SOROS INTERNATIONAL HOUSE
Soros International House (SIH) started in 1993 as English language teaching centre and soon became one of the largest and most highly rated language schools in Vilnius. From 1993 SIH is an affiliated member of the International House World Organisation (IHWO www.ihworld.com) – one of the largest and oldest networks of over 150 affiliated private language teaching and teacher training centers in more than 50 countries. In 1998 SIH became a member of Lithuanian Association of Adult Education and Centre of Foreign Language Teachers Training, recognized by the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania. In 2003 the institution was approved by IHWO Affiliate Network as one of IH Teacher Training Centres, from 2005 to 2013 – as Instituto Cervantes Examination centre for Spanish language and in 2008 – as Pearson authorized tests centre LTE for English language. In 2013 SIH joined EURORESO – an International Association with a scientific and educational purpose. In 2013 SIH became the centre for English language proficiency testing of applicants for public service. In 2016 SIH joined Lithuanian Association of Distance and e-Learning (LieDM) and became the 1st and only CELTA centre in Lithuania.
One part of key activities of the institution is teaching languages (14 languages at the moment) for adults and young learners in groups and individually using both traditional classroom teaching methods as well as modern tools for distance education, organizing educational summer camps for younger learners with the focus on the special inclusive programmes tailored to minority youngsters’ social integration. Other significant activity of SIH is design and provision of a variety of teacher training and professional development programmes including but not limited to those focused on helping teachers to acquire competences necessary to work effectively with culturally diverse students.
Another large-scale field of activity is implementation of projects and initiatives funded with support from various national and EU financial instruments. Since 2000 SIH has been actively involved both as a leader and as a coordinator in a number of international as well as national and community projects and has a lot of experience in implementing them in such fields as language teaching, development of teaching methodology and tools, education and social inclusion of minorities and other disadvantaged groups, teacher training and professional development, active citizenship, intercultural learning and migrant integration. Most of the projects cover a wide variety of activity areas, including planning and conducting different types of research in various areas, gathering and analyzing different type of data from multiple sources, stakeholder engagement at a community, national and international level, design and implementation of multi-purpose training programmes for different target groups, as well as effective and continuous dissemination of project findings and results nationally and internationally.
The projects coordinated by SIH were awarded European Labels or diplomas as the best projects of the year, were nominated for Star projects and were selected among the best adult education and language teaching projects by the European Commission, were presented during the international Conferences and Fairs and included into different Compendiums of Best Practices. In 2012 at the ‘Multilingualism in Europe’ conference organized by the EC the exclusive ‘European Language Label’ award was presented to SIH.