Our team

Francesca Berlen – Externals Director of Studies (E-DOS) & 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. This year, she has transitioned over to External Courses DOS (E-DOS) and has really enjoyed overseeing all of the school’s external programs and supporting teachers with their daily lessons to help prepare students for exams. Watch Cesca share her experience about working at IH British School RC.


James Blackburn – CELTA Director and Head of Teacher Training
James has experience teaching English 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 is back at the school, leading a teacher training project (the CELTA) and teaching English to adults and teens.
“My initial experience at IH British School Reggio Calabria was unforgettable, so much so that I’ve just returned after 18 months in the UK! 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.


Lucie Cotterill - Educational Projects Director
Lucie is the Educational Projects Director and has been working at IH British School Reggio Calabria for the past 16 years. During her time here, she has undertaken various roles such as teacher, trainer and Director of Studies (DOS). 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 various projects such as the setting up of EL courses and training in local state schools, kindergartens and other institutions, 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 Etna. Watch Lucie's testimonial >


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 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 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 >


Jennifer Veit – Young Learners Coordinator
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 8 years. She currently serves as the Young Learner Coordinator and specializes in teaching children ages 2-12. 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 and me.”