Hi, my name is Val Hennessy. Ever since I started in the language business, becoming an International House school was always the Holy Grail. I have always felt that IH is the best language school association in the world and that the benefits it offers to students and staff are unparalleled. I am proud to be a director of International House Bristol. Our standards are of the highest quality, our success rate is excellent and it is a fun place to work.
When I started the Language Project in April 1987, I wanted to create a student-centred environment for the teaching of English as a foreign language which was a place of excellence for learning but did not cost the earth. I wanted to put students first and to create an environment where staff felt supported and valued. Since becoming International House Bristol, I feel we have exceeded this wish and are now the premier language school in the South West of England.
We have always striven to be creative and innovative without compromising standards. We pride ourselves on preparing students for international exams and have been rewarded with excellent English exam results over the years.
We began EFL teacher training in the early 1990s, which meant we began incorporating the latest methods and techniques into our teaching and began to develop our own materials to teach English and to train those who wished to teach English. By sticking to our own guidelines on class sizes and levels, we ensured that every student was put in the correct class, at the correct level. We developed a social programme designed to enhance learning by offering students fun opportunities to use their English in a variety of contexts. At every point in the process, we wanted to give students maximum exposure to the language and maximum value for money.
Our reputation grew and we expanded into teaching English to juniors on short summer courses, as well as offering the following:
Through the years, we have improved our facilities and the learning packages on offer to students and we continue to look for new ways to help our students to learn English more effectively.
That is why we decided to join the International House World Organisation. In my opinion, IHWO standards represent the best benchmark of excellence in both English language teaching and teacher training worldwide. By becoming part of such a prestigious group, International House Bristol has taken a major step forward. Now, we are looking to the future and to maximizing the use of our Queen’s Avenue branch as well as expanding our residential summer school operation through cooperation with Bromsgrove School in addition to the courses we run at Clifton College.
International House Bristol has something to offer everybody who wants to learn English or learn to teach English. IHB is founded on excellence and it is a school where excellence is standard.