Shakespeare School, the private English language school in Bucharest, celebrated its 15-year anniversary last weekend at the Bucharest National Theatre.
Set up in 2002, Shakespeare School has had 20,000 students over the past 15 years, now boasting four centers in the Capital and about 2,700 students.
Besides being one of the oldest English language schools in Bucharest, Shakespeare School has implemented an innovative, interactive way of teaching English, through the Multiple Intelligence Theory, meaning that teachers identify and adapt the activities in the classroom precisely to meet the interests and abilities of each student, using various resources like games, music, theatre etc.
Cambridge English Language Assessement has awarded Shakespeare School this year the “Best Preparation Centre in Romania” distinction in recognition for its exceptional performance in teaching English.
According to Adriana Alionte, Shakespeare School manager and founder, the most important “secret” in the success of such a business is the ambition and determination to do things excellently, which even “turned to obstinacy sometimes, in a good sense”.
“My vision would have never taken shape without my team, which shared the same passion. It was like a guidance inside of me that told me every time what decision to take, what choice to take. I convey my gratitude today to all those who believed and believe in me, to my team, to the students and parents for their confidence in us, for we are all guides, mentors and friends. Our goal is not just to teach English, but we would also like to educate children, to train them for their life, in as many directions as possible,” Adriana Alionte.
She also recounted a funny story about the impact that her school has on children. “At some point, I asked a parent what is her opinion about the school, if her son is happy with the classes here. She answered briefly: <If I want to punish my boy, I just tell him that he won’t go to Shakespeare School anymore as of tomorrow>. It was the best feedback I could get”, the school founder said.
She explained that, besides the teachers who become the children’s friends and the entire pleasant atmosphere of the school, performance and results are the ones to count the most for the children attending Shakespeare School.
In her turn, Adriana Alionte’s daughter, Irina, who has been involved in her mother’s project since she was 14, confessed she was the one who had chosen the name of the school.
She also talked about the project she developed starting from the Shakespeare School idea, namely the Association Shakespeare School for Education, a volunteering initiative where volunteers are teaching English for free in the centers for the disadvantaged children. “I had the chance of a privileged education, I learnt English since I was 4, I graduated a bilingual high school and I have a master degree in UK. I wouldn’t have attended the British top university without an advanced knowledge of the English language. So, I thought that maybe I can help other children and youngsters, who have no chance to benefit of the same education, learn English easily. I hope we can give these children the chance for a better future through this association,” Irina Alionte stated.
Among the distinguished guests of the anniversary event there was also Nigel Bellingham, director of British Council Romania, which has been Shakespeare School’s partner for years.
“I convey deep congratulations to Shakespeare School, we are partners, we are here to help people in Romania connect with the UK and the English language is one of the ways to do that. We consider ourselves to be leaders in excellence in English language teaching, but we also provide the Cambridge English exams, we are very pleased to work in partnership with you. I saw you have a 98% succes rate of passing Cambridge exam, it is very impressive. Congratulations, I’ve been to your school, met your teachers, I have been so impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment and their excellent method of teaching,” Nigel Bellingham.
The anniversary event included two short theatre moments performed by the Shakespeare School’s students and in the end, a theatre play directed by Alexandru Dabija, “Doua Loturi”, an adaptation after I.L. Caragiale’s original sketch.