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Future skills project lead urges IH schools to join the fold

The spearhead of a coaching project designed to complement language courses with life competency skills for staff has been marketed to schools around the world after being tested across Italy.
June 4 2024
3 Min Read

Palmina La Rosa, the owner of the Giga International House Catania school in Sicily, decided to integrate some of her own life competency coaching experiences into her materials at the school – setting the ball rolling on the Future Skills Agency project.

“I wanted to give my students the ability to benefit from the same possibilities [with leadership and life competencies] – and I started seeing that that worked, so I specialised in team coaching because I wanted to see the techniques that I could pick and choose from the business sector,” she explained, as life competency coaching is much more commonplace in this setting.

Speaking with The PIE News, La Rosa said such techniques were generally missing from traditional teacher training for language schools, identifying a gap.

“It will touch everyone in the school – from front office staff, to admin staff, to teachers. It’s about sharing that culture of future skills.

“Although I think that coaching is, in a way, part and parcel of teaching, teachers have either already done it, because they know it thanks to their personal experience, as I did – or, they can learn it. I saw there was a need,” she said.

After a piloting phase at Giga, the Future Skills Agency project, which La Rosa said delivers life competency coaching to staff that can then in turn benefit students, is to be run across schools in the Italian language school association AISLi.

La Rosa said she hopes that other International House schools across Europe and beyond may consider the project for their own training.

“This kind of training gives you those insights to look at your school [and] your culture and adapt what you have learned to your needs – it’s not something static,” La Rosa added.

Another aspect of the project La Rosa mentioned was that non-static element – which means it could be adapted for those IH schools that are also partnered with local state schools; something that will occur as part of the trials in the AISLi institutions.

This kind of training gives you those insights to look at your school, your culture and adapt what you have learned to your needs

Palmina La Rosa, Giga IH Catania

“AISLi directors of school will be trained, and then the DOS will be able to go to partner state schools to bring these life competency skills into [those institutions], which is also a business opportunity as another way to approach schools.

“Maybe a school isn’t interested in exams – well, we can sell life competencies and training. It’s adding value to our schools; not only certifications, but also training for the teachers,” La Rosa detailed.

While the rollout occurs in the AISLi schools in the next year, La Rosa hopes that IH schools will get on board and adapt the project’s elements to their own needs.

“I know a bit about how International House works, and I’m 99.9% sure they can bring at least some elements of the program into their programs,” La Rosa added.

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