Category Archives: online english

Minimal Pair

A minimal pair is a pair of words that vary by only a single sound, usually meaning sounds that may confuse English learner like the /f/ and /v/ in fan and van, or the /e/ and /ɪ/ in desk and disk.They can create difficulty when speaking and listening.

 Let´s see more examples:

Minimal Pairs/ɪ/ and/i:/ sit seat

Minimal Pairs/e/ and/ɪ/ desk disk

Minimal Pairs/æ/ and/ʌ/ bat but

Minimal Pairs /əʊ/ and/ɔ:/ so saw

Minimal Pairs/ɒ/ and/əʊ/ not note

Minimal Pairs /æ/ and/e/ bad bed

Minimal Pairs/b/ and/p/ buy pie

Minimal Pairs/n/ and/ŋ/ thin thing

Minimal Pairs/l/ and/r/ alive arrive

Minimal Pairs/s/ and/ʃ/ sea she

Minimal Pairs/f/ and/θ/ free three

Minimal Pairs/ð/ and/z/ with whizz

Minimal Pairs/ʤ/ and/z/ page pays

Minimal Pairs/d/ and/ʤ/ bad badge

Minimal Pairs initial/k/ and/g/ came game

Minimal Pairs final/k/ and/g/ back bag

Minimal Pairs final/t/ and/d/ hat had

Tips for public transport

Let’s get to some practical tips that can save you money! It’s about means of transport:

First, I’d like to say that in Southampton you can do a lot of things on foot. Google Maps quickly becomes your best friend!

The “National Express Coach”is ideal for all longer journeys. This is an ordinary coach. Normally you will find charging facilities (USB port) for your mobile phone on board, as well as a toilet. In addition, the coach has air conditioning, plus seats with extra legroom. The price is also affordable.

Beyond that, the prices adapt to the times: You can drive particularly cheaply in the morning and also in the late evening. So if you want to spend a whole day in one place anyway, this option is perfect for you. The National Express Coach also gives you the opportunity to save up to a third on many trips. Find out more about the various options available on this website: National Express Coachcard.

The train, on the other hand, is more expensive in most cases, but also faster. In terms of price, you can also get a bargain with the train: For example, it is often cheaper to book a return trip at the same time.

Sometimes the train leaves a few minutes earlier than it says on your ticket. Sometimes, of course, later. That means you should still be there early enough not to miss your train.

There are also several bus companies in Southampton and that’s why there are plenty ways to get around by bus, not just within Southampton.

For more information, check out the city’s website: Southampton City Council Public transport

Learn English through a TV series

The final season of event Tv series « Game of Thrones» will be broadcast on the 15th of April. This series started in 2011 and was produced by David Benioffand Daniel Weiss. It’s an adaptation of          A Song of Ice and Fire, series of fantasy novels wrote in 1996 by George R.R Martin.

Since then, it has become a global phenomenon and here are some figures that better illustrate it:

– The last episode of Season 7 attracted nearly 1 million viewers in the United States.

– During this 7th season, episode 2 was simultaneously broadcast in 173 countries around the world, thus allowing the series to win the title of the most simultaneously broadcasted series in the world.

– As for the final season, it should smash its own record since the first episode is scheduled to be broadcasted in no less than 186 countries.

– For the past 6 years, Game of thrones has won the title of the most illegally downloaded series of all time.

If you want to watch the episodes without having to wait for the translation into your own language, it is essential to understand English!

Indeed, you can enjoy your favourite TV show while learning English thanks to the subtitles. This method has may uses – it can help you with:

  • Grammar:

When you read the subtitles, you will realize that some of the grammatical rules you learned in school do not always apply in real life. It is important to know the grammatical rules but also to know how to recognize the more natural expressions that are used in everyday life. This applies for example to contractions such as “gonna” instead of I’m going to, or “she just woke up” instead of “she has just woken up”.

  • Speaking:

Indeed, you will listen to words & expressions and see them in the context of the series. The visual elements will help you to keep up with the story – hence you will understand what those words & expressions mean. Your verbal skills will then improve as a result.

To better train those skills, you can summarize what the episode was about to a friend – in English, of course!

  • Listening:

The more you listen to words, the more familiar they will become to you. The accent is also very important, you will become familiar with the American accent or the English accent which is not the same. You can also learn expressions from different countries. Finally, subtitles will allow you to better understand what you are hearing.

  • Writing:

If you want to improve your writing skills, you can also summarise what happened in the episode on a note book. Just use your own words and keep it simple. This will allow you to practice, re-use the words learned during the episode and thus better assimilate them in your memory.

Unterkunft in Southampton

Es gibt viele Arten von Unterkünften, aber wenn Sie Zeit und Geld sparen wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen, eine Unterkunft in der Nähe der Sprachschule zu wählen.

Zimmervermietung

Die günstigste Art, in Southampton zu leben, ist, indem Sie sich mit anderen ein Haus oder eine Wohnung teilen. Ein Zimmer kostet dann zwischen £300 und £600. Es ist möglich, dass Nebenkosten (z. B. für Strom und Wasser) entstehen, welche bis zu £100 betragen können. Für die Suche nach einer Unterkunft können Sie auf Webseiten wie Spareroom schauen, um eine Unterkunft mit Berufstätigen oder anderen Studenten zu teilen.

Gastfamilien

Eurospeak bietet Ihnen eine Unterkunft in einer Gastfamilie, in der Sie bei einer überwiegend britischen Familie wohnen können. Natürlich kommen nur Parteien zusammen, bei denen beide Seiten mit ihrem Gegenüber einverstanden sind. So wird ein angenehmes Zusammenleben gewährleistet. Die Preise hierfür variieren zwischen £120 und £150 pro Woche (Sommeraufpreis: £10 pro Woche) und hängen davon ab, ob Sie ein Zweibettzimmer mit einem anderen Schüler, ein Einzelzimmer oder ein Doppelbettzimmer wollen.

Für weitere Informationen, schauen Sie bitte hier nach: Unterkünfte in Southampton

Studentenwohnheim

Studentenwohnheime sind eine gute Möglichkeit, andere Studenten kennenzulernen und das Beste aus Ihrer Zeit in Großbritannien zu machen. Kurzaufenthalte sind nur im Sommer möglich, also bitte prüfen Sie die Verfügbarkeit, bevor Sie anreisen.

Innerhalb von einer Minute zu Fuß von Eurospeak entfernt. Die Preise variieren zwischen £150 und £210 pro Woche.

Mit Preisen von £145 bis £285.

Dieses hat sogar ein eigenes Fitnessstudio im Gebäude.

10 English expressions literally translated into French

In France we use a large number of expressions with meanings that can be very complicated to understand at first, specially if it they have never been explained to us before.

English expressions

So if we literally translated the English expressions into French, what would it look like?

Would you be able to understand all the expressions? See a few examples below:

  1. « You can’t judge a book by its cover» -> « The outfit doesn’t make the monk »

French : « L’habit ne fait pas le moine »

 

  1. « To count your chickens before they hatch »-> « Selling the bear’s skin before you kill it »

French : « Vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué »

 

  1. « To feather your own nest »-> « To fill your pockets »

French : « S’en mettre plein les poches » 

 

  1. « The final straw that breaks the camel’s back» -> « The drop of water that makes the vase overflow »

French : « La goutte d’eau qui fait déborder le vase »

 

  1. « Give somebody a inch and they will take a mile »-> « Who steals an egg steals an ox »

French : « Qui vole un œuf vole un bœuf »

 

  1. « To go jump in the lake »-> « Go cook an egg for yourself »

French : « Aller se faire cuire un œuf »

 

  1. « To have a bigger fish to fry »-> « To have other cats to whip »

French : « Avoir d’autres chats à fouetter »

 

  1. « To have a frog in your throat »-> « To have a cat in your throat »

French : « Avoir un chat dans la gorge »

 

  1. « To have goose bumps »-> « To have the skin of a chicken »

French :« Avoir la chair de poule »

 

  1. « When pigs fly »-> « When chickens have teeth »

French : « Quand les poules auront des dents »

 

Now you won’t be surprised if you’re told you that you have a cat in your throat!

St. Patrick Day – Traditions

 

St. Patrick’s Day – St Patrick day traditions

Every 7th of March St. Patrick day is celebrated, this traditional festivity comes from an ancient story and has a lot of symbolic elements. Discover the history and the meaning of them:

  • The Shamrock

The shamrock, which was also called the “seamroy” by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism.

  • Irish Music

Music is often associated with St. Patrick’s Day—and Irish culture in general. From ancient days of the Celts, music has always been an important part of Irish life. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs.

  • The Snake

It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick), and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland.

In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The “banishing of the snakes” was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within 200 years of Patrick’s arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.

  • Corned Beef

Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage.

Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day at the turn of the century.

Irish immigrants living on New York City’s Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors.

  • The Leprechaun

The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.”

Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.

 

FREE APPS TO LEARN ENGLISH

Some of the best and most enjoyable ways to practise your English are also completely free! All you need is a mobile phone and an internet connection, and you’ll have access to an amazing selection of apps that can help you to improve no matter where you are. Here are some of our favourites:

  1. Memrise – This app was designed by a Grand Master of Memory (Google it – it’s very impressive) and a neuroscientist to help people to learn languages more efficiently and to be able to remember more. You can choose from a set of vocabulary, or you can create your own!

www.memrise.com

  1. Quizlet – This also help you to learn vocabulary, but with flashcards. You can study the words first, and then test yourself in lots of different ways. If you have a list of words that you need to learn for class, or for an exam, then you can enter it into the app and learn in no time at all!

www.quizlet.com

  1. Wordreference – We all use Google Translate to help us understand new words, but this dictionary app is much better. It includes lots of different languages, like French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and more! It also helps you to understand more about the grammar of the word and gives you example sentences.

www.wordreference.com

  1. Macmillan Sounds – This is a great app for pronunciation, as it shows you all the different sounds we use in English. You can press on a sound and then repeat it until you are happy with your pronunciation.

http://www.macmillaneducationapps.com/soundspron/

Are there any other apps that you like? Tell us about them!