Archive for May, 2014

New York Film Academy Workshop at LSI Berkeley

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Lights! Camera! Action! The New York Film Academy visited LSI Berkeley to show our students what acting, producing, and screen writing are all about. Academy reps, Tasha and Amy, led a group of students through some warm-ups and improv skits to get students up and moving. Students were excited to play around and express themselves in different ways through various acting games.

LSI USA has a conditional agreement with the New York Film Academy and can provide assistance for admission to this school through our University Pathways Program. If you’ve completed your English course at LSI and would like to pursue film, acting, or other fine arts degrees, we can help you! Contact Lauren Macdonald at for more details.

Get ready for the spotlight!

New Mini Group for Pre-intermediate Students

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Due to increasing interest in our Mini Groups courses, LSI are now offering a new type of Mini-Group course. In addition to our existing Mini-Groups for intermediate to advanced level students, we are now introducing a course for pre-intermediate level students allowing them to benefit from the intensive, more tailored-made character/structure of small group classes. Whilst the main focus of language teaching will be on General English, there will also be opportunities to cover aspects of Business English specifically requested by the students. The small group environment ensures students profit from more in-depth teacher feedback about their language learning and how to achieve their next language targets.

Key Features of the course:

  • Pre-intermediate level of English required
  • 20, 30, 40 lessons per week (check with individual schools for lesson options available)
  • Participants: maximum 5
  • Minimum age: 21
  • 1 lesson: 45 minutes (in the USA and Canada 50 minutes)
  • Courses begin every Monday

The new Mini Group is available at our schools in  Auckland, Berkeley, Boston, London (central)  , New York, San Diego, Toronto and Vancouver. For more details contact the schools directly.


Mini Group at LSI London Central

TV, Radio and Host Families – Three focus areas for Learning English Outside the Classroom

Monday, May 19th, 2014

When it comes to giving advice about language learning, no one comes more qualified than Patricia Vonscheidt, our Junior Programme Director at LSI London Hampstead. Patricia has hosted workshops and delivered talks to national TEFL conferences.  Here are a  few of her words of wisdom…

Patricia Vonscheidt, Junior Programme Director

Patricia Vonscheidt, Junior Programme Director

When learning a language abroad, we should try to take advantage of everything that comes our way to enhance our experience and improve our listening and speaking skills, and more so if we can get our hands (or ears) on authentic materials, such as TV programmes, radio shows and even everyday conversations with host families!

How can you use authentic materials to improve our everyday conversation? And how can we practise them?

TV: soap operas like Doctors, EastEnders, Coronation Street, to name but a few, can provide ‘colourful’ colloquial language which can be put to practice immediately with classmates or friends. Here are some tips:

  • Watch programmes live at home with subtitles: if you hear new words or phrases, you can quickly write them down, and try repeating them (you can check the meaning later!)
  • Watch them on iplayer services: this is a great option as you can stop and go back as many times as you want, to repeat, and practice the new phrases or structures

Radio: news programmes, interviews, adverts and songs can offer excellent ways to develop our skills further:

  • Listen to your chosen programme and be ready to write as many words as you can, don’t worry about spelling, or meaning. More often than not, these words or expressions will be spoken again and you’ll get a chance to check them.
  • As with TV, most radios are available online and therefore it is possible to listen, pause, and play again. This gives you the chance to repeat and write down what you hear.

Host families: when having a meal or sharing some time with them, always ask them when they use new words you don’t know, have your notebook at hand and make sure you write an example of the new vocabulary. Your hosts will always be happy to explain and be of assistance in your language learning experience!

Try out our tips and see the difference it makes to your language skills in no time at all!

Patricia in action at an annual International IATEFL Conference

Patricia in action at an annual International IATEFL Conference

Looking Back Over 60 years in LSI Zurich’s Special Anniversary Brochure

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

2014 marks the diamond jubilee year for LSI Zurich and in celebration of the school’s longevity in the competitive world of language schools, the LSI Zurich team have put together a remarkable anniversary brochure. The publication tracks the story of the school from its inception in 1954 right up to the present day, showing its evolution decade by decade through stories related by students and other key figures, showcasing the ever changing logos, and old newspaper cuttings and photos.

LSI Zurich stands out as being  a little different amongst the LSI schools. Originally conceived as a school to teach English in Zurich it has since expanded to offer the study abroad programme common to all LSI schools, plus in-company language training, a high school programme and evening classes in French, Italian, Spanish, German and of course English. Incredibly LSI Zurich has engendered such a sense of loyalty amongst some long-term students that they have been studying at the school for 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years! The message is clear when you listen to the students’ voices, LSI Zurich is more than just a language school it’s a community of life long friends sharing a common interest. Check out Celebrating 60s at LSI Zurich and watch out for future Jubilee events coming in June, July and August!

Brochure memorabilia page

Brochure memorabilia page

LSI San Diego Hosts A University Transfer Fair

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Last week LSI San Diego was happy to host a ‘California State Transfer Fair’. California is rather unusual in that it has  two university systems: the University of California and The California State and it was representatives from the latter ‘California State’ system who attended the fair to talk to LSI students who were interested in transferring from LSI to a university.  Representatives from California State Sonoma, San Francisco, Fullerton, Northridge, Sacramento and San Marcos International Departments set up tables where they handed out materials, and gave a bit of information about their university and answered questions. Navigating the application process at American universities can be quite tricky so the students found the information very helpful!


Application Deadline for the Language Coop Work and Study Programme in Canada

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Over recent years, LSI have offered study and work programmes to our students at  LSI Vancouver and LSI Toronto as part of the Language Coop Programmes. However, due to new regulations introduced by the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), the Federal government department that deals with visa applications, students applying from June 1st (2014) onwards will no longer be able to apply for work and study programmes at private language schools, including LSI.

For students who might be interested in a work and study programme at LSI and wish to apply before the new restrictions come into force, it’s essential that visa applications, requesting both study and work permits, are submitted before the May 31st deadline. Read more about the Language Coop Programmes and the application process here or contact LSI Vancouver and LSI Toronto directly.


Did you know? Some Quirky Facts about London

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Our LSI team in London have put together some of their favourite facts about this fascinating city. 

May2014OldLondon In 1811 London was the first city in the world to reach a population of more than one million people and remained the largest city in the world until it was over taken by Tokyo in 1925 . With a population of 8.2 million London is still the largest city in European Union.
May2014SPauls St Paul’s Cathedral is the second largest church in the UK, has the third largest dome in the world and possesses Europe’s largest crypt where amongst others, architect Sir Christopher Wren, painters Joshua Reynolds and JMW Turner, and national heroes Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington are buried.
May2014BlackCab To get a London taxi license to drive one of London’s iconic ‘black cabs’, you have to prove that you know every single street and landmark in London. It’s called “The Knowledge” and takes 2-4 years to memorize.
May2014LondonZoo London Zoo is the world’s oldest public zoo. Originally opened in 1828 to members of the Zoological society for the scientific study of the animal collections, it finally opened to the public in 1847. The Zoo, one of the UK’s largest zoos, is located on the edges of Regent’s Park and is commonly referred to as ‘Regent’s Zoo’
May2014EalingStudios Established in 1902, Ealing Studios in West London are the oldest continuously working film studios in the world. Whilst best known for its 1950s comedy classics such as ‘The Lady Killers’, the studios are still used for TV and film work such as the period drama ‘Downton Abbey’.

If you have some interesting trivia you’d like to share about London send them in to . Why not come and join us in London– we look forward to welcoming you to LSI London Central or LSI London Hampstead ! Read more about why London is such a great place to live and study .

A Bird’s-eye view of London – Our travel tips

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Here are our top tips to get some amazing views of London!

May2014Monument The Monument
Standing 62 metres high, this stone column was built in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London which began in a baker’s shop 62 metres from its base. After climbing 311 steps up the stone spiral staircase, you are rewarded with one of the best 360-degree views of London from the viewing platform. Our opinion: hard work but worth the climb and don’t forget the souvenir certificate.
May2014O2walkway The O2 Rooftop Walkway
The O2, originally named the Millennium Dome due to its unique shape, is one of London’s largest entertainment venues. In 2012, a 380 metres long walkway was constructed over the roof. The pathway is created by a tensile fabric and in place of side barriers, walkers are secured by means of clips to a central cable running along the length of the path. From the central observation platform there are amazing views across central London and the Docklands. Our opinion: An exhilarating experience but not for the feint hearted or unfit!
May2014ThamesCableCar Thames River Cable car
Constructed in time for the 2012 Olympics, the cable car connects the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docklands. The 5 minute aerial ride across the Thames River inside pretty glass gondolas gives wonderful views along the river, East London and the beautiful Greenwich Park. Our opinion: A novel addition to London’s transport and cheaper than all other viewing point options!
May2014Shard The Shard 
This 87 storey glass clad pyramidal tower nicknamed ‘the shard of Glass’ is the tallest building in Western Europe at 310 metres and it provides the highest viewing point in London . Possible to see up to 40 miles on a clear day, it has three viewing platforms on different floors. Our opinion: Great views, amazing architecture but best to avoid the ticket price by visiting the bars on the lower floors.
May2014LondonEye The London Eye
This huge Ferris wheel is perhaps the most iconic of our viewing points. Located across the river from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, it was originally intended as a temporary structure to celebrate the Millennium but proved to be so popular that it is now a permanent landmark and has been widely copied in many cities across the world. During the New Year’s firework celebrations it is frequently used to spectacular effects. Our opinion: Worth a visit but get there early to avoid the lengthy queues.

Try our tips out and let us know your opinions at lon@lsi.eduRead more about why London is such a great place to live and study .