Monday 29 April 2013

'Where ever I lay my hat, that's my home'

Announcing: our second self catering student house is now open!

Traditionally LSI has offered our student's accommodation either with a host family or in a hotel. Last year, when we opened the doors of Victoria Road student house, we launched a new concept in LSI's housing, that of self catering accommodation.  We are now delighted to announce that we have another self catering house open to our students.  In the heart of Southsea, this house is perfectly situated for calm and easy access to the school while at the same time being close enough to the areas to go for night life.  For the student who would like a little independence this is the perfect solution.

Monday 22 April 2013

Spam Alert - One of the problems of Blogging

Slightly controversial but, I thought this might interest some!  One of the problems of writing a blog is that you can get caught in the radar of the Spammers!  One of the ways people try to get more people to read their blogs and get traffic is to write a comment on a blog and ask for the reader to visit their website.  The English in question is usually 'very interesting' and I thought it might be fun to show some of the many  comments we have received.  Spot the translation errors! ;-)  As a language school, the English used here is very interesting to look at.

Update note:  A further update - if you find any of these posted in your comments - do copy and paste a section of it to google  - you'll be amazed at how many of them have just been plastered on hundreds and hundreds of sites.  So far the most I counted was the same comment on 250 other blogs - I then lost interest - but have since tended to do that as a check if I am at all suspicious.
From a very humourous post on spammers
(click the picture to read the whole post)

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So, just a few of them.  Good for a wry smile if nothing else. Do please leave a comment ;-)

(Just a 'by the way' - Unfortunately the ability to comment has had to be changed because of this, and the security level has been raised - but genuine comments can still be left)

Friday 12 April 2013

From A Students View

We have a guest blogger this week: Hyunjoo from South Korea has kindly written about how she finds Portsmouth and LSI.

"My name is Hyunjoo and I’m from South Korea. I’m now studying for the Cambridge Exam which I believe to be very effective in improving my English ability. But if I put aside the course itself, there are still many things I appreciate staying here. One of them is that I can meet many international students at school. There are many students with various nationalities, races and ethnic groups. Studying with them isn’t just about meeting foreign people. We can share our different cultural backgrounds and sometimes comparing their things to mine enables me to be open to different values. When the weather gets warmer, I go out to the nearest park with friends. 
(The location of LSI is quite nice!!)

It’s been over 3 months since I started at LSI. From the first week I arrived, I have tried to find a chance to meet more and more British people to improve my  English ability. I searched many chances for that and looking back, I think the best is that I found a house to live with University students. Now I live with 3 students who all speak English. It’s really nice that I can chat with them in English. Every day, when I go back home, I can build up friendships with people from different cultures and communicate in English. Considering that my main goal of coming to the UK was to have more chance to speak in English, I think it’s been really successful until now. And even if I didn’t find that kind of chance, I wouldn’t regret the decision to come here. Because it’s always good chance to mix with different cultures.
Times with them are precious moments for me
Friends that I live with are not that outgoing but usually calm. We make dishes together. And one day, I prepared a Korean dish for them. It was one of the special moments I had. I think the best helping factor that enables me to adopt to a new circumstance is native friends. And when I rate my current life here based on that view, I think I’ve been very lucky."

I was relieved that they liked Korean food!!
Thank you Hyunjoo - really interesting to read it from a students perspective - and your English is brilliant!

Monday 8 April 2013

A Perfect Ten

Absolutely delighted to announce that we have officially become members of TEN (The English Network), a very selective group of many of the very best UK language schools.  What this means for us is that we will be working more closely with a great group of top quality schools and people who we really trust and will be able to share ideas and good practice that will help us to make LSI Portsmouth even better!

This is how they describe TEN:

“In 2010 a small group of well-respected and internationally renowned English language school leaders formed The English Network (TEN). This network of like-minded and dedicated professionals has trust at its core. For over 400 years we have, between us, delivered courses and a service that clients can depend on. High standards, professionalism and honesty are key values for each TEN member.
The members of TEN are now working together to share and develop their expertise for the benefit of each member and their clients. Members share information and advice on best practice. There is a common commitment to recommend, assist and advise agents and students on all aspects of English language study.
TEN offers agents the chance to work with a selection of trusted, reliable, independent English language schools. TEN offers the student great schools, popular locations and above all a guaranteed valuable and memorable student experience”

