7 quirky ways to learn a language

  Think learning a new language is boring? Think again – with these techniques, you can improve your skills while having fun! Here are seven unorthodox language learning tips that might just change your perspective in the language learning process: Stage a Play It doesn’t have to be a big production. Remember that the keyword to these tips is fun while learning. Stage a short play for a small audience you think would enjoy. Of course, the other key point here is to stage a play in a completely different…

Make realistic, specific goals when learning a language

You have decided to learn another language. Now what? Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve and by when? Our teachers found: “Language learning is best when broken down into manageable goals that are achievable over a few months. This is far more motivating and realistic.” You might be feeling wildly optimistic when you start but aiming to be fluent is not necessarily the best idea. We generally recommend making these goals tangible and specific: “Why not set yourself a target of being able to read a newspaper article…

Old Dictionary, New Words

As you know, the English language is an evolving, ever-changing construct. The words we speak and write can change in meaning, become forgotten, or morph into something quite different. This is one of the reasons that language, and linguistics, is such a challenging discipline. Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the leading resources for English, officially added 840 words in September 2018. While not all the words are new in other cultures, or among those of us who use slang and abbreviated terms, they are certainly new to the dictionary. The words…

How to write the perfect Christmas Card

Aside from other important holiday to-do’s like taking a family Christmas photo and getting your shopping done, another significant item on your Christmas checklist is your annual Christmas card. This season, we’re here to help you get your Christmas cards signed, sealed and delivered. Our guide will help you create the perfect Season’s greetings for everyone on your list. The last thing you need to worry about is what to write in your Christmas cards! What to Write In a Christmas Card? = Start your Christmas card message with a…

The value of official language exams and certificates

If you are learning a foreign language, have you considered sitting an official exam? An official certificate is a mark of quality and shows that you have achieved a certain level in the language you are learning. This means that universities and employers can be confident in your ability. Exam preparation courses and official certificates are hugely popular among learners of English. For example, IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL and the Cambridge certificates (FCE, CPE, CAE, etc) are seen as an important professional step and are highly sought-after by employers. You can…

Benefits of learning German

Let’s start like this, English, great and fascinating as it is, it’s not the world. Germany has diplomatic discussions with Austria and they don’t do it in English, just to give you an example. German is complex and precise in ways that English isn’t. English is great and if you can speak it, you should enjoy the huge advantage, but German is surgical. It’s totally accurate. The grammar leaves no doubt what you mean, and in a way, it’s a metaphor for a way of looking at the world that…

Facts about the French language

Languages are always associated with the people who speak it natively. Throughout the history, the French culture has generally been considered elite (or elitist). The British upper-class society was heavily influenced by the French. In fact, the British monarch’s motto is “Dieu et mon droit.” BUT: Why is the motto for the UK in French? What is the history or origin of this? Even the current English vocabulary reflects this preference. English is a Germanic language, but heavily borrowed words from French, which belongs to the Romance family tree. Why…

London Accents made easy

Have you ever noticed that Londoners speak a little different from the rest of the British people? I’m sure you have! I guess you want British people to pronounce words very clearly, and preferably also slowly! Of course, this does not happen in real life. The main ‘local’ accents that you will hear in London are quite different from each other. The easiest accent for you to understand, and the accent that many English learners try to learn when speaking English, is actually not a local accent at all. It…

What is the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference)?

The Common European Framework of Reference, or CEFR, represents a guideline used to describe achievement of learners of foreign languages. The guide is applied across Europe and is some other non-European countries such as Columbia, Australia and the Philippines. So let’s see what is so special about this Framework. How it all started? It all started with the ‘Language Learning for European Citizenship’ project between 1989 and 1996 during which a need for a common European framework for languages arouse. This was necessary in order to improve the recognition of…

A struggle to pronounce – even Londoners themselves

British English, what a confusing beast – between vague meanings and various accents it can be a complex language to understand. When it comes to the pronunciation of certain words however, it seems that they’ve entirely lost their heads. When arriving in London for the first time, numerous travellers will recall being laughed at for their pronunciation of ‘Southwark’ (suth/ik), and it has been reported that backpackers will choose to stay lost and cold rather than ask for directions to ‘Worcestershire’ (woos/ter). But fear not friends – Londoners themselves struggle…