Category Archives: Eurospeak Reading

IDIOMS – ANSWERS

Here are the meanings of the idioms featured in our last blog post:

to beat about the bush:

  • to avoid the main issue; to not speak directly about a topic
  • Stop beating about the bush and get to the point!

a bed of roses:

  • an easy, comfortable situation
  • Living with my ex-husband was no bed of roses.

to bite off more than you can chew:

  • to take on a task that is bigger than you can really manage
  • My wife certainly bit off more than she could chew when she decided to cook for a dinner party of sixteen people.

to call it a day:

  • to stop working on a task
  • We can continue working on this tomorrow, but let’s call it a day for now.

cat nap:

  • to go to sleep for a short time
  • I’m just going for a cat nap now. See you in about half an hour.

IDIOMS

Do you know the meaning of these frequently used English idioms? Have a think.

to beat about the bush

a bed of roses

to bite off more than you can chew

to call it a day

cat nap

The answers will be revealed in out next blog post.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

ENGAGING WRITING

When you write, it’s important you engage the reader so they’re interested in your writing and want to continue reading. So, here are some techniques you can use to achieve this…

One way is to address the reader directly. This means you need to use the word you a lot. You can see plenty of example of direct address to the reader in this blog – you can even see it in this sentence!

Another technique is to use questions. You can ask questions directly to the reader, for example, Have you ever thought about what you would do in this situation? Questions like this make the reader think about their own answer and they want to read on to find out what the writer’s answer is too. Alternatively, you could use a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is a question where the answer is so obvious it doesn’t need to be stated, for example, Who would have thought it? These types of questions engage the reader because they’re persuasive – the reader already knows the answer, they agree with you and so they’re on your side.

A further technique is simply varying your vocabulary. Nobody wants to read something with the same words repeated over and over again – it’s boring! So, use lots of different words. You could do this by using synonyms – different words with the same meaning; another way is to use adverbs to make your writing more descriptive.

And finally, the reader will be much more engaged in your writing if you adopt an enthusiastic tone – if you don’t sound like you’re interested in the subject you’re writing about, how can you expect anyone else to be?

So, the next time you’re writing, try out some of these techniques to make the reader more interested and engaged in what you’ve got to say. Good luck!

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

3 ways to motivate yourself to study English

  1. Never compare your English skills to “others”!

One reason that many English language learners have a low opinion of their skills is that they’re comparing themselves to native English speakers or other learners who have reached fluency. You should also avoid comparing yourself to other English learners. The fact is that everyone is different – some people naturally learn faster, some people naturally learn more slowly. Some people have invested more time in studying, other people have studied “on and off.” Some learners have had excellent teachers, other learners have had trouble finding a good teacher or a good method. Just focus on your individual progress!

  1. When you feel lazy just take a “baby step”!

A baby step is a very small action.  Sometimes you just feel discouraged and lazy – you simply don’t want to study that day. Tell yourself you’ll just do one TINY thing.

  • I’ll read an article or a book in English for 5 minutes
  • I’ll watch a video on Youtube in English for 5 minutes
  • I’ll listen one song in English
  • I’ll learn 5 new words and 2 Idioms

 

The hardest part is often starting! However, if you take a “baby step,” you’ll definitely learn something – and you will probably regain your motivation in the process.

  1. Be encouraged! Your English is probably better than you think it is!

Unfortunately, a lot of English learners have a very negative view of their English skills. Yes, of course there is room to improve. But you already have good English skills. If someone can understand your speaking and writing, it is a really big accomplishment.

So if you tend to have a low opinion of your English, try to eliminate those negative thoughts by focusing on what you CAN do, and not in what you can’t do yet.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

 

 

Common UK Expressions

Have you ever wondered about common UK expressions?

Maybe you are going to visit the UK and want to learn a few of them?

 

Here is a list so that maybe you won’t be surprised or embarrassed:

  • All right? – Hello, how are you?
  • Bloody – used to emphasize annoyance, as in “Bloody hell!” Bleedin’ or bloomin’ are variations
  • Bomb – something impressive
  • Full of beans – lots of energy
  • Give me a bell – call me
  • Hiya – hi there, hello
  • I’m easy – I don’t care, it’s all the same to me
  • Mate – friend
  • On about – talking about
  • Posh – high class

 

 

 

5 IMPORTANT REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE BREAKS

5 important reasons why you need to take breaks

  1. Increased Productivity

A small diversion once an hour or so can actually help your brain perform better. Working for long periods without a breather can cause our brains to perceive the task as less important and we lose concentration.

