Archive for the ‘LSI News’ Category

Cambridge ESOL Testing Centre at LSI San Diego

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

LSI San Diego is a Cambridge ESOL testing centre. In March we ran our first computer-based Cambridge Exam.  Taking a computer-based exams offers many advantages for students:

  • More test dates offered: 13 test dates per year for First (FCE), 16 for Advanced (CAE) and 4 for Proficiency (CPE)
  • Faster results: scores available online after only three weeks
  • Convenient: can edit answers on screen during the exam and the use of headphones mean students can adjust volume to suit their individual needs
  • Easy to understand: A time on the exam screen helps students manage their time better during the exam

With a minimum of 5 students, LSI can offer the exam on any of the approved dates from Cambridge English.

LSI can also run the computer-based Cambridge Exams in the UK. We have testing centres at LSI Brighton, LSI Cambridge, LSI London Central and LSI London Hampstead.

Who chooses Homestay accommodation and why?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

LSI Paris approached one of their host families to discuss their views on why students choose homestay accommodation.

Mme B. is one of the school’s longest standing hosts living in the 15th arrondissement, a lively shopping area near Montparnasse. Her family owns several apartments in the same building ensuring that her LSI students will receive a welcome from not just Mrs B. but her extended family. We asked her the following …

Are homestays popular with young, independent students?

Mrs. B: Yes, undoubtedly, because there are many benefits of  a homestay: they are living with a family so students feel at home more quickly plus they get the opportunity to speak French all the time speeding up the learning process.  Homestay students also don’t have any of the concerns involved with renting a flat. Staying in a homestay is no more restrictive than  living with other students in a flat as there are always house rules.

Do homestays mean lots of rules?

Mrs. B. Only common sense rules.. do not leave the door unlocked, le me know if they’ll be late for dinner,  be considerate of  noise levels to avoid annoying the neighbors …  that sort of thing. Some of my students prefer to let me know where they are and when they are back. It makes them feel more secure that someone is looking out for them. Basically homestay rules are pretty much what they’d expect in their own home.

How old are homestay students ?

Mrs. B. It depends. The majority are  around 20 to 25 years old, but I do get more mature students in their 40s and 5os who are learning French for their work . Once I had an Irish woman who had just retired but wanted to keep her brain active. Coming to learn French for a few months in Paris was at the top of her priority list.

Does speaking a homestay student’s native language help?

Mrs. B. I do speak English and Spanish and in the beginning, this helps to facilitate communication and to put the student at ease. But generally this is only for emergencies, otherwise I’ll always speak in French to the students.

How to avoid problems arising with homestay students?

Mrs. B. Making time and communicating with my students properly usually avoids problems from happening, but where they do, we always manage to find a solution. It’s easy to think that young people are all the same- they use the same technology and social media. But this is not true. Cultural differences remain, and they can be very important and lead to mutual misunderstandings. Often, even if the student does not ask questions, I explain things. Why we do this. Why we wouldn’t do that. What would that be acceptable in their home country.  This leads to an appreciation of other ways of doing things and prevents misunderstandings.

General advice to students?

Mrs. B. Do not put too much into their suitcase! In Paris they will find everything they might need. And don’t hesitate to contact the host family by e-mail before coming. This gives the host family and student a chance to start building a relationship even before the students arrival.

Mrs B and Futaba from Japan cooking together

FCE now accepted by Immigration New Zealand

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Immigration New Zealand  are now accepting Cambridge FCE (First Certificate of English) for visa applications where students must demonstrate their English language level. Prior to this IELTS was the only English test accepted by Immigration New Zealand. However since November, applicants can also apply for visas with an FCE score of 176 or higher.

Advantages of Cambridge FCE Certificates

This is great news for students who already have the First Certificate of English. Unlike some examinations, the Cambridge certificate courses have lifetime validity. In addition to being useful for visa applications, some UK universities accept Cambridge ESOL qualifications as proof of English language level.

LSI Auckland offers preparation courses for students who want to sit the First Certificate of English. The courses run for  8, 10 or 12 weeks and start in January, March, June or October.

Students sitting Cambridge FCE exam

Why do Families Decide to Host International Students?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Why do families decide to host LSI students in their home? LSI Paris decided to interview one of our host families to find out. First … a little background about the family.

Meet Mrs. P. She  lives in Paris’s 5th arrondissement, in a quiet street near the Pantheon and the Luxembourg Gardens. Her home is in a mid 19th century Haussmann-style building, characteristic of Paris. Her  large apartment exudes charm being furnished in a classic style, typical of the French bourgeoisie. She often sees her 2 children (and 5 grand children) but now that they are married and have moved away,  she has been welcoming foreign students into her home and has done so for many years.

Host Family home and with students

What made you decide to host international students?

I believe the best way to learn a language is to visit a country and spend time living in the local community. My own children have stayed with host families in England and the USA. So, when they left home to get married, I immediately thought of welcoming international students.

Why foreign students in particular?

Paris is such a beautiful city! So, helping foreign students discover the real Paris is a privilege for me. In return, I learn about their cultures and all the many differences and things we have in common … it is very enriching.

What kind of support to you provide to students?

As I have two rooms, I often host two students.  Our students never have the same nationality, the idea being that French will always be the language spoken at home. Once my students have been with me a few days, we organized a daily routine to suit everyone. I see them mostly in the evening,  especially if they take dinner with me. We talk about their day at school, news, their country, their family … all in French!

How much support do your students need?

It depends. Basically it’s down to  a student’s character rather than nationality. Some students are very independent and prefer to find things out for themselves whereas others will seek more advice and help.  I adapt myself to my students. I’m here if they need me.

What advice would you give to students?

Not to try to replicate their way of life in Paris. This is another country. Our homes are different, as are our routines, our eating habits and our social interaction. If they want live exactly as they do in their own home country, they will inevitably be disappointed.

Do you keep in contact with your students once they leave?

I’m always pleased to hear from past students. Only this week Yuki, a Japanese student from Tokyo who stayed with us in 2015, turned up in Paris and we invited her to dine with us.  She told me that she missed my cooking and that she would come back next year. Very sweet!

Teachers’ Longevity at LSI Vancouver is Sign of a Great School

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

At LSI Vancouver, we’re proud of our teachers and our school. Apparently our teachers are so happy at the school that once they start they never want to leave. Most of LSI Vancouver’s teachers have been with us for 15 years or more including the star team Bernard and Steve (both 22 years), Linda (21 years), Chloe (21 years) and Ken (17 years).

With all those years of teaching behind them, we are confident of the excellent learning environment we offer.  Our teachers know how to inspire our international students teaching them not only English but the local culture too. Thanks to all the amazing teachers for all those years of hard work!

Vancouver teachers sitting in front of LSI banner

Meet the New School Director at LSI Toronto

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

JamesBenoit2017 heralds big changes for LSI Toronto. After many years in charge at LSI Toronto, our colleague Linda Walsh took retirement, and LSI appointed a new school director, James Benoit. In the first week back from Christmas, James officially takes the helm at our busy school in Toronto. As way of introduction , we have invited him to share his story and thoughts about teaching.

“It’s a pleasure to meet all of you! I have been working in the ESL field since 1999 having accumulated experience as an English teacher in Taiwan for nearly four years and then switching over to education management as an Academic Director in Korea for almost eight years. After living overseas for such a long time, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work back in Canada at EF Toronto as both the Academic Director and the Interim School Director for around four years.

I am now very pleased to move in to a more permanent position as a School Director at LSI Toronto, as it will allow me to gain further experience in managing a school and leading a team. Everyone both at the school and in the company at large has been very welcoming, supportive and helpful, and I feel confident that we will be able to make some very positive improvements on all fronts as we grow in the coming years.

I truly love working in this field, as it allows me to work with a diverse array of cultures and peoples stemming from all walks of life. It has also provided me with an opportunity to gain very worthwhile experience in education, management, human resources, finance and operations, and I hope that I will be able to transplant these skills to LSI and make valuable contributions to this company in my role. I sincerely look forward to working with all of you either as students or as colleagues!”

CEO of LSI Interviewed by Pie News

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Pie News, a website dedicated to news about International Education, recently approached the CEO of LSI, David Immanuel, to discuss his views on a range of topics from LSI’s background and future plans, the recent company merger, and the current issues and  trends in the Language Training Industry. Here are just a few snippets of the topics discussed.

DavidImmanuelPieNewsBlog

Pie News: How many language schools do you have now? And how has it changed since you started in 1970?

David Immanuel: We have 14 schools. And of course I also have the prep school. We started with two schools in London and Paris, and I’ve gradually built it up – the next one came in Germany, but you could say that my first serious language school was Berkeley in 1979.

When we organised the school, we modelled it on the Berlitz style of one to one teaching of foreign languages and we did quite well during the 70s, but then gradually English took over and for us the foreign language business in the UK shrank. We still do teach some foreign languages to a few companies but it’s a very minor, minor part of it now.

And if you had said to me then I would have been doing it 46 years later, I’d have been shocked.

Pie News: You recently acquired LTC. Is finding schools and acquiring them now is that part of your strategy for expansion?

