Friday 27 November 2015

The Great South Run with Jenni, Lara and Annabelle.

At the end of October, thousands and thousands of people joined together to run ten miles for fun and for charity. The seafront was filled with runners, supporters, charities and volunteers. 

One of our teachers Jenni trained hard for months before to run for a charity very close to her heart DEBRA and with such determination managed to raise over £750 for her causeHer passion for the event persuaded two students in her class to also join in on the run.  Here is their story:

To see more details about the run click here to go to the official website

Thursday 26 November 2015

What a Fantastic Year So Far - Joel

2015 has proven to be a pretty good year so far for Joel.

He has just been promoted to be the GE / Exams Assistant Director of Studies.

Joel joined LSI back in 2007, since then he has taught General English as well as IELTS and the Cambridge exams. He has taught in Mexico, Spain and here in Portsmouth, and so has a really broad experience of cultures.

With his new position Joel is excited to be part of helping others develop and make the best of their teaching, and also keen to develop his own skills as much as possible.

This year he studied for the Delta (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), passing it in the summer.  Not only that but he is also studying for an MA in Philosophy, and... earlier in the year moved into a new house that "needs loads of work". This is one industrious individual!

As well as all the other things Joel has achieved recently, he is also a very keen musician who plays the guitar and sings.  For some reason (;-) this has been put on hold for a little while but he is now restarting and ready to go.  On top of all that Joel is a keen outdoors man who enjoys cycling, running and swimming.

Thursday 12 November 2015

The Irish Devil Cleans Up.

At LSI, we are really passionate about fundraising, and have held many charity events over the years to help raise money for some wonderful causes. From fun runs to parties, we have organised many events, and on Friday 30th October, we decided to hold the ‘Great LSI Bake Off’ to raise money for a local charity called The Rowan’s Hospice.
Elly, our fantastic Reception Manager, thought holding a bake sale would be a wonderful way to get all the staff involved. Considering the colder and wetter weather we are currently experiencing, it’s the perfect time to sell delicious home-cooked food! We were completely overwhelmed with the effort that was put into the cakes and pies! There were Halloween-inspired cupcakes, savoury chicken and bacon pies, chocolate cakes baked inside ice cream cones and even a traditional Venezuelan three milk cake (to name a few)!!! Three members of staff were lucky enough to be the judges of the baking competition, and got to try a piece of every single one! They certainly weren’t disappointed! The entries were judged on both taste and appearance.

After the judging took place, all the staff and students were invited to buy all the cakes and pies! Everyone was so excited to grab a piece of their favourite cake before they were all sold. It was so crazy, but a really fun and exciting experience. Some students even bought 5 different things to eat!
The winners were announced during the weekly leavers’ ceremony. The winners deserve a special mention:

1st place – Jenni (teacher) - ‘Bollywood Beauty’
2nd place – Belle (Social Programme Organiser) - ‘Ice Cream, You Scream, we all scream for Cupcakes!’
3rd place – Amelia (Administration Officer) – ‘Irish Devil’

Bollywood Beauty from Jenni

1st place – Amelia (Administration Officer) – ‘Irish Devil’

2nd place – Meriana (Reception intern) – ‘Tres Leches’

3rd place – Robyn (Pre-Sessional Course Manager) – ‘The Quiche of Champignons’

Irish Devil from Amelia

Amelia’s ‘Irish Devil’ cake was absolutely incredible and certainly deserved to win across both categories. We are so impressed with all our staff for baking such wonderful cakes, and we are also extremely grateful to our students for helping us raise so much money! By lunchtime, there wasn’t anything left to buy!

Most importantly of all, we managed to raise an extremely nearly £200 for the Rowan’s Hospice. The Rowan’s Hospice is a local charity which is dedicated to improving the lives of people with life-limiting illnesses in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. If you want to find out more about the work they do, please visit their website

Friday 6 November 2015

Remember Remember the 5th November!

Our students are in the Portsmouth Evening News having fun watching the annual firework display at Cosham.
Click the link above to see more of the slideshow.

Thursday 5 November 2015

Welcoming Adam to LSI Portsmouth

In the Summer, a lot of new staff joined LSI, one of our new members was kind enough to introduce himself in a blog piece, which although now is a little belated, is still lovely!

My name is Adam, I am one of the newest members of the LSI teaching team, and I am an IELTS teacher. I have only been teaching at LSI for 1 month (6 months now), so I am still adjusting to the new work environment, still learning names, and still haven't eaten in the cafeteria.

LSI isn't the only 'new' in my life, I am new to Portsmouth, having just returned to the UK from Russia, where I taught English for 7 years, Japan for 2 years before that. So, I totally understand the frustrations and joys of learning a new language and living in a new culture.
I am also a new father, my daughter was born just a few days before I joined LSI, and I don't think I've slept since.

Before teaching at LSI or changing nappies, I was teaching IELTS online. My good friend Matt, the founder of, invited me to join him teaching on his website. It is a website aimed at students who want one-to-one lessons to learn IELTS test strategy and improve their English within an IELTS context. Before joining Matt I had been teaching independently online and I had worked as part of a team designing and teaching online academic writing courses for two Russian universities, MIPT and ITMO.

For me as a teacher, I didn’t have to travel to a school, I could sit in my office, with a wall covered in clocks for different time zones, and work from there. Or, I could sit in my pajamas planning lessons and developing material. 

I remember when I first moved to the Portsmouth area, I had scheduled one final lesson with a student called Zhenya. On the day I moved to Portsmouth, we were going to have a speaking lesson just before she went in to do her IELTS speaking test, in Moscow. I arrived at my new flat one hour before the lesson was due to begin, two hours before her test. Imagine my surprise when my landlord told me that unfortunately we wouldn’t have internet access until the next day.
However, I quickly found a solution and I made sure that I was there to give Zhenya the IELTS speaking coaching she wanted… I also gave a bar full of people the same speaking coaching. 

Thank you Adam for this - we'll persuade one of the other new teachers to do a piece soon!