Category Archives: Eurospeak Southampton

THE MOST DIFFICULT LANGUAGES TO LEARN

You might have thought English was hard, but, apparently, these are the six most difficult languages to learn.

Mandarin

Mandarin had thousands of special characters and four tones.

Arabic

Arabic has 28 script letters and sounds that do not exist in some other languages.

Polish

Polish spelling uses a lot of consonants, which makes writing and pronunciation hard.

Russian

Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet. If your language uses the Roman alphabet (like English), this can be difficult because some of the letters look the same, but the pronunciation is different.

Turkish

In Turkish prefixes and suffixes are added to words in order to change their meaning or show direction.

Danish

Written Danish is often very different to its pronunciation.

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:

PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFORMATION IN SOUTHAMPTON

Southampton has a varied number of Bus Operators, Coaches, Trains and Ferries; giving you a big range of options to travel around town and from the city. Passes and tickets are not interchangeable between the buses of different companies, the best thing to do is to plan your journey in advance online.

Southampton is also a bike friendly city with plenty on offer for cyclists with cycle lanes along congested routes, advanced stop lines at busy road junctions and shared use lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

Bus Operators: Blue Star, City Red and First Solent, Salisbury Reds, Uni-Link, Wheelers Travel and Xelabus.

There are also Coaches operating from town: Mega Bus, Travel Express.

Rail Operators: National Rail Enquiries, Cross Country, Great Western Railway, Southern and South Western Railway.

Ferry Operators: Hythe Ferry and Funnel Ferries.

Ticket options: Cash, Online tickets, Contactless payments, mTickets, PlusBus, Solent Go, Touch Card, Apps

Blue Star: http://www.bluestarbus.co.uk/page.shtml?pageid=788

Ticket for City Reds and more details: https://www.firstgroup.com/southampton/tickets/ticket-prices

Unilink: https://www.unilinkbus.co.uk/fares-and-tickets

For more information and updates can be found on the Council website: https://www.southampton.gov.uk/roads-parking/travel/

Journey Planner and Live Rail Departures you can access: https://myjourneysouthampton.com/

Public Transport Map: https://www.southampton.gov.uk/images/southampton-public-transport-map-aprill-2018-final_tcm63-365520.pdf

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:

 

MUSEUMS & EVENTS

SeaCity Museum

The exhibition shows the live of the families affected by the Titanic that left the port in Southampton in 1912.

The SeaCity Museum is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm, including Bank Holidays.

Last entry at 4pm. Adult tickets £8.50, children £6.00, ticket is free for under 5’s.

Solent Sky Museum

Solent Sky is Southampton’s Aviation Museum giving a home to over 20 aircrafts from the golden age of aviation including the fighting Submarine Spitfire, Short Sandringham flying boat, as well as racing planes.

Solent Sky is also the home of the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Collection.

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm (last entry at 4pm), with tickets: £8 adult, £5.50 children and family tickets: £18

Southampton City Art Gallery

Showing high-quality exhibitions of paintings, drawing, sculptures, photography and even film, the gallery holds an internationally important collection of over 5,300 works of art, and displays are changed regularly ensuring new experiences every time.

Accommodating around 100 people Southampton City Art Gallery can be hired for events such as weddings, drinks receptions, business events and more. And the best: it has free entrance!

Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum

The only steam driven brickworks in the UK. Opens three days a week to conserve its fragile structure. The heart of the collection is the original brick making machinery, steam engine and related smaller equipment once used at Bursledon Brickworks. The steam engine and machinery were restored about 20 years ago and are operated on special events.

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:

WHY IT’S A GOOD LOCATION & WHICH PLACES YOU CAN VISIT FROM SOUTHAMPTON

 Isle of Wight – Known as the “Garden Isle” Isle of Wight is a beautiful charming town 2h away by ferry from Southampton. It also is well known area for dinosaurs attracting people around the world and geology students to go fossil hunting and study in the island.

It is very easy and fun to get there as it requires you to cross the sea on the ferry, and you can enjoy the beautiful view of Southampton and Isle of Wight from the sea. A beautiful experience, really.

Standards day return ticket for foot passengers £17.80, but there are also saving options, and family tickets. You are also allowed to take your pet with you, free of charge!

Winchester Farmers Market –It is the largest Farmers’ Market of the UK with around 90 stalls, according to the Guardian Food Magazine. Sadly, it doesn’t open every weekend. The marked takes place every second and final Sunday of each month, and it is perfect for buffalo steak lovers, organic products, and even ostrich meat. It is really a must if you’re looking for quality!

It only takes 30min by car and about an hour on the bus!

New Forest National Park, Marwell Wildlife, Victoria Country Park –

Milford on sea – Besides the seaside where you can walk along the cliff-top path Milford Sea is a beautiful small village with many shops, pubs and restaurants. There are lots of places to stay & camping sites, including self-catered cottages to visit and holiday parks. You can also go down from Hurst Spit to Hurst Castle or even along Barton on Sea.

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:

VOCABULARY NOTEBOOKS

Vocabulary notebooks are a great way of learning new words. By using them, not only can you record new words, but you can personalise and autonomise your learning too.

There are a number of ways that you can organise your vocabulary notebook. You might choose just to write down words as you come across them. Equally, you might prefer to record words and expressions alphabetically or arranged into different topics. If you record both the English word and the translation in your language, you could use different colours for the different languages. Whichever way you do it, your vocabulary notebook can become your own personal dictionary of English words you are trying to learn. You can then look back over the words and test yourself on them, which helps you to learn independently too.

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:

 

REPORT LAYOUT

When writing a report, there are a few important things that you need to know about the layout.

 

Things That You Must Include:

You must give your report a title. Write this at the top of the page in the centre. In this blog, Report Layout is the title.

