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…

“I have a good news.” – The reason why this sentence in incorrect

  It’s grammatically incorrect and sounds awkward to native English speakers. The word “news” is one of those words that sounds plural (meaning there’s more than one) but is actually singular (there’s only one). It’s called a mass noun and is usually used with a singular verb. In English, most nouns add “-s” or “-es” to the end of the word to make it plural; cat becomes cats, house becomes houses. Sometimes, the entire word changes in the plural: mouse becomes mice, goose becomes geese. Some words can be plural…

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…

How to write essays

The most successful essays are well planned. Essays that go off the point with lots of extra detail will get poor marks. Stick to the question Underline key words in the essay title so you really understand the question being asked. It’s not about writing all you know about a topic. Words like ‘discuss’, ‘compare and contrast’, ‘evaluate’, ‘account for’ are used as ways to direct your answer; make sure you know what they mean. Other questions may start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘when’. Write a plan Brainstorm your…

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…

Must see while in Berlin

When you are in Berlin you will have a chance to explore a wide variety of cultural content originating from different centuries and not to mention the great German cuisine and beers. So here are some of our tips on places to go and things to see in Berlin. Aside from total cultural immersion, you get the chance to explore the surroundings and practice the language on a completely new level. And it’s no different when you are in Berlin. First, we would like to focus on Germany’s natural wonder,…

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…

Aussie slang you might hear while in Australia

You can expect to make friends with locals when you’re in Australia and a normal part of a social life is to have a drink or two and socialise. So when one of your Aussie friends approaches you with a question “Want to grab an amber fluid?” note that he/she is asking you if you would like to ‘Grab a beer.”. Now it appears that Aussies don’t shorten everything since ‘amber fluid’ is longer than simply ‘beer’. And where other would you grab that ‘amber fluid’ than in a ‘boozer’…