Wednesday 3 April 2013

How to make £1200 in 15 minutes


How to Come Down to Earth with a Bang

To update how our two brave warriors fared on their trip up the tower for charity, they have each written an account of their descent, so intheir own words starting with Angela:


The Spinnaker Tower viewing platform is an impressive 100 metres high and let me tell you that it seems even higher when you’re standing up there and looking down! - This was what was going through my mind when we were about to climb over the edge and start our descent. Incidentally, climbing over the edge was the most difficult part of the whole experience as all we were climbing onto was a thin ledge! From there, we just needed to courageously let go and trust the harnesses we’d been strapped into to hold us! Once we’d let go and let the rope take our weight, I decided it was probably best not to look down again and off we went. We were able to speak to each other on the way down and even did some singing to distract ourselves from the altitude! - It was really good fun. Apart from being blown around a little by a few strong gusts of wind, it was a smooth descent. As we neared the bottom, our friends and family below began singing “Happy birthday” to Hannah which was a really lovely moment. It only took a mere 12 minutes to complete and as we touched the ground I felt a great sense of achievement. We had done it and thanks to all our sponsors, raised over £1000 for The Stroke Association!


Dangling precariously from Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower 100m off the ground was not how I would have expected to be spending my 27th birthday; but I have to say it was the best and most memorable one I’ve ever had.

When Angela asked our office’ Does anyone fancy abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower for charity?’ I never pictured me being the one to go through with it! I’m certainly not famed amongst my friends for being particularly brave or thrill-seeking (you’re talking to the girl who cried on the magic carpet ride at Thorpe Park aged 21!!); however when I discovered the charity was the Stroke Association, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I was even further convinced when they told us that they had two spaces available on 23rd March – my birthday! It felt like it was meant to be.

I can’t say I felt quite so convinced when I awoke on the morning of my birthday, but I decided to tell myself that the feeling in my stomach was that of excited butterflies, and not the nauseating sense of impending doom!

Still riding on this wave of ‘excitement’, I arrived at the Spinnaker Tower all wrapped up (it was bitterly cold) and raring to go. I have to say that seeing Angela arrive wearing the same manic expression made me feel somewhat better. We took the lift to the viewing platform, accompanied by an instructor and two other abseilers. At this point I’d like to mention that Angela and I had been assured on various occasions that we would be ‘tethered to a professional at all times’ and a large part of our confidence that we could do this was rooted in this vital piece of information. Imagine our dismay when were told (as we stepped into our harnesses) that we would be going it alone!! Luckily they instructors said we could go down at the same time, as long as we made sure the ropes didn’t get tangled.

Clinging to the knowledge that we were very much in this together, we proceeded to the start point of the abseil along with our companions. The starting platform resembled something like a plank on a pirate ship, a narrow space jutting out of the tower at 100m surrounded by ropes and cables; and I must admit that I did feel as though I might well be walking to my death as I carefully stepped out into the open air. I followed the instructions to the letter and said cheerfully to the instructor ‘I am absolutely terrified you know’ as I stepped over the barrier and was fully suspended from the tower. He assured me that it was quite safe, and sure enough as I let go of the handrail, I was happy to discover that I did not tumble to my death.

Now, I thought that stepping over the edge would be the hard bit. ‘I’ll be fine once I get over, I’m going to look down and enjoy the view’ I said confidently to my friends in the days leading up to the event. Let me tell you that everything changes when you’re up there. I don’t have a problem with heights and I've never suffered from vertigo, but that tower is HIGH. It’s very, very high. I became acutely aware of this fact as I dangled patiently, waiting for Angela to be strapped in and released from the platform to join me. I think those may have been the longest two minutes of my life. I most certainly did not look down. As I saw her feet carefully making their way down the wall, my spirits lifted and I knew we would be fine. We sang birthday songs and had a good old chat along the way to take our minds off the sheer magnitude of what we were doing. A real highlight for me was when Angela said ‘Can we just stop a minute?’ so we stopped ‘We are abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower Hannah! Can you believe it?!’ It was truly incredible. As we finally neared the bottom, I could hear a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ start up, accompanied by shouts of ‘Come on girls! You can do it!’

As the instructor at the bottom of the Tower carefully lowered me into the chair I couldn’t keep the smile from my face ‘I did it! And it’s my birthday!!’
He told me that I was the happiest abseiler he’d ever seen. 

And the grand total - although there is still a little to come in was (drum roll) £1200!!