Rue de Bourg 43
Lake Geneva Region
M2 metro station
Place de l’Ours, Saint-François
Nearest underground car parks
AN INTERVIEW with JACQUELINE SCARONE, FOUNDER of The WESSEX ACADEMY.
How did you create the Wessex Academy in 1976?
I made several language study trips abroad to perfect both my English and German. In 1974, I seized the chance to open an agency in Lausanne, sending Swiss students to the school in England where I had studied. Realizing that languages were an indispensable tool in today’s world, I completed this by opening a language school, and founded the Wessex Academy in 1976
Who are the teachers?
We are proud to have kept the same teachers in our team for many years. For anyone wishing to join the teaching staff of the Wessex Academy, the principal asset is a love of teaching their mother tongue. The choice then depends on qualifications and experience. Our 40 teachers hold a certificate in teaching languages to adults and take training courses regularly so that teaching methods are always up to date. Every year, the improvements we make to our courses, equipment, teaching materials and classroom fittings are checked by EduQua.
What is the student profile?
200 – 300 students take courses every day at the Wessex Academy! All ages are represented, though the majority are between 18 and 30 years old. Their motives are varied: professional requirements, learning the language of a partner or of the country in which they are living, official language exams needed for higher education, or for travel. Our teachers also give courses outside the school, either in the many companies where saving time is of the utmost importance or in private schools, to teach less usual languages. We have students from the worlds of politics, culture and sport who need to improve their skills in a foreign language or in one of our country’s official languages. We have also collaborated for many years with cantonal authorities such as the Employment Service, the Disability Service, the Vaudois Establishment for Migrants, the Social Centre for the Integration of Refugees and the Cantonal Bureau for the Integration of Foreigners.
What are the Wessex Academy’s assets?
Our chief objective is our students’ success! To give them “A Passport for the World”, which has become our slogan! One great asset is our flexible programmes. We offer tailor-made timetables, including lunchtimes and evenings. The school is open non-stop from Monday to Friday from 7 a.m to 10 p.m. Ideally situated in a quiet location in the heart of Lausanne, on the best-known pedestrian street, the Wessex Academy is close to the railway station and all other means of public transport, as well as several car parks. Our teaching and administrative staffs are pleasant and reliable, enthusiastic and trustworthy. Everyone feels comfortable here. Our prices are competitive and in particular, we offer a 25% discount to young people under the age of 20 so as to motivate them and to enable their parents to make this investment for their children’s future.
How has the Wessex Academy evolved in nearly 40 years?
We have to constantly rise to the challenge and keep abreast of all the changes and progress in language teaching. We continually integrate new technologies, such as the Beamer (video projector) which completes the new teaching material, into our courses, using distance learning (e-learning by Skype), sending homework by email to absent students, using social media and all the other collective and individual activities that help the learning process. We regularly visit our partners in other countries to ensure the high standard of the language study trips abroad that we organize. We make it a point of honour to continually improve our performance, our offers, our publicity, our website, and our services in order to fulfil our clients’ demands while still maintaining competitive prices.