Cambridge ESOL Testing Centre at LSI San Diego

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?

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

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

Valentine Day’s Charity Bake at LSI Berkeley

February 22nd, 2017

Every year LSI Berkeley  holds a bake sale for charity. This year the event was held on Valentine’s Day. Teachers and staff bought in homemade cakes to sell to students during morning break. It seems not only can our teachers explain complicated grammar points, they can also bake! Everyone enjoyed sampling a tasty array of treats such as brownies, cake pops and cookies. More importantly, the bake sale was for a good cause. All the proceeds of the bake sale were donated to our local chapter of the International Rescue Committee.

Valentine's Day Charity Bake at LSI Berkeley

 

English Language Teacher Training – Free Online Introductory Course

February 2nd, 2017

Future Learn, an online learning platform, is offering a free English Language Teacher Training course aimed at prospective TEFL teachers. The course, entitled ‘Exploring the World of English Language Training‘, discusses what TEFL teachers need to know about the language, the skills they will need and the type of resources available. The courses starts on 13th February and runs for 6 weeks. Future learn have produced a short video outlining the course.

Who can take the free English Language Teacher Training course?

If you live in the UK and English teaching is something you might be considering then this course is perfect. You’ll get the chance to watch practising TEFL teachers and listen to feedback from their students. During the course, experienced teacher trainers will cover different aspects over 6 weeks. Requiring only 2 hours of study per week, this taster course may help you to decide whether TEFL teaching is for you. Click here to enrol on the February course or to register and interest in future ELT courses.

The Next Step

Past students have used this free course as a preparatory course for the Cambridge CELTA courses. The CELTA qualification is becoming essential for those interested in working in ELT in the UK and elsewhere. LSI Brighton run CELTA courses throughout the year.

For more details  about CELTA dates and prices contact the school.

Student teacher on English Language Teacher Training course

Programming And English Courses at New York

February 2nd, 2017

Programming with English tuition at LSI New YorkIn March LSI New York are launching a brand new course ‘Intro to Coding and Intensive English’. LSI will be working in conjunction with TechToTech, the Technology training company which will be providing the programming lessons.

The course combines English lessons with afternoon classes in coding. Aimed at students with little or no experience of coding, the programming classes move at a steady pace, building on a student’s confidence with a step-by-step approach. Over eight weeks students get the opportunity to build their own website and develop a smartphone ap. Whilst the ‘Intro to Coding & Intensive English’ runs for eight weeks, students can book additional weeks of English tuition.

Key Points for our English with Programming Course

  • Course duration is 8 weeks but possible to extend the English tuition
  • Choice of 20 or 30 lessons of English tuition per week
  • Coding classes: Two per week , each class lasting 3 hours
  • At least two office visits to New York based technology companies
  • Weekly technology events on the campus
  • English level: Intermediate level or higher (B1 of the CEFR)

Check out our webpage for more details about the course including dates and prices.

Why do Families Decide to Host International Students?

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

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

Study Digital Marketing At LSI New York

January 22nd, 2017

Digital Marketing with English tuition at LSI New YorkAs part of an exciting new range of combined English with technology classes now running at LSI New York, you can now study Digital Marketing. The course is run in collaboration with TurnToTech, a technology company which specialises in digital marketing training.

The course covers paid and earned media, search engine optimization (SEO), paid Google/Twitter/Facebook campaigns, content marketing and data-driven strategies for managing your campaigns. By the end of the course you will understand  all the latest trends in digital marketing.

Courses last for eight weeks combining English lessons with afternoon classes in digital marketing. Students don’t need to have any previous knowledge in this field but should have an intermediate level of English. Students can also book additional weeks of English tuition either before the start or end of the course.

Key Points for our English with Digital Marketing Course

  • Course duration is 8 weeks but possible to extend the English tuition
  • Choice of 20 or 30 lessons of English tuition per week
  • Digital Marketing classes: Two per week , each class lasting 3 hours
  • At least two office visits to New York based technology companies
  • Weekly technology events on the campus
  • English level: Intermediate level or higher (B1 of the CEFR)

Check out our webpage for more details about the course including dates and prices.

Meet the New School Director at LSI Toronto

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!”