Posts Tagged ‘LSI Berkeley’

A Festive Gingerbread House Competition at LSI Berkeley

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Students and staff came together at LSI Berkeley on Friday, December 12th to kick off our holiday celebrations with what has become an annual gingerbread house competition.  As always, this competition was a reminder that there can be so much more to LSI students than English Language Learners.  Our students are architects, marketers, engineers, and story tellers—and today they got to show off some of those skills.

Each class at LSI was tasked with the creation of a gingerbread house to be judged by our administrative staff based on creativity, overall execution, structural stability, and presentation.  The results were incredible.  Some classes went the traditional route and some brought a whole new perspective to gingerbread houses.  There was a ‘Mick Jagger’ gingerbread house, featuring an oversized icing tongue as a welcome mat.  One class decided they’d incorporate a little bit of Halloween charm, and wound up creating a Ginger-House-of-Horrors, complete with front lawn graveyard.  The winning gingerbread house was a retelling of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ story through a gingerbread tableau—students created not one, but three houses, each representing a different one of the houses in the iconic fairy tale.

Happy Holidays from all of us here in Berkeley!

Ann Bassini Milanezi with her Gingerbread House (left) and the winners with the 3 Little Pigs (right)

Ann Bassini with her Gingerbread House (left), the winners with the 3 Little Pigs (right)

Berkeley/San Francisco: A City of Neighborhoods

Monday, November 10th, 2014

While many tourists might flock to some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s more famous attractions like Alcatraz Island, Pier 39, or the Golden Gate Bridge; LSI students know that the real gems of this region are its many multicultural neighborhoods, and the great food to find in each of them!

MissionNeighborhood THE MISSION DISTRICT
This historically Latino neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco has been home to many waves of immigrants from Latin America. Its vibrant murals and famous burritos have made it a favorite haunt of LSI students, and the city’s young high-tech workforce.
San Francisco is home to North America’s oldest Chinatown, where Chinese immigrants first settled in the 1850’s. This enclave retains many parts of Chinese culture, and is widely known for bringing Chinese cuisine to the United States. The Dim Sum is simply to die for!
Located just North of LSI in Berkeley, the Gourmet Ghetto is widely hailed as being the birthplace of California Cuisine as well as the now world famous Farm-to-Table movement. With incredible restaurants like Chez Panisse, the Gourmet Ghetto has been setting trends in healthy green cooking since the 1970’s.
The Castro neighborhood is the longtime home to San Francisco’s vibrant LGBTQ culture. This vibrant neighborhood, centered around the historic Castro Theater, is at the epicenter of LGBTQ politics and culture in the United States. It’s also got some of the best night life and cafés around! The famous Twin Peaks café is a favorite.
This neighborhood, located on Oakland’s north end, is frequently rated one of the best places to live in the Bay Area. At the heart of Rockridge, you’ll find College Ave, teeming with restaurants and cafés, this favorite of local artists and writers can be the perfect place to study, or for a night of fine dining with friends!

For information about Berkeley and studying at LSI , contact us at LSI Berkeley.

Berkeley – the Student’s Choice

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Rather than listing the same fact you probably already know about what makes the Berkeley area so great, we decided to poll our students about what they think the best places to go are. For all you who’re thinking about making a trip out here soon, pay attention! Our students have some good picks!

TOSS is located right in Downtown Berkeley, and is a favorite lunch destination for LSI students. The menu is just a perfect California fusion, offering some new takes on your favorite noodle dishes from all over Asia!
It’s no wonder Eureka made the pick for favorite bar in town, students can practically see it from their classrooms! Located just across the street, Eureka is part of a growing microbrew movement offering a huge variety of delicious, locally made, beers.
We love Berkeley, but even our students know that to see California, you’ve just GOT to get out of the city. With so much to choose it was a close race, but the student pick for Top Destination was the stunning Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Union Square in San Francisco was an easy pick for best shopping around. Whether you’re a lover of high fashion, or prefer a more modest look, Union square will offer your favorite stores; from the ultra-chic to the everyday.
Getting out to one of the many professional sports games offered in the area remains the top weekend activity. We’re lucky to have two baseball teams, three football teams, and two basketball teams right next door. Even the local San Francisco Giants just won the world series! LSI students can’t get enough.

For information about Berkeley and studying at LSI , contact us at  LSI Berkeley.

LSI Berkeley Celebrates Halloween in Style

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Here in Berkeley few holidays are as important as Halloween. For both students and staff, this yearly celebration of all things bizarre, spooky, and weird is the perfect opportunity to showcase our creativity.  Costumes this year ranged from the ordinary to the downright bizarre.  Some favourites included a hunchbacked grim reaper, a pair of flappers from the 20’s, baby swimmers, and a near perfect Mario.  Even school Director, Greg Wickline, got involved with a great strait-jacket costume!

Some rather unusual school uniforms!

Some rather unusual school uniforms!

Our Halloween party included some of the gems of Halloween tradition, complete with a playlist with all of the classic Halloween tunes.  With the school decked out in spiders, cobwebs, skulls, and all things haunted, we filled the central atrium with Halloween cheer.  The festivities were opened with a pumpkin carving competition.  From there we rolled right into a manic mummy wrap competition.  To close, we threw a costume contest with a scream-o-meter judge.  The winner was Daisuke Horikoshi from Japan with his Mario costume.  We’re pretty sure most of Berkeley could hear the screaming for his performance!  Now, with bellies full of candy, we wish all of you a Happy Halloween from Berkeley!

Wrap the mummies (left) and carving the pumpkins (right)

Wrap the mummies (left) and carving the pumpkins (right)

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!

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

LSI Berkeley gets a new school director

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

As LSI London Hampstead says a fond farewell to our wonderful ‘yankee’ director Greg Wickline, the doors are thrown open to a warm welcome at LSI Berkeley as Greg steps into the director’s shoes there in March. Greg has been with LSI since 2003 starting off as a teacher working in both our London schools.


Greg says farewell to friends at Hampstead


Greg with the team in LSI Berkeley

“My first ever class at LSI was teaching advanced English to a group of language teachers. It was a tough start so I was amazed when LSI asked me back!”So impressed was the school director that Greg was promoted to assistant school director in 2006 and finally took over the helm at Hampstead in January 2010. “I have loved my time at Hampstead and have met some wonderful people. I’m going to miss all my colleagues at Hampstead a lot but I am happy to be moving back to the US where I’ll be closer to my family.”What will Greg miss most about the UK (apart from all his many friends)? “Cricket and Arsenal football club!” It seems some English cultural pursuits will always have a place in his heart.

Now a new chapter is just beginning for Greg in Berkeley. “I am loving being here already. The staff here are so friendly and welcoming and are really helping me to settle into the job. It’s great to be able to walk around in T-shirts and soak up the sun – there wasn’t much opportunity to do that in the UK!”

From everyone at LSI London Hampstead we wish you well at LSI Berkeley. We miss you!

LSI Berkeley gets a good write up from happy Chinese students

Monday, September 12th, 2011

LSI Berkeley had a successful summer with four new groups attending the school, two of which came from China. These two Chinese groups had about 33 students per group. Each group had a great time while in Berkeley and gave the school great reviews for homestay, activities, and the academic program.

 One student said, “I think my class is very active and I enjoyed my class. My teacher helped me a lot.”

 Many students also felt that the homestay program was enriching, “This is really a dreamful experience. The host treated us well and I had a good time.”

Our activity coordinator, Aiden, also showed the students the wonderful sights of Berkeley. Students toured UC Berkeley campus, roamed the Botanical Gardens, played sports in the park, and ended their final day with a pizza party celebration! We are so happy that these Chinese students could come to our school and hope that many more will come in the future.