Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Pictures of Our New School Classrooms

It has been a busy few weeks moving into our new classrooms... even though they are only a few metres from where we previously were.  

We have had so many positive comments about our new classroms and our new reception area - which is so much bigger and brighter than before.  

Thanks to everyone who has helped during the move and thank you to students for being so patient and understanding while everything was being organised.  We are very happy in our new home and hope you all feel the same about your new learning environment.  

Friday, 26 October 2012

Cambridge English Day for Teachers

Today, Catherine and Sally spent the day at a Cambridge English seminar for teachers in Siracusa.  

In the wonderful surroundings of The Grand Hotel Minareto, with an array of teachers from across Sicily, they spent the day learning about developments within Cambridge English courses and qualifications.  During the day, several speakers lectured on teaching practices and student needs, the speakers included Dr. Herbert Puchta of Austria - celebrated ELT Author and Teacher Trainer, Annette Capel of Cambridge University, who has developed a levelled English language profiling system and Sarah Ellis - Support Officer for Cambridge ESOL in Italy.  

Sally managed to win first place in a competition, for which she will be rewarded with a free Cambridge English Teachers course, qualifications that will extend her existing Cambridge Teaching qualifications.  

The day really emphasised the importance of Cambridge English exams throughout the world, gave fresh ideas and solutions, taught about the cognitive neuro science involved in learning, gave updated insights into the art of teaching and was a fantastic opportunity to meet and converse with all the other dedicated teachers and support staff working with Cambridge English in Sicily.  

All our new ideas will be applied in the classroom immediately, so our students can expect something new over the coming weeks!

Written by Sally

Friday, 19 October 2012

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Friday, 12 October 2012

Ideas for Studying

Students often say that they find listening one of the most difficult skills to master in English.  

I often advise students to watch children's television in English.  I think children's TV is helpful because the language is usually simpler than television for adults.  It's a lot of fun to watch too!

One of my favourite TV shows as a child was Pigeon Street, you can watch episodes of it on, it's a great way to spend a short time in your day listening to the English language.  

Written by Sally

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A-Z of Animals - Flyers

Today, Flyers Group 2 created an A-Z of animals.  

Here is the list of animals the children came up with, the only one we couldn't think of was an animal beginning with the letter X - can you think of one?


Written by Sally

Friday, 5 October 2012

We Are Moving!

After 10 happy years in our current school building, we have really out-grown the place and so, the time is right to expand to larger premises.  

We are not moving far, in fact, the entrance to our new, larger school is just a few steps away from the school in it's present location.  

Pictured are two of our Cambridge Starters students, demonstrating how close the two locations are.  On the left, Matteo is showing you where to find the new entrance and on the right, Serena is showing you towards where the school's door has been for the last ten years.  

So absolutely no chance you won't be able to find us!

We should be in our new premises at the beginning of November.  

You will find we will have larger classrooms, an extra classroom, a bigger reception area and even an outside courtyard.  As there are now more students than ever enrolled at the school, eager to learn English, we feel having more space is essential for our learners.  

We are very excited about the move, we can't wait to show you our lovely new school!  

Written by Sally

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Job Post - Part-Time Italian Teacher Required - Modica, Sicily

Part-Time Position available for mother-tongue Italian Teacher. 

Starting October 2012

Italian Teacher required on a part-time basis to teach Italian to foreign students.  Mornings only.  

Qualified teaching status preferred but we will consider those who have teaching experience without a formal qualification.  

You must also have the right to work in Italy.  

Our school is an independent language school.  We are a small team with a good working atmosphere.    

Modica is a historical town in the south-east of Sicily, with a good cultural base and is famous for it's chocolate.  The surrounding areas are very beautiful, a mixture of historic hill-towns, Sicilian traditions and fantastic beaches for the summer months.  Our closest airport is Catania and regular buses run between Modica and the airport.  

We are happy to provide details of salary and hours once we have received your application, please feel free to ask any further questions about the school or about the region. 
Please contact Catherine Ciancio, with a CV, qualifications and recent photo attachment to:

We look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

PET Work - Hobbies and Leisure

Our Full-Time PET students are currently studying the topic of Hobbies and Leisure.

We have had some excellent discussions in class about the student's favourite passtimes and it has been enjoyable to hear about what the students are fond of and what interests they share.

Yesterday, they completed an activity in which they were asked to write about themselves and their hobbies for a magazine feature to find a pen-pal.  Here are a couple of great pieces written by the students:

Hi!  I'm Andrea and I'm 15 years old.  I'm a student and I live in Modica.  I'm keen on sport and I love football and karate but I don't enjoy playing golf.

Hi!  I'm Gabriele and I'm 15.  I love studying English and History.  I'm good at playing computer games but my favourite hobby is going to the swimming pool.  

While concentrating on this topic, the students have reviewed grammar, learned new vocabulary and used all the key skills - speaking, listening, reading and writing.  It has been an interesting focus topic for the group and all students are engaging well in the new school year, showing a developed maturity and understanding of the language.

Written by Sally

Monday, 1 October 2012

Student of the Month - October

Name:    Costanza Savarino

Level:   Intermediate

Course:   PET

October's Student of the Month is 14 year old Costanza Savarino.  

In the 2011/12 school year, Costanza studied towards the KET (Key English Test) exam, she took her exam at the school in July and did fantastically well to pass with Merit.  

Cambridge KET is the foundation level of learning English through the Cambridge programme and gives students a basic understanding and ability to use English.  

This year, Costanza has started the PET (Preliminary English Test) course, she has decided to do the course part-time, so she will take her exam in December 2013.  The Cambridge PET is the second level of Cambridge English exams, through the course, learners develop a wide range of linguistic skills to use in everyday situations, progressing from the base level achieved in the KET exam to an intermediate level, with a greater understanding of English grammar structures and vocabulary.  

We asked Costanza a few questions about her experiences so far at the school:  

  • Last year, you studied for the KET exam, what did you find interesting about the course?

I liked that I could learn English using a computer [in our Computer Lab] and I think that the quality of the school is very good.  

  • You passed your exam with merit, how did you feel when you got the news?

When I got the news I felt very happy and satisfied.

  • And what did you do to prepare for the exam that helped you get this result?

I attended all the lessons with engagement to get this result.  

  • And now you are attending the PET course, are you finding it more difficult?

At the moment, I find the PET course only a bit more difficult than the KET course.

  • Why is learning English important to you?

I study English because it's important for my future and my life.

  • What do you enjoy about coming to English International School?

I enjoy coming to English International School because my teacher [Catherine] is very nice and I have fun when I study.  

Costanza's teacher, Catherine, is brimming with pride and enthusiasm about Costanza.  Catherine describes her as incredibly bright, with a positive character, dynamic and, for a vibrant, young teenager she has an exceptional understanding of the importance of learning English for her future.  Costanza is a great example of the students enrolled at English International School and we are very proud of her KET result and even more pleased to see her back in school, attending the PET course.  

Written by Sally