Friday 25 April 2014

We are Happy at LSI Portsmouth ;-) The story of our video

Happy at LSI

Here is our video, showing what a great place this is to work and study.  To read more of how this happened see below.

Day of Happiness Website
Action for Happiness Website
In July 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a groundbreaking resolution which recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes... happiness and well-being of all peoples”. In April 2012 the first ever UN conference on Happiness took place in New York and in July 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted a further resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness was to be observed every year on 20 March. It was celebrated for the first time in 2013.
So we decided to join in and make a video with our school. Circumstances stopped us making it in time for the 20th March, however we believed that it was better to be late and 'happy' than never.

Once we decided to go ahead, we found we were suddenly on a roller coaster. We posted an invitation on our Facebook page inviting everyone to get involved and letting them know that we would be filming on the Friday.  The response was tremendous, suddenly there was a real buzz around the school, with students asking how and when and where.  A lot of students were practising moves and teaching their colleagues (and teachers).  And so Friday 4th April arrived.  

Of course with an international school such as ours, and so many different cultures involved, we were mindful that it might not be appropriate for everyone.  We set up a barrier in the area of filming and told everyone that in front of the barrier was the filming area and behind was a 'safe' zone.  This worked beautifully, and while those in front were really happy to be filmed there were also many others behind who either watched or danced along, but in the knowledge that they would not end up on YouTube ;-).
The logistics meant that of course some teachers and staff were on holiday, however we knew that we needed to get it done in one day otherwise it would be a never ending project and would never be finished.  And so in one day we made our video.

We are just delighted that so many participated and had so much fun.  We are grateful to all the students, teachers and staff who were involved, our Principal who was so enthusiastic for this to go ahead, the UN for such a great idea, but most of all to Pharrell Williams for the opportunity to experience such a happy day.

If you would like to read more of the background to the day, to donate or to get ideas on how to make life happier, see the links below.

If you have 24 hours to spare or are just curious - watch the 24 hour round the world video, showing how the world got involved!

24 hours of happiness video
Finally - if you would like to see Pharrell Williams' reaction to all the many 'Happy' videos, then click below to go to Oprah Winfrey's video clip and interview - it's a joy to watch. '

"Pharrell Sobs Tears Of Joy While Watching The World Dance To ‘Happy’ "

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Down Under - Andrew in Australia

Life as the principal of a large international language school is very hard; pressure, stress, decisions, problems, to name but a few.  Our poor principal Andrew Edwards has had more than his fair share, and added to that he was forced to go to Australia recently for the annual IALC (International Association of Language Centres ) workshop in Brisbane.  

While he was there he attended about 40 meetings with major international agencies from all around the world, (Switzerland, Korea, Italy, Turkey, Peru, Thailand, etc.)  He also attended some very interesting and useful professional development seminars and workshops on the subject of the language travel industry.  It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and get to know many professionals in the industry and he was delighted to be able to share best practice with some of the world's leading language schools. He told us, when he returned, how proud he was to get such amazing feedback from our partners on how well we as a school are doing.  

As you can see from the photos below, life was all work and very little opportunity to see much of the local attractions ;-)

(We understood he was bringing us a koala bear back, but apparently it got lost on the way!)

Friday 18 April 2014

Intern Position Available - Jallal is leaving us ;-(

Intern Position Available

We are looking for an intern (or maybe two or three) to help us in reception over the Summer period.

Your English level would be Upper Intermediate level or above, you are keen to get some experience in an English speaking environment and would like to experience English culture.  Ideally you will be comfortable with data entry, have good reception skills and good interpersonal skills. You will have a good level of English and find working with foreign students and English people enjoyable.
You will help students when they first arrive, help with enquiries, assist with other tasks in the school as and when necessary.  There is also the option to join in helping with the social activities for which you would earn extra money.
Hours of work:
Monday 8.30 – 5.30
Tuesday to Friday 9.00 – 5.30
(with an hour for lunch)
For the Summer period (June to late August and possibly longer)
Pay and options:
There are a few options:

1)     Pay of £50 per week – no accommodation or lessons
2)     No pay but half day English lessons in exchange for half day work
3)     There is a limited option of managing a student house in exchange for your accommodation, then working half day in exchange for English lessons.
If you are interested in applying or knowing more about this position, please send your Curriculum Vitae
Subject:  Summer work experience

Jallal Osmani, 19, has been with us working as an Intern since last autumn.  He was lovely enough to tell us a bit about himself, his typical day and his feelings on the experience of being an intern:

“Originally I'm from Afghanistan but since 1999 I have lived in Switzerland. I live in the German part but we speak German and French.  I arrived here at LSI last October.

