Tuesday 10 July 2012

Suzie Coates - going up in the world

A hugely deserved promotion was announced last month to Suzie Coates – our new Senior Teacher Trainer for GE.

Suzie is really popular with staff and teachers alike and we were all delighted for her getting the recognition she deserves.  In her new role she will be giving more workshops to the staff and along with ADOS Lewis will be in charge of teacher development and mentoring for the General English teachers.

For the last 10 years, Suzie has been teaching and has been in countries as diverse as Hungary, Australia, Egypt and the UK. She says “Meeting people and learning about other cultures is the best thing about being a TEFL teacher.
“My most memorable experience in teaching? That would probably be celebrating New Year in Australia with Japanese and Swiss students back in 2004 and then getting chucked in the pool!”

We asked Suzie what advice she would give to anyone thinking of going into teaching: “I would say find a school with a really good training programme if you can and then work really hard for the first couple of years.  After that it all falls into place.”

How does she see her future? “I’d like to continue all the things I love doing: skiing, diving, travelling and being outside.  Career-wise I have a DELTA but I think I would like at some point to do a Masters in some aspect of EFL, maybe looking at the psychological side of learning”

The scoop! Before she became a teacher, Suzie was a professional violinist.  And her claim to fame? “I appeared playing the violin in an Oscar winning film – ‘Shine’ but… if you blink you’ll miss me!”

Monday 2 July 2012

The Olympic Torch comes to Portsmouth

With the upcoming Olympics just a few weeks away, arrangements are being made all over the country for the competition and festivities . 
Our city of Portsmouth is being visited on the 15th and 16th July.

The history of the Olympic flame can be found here:

Check here, this link shows where the torch is each day.

To their advantage...

The second book was ‘IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills’, co-written by Lewis Richards, our General English Assistant Director of Studies, and Richard Brown a former LSI teacher who now works in Spain.  Both of whom have extensive teaching and training experience.

Richard and Lewis at the book signing in Cafe P last September

Lewis says: “IELTS Advantage is a book that aims to help students achieve a 6.5 or 7.0 (or more!) in the writing section of the IELTS exam.  Richard and I developed the ideas for the book over many years at LSI of writing our own materials to help students with writing.  We found that, although there are many good IELTS books on the market, what was missing was a step-by-step guide to all the different types of writing that students have to do in the exam.  After years of working together on materials, and trying them out in our classes, we decided to see if we could put them together in book.  IELTS Advantage has now been on sale for around nine months, and has proved really successful in helping students (either in classes, or by self-study) achieve a high writing score in the exam.  We’re currently writing a new book, this time an IELTS course book, which will focus on all four parts of the exam”

(Don't tell anyone but...Lewis spent a day recently showing screen shots of the fact that his book had a higher ranking on Amazon than Raymond Murphy's 'English Grammar in Use'!)
How Amazon puts it: 

Product Description

"IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills" is a fully comprehensive resource for passing the writing section of the IELTS exam with a grade of 6.5-7.0 or higher. Students are guided step-by-step through the different tasks in the writing module, using material developed in the classroom, by authors with many years' experience in helping hundreds of IELTS candidates achieve a high IELTS score. "IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills": shows students how to organise and structure an answer for all types of task 1 and 2 questions; contains a model essay in each unit, showing students exactly what is required; contains a general interest article in each unit, developing ideas and vocabulary for a common topic in the exam; quickly develops students' fluency and confidence in producing pieces of writing through a focus on academic vocabulary and collocations; and, contains grammar exercises in each unit, showing students how to apply a wide range of grammar items in their IELTS writing. Key features: suitable for classroom study or self-study; includes answer key; real writing samples from IELTS students, with examiners' comments, show in detail what is required to achieve a 6.5 , for example, frequent exam tips from the authors' experience as IELTS examiners help students achieve a higher score; and, check and challenge sections allow students to revise material and take their writing to the next level. "IELTS Advantage" is a series of course books offering step-by-step guidance to achieving a high IELTS score.

i have bought this book in 2011, and i am now preparing myself to take ielts exam and i need 7, this book is an amazing and informative book,which is teach you step by step,it is the best book i have ever bought for ielts ,one things which is not related to the author is the page 129 is missing which is a shame there are two more diagram in this page,guys you are brilliant, i wish i have known you in reality as i chose both of you as my teacher for ielts. thanks
please wish me high score

Although this book is not published by Cambridge University Press, it is the best writing guide for IELTS. Cambridge books seem to have neglected writing part of the exam, at least when it comes to aiming for band 7+. This wonderful book does job much better than they do. Collocations and phrases are the main characteristic of this excellent reference, but is not the only thing I adore. Sample essays and comments teach you as well. I've been struggling to understand rules of task 1, including a plan of this kind of essay. I purchased this outstanding book and everything changed. I feel more confident. Missing page is not a problem because the publisher attached this for my request. Worth buying and working through it!