Friday, 16 February 2018

Bigging Us Up

So bearing in mind this goes back 4 years and the 1 and 2 stars were from 3 or 4 years ago, it's pretty impressive eh ;-)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

We are Looking for a Restaurant Manager - Is it you?

Restaurant/Brasserie Manager, Portsmouth

We are looking for an enthusiastic, passionate, hard-working and committed Restaurant Manager to help us launch, staff, publicise and run successfully and profitably a brand new brasserie restaurant that is part of the LSI Portsmouth building and is shortly to open in the heart of Portsmouth’s university quarter.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a Restaurant Manager with energy and ambition who has the drive and passion for delivering great food, outstanding customer service and helping us host evening cultural and social events. 

As Manager, you will look to maximize the financial performance of the brasserie as well as the quality of food and service and to manage individual team members’ training and development. The Manager will report directly to the Principal of LSI and also to its owners, who will have specific events and services they will be running in the brasserie. You will need to be not just a manager of a team, but also a flexible team player who will work closely with LSI’s Principal and other staff to ensure the vision for the restaurant, combined with its profitability, is achieved.
Bring us experience of managing people and driving business performance, together with a passion for great food and great service and a love of success and in return we’ll share a piece of our success with you. 

Your main responsibilities will include:
  • Day-to-day management of the restaurant and team, particularly the Head Chef and waiting staff
  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Doing regular stock-takes and ordering as necessary
  • Handling deliveries
  • Maintaining the condition of beer and wine and food stocks
  • Overseeing or liaising with the kitchen
  • Keeping up to date with licensing legislation, liaising with the Principal of LSI and relevant authorities and taking overall legal responsibility for the premises
  • Enforcing health and safety rules
  • Adhering to budgets, increasing profits and managing cash flow and finances
·      Experience of managing or co-managing a restaurant, bar or café
  • License to serve alcohol
  • Excellent presentation and front-of-house skills and interpersonal excellence
  • Excellent understanding of the catering industry and best practice within it
  • Ability to work up to 6 days a week when required and the flexibility to work unsociable hours
  • Complete working knowledge of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Knowledge of administrative and IT systems and procedures for running a restaurant/café/bar
  • Knowledge of suppliers within the Portsmouth area
  • Excellent team management skills, including leading by example and setting high standards
  • Good working knowledge of Health and Safety and Food Safety
  • Excellent communication, time management and organisational skills
  • Flexible and enthusiastic approach to the role
  • Passion for delivering exceptional customer service
·         Ability to work under pressure with a smile on the face

-       Previous experience of running or overseeing evening cultural and social events
-       Network of known and trusted local suppliers of food and drink in Portsmouth
-       Good contacts in the local community of Portsmouth
-       Cultural awareness and sensitivity when dealing with international students

Starting salary - £24,000 plus generous Profit-Related Bonus.

Applicants should send a CV and covering email explaining why you are interested and suitable for the role to the Principal of LSI Portsmouth, Andrew Edwards: [email protected] by Wednesday 24th January. The role will commence as soon as possible and the first task will be to recruit a Head Chef.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Look who visited us over the holidays ho ho

So here we are in 2018 - A very Happy New Year to you unless you are a spambot ;-)
One of the 'pleasures' of managing a blog in today's competitive market is keeping all the rubbish off the site.  
Everyone is vying for your attention (even us) and some will resort to any means to get their views.

The only reason for posting them below is for amusement, LSI Portsmouth is a language school that teaches English.  The comments below are so obviously fake and not relevant to the post they have commented on that they raise a smile (if you are in the mood).
One of the key interesting points is that these comments all came over the Christmas holidays and almost without exception were posted on two blogs.  'Where are they now? Hiwa from Kurdistan' was a blog about a former student of ours, who went on to Portsmouth University and had an Art exhibition.
Another popular post to spam is 
'Where ever I lay my hat, that's my home' which was about a new student house that LSI set up.  The final smile comes with the last one shown below - which was purely a picture wishing everyone a happy new year.

