this student is chosen based on overall academic performance and advancement, excellent attendance, helpfulness to other students, amongst other things.

At this last pizza party in September we tried something different: in the week running up to the event we patrolled the halls and handed out raffle tickets to anyone speaking English. We called this our Caught Speaking English event. At the pizza party a raffle was drawn and the winners walked away with Yankee baseball caps, I Love NY Tees and two $50 gift certificates for any event offered by ISX, the student travel company that organizes weekend and day trips for students in the NY area.

Fun was had by all, as seen in the pictures on our facebook page. Here is just a sample of some of our students eating pizza and winning prizes!

Eating pizza and making new friends, New York style!

Eating pizza and making new friends, New York style!

Pizza pizza pizza!

Pizza pizza pizza!

Students enjoying pizza

Students enjoying pizza

Our English speaking raffle prize draw rewarded students for speaking English in between classes

Our English speaking raffle prize draw rewarded students for speaking English in between classes

More prizes from our raffle!

More prizes from our raffle!

Students won t-shirts in our English speaking raffle draw

Students won t-shirts in our English speaking raffle draw

More pizza!

More pizza!

LSI New York students enjoying pizza together

LSI New York students enjoying pizza together