My typical day? As well as working in reception, I have also been managing one of the student houses since January.  On a typical day I need to answer student’s questions or show the new students round the place or get them to school.  I also explain the rules and how to do things. I show them the area and where to buy things, that kind of thing. I don’t have to do the cleaning but I organise it. We are not very strict ;-).  Before I used to go to the morning exam classes which was Use of English and listening skills, but now I have swapped and go to the afternoon classes in order to prepare my writing for the CAE exam.  In reception it depends on whether I’m working in the mornings or the afternoons.  On Mondays it is always busy, we need to get the students to the classrooms and explain how everything is in the school. Then we need to scan all the details and put them in the data base. We do the student letters, bank or police registration letters and things like that.  Other jobs are doing the coffees and stuff for the executive side and also looking after the deliveries and putting the items in the right place.

Do I think my English has improved? Yes really a lot.  I think because of both the lessons and working here, I'm always speaking English, even when not in school.

What I enjoy most is the fact that I'm always meeting new people from all over the world, you get to know all the different cultures and countries and the way they think and act, it is really impressive. And I think what has been most useful about my time here has been the experience, because I'm quite young, it’s the first time I've done something like this, and also being apart from my family but of course I really miss my family and friends.

I would really recommend this kind of thing.  It’s really useful to have classes and half day working, and working with Elly (Reception manager) is really nice, all the people in reception are nice.  I will miss the people here, some of them I have got to know really well, and I hope we keep in touch."

Jalall in the kitchen ;-)

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Brand New Clip Available - Pronunciation of P and B

Craig's clip is now available on line - perfect for students who have problems with P and B.
Check out his video - it's great.
(to watch click the tab above or click here)

Friday 11 April 2014

Want to know why we love Southsea?

Because on a beautiful day this is what it looks like!:

Camber Quay, Old Portsmouth

Camber Quay, Old Portsmouth

Old Portsmouth and the Solent

Portsmouth Cathedral over the rooftops

Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf

Figurehead of HMS Marlbourgh at Gunwharf

Looking at Gunwharf from Old Portsmouth

Wednesday 9 April 2014

The Bookseller's Visit

We had a lovely morning today when our friends from Keltic online visited us. For many years we have had our executive and ESP English books supplied by Keltic.  When we order our books, this is done on the telephone.  We don't get to meet our suppliers very often so we were delighted to welcome Hugh and Laurie down today as they visited Portsmouth and dropped in to see us. It was the first time we have met Laurie in person, but  it was like meeting an old friend. We had a good catch up over coffee in Le Cafe Parisien downstairs from the school and then we showed them around the school. Before they left, they showed us some of the latest books on offer and as you can see below, we now have a lovely new selection of new books to look through.

Laurie and Hugh
Laurie and Sue
A few of the books we have been left to look at.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

LSI-Portsmouth Online is now Active and Raring to Go

After months of preparation we are really pleased to announce that our 
LSI-Portsmouth Online learning platform is live and ready to go.

At LSI we have always prided ourselves on trying to offer the latest methods of learning to our students, to help them with their studies.  From starting online teaching back in 2000 (before technology was really ready for it) to today issuing our Executive students with mp3 player libraries.  We have wanted to offer online learning for a long time now, but wanted to be sure the platform we chose for them, was the very best we could find, and we think this is it.

A lot of preparation has gone on behind the scenes, but today is the day - and here we go!

This is what students now see when they go to our main website:

You can now study online before you arrive at LSI Portsmouth and continue to study with us online during your stay, and also for 3 months after you leave the school - all for free!New materials are available weekly - just choose your level and the activity you wish to do. You can study what you want, where you want and when you want. There is also an exam practice section to help you study for the exam of your choice (for example, IELTS or Cambridge).
... You can also link LSI-Portsmouth Online to your Facebook page if you wish and make friends with other students who are studying or have studied at LSI Portsmouth.

With LSI-Portsmouth Online, you can use the following:
  • Flash Point - Weekly authentic reading with exercises (click on: General, Detailed, Vocabulary, Word List)
  • Study Plan - Improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Exam Practice – Help improve your skills for your chosen exam (IELTS, FCE, CAE or CPE)

We are really looking forward to showing all our students our new learning system, and we also have quite a few plans in the pipeline to add - watch this space....

Two ways to get to the site:

LSI Online
Direct:  Guided E Learning