If you have a slightly warped sense of humour, have a look below and have a smile.

For anyone interested, here are a variety of terms and their definitions of what happens.

Splog or Spam Blog is a blog that is created purely for linking to other websites. Some common features of spam blogs are; Rubbish, junk, meaningless or repetitive content. Articles on similar topics are often repeated using a few targeted keywords throughout the content, generally very noticeably not naturally.

Spamdexing, from “spam” and “indexing,” is the practice of search engine spamming. Search Engines are how people find blogs.  It is a form of SEO spamming. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, having your website optimized, or attractive, to the major search engines for optimal indexing.

A splog (spam blog) is a fake blog created purely to promote affiliated Web sites, which when following the links below (if they are published) are always completely fake and have the sole purpose of skewing search results and artificially boosting traffic.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

What a Year 2017 Has Been!

Another Amazing Year at LSI Portsmouth

Here we are again, at the end of the year, wondering where it went.  Well if you cast your eyes over the pictures and scan the text below, you’ll see a lot has happened this year, it’s been pretty packed.  So let’s have a look at what has been going on this year.


We started the year with some great tips on ‘How to Improve your English Speaking’. We showed off our brand new logo – all that ‘New Year and a fresh new start’. We also started the year looking for new teachers to increase our great team.


Once again we had more tips to help our readers with their English skills, this time on ‘How to Choose the Right Business Course’. We were really proud to have a professional video company ask to use some clips from one of our videos for their promotional video of Portsmouth.  We launched a new cute video of clips of students saying what they liked about LSI Portsmouth.  Down in the coffee area, we opened our Social Hub, a great fun place to go and have a chat or find out about what is going on with the social programme.


We launched a new series of blogs about British culture.  Our first one was about ‘Politeness’ and the very odd way British people are when they bump into someone else. Many thanks to Jeremy (Jelly Bean to one colleague) for these.  We said goodbye to two of our superstar teachers who teach off-site, one went to Saudi Arabia, the other left for Italy but returned within the month (you can never really leave LSI Portsmouth). We had tips on ‘How to Make the Absolute Best of your Time When Studying in the UK’, along with another little video with our students saying why they like Portsmouth so much. Finally, a little blog about three different generations playing the Game of Kings (Golf) – and being royally thrashed by the youngest member ;-)

This month had a delightful blog about some Russian students from Ivanovo (ISPU) University who had been with us for some time. They all wrote a personal account of their time here, with one of them saying that it had been their childhood dream to visit England ;-).  We had a cute ‘competition’ where we asked our students to describe certain areas of their stay in one word. A blog explaining ‘Business English’, sometimes some of the things we take for granted are just not clear to others, so this was an explanation of what one could expect on a Business English course. Our Culture blog this month was on the ‘Great British breakfast’ – possibly famous throughout the world, if not, it certainly should be!


IELTS continues to be incredibly popular, so this month we had a lovely explanation blog about ‘IELTS and What It Is’. We had a couple of Culture blogs this month, one about ‘Queuing’, and the other on some of the ‘Festivals We Celebrate in the UK’. A blog about ‘Having Fun while Learning English’ – showing some of the various fun activities that happen on our very popular 30 plus courses.


Starting the summer off, we had ‘The Benefits of Learning English in England During the Summer’ as a topical post this month.  A ‘Spot the Difference Competition’ with aerial views of LSI Portsmouth in the past and LSI Portsmouth today.  As we had been recruiting throughout the year, we had been asked quite often why it was so necessary to have the CELTA qualification. Lewis Richards our Exams Director of studies is also a CELTA trainer, and he very kindly wrote a great article on ‘The Benefits of the CELTA’ and then we had an article explaining why some of our teachers and students on the 30 plus course found themselves in court.

We could not have been more delighted to welcome back two star students who had been on our Pre-sessional course and had gone on to the University of Portsmouth and graduated.  Then with all these online courses that we see available, we had a little article discussing ‘Whether the Best Route for YOU to Improve your English is to Learn it Online?’.