  1. Personal development time

Short breaks are a great way to switch tasks and do something for your personal growth. This can make you more valuable to your workplace over time.

  1. Better retention rates

Breaking from focus mode helps our brains integrate the information working with and learning. This helps up to retain more information for later use.

  1. Better stress Management

Taking breaks helps you manage stress. Bonus points if you spend the time power napping. Studies have shown that taking a 20-minute nap in the afternoon actually provides more rest than sleeping an extra 20 minutes in the morning.

  1. Team Building

Taking Group breaks can help your team collaborates & bond while building stronger relationships and boosting morale. This helps teams problem-solve better

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STUDYING IN THE UK

  1. There are more than 395 universities and colleges, offering 50.000 undergraduate-level higher education courses across the UK
  2. UK higher education applications are made through UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service which is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities.)
  3. There are different deadlines for applying for different courses, and to different universities ( you should visit the University website to learn more about deadlines)
  4. You will need to pay tuition fees – these vary depending on the uni or college and course you choose. You may be able to get financial help with your tuition fees, or a scholarship. However, EU students are not subject to tuition fees in Scotland.
  5. The amount of money you will need to cover living costs will vary based on where you study. London and other large cities tend to be more expensive.
  6. Many international students need to apply for a visa to study in the UK, and there are work permit restrictions and some English language qualifications you may need.
  7. Universities advise all applicants what standard of English is required for their courses. Most course providers will ask you to demonstrate proficiency in English, or to take an approved English language test if English is not your first language.
  8. First year students tend to live in university halls of residence (university accommodation) – but there are more accommodation options.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

TIPS TO HELP YOU REMEMBER VOCABULARY

    1. First of all, keep an organised vocabulary notebook, write down every unknown word.
    2. Look at the words again after 24 hours, after one week and after one month to ensure that you have learned them.
    3. Read, read, read. It’s easier to remember a word if you see it and especially if you read it loudly.
    4. Use the new words! You need to use a new word about ten times before you remember it! So try to make sentences with the new words.
    5. Try word games like anagrams, quizzes, crosswords.
    6. Find playful ways to practice your vocabulary and new words, write colourful cards with the most difficult words for you, take them with you and read them whenever you have time.
    7. Learn words with a friend! It can be more fun & easier to learn with someone else, make sentences with the new words and try to use them in your conversation 😉
    8. Try to learn 5-8 new words per day. A small number of words is easier to remember.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

 

EXAM PREPARATION: 5 IMPORTANT STUDY TIPS

We all know how difficult & stressful the days before exams can be. We are impatient for the end of this nightmare. But there are some really good tips that will help you face this situation with confidence.

1. Organize your study space!

Make sure that you have enough space to spread your textbooks, notes and your pc. Put the right light for your room and take one comfortable chair. Get rid of all distractions and make sure you feel as focus as possible. For some people, this mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Put your mobile phone on silent & try not to spend your time playing games or on social media.

2. Drink plenty of water!

Remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.

3. Organize study groups with friends!

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

4. Practice old exams!

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.

5. Regular Breaks & Snacks!!!

And finally, of course we have to mention two more really important tips which are to take regular breaks & snacks!

Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps. Everyone’s different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or, if you’re more productive at night-time, take a larger break earlier on so you’re ready to settle down come evening. You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don’t have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus, so keep away from junk food. Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

IDIOMS & ANSWERS

Do you know the meaning of these frequently used English idioms?

  1. A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Meaning: A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

Example:  “Wow, this photograph really is amazing. A picture paints a thousand words!”

  1. A Drop in the Bucket

Meaning: A very small part of something big or whole.

Example: “What we were paid for our work was a drop in the bucket compared to what the company earned.”

  1. An Arm And A Leg

Meaning: Very expensive. A large amount of money.

Example: Be careful with that! It cost an arm and a leg.

  1. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

Meaning: Don’t rely on it until your sure of it.

Example: She wanted to buy a dress in case someone asked her to the dance, but I told her not to count her chickens before they hatched.

  1. Go Down Like A Lead Balloon

Meaning: To be received badly by an audience.

Example: The issue that the politician raised in his speech went down like a lead balloon with the public.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on: