Posts Tagged ‘LSI Paris’

LSI Paris Over the Decades – a Teacher’s Prospective

Friday, September 1st, 2017

LSI Paris is one of LSI’s oldest language schools being founded back in the early 1970s. Since its early beginnings the school has been relocated on numerous occasions and seen many changes in staff, teaching methods and students. One constant at the school for the last 33 years is the academic director, Sylvia Kabbani. We talked to her about her time at LSI and what keeps her here after so many years.

Sylvia Kabbani Director of Studies at LSI ParisSylvia: I started working for LSI Paris in August 1984 as a French foreign language teacher. From the start, I really liked the friendly atmosphere in the school. The relationship between colleagues was excellent with the sharing of professional good practice being commonplace. It gave me the chance to meet students from all around the world. It made me want to travel myself!

In the early 1990s we moved to rented premises in the 12th arrondissement.  At this time I was teaching and acting as centre manager. Then, little by little, I was given more and more responsibilities. By the mid 1990s I was supervising a small team, organising excursions to Provence. After LSI became an approved TEF centre in 1998 and received its accreditation from the  Private Institution of Higher Education in 2003,  I was appointed to my current post,  Director of Studies. From this point onwards my main role has been to look for ways to improve the quality of teaching in the school.

Thirty-three years later, I am still here and happily so. It is such a great chance to work with people from all over the world. Meeting students from so many different cultures helps me to stay open minded.

LSI: So what does the future hold for Sylvia?

Sylvia: Maybe another thirty-three years (jokes). I think I’m spoilt after working at LSI. It’s truly the best place to be!

 

 

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

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!

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.

 

3 Star Inspection for LSI Paris

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

logofle_marianneEvery four years our school in Paris is visted by the inspection team from Label Qualité FLE. This accreditation body was set up in 2007 as part of the drive by various government ministries ( including the Ministry for National Educational, Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to promote French as a foreign language and monitor standards in the French language schools. The Label Qualité FLE certification is awarded to ‘educative institutions that consistently present language instruction and services of a guaranteed high quality’.

Following our recent inspection in November, LSI Paris was awarded 3 stars, the highest possible score.  Two inspectors spent 3 days in the school assessing the school on the following criteria:

  • Training
  • Teachers
  • Student welfare
  • School building
  • Management

Inspectors had full access to the building and classes during their visit and met with teachers, staff and students. Particular points of strength mentioned by the inspection team included the class preparation and quality of the teaching, welcoming and supportive staff and the school environment.

We’ll be linking to the full published report once it’s ready, but for now we’d like to congratulate the team at LSI Paris for all their hard work!

History of Art at LSI Paris

Monday, October 24th, 2016

In 2016 LSI launched an exciting new programme – French with History of Art. This course is aimed at our language  students who have a love of Art, and where else best to study Art than in Paris, home to some of the most famous art galleries in the world!

In the morning students study French and then three afternoons each week they visit a Museum of their choice with an expert guide on hand to tell them more about the history of the paintings. The course runs for 2 weeks, although students can book for longer for the French language classes. This course can be tailor made to student’s particular interests.

In our most recent course, we had a lady from Argentina, Romina Pasucci,  and a gentleman from Brazil,Rafael Macedo who had a particular interest in impressionism. They visited the Louvre, The Musée D’Orsay, the Musée du Jeu de Paume and Musée du Luxembourg. The visits were led by LSI teacher Maryse Emery  who has a PhD in the History of Art !

Students visiting the louvre and Musee d'Orsay to see impresssionist painting

Why not come and experience this amazing course for yourselves at LSI Paris. We run courses every month from April to November.

Learn to cook French Classics at LSI Paris

Friday, June 17th, 2016

French cuisine is often acknowledged as one of the best in the world and at LSI Paris we are now offering our students an amazing opportunity to develop their knowledge of French culture, their culinary skills and have great fun on our French with Cooking course.

During afternoon classes, our students cook French classics such as Boeuf Bourguignon, Cassoulet, Coq au Vin, Onion Soup, Profiteroles and Tarte Tatin in our fully equipped kitchen. Each cooking session is instructor led, practical and fun. The course runs for two weeks and includes French language classes every morning and three afternoons a week of cooking.

FrenchWithCookingBlog

On our most recent course in June, we had a brother and sister from Mexico, Jimena and Jaime Perez de la Sierra. During the sessions they cooked six classics. Their favourite dishes? Blanquette de veau (Jaime) and Tarte Tatin (Jimena).

Newly Custom Built School Building in Paris

Friday, August 21st, 2015

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our brand new school building in Paris. Situated next door to the iconic Pompidou Centre, LSI Paris is the perfect place to learn French.

Funnily enough, the architects of the Pompidou Centre, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, actually studied French at LSI shortly before starting work on the great building, which was to become one of Paris’ most important landmarks. So it’s fitting that LSI should be so close by today.

LSIParis

Click here to go to a virtual tour of the school.

LSI Paris recent student activities

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Our students at LSI Paris have really been enjoying the summer months and getting out and about to see some of Paris. Activities have included visits to:

Père Lachaise cemetery: the biggest cemetery in Paris – home of the graves of major celebrities such as: Guillaume Apollinaire , Honoré de Balzac , Maria Callas, Frédéric Chopin, Eugene Delacroix, Isadora Duncan, Paul Eluard, Jean de la Fontaine, Molière, Yves Montand, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Marcel Proust, and Oscar among others.

Carnavalet Museum: a Museum dedicated to the history of Paris, with beautiful paintings, sculptures, and photography.

Opéra Garnier: the famous Paris major opera house

If you’re interested in exploring this wonderful city, come and study with LSI in Paris

Here are some photos of our students out and about in Paris:

 

Students in front of the famous Sacre Coeur

Enjoying the views of Paris

Checking out the museums

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Enjoying discovering the city and making new friends

 

LSI School Locations in the Lonely Planets Best 10 cities to visit

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

It seems LSI really knows how to pick them when it comes to choosing the best locations for our language schools!  This year the Lonely Planet, the international best selling travel guide, features four of our home cities as fantastic places to visit, and of course to study. Paris topped the list at number one, whilst Zurich, Vancouver and Auckland also gained places in this prestigious top 10.

Paris has been praised for its push towards a greener approach to city life (less car traffic, more pedestrian and cycle ways, the creation of beautiful ‘floating gardens’) and for its renovation of beautiful old building such as the Marais mansion. According to the travel guide, ‘The world’s most beautiful city in now even more beautiful’. Paris
Zurich it seems has been chosen by the Lonely Planet, not for the beauty of its location next to Lake Geneva or the stylish architecture, but for the wonderful nightlife, fine dining and bijou cafes. In short, Zurich is the place to go to have fun and with the European Athletic Championships due to be held in August, it’ll be awash with fit young people wanting to experience all that Zurich has to offer.
According to the Lonely Planet, the beauty of the natural surroundings, the mountains, parks and sandy beaches are the top draw for Vancouver. The city itself is praised for the big city look but small town friendliness that it exudes. We’d certainly agree with the travel guide which says you can never be bored in Vancouver, there is simply so much to do : skiing, snowboarding, biking , swimming ….. Just don’t choose Vancouver for a rest !
Last but certainly not least comes Auckland. This hip capital city, the largest city in New Zealand , boasts a great arts and culinary scene and with an amazing coastal hinterland to explore it offers so much more than most large cities. Auckland’s revitalised waterfront districts such as Wynyard Quarter, offer trendy shopping experiences and great dining precincts. With a packed calendar of festivals and events it’s almost impossible not to visit and find something different and exciting to do!

Take a look at the Top 10 cities for 2014 according to the Lonely Planet.