You also have to include sub-headings. Sub-headings are basically titles for each section of your report. You write these at the left side of the page and finish with a colon, which is this punctuation mark :. This blog has two sub-headings – Things That You Must Include and Things That You Can Include.

Things That You Can Include:

When you write a report you can also include bullet points. Bullet points are used to list things. You can use them with numbers, like this:

  1. Point number one
  2. Point number two
  3. Point number three

or without numbers, like this:

  • Point number one
  • Point number two
  • Point number three

Whether or not you need bullet points will depend on what you are writing about and how you decide to organise your writing.

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:

 

LEARNING GRAMMAR FOR REAL COMMUNICATION

We mostly use a kind of knowledge that is unconscious to speak our first language. We don’t think very much about how to say what we are thinking, we just say it.

When we learn a second language, we often develop a very different kind of knowledge, one that is conscious and requires mental effort. For example, we may know that verbs in the present simple are followed by -s in the third person singular. It is very difficult to use this kind of knowledge while speaking because accessing this knowledge in real time isn’t easy and because we need to pay attention to many other aspects of the conversation. As a result, we can end up having correct knowledge of the language but not being able to use it during fluent communication.

Most experts in this area of second language acquisition today agree that to overcome this difficulty we need large amounts of practice. According to this view, practice at using our conscious knowledge can help us gradually build an unconscious knowledge system which can eventually allow us to speak our second language the way we speak our first language: fluently, spontaneously, and effortlessly.

Practice can include a range of activities, from the more traditional exercises typical of a grammar book through more communicative classroom activities to conversations outside the classroom. All these kinds of practice are beneficial if not necessary, but, importantly, their effectiveness depends on whether or not we are making use of our conscious knowledge. So, if we are trying to learn to use a grammar rule, say adding -s to present simple verbs in the third person singular, we need to try to use this rule correctly during practice. This will require considerable effort at the initial stages, but the effort will gradually decrease as we continue practising.

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:

READING GRADED READERS

What are graded readers?

Graded readers are books written for language learners. This means that the language is kept very simple – only common words and simple grammar are used. These books also include pictures to help you understand the story.

How can graded readers help me improve my English?

Reading graded readers is a good way to increase the amount of time you spend using English, which can help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to use English. Reading graded readers can help you:

  1. Develop your reading skills. You will become a faster reader and understand texts better.
  2. Learn vocabulary incidentally. You will consolidate vocabulary you already know and learn new vocabulary while your focus is on reading. This is, in part, because the same vocabulary is often used repeatedly throughout a story.
  3. Consolidate grammatical knowledge. You will find grammatical structures you have learnt in class in context, which can help you develop a better understanding of these structures. You may also learn new grammar.
  4. Improve your writing skills. You will be better prepared to write in English, as reading is closely linked to writing.

Which level should I read?

You should be able to read fast and without a dictionary. This means that the books you read should be easy to understand. The objective is not to learn new vocabulary, but rather to read quickly for general understanding and pleasure.

How much should I read?

For graded readers to be most effective, you need to read regularly. It is generally recommended that learners read about one book a week. Note that graded readers are very short and can often be read in about two hours or so.

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:

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636 494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29A Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589 599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING

When you’re trying to improve your listening, it’s important you listen to things you’re actually interested in – if you wouldn’t listen to it in your first language then you’re not going to want to listen to it in English.

  • Song lyrics: Find an English song you like the sound of; look for a video with the lyrics on YouTube; listen to the song and sing along with the lyrics on the screen.
  • Films / TV Shows: Think of a genre you like; find a film or TV show in that genre in English; watch it!
  • BBC Radio 4: If your English is already good, try listening to BBC Radio 4. There’s no music, just lots of talk with the type of shows you find on the TV.
  • Language exchanges: Find somebody you can practise English with; meet up and have conversations – when you’re speaking to somebody, you also need to listen to what they’re saying!
  • TED Talks: TED Talks is a website with lots of presentations in English. The presentations are on lots of different subjects, so you can choose something that you’re interested in. It’s also often possible to turn on and off the subtitles too. It’s a good idea to listen to the presentation once without the subtitles, then listen to it again with the subtitles to check for anything you missed or didn’t understand. Here’s the TED Talks website: www.ted.com.

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:

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636 494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29A Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589 599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

From Edinburgh all the way down to Plymouth. Britain surely knows how to throw a bash at the end of the year! New Year’s Eve is a time when families and friends come together and host parties at home, or celebrate in restaurants and pubs, whilst counting down to the end of the year and awaiting the stroke of midnight. People take walks around the City of London, watching street performers, admiring buildings that have been lit up and enjoying delicious food in the many restaurants that surround the beautiful city.

Fireworks are always in high demand during the New Year festivities. Families and friends enjoy setting off fireworks in their back gardens after enjoying their dinner. The London fireworks display is one of the most anticipated events for the New Year! Thousands of people gather together around the River Thames to watch the magnificent fireworks display over the London Eye. As soon as Big Ben chimes midnight the fireworks light up the City of London in an array of lights and music.

After the epic fireworks display comes the London New Year’s Day Parade. Dancers, marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats and old school vehicles are a few of the 10,000 performers that brighten up the streets of London. The parade starts at 12:00pm with a burst of color, music, performances, fun and laughter running from Piccadilly to Parliament Street. This parade first began in 1987 raising money for local charities and was originally called the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Big Parade. The 30- year old tradition brings together people from all over Britain to celebrate the New Year in merriment and harmony! Many places of business and work are closed on New Year’s Day allowing people to stay at home with their friends and families enjoying a quiet day after all the festivities the night before.

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:

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636 494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29A Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589 599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk