Our team

Francesca Berlen – Externals Director of Studies & Teacher
Francesca or ‘Cesca’ studied Early Childhood Education at University, after which she decided to explore Asia. Therefore she took a TEFL course and obtained a qualification in Education and Training and moved to Thailand where she taught both adults at local businesses and children in state schools. Afterwards, she went to Bari to discover her family roots and stayed for three years teaching Cambridge and IELTS, while obtaining her DELTA. There, she was also able to train to become a Cambridge oral examiner. She then moved to Reggio Calabria and joined IH British School Reggio Calabria as the Assistant-DOS (ADOS) and had the opportunity to become an IH local tutor and an IHCYLT tutor. In her current role as External Courses Director of Studies she has really enjoyed overseeing all of the school’s external programs and supporting teachers with their daily lessons to help prepare students for exams. Throughout this time she regularly returns to work at Pilgrims, teaching English and getting involved in all sorts of madcap activities on their immersive English summer programs.In recent years, she has presented at various teaching conferences, including the 2019 IHYL Conference in Belfast.
>> Watch Cesca speak about her experience at IH British School Reggio Calabria.

James Blackburn – Academic Director
James has experience teaching English and managing language teaching organisations in various countries around the world. At IH British School Reggio Calabria, he previously held the role of Director of Studies and taught English to adults and young learners at different levels. After returning to the UK to complete an MA in English Language Teaching, he rejoined the school in order to open the CELTA teacher training centre. He has presented at different teaching conferences, including the IH AMT in January 2020. 
"My initial experience at IH British School Reggio Calabria was unforgettable, so much so that I decided to return to work at the school! The school offers an extremely friendly, supportive and professional working environment and places a strong emphasis on staff development. When I left the school, it was with the feeling that I had grown not only professionally, but also personally, which is testament to its unique atmosphere. It is a school where individuals matter, and a place that is full of opportunities for those who seek them.”
>> Watch James talk about what makes IH British School's CELTA course unique.

Jennifer Veit – Young Learners Director of Studies
Jennifer hails from New York, where she worked as a primary school music teacher after earning her Masters degree in music education from the City University of New York at Hunter College. She now lives in Reggio, where she has worked for IH British School Reggio Calabria for the past 9 years. In her current role as Director of Studies for Young learners, she specializes in teaching children ages 2-12 and provides training and support to fellow teachers. In her time at the school, she has become a teacher trainer, Cambridge Speaking Examiner and IH CYLT Tutor. Jennifer has completed her Delta Module 3 and, most recently, the IH Teacher Trainer course. “I really enjoy teaching Italian children, as their energy and curiosity are endless. They have a real desire to communicate and express themselves, which motivates them to learn and inspires me to teach.”
>> Watch Jen speak about what it's like for young learners to study with IH British School RC.

Lisa Phillips - Director of Studies (DOS) & Teacher
Lisa Phillips is a drama and literature graduate from the University of Southern Queensland and has been working in the English Language Teaching field for over 20 years. From classroom origins as a teacher in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hungary, Japan, Uruguay, Argentina and Malta, she now spends her time as a Director of Studies at IH British School Reggio Calabria in Southern Italy. She is a CELTA tutor and teacher trainer on the International House Online Teacher Training Institute where she tutors the International House Certificate (IHC), Director of Studies course and the Certificate in Advanced Methodology amongst others. Lisa is also an IELTS Speaking Examiner, IH and Eaquals inspector, a Cambridge Younger Learner and Main suite examiner, moderator for OTTI courses and has written material for OTTI and Oxford University Press. She has presented at the IH Teacher’s Online conference for 12 years in a row and at many other conferences on a number of topics such as collocation, visual literacy, teaching and learning beliefs and increasing the level of sophistication in students’ writing, and has helped candidates to prepare for DELTA modules 1 and 3.
>> Watch Lisa's testimonial
>> Watch "Lisa's Low Tech Lowdown",
presentated by Lisa at the 2020 IH Teacher's Online Conference.
>> Watch "The Underrated Value of Failure", presented by Lisa at IH TOC 2019.
>> Watch "From teacher to ........: Career Pathways in ELT", an online IH Webinar presented by Lisa in October 2019.

Lucie Cotterill - Director of Innovation
Lucie is the Director of Innovation and has been working at IH British School Reggio Calabria for almost 20 years. In addition to her role with the school, she also works for IH World Organisation as the DoS Community Coordinator and is a tutor on the IH OTTI Certificate in online tutoring (COLT) and the Director of Studies courses. During her time at IH British School RC, she has undertaken various roles such as teacher, teacher trainer, Director of Studies (DOS) and other Academic Management roles. As a teacher, she has taught from VYL to adults and from beginner to C2, including exam preparation. In her current role, she is responsible for developing innovative strategies for improving all areas of the school, assisting in the development of Cambridge International courses (IGCSE) in local secondary schools, organising the content of the annual conference for local teachers, teaching, teacher training and managing the process of recruiting new teachers. In her free time, she likes walking, nature, music, brainteasers, good food and gazing lovingly across the Straits at Mount Etna. She has presented at countless teaching conferences over the years, including IATEFL 2019 and EFL talks.
>> Watch Lucie's testimonial
>> View one of her talks