August saw our new Social Programme organiser - Catt take her seat and lead the students to a new phase of fun. Our British Culture blog for August was on that most strange thing – ‘British Humour’.  It tried to explain the peculiarities of our weird sense of humour, as far as it is possible. We had some superb candid photos to show off this month of fun during class.


A new month which started with more new staff joining us.  We had a lovely little ‘gift’ from a longer-term student. She wrote such a lovely blog about how much she had enjoyed her time and it was presented with some beautiful photos that she had taken while here. And to end the month we launched our video of students having fun on the social programme in London.

We were completely gutted (really upset) to say goodbye to our magnificent reception manager Elly who left to go off on an incredible adventure – travelling by van around Australia earning her keep via her new web business. The one good thing that came out of this for us, was to be able to welcome back the delightful Sophie who replaced Elly as Reception Manager. October’s Culture blog was about the strange little ‘Quirky Differences Visitors Find When they Come Here’ – things, for example, like in the bathroom having two taps; one for hot and one for cold ;-). A little blog with advice on ‘How to Choose the Best Location to Study an English Course’ in, and finally the launch of our new online English club.


‘English for PAs’? What is it and how do you improve it? That was the advice blog this month, with lots of little tips on how people can help themselves improve their office English. Then came the ‘NHS’. In Britain it is well known that we believe it is a sacred institution, this blog attempts to explain why, and what it means to the man on the street.  Gino Gino Gino! It is not often you get students like Gino, but we have been lucky enough to have had a ‘Gino’ for a little while now. Gino gave us a little interview explaining his thoughts on LSI and Portsmouth and studying English as a second language.  It really is a joy to watch – don’t miss this video. Emma and Lea visited some of our old friends in Russia and made some new ones while they were there.  They wrote up an account of their trip along with some wonderful photos – maybe the highlight is the ice palace.


And the final month December!  A little culture blog from Jeremy about Patron Saints, a little throwback post with some of the Social Programme student activity pictures and … then this post about all the marvellous things we have covered throughout the year.

We at LSI Portsmouth would love to take this opportunity of thanking you for following us and wish you an amazingly Happy New Year.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Looking back at the social programme

As the year winds down, and students and teachers all start to leave for the holidays, we thought it would be nice to have another look at some of the great pictures from a few of the social events through the years.

We have had a fantastic year, and can't wait for 2018!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Patron Saints of the British Isles

Many countries around the world where Christianity is the predominant religion have a patron saint and the United Kingdom is no exception. However in the UK’s case, there is not one but four patron saints, one each for England (St. George), Scotland (St. Andrew), Wales (St. David) and Northern Ireland (St. Patrick) which it shares with the Republic of Ireland.

These saints have their own ‘Saint’s Day’ when they are commemorated:

St. David 1 March

St. Patrick 17 March

St. George 23 April

St. Andrew 30 November

St. George’s Day is not celebrated as much as the other three saints’ days. In recent years certain prominent figures have tried to encourage people to celebrate this day, which is not a public holiday. Many pubs are decorated with English flags and will promote the English dishes on their menus, and it is possible to see Morris Dancing and Punch and Judy shows in some places. Some organisations such as the Scout movement will also celebrate this day.

St. Andrew’s Day is now a public holiday in Scotland. If the day falls on the weekend then the following Monday is a day off. On this day various aspects of Scottish culture are celebrated with traditional music, dancing and food and drink.

On St. David’s Day, parades take place throughout Wales, celebrating Welsh culture and heritage. People can be seen wearing daffodils and even leeks, as well as traditional dress. Dishes such as lamb, Welsh rarebit and cawl (soup) are eaten on this day.

St. Patrick’s Day is not just celebrated in Ireland but also by large numbers of people around the world who have Irish ancestry. Many people can be seen wearing green coloured clothes as well as shamrocks. Numerous parades are held, with notable ones in Dublin, New York, Chicago and Birmingham. In recent years there has been an emphasis placed on giving more prominence to the Irish language. Naturally, large quantities of Guinness are drunk on this day!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

English For PAs And Secretaries: Top Tips, Recommended Courses and Material

PAs And Secretaries: Studying English In Portsmouth (Hampshire)

You have succeeded in getting the job as PA to the boss of a large company. You used your best English and you beat many other candidates. Now you have to do the job! What language will you need? How can you ensure that your English is actually good enough?

This article will discuss the essential language needed, how to survive and how you can improve your English skills.

What skills does a PA need?’ Google gives this answer:
"Duties, Responsibilities, & Functions. A personal assistant helps with time and daily management, scheduling of meetings, correspondence, and note-taking. The role of a personal assistant can be varied, such as answering phone calls, taking notes, scheduling meetings, emailing, texts etc."

We can see that a PA’s position is to ensure the smooth running of the office and to take care of the manager’s diary. So if we break this down, the main skills are:

  • Answering the telephone, writing emails and letters and making arrangements
In an English context this mainly translates into telephone English, email and written English and general business English.

To increase your general business English, in the context of your job will require work on your part. What is the company you will work for? Which department will you be in? What will be the subject area? Try and break it down into manageable areas.

For example, if your new job is in an electronics firm, and your job is in the training department, you will need to know which products they work on, which will be easy enough to find out, and then the language surrounding ‘training’ which you can find by searching on the internet. This is probably the easiest area of language to organise. Generally, company websites have all the main language used by their company in their ‘about’ section. If not all, it will give a good indication of where you may have gaps in your knowledge.

Using the telephone in English is very challenging for many foreign students. Speaking on the telephone is a particular skill, particularly important for many professionals, and made more difficult because of having no facial gestures to guide you. When we speak face to face, we use a lot more than just the words spoken to understand the message. It has been said that only 7% of communication is actual words, and the rest of the message is body language, gestures, facial signs, head nods etc. However true the statistics are, it is certainly true that understanding the other person on the telephone is a great deal more difficult than speaking face to face.

So, how can you improve your performance on the telephone? The following are a few tips that we give our students when they come on our business English courses here in LSI Portsmouth, and can really make a difference.

  • Listen to the Radio. It doesn’t really matter which station you listen to, and you don’t really need to concentrate, it just needs to be playing in the background, so subconsciously your ears ‘tune in’ to the ‘melody’ of the language. You will find after a month or two you can follow spoken English at a much faster pace.
  • Prepare. Think about the conversation you are going to have. Try and predict the questions you might be asked and then have the answers ready. Think about the language and vocabulary you might need.
  • Pinterest – Yes really. Type ‘Telephone English’ in the search bar and you will find lots and lots of suggestions with ‘set phrases’ you can use on the telephone.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat, once, twice, three times, as many times as necessary. If you cannot understand the phrase they are saying, ask them to use other words. Tell them you don’t understand. The aim is to understand, not to pretend you understand.
  • Finally, ensure you use a lot of ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ when you are speaking to native English speakers, then even if your English is not perfect, they will know that you are trying to be polite.

Email writing – the principles are very similar.

  • Read! Read as much as you can. The more you read the more your brain will recognise the order of the words. Read emails from native speakers, underline phrases that you keep seeing and make a note of them.
  • Keep your emails short, the shorter they are the fewer mistakes you are likely to make.
  • Pinterest – again it is a fantastic resource for set phrases, and it’s free, type in the search bar: ‘Email English’.
  • Again use a lot of ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ if you are writing to a native speaker, and they will know you are trying to be polite even if you are making mistakes in your grammar.

Of course, another very effective way to improve your professional English is to ask if you can be sent on a Business English course, one where they teach English for PAs and secretaries and the communication skills that are required. Here at LSI Portsmouth we run a variety of professional courses, and one specifically for PAs and Secretaries, where they improve their English for telephoning, email writing, general business English as well as meeting skills and presentation skills. Many companies see this as an investment in their professionals, they know that the skill of speaking English is invaluable in today’s workplace, and it is not easy to learn corporate English in a general English classroom. However, often a company will want to invest in employees who have already proven their worth with a few years loyal service under their belt. Therefore, if the opportunity is not available at the start of your job, putting the suggestions above into practice should certainly help you manage your position.

Friday, 17 November 2017

British Culture: The NHS and What it Means to British People

Why We Love The NHS

If you ask any group of British people which institution they are most proud of, most would probably say the NHS, the abbreviation for the National Health Service.

Founded in 1948, the NHS was one of the world’s first health services which was founded on a national basis, bringing together all medical practitioners and services in one organisation. Before it was set up if people wanted to see a doctor or have an operation in a hospital, they had to pay for it. One of the three founding principles of the NHS has always been that it is free at the point of delivery. Quite simply this means that if you have ‘Ordinary Resident Status’ in the UK, whenever you go to see a doctor, if you need to stay in hospital, have an operation or use many other, though not all, related services, you won’t need to pay for anything.

Quite a few people, however, also take out private medical insurance or if they work for certain companies they may be given it as part of their remuneration package. This allows people to access private medical services. Increasing numbers of people, if they can afford these services, have turned to private medicine as waiting times to access NHS services can be quite long, whether it is to see a GP (General Practitioner) or to have an operation.

In recent years there has been a lot of financial pressure on the NHS, particularly in A & E (Accident and Emergency), when it comes to investing in new equipment, employing more doctors and nurses and spending on the latest treatments and medicines. Nevertheless, most patients who use the NHS are happy with their experience of using it.

The NHS is publicly funded, mainly through general taxation, though some money comes from National Insurance (Social Security) contributions and some comes from foreign visitors who pay fees for certain services.

Prescriptions, which you get from a doctor, and which allow you to get medicine which is not ‘over the counter’, result in a charge for many people. A number of groups of people, however, get their prescriptions for free, for example if you are under 16 or over 60, are pregnant or if you are receiving certain state benefits.

Though the NHS faces many challenges now and in the future, most British people, of whatever political persuasion, are likely to continue to be very supportive of the organisation, for what it provides and what it has achieved.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Improve Your English and Cultural Knowledge - Rooftop Interview with Gino

How to Improve Your IELTS Score and Have Fun, ask Gino.

Ask any teacher and they will tell you that each and every student is special in their own way.  Each one in the class makes their presence felt somehow.  Some, make a particularly big impact.  One of these 'big impact' students is Gino Petronio. 

Gino first came to LSI Portsmouth in May, and integrated instantly with Portsmouth and any activity he could.  Everyone in the school knows Gino, he is always smiling and always ready to talk.  

Gino comes from Ascoli Piceno, about 200 kms from Rome in Italy.  He was working in his family's business before coming here, but his plan is to follow a PhD in International Relations at the University of Portsmouth next year.  To be able to join the PhD programme he needed to acquire a score of 6 overall on his IELTS, which with a lot of IELTS exam preparation and dedication Gino managed.

In the video below, Gino explains why he likes Portsmouth, LSI Portsmouth and studying here. He also wanted to mention a few particular people who he feels particularly helped him. We have loved having him stay with us, and want to wish him the absolute best for his future, he richly deserves it.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

LSI PORTSMOUTH Cements Old and Forges New Relationships in Russia

Our Vice Principal Lea Brophy and our Senior Marketing Executive Emma Hoyle have just returned from an intensive but very successful trip to Russia, where they were able to create many new partnerships for LSI Portsmouth. There was also time to enjoy the very warm hospitality that Russians do so well :-)

During the trip, Lea and Emma met with the Free Economics Society (FES) of Russia – with Margarita Ratnikova and Ekaterina Philippenkova in Moscow as well as St Petersburg region Executive Director Aleksandr Zolotarev. This included Lea giving a TV interview discussing such varied topics as technology in language training and the future of cryptocurrencies. Lea was honoured to be asked to become a committee member, joining such illustrious recent members as James Galbraith (the renowned economist, currently Professor at the University of Texas at Austin) and Peter Nolan (expert on Chinese economic relations and fellow of Cambridge University). LSI Portsmouth will offer other members their support and expertise in the area on English language training and professional development.

LSI have had a successful cooperation with the Institute of Economics and Finance of MIIT, the prestigious Russian University of Transport for many years, working with both students on General and Academic English courses and with lecturers on Professional Development programmes. Lea and Emma gave a presentation to staff and students – pictured here with students and with Lev Rybakov 
(Deputy Director in charge of International Affairs) and Yana Podoplelova (Principal Lecturer and International Officer).

Lea and Emma also met with valued partners at the Financial University in Moscow and RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration).

We were also honoured to meet with the Union of Scientific and Engineering Associations, pictured here with Lea and Emma. L-R Olga Boksha (USEA), Ekaterina Philippenkova (FES Moscow Region), Sergey Drukarenko (Vice-President of USEA), Emma, Lea, Kirill Korovitsin (USEA), Andrey Yaminsky (Bauman Moscow State Technical University).

The Vice-President of the FES, Ekaterina Philippenkova, was our gracious host for much of the trip, facilitating meetings and introducing us to some wonderful new partners. Ekaterina also put her language experience at LSI to good use by translating in many meetings – we were very impressed and very proud :-)
picture below shows Ekaterina on the right, with key staff in the International Department at the St Petersburg University of Management and Economics, where Lea was invited to open a new faculty building.

The trip finished in the wonderful city of Tambov, where the State University were wonderful hosts to our team, who had the opportunity to meet both the Rector Vladimir Stromov (pictured below) and the Dean of the Faculty of Philology and Journalism Sergei Khudiakov and their enthusiastic team.

Of course, it wasn’t all just work! We had some wonderful evenings with some LSI friends. Below left shows Lea and Emma wearing yak coats going into an ice bar to enjoy vodka at -15° - with LSI’s very great old friend Dmitry who was their gracious host for the unforgettable evening.

Another special memory was a visit to a museum in St Petersburg featuring art from revolution and Soviet-era posters with our dear friend Ekaterina.  With the 100-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it was fascinating to look at such dramatic events in history and the amazing art the period produced.

Thank you to everyone we met for their warm welcome and we look forward to seeing you all in Portsmouth soon :-)

Thursday, 26 October 2017

We are LSI Portsmouth English Club

We have revamped our group on Facebook to become an English club.

Here at LSI Portsmouth we love the English language. Our aim is to give our students the best experience they can have while they are here, give them the best tools possible to continue with their English and give them the best social experience while staying with us.

So we thought we would roll all of this into one online place:

We know that students often have questions to ask that they just can't in class or don't have time to. So we thought the best answer would be to have a little collegiate group where they can help each other. This will be a place where students can come and ask their questions about English; tenses, vocabulary, question forms, prepositions, in fact, anything that confuses them.

We realise that sometimes it just isn't possible for the teacher to answer every single student's question, or maybe the question comes up over the weekend. So we are hoping that this becomes a community area for students to ask and help each other.

Sometimes a teacher may answer a question, but essentially this is for the students, old, existing or future ;-)

Here is the link

Friday, 20 October 2017

How To Choose Your Ideal Location To Study English In England?

When trying to decide where you want to study English in the UK, we understand it can be a little overwhelming. With so many cities to visit and so many schools to choose from, how do you decide? Here’s our little guide to help you with your decision…

Big or Small City?

You may realise by now that there are many English courses in the South of England. One question you may want to ask yourself is whether you want to stay in a big or small city. Of course, London is the largest city in the South of England, which also means it is very busy. If you like the atmosphere of a capital city, then maybe London will suit you. However, many students prefer to have all the amenities of a large city but prefer a place that is a lot less busy and crowded.
Portsmouth is a great city in this regard. There is everything you could possibly need, such as great nightlife, shopping, history and culture and great local transport links. However, the streets are less crowded, and most things are within walking distant. Students often feel very involved with the community and quickly adapt to the lifestyle of the city. It’s also not too small, so you will never get bored, for this reason, a lot of students choose to learn English in Portsmouth.

Countryside or Coast?

When searching for English courses in the South of England, ask yourself this question. Do you want to be by the sea, or would you prefer to be in the English Countryside? Portsmouth is a city on the coast, so you can always be close to the wonderful British seaside. However, Portsmouth is located within Hampshire County, renowned for its beautiful countryside. A few stops on a train and you can visit a traditional English village, or take a long walk along a river.

Traditional or Modern?

Another thing to consider when looking for an English course in the South of England is whether you want your location to be traditional or modern. Portsmouth is a very modern city, with a huge student population and a great, lively atmosphere, it is a great place to learn English. Gunwharf Quays is a modern leisure and retail complex, home to the impressive Spinnaker Tower, The Marina, and loads of modern bars and restaurants. However, Portsmouth is also famous for its rich naval history. Portsmouth city has the Historic Dockyards, lots of museums and ‘Old Portsmouth’, the traditional, old part of town. Whether it’s traditional or modern you’re looking for, Portsmouth has the best of both worlds.

We hope this guide has helped! If you have any more questions about Portsmouth, or about English courses in the South of England, please feel free to email us at [email protected]

Friday, 13 October 2017

British Culture - 9 Things that Make Britain Different to the Rest of the World.

Continuing our series on British Culture: 

A Few Little Differences

A few little differences

In an increasingly global world it can be difficult to see the differences between countries, but if you look closely you can always find them. Here’s a few you might come across in the UK.

  • Driving on the left! Perhaps because we are an island the Brits have never seen the need to go over to driving on the right. However, we are not alone. 76 other countries and territories also drive on this side of the road, including several in Europe (Ireland, Cyprus and Malta).
  • Talking about driving, when on the road you should remember that all distances are measured in miles and not kilometres. There are about 1.6 kilometres to the mile. Very few countries still use this form of measurement though the United States still does.
  • Like in most of the rest of the world, when you stop at a petrol station you will buy your petrol in litres. Naturally, some Brits still insist on using the old measurement when calculating liquids, which is the gallon. There are about 4.5 litres to the gallon. 
  • By law, all shops must calculate weight in kilos and grams. However, a lot of Brits still like to use the old Imperial forms such as stones, pounds and ounces. There are 12 ounces in a pound, 14 pounds in a stone. Easy to understand, isn’t it? OK, to understand it more clearly there are about 2.2 pounds in a kilo.
  • Generally, height is calculated in centimetres. Nevertheless, lots of people like to use the Imperial forms of feet and inches! There are 12 inches in a foot. What does this mean?? Well there are 30 centimetres in a foot. Clear??
  • When you are in a pub, do not say when ordering drinks ‘I’d like a beer, please’. The bartender might start laughing! Instead use the correct size of glass as well as the name of the beer you would like. So, for example, you might say ‘I’d like a pint of Carlsberg, please’. If you wanted a smaller size you could say ‘I’d like half a pint of Carlsberg, please’. One pint is about 0.56 litres. Still clear??
  • Opening times tend to be shorter in the UK. Most shops open at 9.00am and close at between 5.30 – 6.00pm, though most supermarkets stay open for longer as do many shops in London and other large cities. Unlike in a lot of countries many shops are also open on a Sunday. Pub opening times tend to be 11.00am to 11.00pm, though in recent years a lot of pubs stay open until midnight or even later, especially in the big cities.
  • Remember that British electricity sockets take a three prong plug compared to the two prong variety used in many other countries. You will need to buy an adaptor if you want to use your electrical equipment here.
  • Though more modern bathrooms are different, many wash-basins and baths still come with separate taps for hot and cold water. Do not worry, they are really easy to use!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Hello Sophie - Good Bye Elly

Little mini quiz game at the end of this blog

We are so sad to be saying Goodbye to Elly this week, and Hello to Sophie.
Back in 2015, Sophie joined us working in Admissions and then for a short time as Reception Officer. She is therefore already quite familiar with the ways of the school. The oddest thing is that she sounds just like Elly on the phone ;-)

Sophie has come to us from a stint of travelling and working in London and while she has big shoes to fill, we know she will and we want to say a huge 'welcome' to her.

We are really genuinely sad to be saying goodbye to our lovely Elly. Elly has been with us since 2010, first as a teacher and then as Reception Manager. For anyone who doesn't know Elly, she may be little but she is a massive powerhouse of energy, efficiency, sage advice and attention to detail, and just an all-round joy to know.

She has given all of us pause for thought as she is leaving to go to Australia and is starting up a new business! Proofreading (on the road). Initially, she is heading to Perth, but the plan is to get a van and to drive off into the sunset - proofreading on the way.

This is her new website

We couldn't see Elly leave without a good send-off:

Bye Bye (sob sob) Elly - Hello and huge welcome Sophie.

A little PS
Elly featured quite heavily in our 'We are Happy LSI Portsmouth video - have a watch and see how many times you can see her ;-)

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

LSI Social Programme - A Day In London - We Do Have Fun!

A Day In London with the Students

We know that the best way to improve someone's English is for them to have fun and lots of practice.  This is why we arrange such a wide variety of fun things for the students to do.  By visiting different parts of the south of England, our students get to practise their English, learn about our culture, make new friends and generally have a good time.

Our Social Programme organisers really know how to throw a party!  The students always have such a great time.  We thought we would make a little video to give an idea of some of the things that happen on a day out with the students.  In this video we are visiting one of the most iconic places in the south of England - London.  See just how many landmarks and 'quintessentially' British things you can see. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Thank You for Thanking Us

We love hearing from our students when they leave.  This is a little message that was sent to us via Instagram from Patty. She stayed with us from August to September following a joint General English and Business English course.  Her teachers loved her (as they do all their students) and it looks like the feeling was mutual.
Below is what was posted on Instagram.

teachers and students posing

Dear @LSIPortsmouthteachers:

T-H-A-N-K-S. I've enjoyed every minute with you, every difficult question (sorry, Adam!), every discussion (sorry, Jenni!), every Cadbury bar (sorry, Jeremy!), every discovery about the origin of the English language (wow, Peter!), every comment and suggestion on my Instagram project (thank you Neil) and thanks thanks THANKS to all of you (+ Ceri, Dave, Ted, Stuart, Leon...) for this incredible experience!!!
This school is very lucky because counts with you: passionate people, who for me are more than teachers, for me are 'MAESTROS' (*Spanish alert). You're masters, guides, authentic communicators with a big talent to empathize. I don't know what I'm going to live in US the next 3 weeks, but you have left the level quite high ;-)
Please, never change the way you enjoy and share with us this extremely generous work
🙌🏼 Hugs,

neils..Thank you, Patty. It's been a pleasure to work with you. Enjoy those beaches!
patty..@neils I'll do it!! 💪😊Thanks again!!!!!
d.w..Great post Patty! Absolutely agree 👍🏻
mari..Make your words mines! They are the best! PS: loved Jeremy giving a round in its chair hahaha... Already missing everything!
ferr..So true ! 👍
lsiportsmouth @patty thank you for that!! I have put a copy on Peter's desk (lovely photo) and a copy on the teacher's notice board. Really appreciate your words!! xxx
patty..@lsiportsmouth ohhh great! I hope they like it! There are more pics on my post (to the right) from Jeremy, Adam, Neil... hugs from San Francisco!! 🤗
catt..Oh I love that photo of Peter! So nice