Tag Archives: CAE Berkshire

Canciones para aprender inglés

Los profesores de idiomas utilizan las canciones como parte de su repertorio de enseñanza en el aula. Las canciones contienen lenguaje real, son fáciles de memorizar, proporcionan vocabulario, gramática y aspectos culturales y además son divertidas.  

A través de ellas puedes escuchar una amplia gama de acentos como inglés británico, caribeño o americano, entre otros. 

Las letras de las canciones pueden ser utilizadas para relacionarse con situaciones del mundo que nos rodea. Estas letras proporcionan una valiosa práctica oral, auditiva y lingüística dentro y fuera del aula.  

Por lo tanto, te traemos una selección de canciones con las que podrás aprender o reforzar diferentes puntos gramaticales de la lengua inglesa. 

“Dust in the Wind” by Kansas 

Usamos el tiempo presente simple para hablar de cosas que suceden comunmente o con frecuencia en el presente o para hablar de características de personas o cosas. 

“And She Was” by Talking Heads  

En realidad existen varias formas para los tiempos continuos en inglés. Hay tiempos continuos para el pasado, presente y futuro, y también hay un continuo perfecto para el pasado, presente y futuro. 

“Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams 

Usamos el pasado simple para describir las cosas que empezaron y terminaron en el pasado. En otras palabras, se trata de acciones completadas. 

 “Ready to Run” by The Dixie Chicks 

Hay varias maneras de hablar sobre el futuro en inglés, las más comunes son: 

-El futuro simple (“will“). 

-El futuro continuo (“will” y un verbo terminado en –ing). 

-La estructura “going to” (una forma de “be” más “going to” más un verbo). 

-El presente continuosi incluimos una palabra de tiempo futuro. 

“We Can Work It Out” by The Beatles 

Los verbos pueden ser difíciles, principalmente porque pueden significan cosas diferentes. 

“Always On My Mind” by Elvis Presley  

Los modales perfectos se construyen con un modal más “have” más un verbo en participio pero los usamos para hablar del pasado 

 

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran 

“If “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” by Adele 

“I Were A Boy” by Beyoncé 

Usamos condicionales para hablar sobre posibles acciones y los resultados de esas acciones. Normalmente los dividimos en cuatro tipos: 

– Cero Condicional. 

– Primer condicional: presente o futuro. 

– Segundo Condicionalpresente irreal. 

– Tercer Condicionalpasado irreal. 

“Stressed Out” by Twenty-One Pilots  

También hay diferentes maneras de hablar de los deseos. 

Tenemos dos personas, y la primera es la que pide o tiene un deseo y la segunda es el tema de ese deseo. La mayor diferencia es que los deseos son irreales o imposibles, así que necesitas cambiar el segundo verbo al pasado para indicar que es irreal. 

“Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd 

El reporter speech o estilo indirecto es uno de los aspectos gramaticales que más confusión presenta entre los estudiantes. 

 

¡Practica y diviértete con esta selección de canciones! 

Cambridge vs. IELTS – Welche Prüfung ist die richtige Wahl für mich?

Einige der häufigsten Fragen, die uns von den Studenten gestellt werden, sind: Worin besteht der Unterschied zwischen Cambridge-Prüfungen und IELTS oder Welche Prüfung sollte ich ablegen? Es sind die 2 größten Prüfungen in Großbritannien, also werfen Sie einen Blick auf unsere praktische Tabelle unten, um zu entscheiden, welche für Sie die Beste ist. 

 

  Cambridge  IELTS 
Prüfungsarten  Verschiedene Prüfungen für verschiedene Stufen – KET (A2), PET (B1), FCE (B2), CAE (C1) und CPE (C2)  Die gleiche Prüfung für alle Stufen, aber Sie entscheiden sich für Akademisches Englisch oder Allgemeines Englisch. 
Benotung  Wenn Sie die A-C-Note bestehen oder aber scheitern solltenbekommen Sie, wenn die Stufe hoch genug war, trotzdem ein Zertifikat von der darunter liegenden Stufe.  Sie erhalten eine Punktzahl zwischen 1-9. 
Lerngebiete  Lerngebiete – Sprechen, Hören, Schreiben, Lesen und Gebrauch des Englischen (letzteres konzentriert sich auf Grammatik und Wortschatz).  Lerngebiete – Sprechen, Hören, Schreiben und Lesen   
Zertifikat  Sie erhalten ein Zertifikat, das für immer gültig ist.  Ihr Zertifikat wird in der Regel nur für zwei Jahre nach Ablegung der Prüfung an entsprechenden Institutionen akzeptiert.  
Zweck  Um ein Allgemeines Englischniveau nachzuweisen; akzeptiert von einigen Universitätskursen.  Um an eine Universität in Großbritannien zu gehen; für einige Arten von Visa; um im NHS (National Health Service= Nationaler Gesundheitsdienst) zu arbeiten. 

 

Wenn Sie sich nicht sicher sind, denken Sie darüber nach, warum Sie eine Prüfung ablegen wollen – machen Sie es, um Ihr allgemeines Niveau belegen zu können oder einen Kurs an der Universität zu besuchen? Oder um einen Job oder ein Visum zu bekommen? Auf der Website der jeweiligen Organisation finden Sie heraus, was sie brauchen – oft werden beide Arten der Prüfungen akzeptiert.  

Cambridge vs IELTS – Which one to choose?

Cambridge vs IELTS – Which one to choose?

Some of the most common questions we are asked by students are ‘What is the difference between Cambridge exams and IELTS?’ or ‘Which exam should I take?’ They’re the 2 biggest exams in the UK, so have a look at our handy table below to decide which one is best for you.

  Cambridge IELTS
Types of exam Different exams for different levels – KET (A2), PET (B1), FCE (B2), CAE (C1) and CPE (C2) The same exam for all levels, but you choose the Academic English or the General English exam
Grading Pass A-C grade, or fail, although a ‘high’ fail gets a certificate from the level below You receive a band score between 1-9
Papers 4 papers – Speaking, Listening, Writing, Reading and Use of English (this is focused on grammar and vocabulary). 4 papers – Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading
Certificate You have a certificate which is valid forever Your certificate is normally only accepted at institutions for 2 years after you take the exam
Purpose To prove a general level of English; accepted by some university courses To go to university in the UK; for some types of visa; to work in the NHS

If you’re not sure, think about why you’re taking an exam – is it to show your general level, or to take a course? To get a job or to get a visa? Check on the website of the specific organisation to find out what they need – often they will accept either type of exam.

At Eurospeak we have extensive experience with both types of exam, so why not come in and have a chat with one of our friendly staff and let us help you find the exam and course which is best for you!

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:

What’s going on with British weather?

If you’ve been living in the UK for even a short time, you’ll know that the weather is very changeable – sometimes we get four seasons in one day! Whether it’s chucking it down, or we’re having a heat wave, you should be prepared – never leave the house without an umbrella and sunglasses!

But why is the weather so unpredictable? Well, geographically, the UK sits between warm air coming from the topics and cold air from the polar regions. When the two types of air meet, the atmosphere can change very quickly, from mild to freezing in just one day.

This is one of the reasons that we love to talk about the weather so much – there’s always something new to say!

Four seasons in one day – when we experience many different types of weather in a short period of time

It’s chucking it down – it’s raining a lot (informal)

A heat wave – a short period of surprisingly hot weather

Mild ­– not cold (especially after a period when it’s been very cold)

Freezing – very cold

If you want to find out more, watch this fascinating video from the BBC:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-17223307/why-is-british-weather-so-unpredictable

 

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:

What is Pancake Day?

The time has come for one of the best days of spring – Pancake Day! But why on earth do we have a day to celebrate pancakes?

Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday, as it is also called) is celebrated 40 days before Easter Sunday, one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.

On Pancake Day we use all of the nice foods in the house, like eggs, butter and sugar, to make pancakes and then we eat very plain food for the next 40 days. One of the most popular pancake toppings in the UK is lemon with sugar, but you can have jam, Nutella, or even cheese!

An important tradition on Pancake Day is flipping the pancakes – you have to throw them up in the air and then try to catch them in the pan! It takes a bit of practice, but it’s good fun. Some towns even have a pancake race, where people have to run and flip pancakes at the same time!

You can see one of these races on Broad Street in Reading, from 12.30pm on Tuesday 5th March.

Come and join us for the Eurospeak Pancake parties this week –

Southampton – Tuesday 5th March, 1pm

Reading – Thursday 7th March, 4pm

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 ENGLISH CAN BE HARD

English can be difficult because sometimes words with the same spelling can have different meanings and / or pronunciations.

Here are some examples for you to try to figure out:

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was cultivated to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that the workers had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • The soldier decided to desert his tasty dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present to his girlfriend.
  • A bass was painted on the bass drum.
  • I did not object to the object which he showed me.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid in his hospital bed.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about who would row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer.
  • To help with planting, a farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail around the mast.
  • Upon seeing the tear in her painting, she shed a tear.
  • I has to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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.

THE EASIEST LANGUAGES TO LEARN

Mastered English? Then these languages should be a breeze. Here are the six easiest languages for English-speakers to learn:

Dutch

The sixth easiest language for English-speakers to learn is Dutch. Many Dutch words are written the same as English ones – but be careful as the pronunciation can be different.

Portuguese

Portuguese also shares many words with English but watch out for false friends!

Indonesian

Indonesian is one of the few Asian language that shares the same alphabet as English. A lot of the pronunciation matches the written form too.

Italian

Some Italian words are similar to English. English has also stolen a lot of Italian food words, so if you know these words in English, you know them in Italian too.

French

There are a lot of shared words in English and French as the languages have influenced each other throughout history.

Swahili

The easiest language for English-speakers to learn is Swahili. Swahili has very straightforward pronunciation and grammar, and it has also borrowed some words from English.

So, now you know English, which language will you learn next?

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:

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:

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: