Teaching others how to communicate in another language is challenging enough, let alone instructing trainees to teach another language. So at International House (IH) schools, where both these ends are achieved on a daily basis, the quality of teaching is paramount. For over 60 years, the renowned group of language schools has been producing exceptional results for its students. Today, over 220,000 students per year pass through the doors of its international network of schools, learning any of 33 languages.

How does IH achieve this? “It’s down to the quality of the training,” says Lucy Horsefield, Chief Operating Officer at International House World head office. “All the languages offered by our schools are taught with the same fundamental principles, which focus on speaking skills and communication. It’s highly interactive and student-focused; you won’t necessarily find a teacher stood at the front of the classroom. Students learn well because they are taught effectively; they are also encouraged to learn from each other as well as their teacher.”

It explains how International House grew from humble beginnings – with one language school in Cordoba, Spain – into the network it now is, with more than 150 institutions in 52 countries, spanning every continent. Its schools are rigorously assessed before joining the network, and are subject to ongoing quality assessments once they become part of it. “People know they can trust the quality of our schools because of our international standards,” says Horsefield.


Teaching the teachers

But it’s not just those wishing to learn another language who benefit. IH offers a range of teacher-training courses which are among the best around. “Our first teacher-training course, developed in 1962, became the basis of the CELTA qualification and shaped the future of language-teacher training worldwide,” says Horsefield.

IH offers courses for teachers at all levels of training, from newly qualified teachers to experienced managers. Since the early 2000s, the network has offered online training, making its teacher training and development courses accessible anytime, anywhere. And schools affiliated with IH are offered an excellent recruitment and consultancy service to help ensure that the highest quality teachers become, and remain, a part of IH.

The success of International House lies in sticking to what it does best and teaching by example. After all, nearly a quarter of a million students every year can’t be wrong.