About International House
How We Got Started
After six years in Andalusia, John and Brita moved back to the United Kingdom and set up International House London in Covent Garden, London, in 1959. The school moved to larger premises on Shaftesbury Avenue (West End) in 1961, and relocated again, this time to a former 18th century gentleman’s club at 106 Piccadilly, (opposite Green Park) in 1977.
New affiliate schools began to use the International House name, starting with schools in Italy in 1961, then Portugal, Algeria, Libya, Beirut and Morocco. International House became a charitable trust in 1974.
In 1988 the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate took over responsibility for the administration of the certificate and it was renamed the Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults(CTEFLA). In 1996 the certificate was updated and re-named the CELTA.
So the most recognized English Language Teaching certificate in the world had its beginnings at IH!
Today, the CELTA course is run at IH schools worldwide, from London to Seville to Cairo to Cape Town to Dubai to Muscat to Sydney to Auckland to Bangkok to Los Angeles, to Chicago to New York to Galway to Dublin – literally around the world!
The original IH Certificate, which is also updated, is run at International House schools around the world and has the same content as its sister qualification, the CELTA.
The Haycrafts believed in fostering international understanding through language learning, an ethos which stands true to this day at IH schools. There is an incredible amount of sharing among IH schools, as the intellectual property is enormous. Most of the famous course books have been written by former IH teachers, and many of the leading writers and researchers of ELT taught at International House at some period in their working life. Every year, all the Academic Directors of IH schools worldwide meet for the academic conference, where many ideas are shared and new innovations are introduced. School Directors also meet once a year to discuss new developments in school management, resources and new ideas. Brita Haycraft continues to write articles (see the Autumn 2014 edition of the H Journal), and she gives regular pronunciation sessions at IH London.