About Us

The International English School has been in existence since May 1995 and enjoys an excellent international reputation. The School caters to the international and local market and has shown remarkable growth since its inception. Tania Copeland, who still runs it today, started the school. The many testimonials received from past students are testimony to this claim. Samples of these testimonials can be seen under references.

TIES Mission Statement

The International English School specializes in providing business English and communication skills to the corporate world. Our primary aim is to enable corporations to fully utilize the potential of their staff through improving their English skills, thereby improving their confidence, efficiency and capability in the workplace.

Our MISSION is to be a leading provider of Business English and communication courses to the International corporate world. TIES is dedicated to building long-term relationships with clients through becoming a reliable business partner and through the provision of high quality services

Our Teaching Methodology

The International English School follows a very systematic and well-researched method to determine the correct approach for each participant. This process is described in detail below, and is given in detail to give you the confidence that your employees will receive the best quality training possible that is suited to their needs.

  • Needs analysis. We assess the needs of the company, the job and the individuals and define the language level required by the job. In-company training departments must make decisions about the type of training required: individual vs. group, in-house vs. language centre. In these interviews we investigate the learning style of the learner, the job description and we define the learning purpose. We investigate the interaction they have through the business medium, the topic of communication, and the mode of interaction (formal vs. informal, spoken vs. written). This helps us to determine the specific course content.
  • Assessment of level. We test all learners by means of a formal Business English test and interview. The results of this test assist us in placing learners into groups with similar abilities and needs.
  • Syllabus. Set courses will have fixed objectives and syllabi. Special courses require a special syllabus. The one-on-one courses develop syllabus and content on an ongoing basis.
  • Course Objectives. Defined precisely in relation to the needs analysis findings. May be worded in terms of the tasks/skills required in the job (job experienced learners) or course of study (pre-job experienced learners) or in terms of required language improvement (e.g. command of structures or pronunciation)
  • Learners Expectations. Learners are likely to be more goal-orientated and to expect success. Business people normally have high expectations of efficiency, quality and professionalism.
  • Materials. Print, audio and video materials are used. We also develop materials for specific courses when necessary.
  • Methodology. Many learning tasks and activities will be the same as on a general English course, especially for teaching structures, vocabulary and social English. Role-plays are common to both although the situations and language will differ. TIES also borrow ideas from management training – e.g. problem solving, decision making and team building tasks. Job experienced learners will be given many opportunities to present and discuss aspects of their work.

Performance Evaluation and Recognition

All participants will receive a certificate of participation and a grade at the end of a course. The employer will receive a written report on the performance of each student, including the level they were at when beginning the course and the standard achieved at the end of the course. A view will also be expressed, and justified, by TIES as to whether the participant requires further training and at what level.

The grade, therefore, will give the participant and the sponsoring company the comfort that performance has been very carefully monitored according to international standards and norms. The grade will be expressed in internationally accepted terms.

The primary aim of TIES is to build an unsurpassed record of quality and results. The process we follow is described in some detail below:

  • Evaluation of Progress. We use an off-the-shelf business English test. For informal assessment, the emphasis is usually on evaluating the success of communication – i.e. did the speaker/writer express the idea precisely enough and appropriately enough for the target situation?
  • Describing Levels of Performance. Definitions of performance objectives and methods of assessment vary. We predominantly use the UPM scale which has been specifically designed for use with business and professional people and which can be readily used by both language training professionals and company training managers with little knowledge of language learning. Some examples are shown below:
    • UPM Language Ability Scale, Level 2: Extremely limited communication. Some everyday vocabulary and phrases are known, e.g. normal greetings, perhaps also some words connected with own subject sphere. A person at this level can “survive” in the language (e.g. travel without getting lost, give basic details about himself) but cannot function in it at work.
    • UPM Language Ability Scale, Level 6: Good Communication ability. Has full command of the grammatical structures of the language; begins to use nuances of meaning successfully; has a rather extensive general vocabulary. At this level a person is able to take part in discussions and negotiations in the role, for instance, of seller.

These assessments are coupled with a commentary/report on the individual learners English ability and include feedback in the following areas:

  • Size (of monologues)
  • Speed
  • Fluency
  • Comprehensibility
  • Independence
  • Mother tongue interference
  • Range of vocabulary
  • Appropriacy of language use
  • Accuracy

Tania Copeland – Founder and Director


Tania worked in the corporate world for 10 years prior to teaching English to international students. She qualified as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher in July 1994.

From August 1994 to April 1995 she taught English to corporate clients in Rome, Italy. She returned to South Africa in May 1995, and started her own English language school in Somerset West, operating from Helderberg College campus. Since May 1995 her school has specialised in both academic and business English. The programme for academic English is unique in the Western Cape. Over 350 business students ranging from pathologists, accountants, top management to middle and low management, secretaries and receptionists have successfully completed courses with TIES in the last 10 years.

The management staff is supported by high quality, experienced teaching staff and course presenters.