David Immanuel: Well it’s slightly opportunistic ,… We work with strong individuals – the merger is going well. The [LTC] London school has closed by agreement, so we have by default inherited some of the business. I would definitely be interested in other opportunities if  they [mergers] came about, not only over here [UK] but also in the United States

Pie News: We often hear stakeholders say that general English is dead – nobody’s interested in it. But others say English remains their biggest seller. Which is the case for you?

David Immanuel: Yes, I mean it’s our core business. It’s been our strongest year ever in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, so it’s certainly not dead. There are a number of factors tying together have damaged the market: the finishing of the Saudi scholarships; the downturn of the currency in Brazil, Venezuela, Russia; economic problems, sanctions etc, … but there is a market. And new markets are opening up… South America opened up, and then Eastern Europe – there’s Vietnam and there’s the big one, China.

[In 2016] We opened a flagship school at $10m investment, we bought half a floor in a 20 storey in downtown New York. We’ve decided we are sharing the space now with a software training school, and I was just talking to them last night about a co-operation about programmes. I know there is space for that, but I think learning English will remain our core business

Pie News: So you talked about diversification, and lots of other people are trying to diversify through pathways. Is your sixth form college [in London]  a kind of pathway?

David Immanuel: The sixth form college is really about pathways, but doing it in the way of A Levels. We may well start foundation programmes from that college next year but if we do it, it will be one that’s recognised by the whole group of universities, rather than running around trying to get one university to recognise it.

Click here for the  full interview on the Pie News Website.

 

London Hampstead’s Recent ISI Inspection Report

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

We’re very proud of our recent Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection report and thought we’d share some highlights with you:

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners’ achievements is excellent.

There is outstanding support for students with specific educational needs on the A level programmes.

Students’ work is regularly assessed and they receive very high quality feedback on what they need to do to improve.  Consequently, students make excellent progress in their studies.

The systems for supporting students under 18 years are excellent, contributing to effective safeguarding practice.  Pastoral care is excellent with staff promptly identifying and supporting students’ individual needs.  Students receive high quality information and advice on further study options.

Pastoral support is excellent.

Students under 18 years are well monitored and teachers provide highly effective support and care.

Further study and careers advice is excellent, providing plenty of opportunities for students to consider and plan their future study and career options.  Support for A level students is outstanding, providing students with very high levels of support and guidance.

Students receive excellent levels of individual support, attention and care. 

Student support and care are outstanding, contributing to high educational standards.

The policy and procedures to advise and assess students applying for A level courses are excellent.

Teachers have excellent subject knowledge and are highly skilled.

Achievement levels are high.

Attainment and progress are excellent.

Students report that they are very happy with the progress they are making.  Attendance levels are high and punctuality is excellent.

The arrangements for health, safety and security of premises are excellent.

The quality of premises is excellent.  Buildings are comfortable, clean and well maintained, providing an attractive and safe environment for everyone.

Student areas provide refreshments and a comfortable environment well used by students who report high levels of enjoyment in socialising with their peers.

 

Christmas & Origami at LSI London Hampstead

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The Christmas tree at LSI London Hampstead has a unique new look this year. For Christmas 2016 the tree has been decked out with beautiful origami decorations all hand made by LSI Hampstead students.  Many students took part in the origami workshop including students from Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Colombia and of course Japan. The workshop was led by Japanese student Hideko Azuma who is currently on her second stay with LSI.

Hideko’s first visit, 5 years before, was totally different as her 6 months stay was during the spring and summer months. She enjoyed the first experience so much.

‘I felt it changed me as a person. Before , life had all been about work, but coming here made me realise how much more there is to experience. It was a wonderful time in my life, I made so many friends who I am still in contact with. I”ve travelled from Turkey, through Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain visiting my LSI friends. I remember one of my first impressions of London was how green it was compared to Japanese cities. This time it isn’t so green, ‘ she joked, ‘but of course, it winter and time for Christmas!”

HidekoBlog

Autumn Term Update on LSI Independent Sixth Form College

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Since the launch of the LSI Independent Sixth Form College in October, we’ve had a lot of interest and already have 8 students enrolled on our A levels courses. A levels are the standard qualifications required for entry into most UK universities. With more enrolments in January, it’s been a great start and passed all previous expectations.

Our students are both local and international students and the college has been able to accommodate all our students requirements in terms of subjects they wish to study and exam boards, alongside our published subjects list. Our students are enjoying their lessons in a wide range of subjects, from Modern Foreign Languages such as French, German and Spanish, to Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Business, Mathematics, Religious Studies and Latin. Our newly-built Science lab stands ready to welcome Science students in the near future.

It was also very pleasing to get our first offer from UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service), a very good one from the University of Nottingham, and we hope to have more UCAS news in due course.

SixthFormCollegeLabandFront