Monday 15 July 2013

Views Around LSI - Part One

We thought it would be nice to show the world what you can see around LSI.  Portsmouth is essentially an island in the centre of the very south of England.  The island is made up of many areas, the oldest and most historical being Old Portsmouth.  (Read more here)
LSI is a two minute walk away from Old Portsmouth, and from the school (on the higher levels) you can see the sea.

The first mention of Portsmouth as a Naval town was in 286AD by a Roman captain sent to investigate piracy ;-). The history is pretty sketchy after that, but a thousand years or so later Portsmouth was well established as one of the best known Naval towns in the world. Home to the Royal Navy, it has an incredibly rich history, and although a lot was destroyed during the second world war, there is still a great deal standing.  Below are just a few highlights of what can be seen on a stroll round the old town.

The City Museum (previously a barracks)

Portsmouth Cathedral

The Old Harbour

The Bridge Tavern - by the Old Harbour

View of the Spinnaker Tower

The Bond of Friendship - a gift from Australia

Friday 12 July 2013

"LSI is the best school you can find, without a doubt!" - can't argue with that!

It's nice to get a student's perspective on what happens here at LSI, so straight from the horses mouth (so to speak) is Manuel's view of LSI and staying in Portsmouth (from an interview with Hannah Youell).

Manuel Fresco de la Frente

Hannah: Tell us a bit about your experience here at LSI Portsmouth;
Manuel: I arrived in Portsmouth without speaking a word of English; I was totally lost!
But from the moment I arrived I've been very happy here and my English started to improve straight away.
The teachers put me in the right level, and I was very happy with all the help they gave me.
The introduction on day one starts you with total cultural and linguistic immersion; you get the chance to speak English all the time with both the students and the teachers. This helps you to improve very quickly.

Hannah: And what about your accommodation?

Manuel: The student house in Victoria Road is amazing! The best place you can stay! Everything is perfect. Comfortable rooms, great beds, enough space for everything. The bathroom is nice, you just have to share it with one other person. The whole house is in perfect condition and there are loads of TV channels! Antonio the House Manager is a friend who I will miss very much.

Hannah: and the location?

Manuel: The house is in the best place in Portsmouth, next to LJR (Little Johnny Russell) and the Fat Fox - the 2 best pubs in town! There are supermarkets really close by, and you can find everything you need to live. Also it’s only about 15 minutes walk from the school.

Hannah: What do you like about living in Portsmouth?

Manuel: Portsmouth - I like it because it has sea, a university environment, amazing parties, friendly people, and there are plenty of supermarkets and shops close to the school and the student house. It’s got a great atmosphere.

Hannah: What did you enjoy about your classes here?

Manuel: I love my teacher Hugo, he’s really funny, we practice a lot of speaking in class, and we study grammar independently, working together with our classmates. The classes are very dynamic, you can learn a lot from your classmates. The mix of cultures is the best, there are people from all over the world and you can start planning your future holidays!

Hannah: Tell me about something you'll never forget about Portsmouth;

Manuel: My best unforgettable experience…… going to Skye Bar on Wednesdays for the club night Pure Culture: amazing R&B music and dancing with friends.

Hannah: Any advice for people who are coming to study here?

Manuel: Come in the summer if you can. This city feels like it would be very cool in the summer. In addition to the sea and live music, barbecues in the park ... wow!! ....
Hannah: Would you recommend LSI Portsmouth to a friend?
Manuel: LSI is the best school you can find, without a doubt! In addition you have access to everything you would ever need to study and live here.

Hannah: And finally, what do you think makes LSI such a special school?
Manuel: It’s a big school but it feels like a family: the teachers talk to you like friends, and they help you with everything, they remember you, always say hi to you around the school and they ask how you are. Just like if it was your family.

Thank you very much Manuel, it was a pleasure to have you studying with us and we’re so happy you had a fantastic time!

Friday 5 July 2013

A Day in the Life - Nicky Hayes

Another in our occasional guest posts from our teachers, this time Nicky Hayes.  Nicky has been working at LSI for about 4 years, mainly teaching the executives.

"Another day at LSI. Teachers arrive early because there are always last minute things to do before the students arrive. It’s a good time to exchange ideas and just generally talk about any issues that may have arisen the day before.
The students begin to arrive about 9.15, so the teacher has to make sure that the classroom is ready. Then at 9.25 the staff room empties as the teachers go to their classrooms.
For me it’s always on the upper floors, so it’s a climb up the stairs carrying books, handouts and another class materials ………... good exercise, that’s why I don’t take the lift.
The class runs until 10.45 when we have a break. Time for a coffee, very reviving. It also gives teachers and students a chance to mix and speak in an informal way (an ideal opportunity for teachers to check what the students have learned). Then it’s back to class until 12.15 when many people go straight to the cafeteria on the second floor for lunch. Good fresh food always available. During the lunchtime the teachers not only prepare lessons, but also have time for social chit chat.
The afternoon class starts at 1.45 (the pudding shift). As a teacher this is always the hardest class, as students have had a nice long break and eaten lunch so they are very relaxed. I usually motivate the students through proactive exercises where they have to lead.
After the afternoon coffee break at 3.15, the final class of the day, at least for me, is always the most fulfilling, as the students are always very focused after three classes and are totally ‘in English’.
At the end of the day, 4.30, teachers, including myself, take time to pass on any relevant information about the days events to their line managers. Then, it's time to bid a fond farewell to LSi for another day."

Nicky in a serious discussion - probably about golf!