Tag Archives: CAE Southampton

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

STRATEGIES FOR B2 FIRST AND C1 ADVANCED LISTENING PART 2

Listening Part Two in the B1 First and C2 Advanced exam is a gap-fill exercise. You are given a number of sentences with gaps and you need to complete the gaps with a word or short phrase. Here are some strategies that you can use to try to get the answers correct.

Firstly, you have time to read the text before you listen, so read it! But you need to read quickly because there isn’t a lot of time for this.

When you read, use the context to tell you the type of word or words you need to complete the gaps with – do you need a noun, an adjective, a verb, an adverb, etc.?

Also, use the context to predict the type of information that goes in the gap. This will help you to know what to listen for.

When you complete the gaps, you must use the exact word or words that you hear in the listening.

It is difficult to write one answer and continue to listen for the next one. Therefore, instead of trying to write the whole word or short phrase, just write an abbreviation (for example, the first letter of the word(s)). Then after you listen, you can write the full answer. Doing this means you can spend more time concentrating on listening and less time thinking about writing.

You listen twice. Use the first listening to listen for the answer; use the second listening to check that your answer is correct.

After you have completed the answers, read the sentences again to check that they make sense. The sentences always make sense when they are completed with the right answer. If the sentence makes sense, your answer could be correct; if the sentence does not make sense, you answer will not be correct.

ALWAYS GIVE AN ANSWER! You do not lose any marks for wrong answers, so if you are not sure, just guess – you might be correct and then you’ll get a point!

In the listening exam, you have a question paper and an answer sheet. After you have completed all parts of the listening exam (Part 1, 2, 3 & 4), there is time for you to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. You must do this! If you don’t do it, you won’t get any marks! The answer sheet is sent to Cambridge and is marked, but the question paper is destroyed!

So, try out these strategies when you do practice tests, find out which ones work for you and then use them in the exam too. Good luck!

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Reading or Eurospeak Southampton, 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

Effective Reading Techniques

We all know that reading in a second language can be tricky. Why is this and what can you do about it so that you can become an effective reader?

Let’s first consider obstacles to effective reading. Are you reading something you enjoy? If you wouldn’t read it in your first language, then you certainly won’t want to read it in your second language! So choose something that you actually want to read to motivate yourself to do it more.

Another obstacle is feeling that you need to understand every single word. Well, you do NOT need to understand every word to read effectively. Effective reading is possibly as long as you can understand the important words in a text.

So, how can you be an effective reader? The answer to this depends on why you are reading. You might be reading just to get the gist of a text, in other words, to understand in general what the text is about. If you are reading for this reason, try skimming, which involves reading a text quickly to understand its main ideas, but not to grasp all the details. If you are reading for details, then you should try scanning. When you scan, you take a closer look at the text to find out more information about particular points of interest.

Another key to effective reading is the ability to read at a good speed. If you think you’re reading too slowly, give yourself a time limit when you read – and stick to it! If you don’t finish within your time limit the first time, don’t give up – with practice, you will improve!

It’s also a good idea to practice reading using shorter texts. Taking on a very long text can be daunting, and you might find that you give up reading it. So, read something shorter and more manageable – you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something when you’ve finished it, which will make you feel good and encourage you to read more.

Finally, to be an effective reader you, of course, need to understand what you read. A great way to check your understanding of what you’ve read is to write a summary of it after you’ve read it. If you can do this, then you have understood; if some parts are difficult to write, you can go back to your reading text again for clarification.

So, find something that you want to read, implement these ideas and you’ll be on the road to becoming an effective reader.

At Eurospeak we offer our Cambridge exam students real Cambridge reading material and authentic exam practice material for homework and in class.

We also have a class library scheme for General English classes, so that you can choose the book of your choice, at the correct CEFR Level, and return it once you have finished!

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

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29a Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

The Benefits of Language Learning

THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING ANOTHER LANGUAGE

Ever wanted to learn another language but found there was always something stopping you? Well, here are six great reasons to just get on with it!

Career Prospects:

More and more these days employers are looking for people who can speak more than one language. Learning another language can boost your chances of being offered your dream job, but that’s not the only benefit – think of all the exciting foreign travel you might experience through your work!

Cognitive Development:

Learning another language improves your cognition in a number of ways: better memory, increased attention span and reduced risk of mental decline as you grow older. Different words and expressions in your new language can also help you to see the world in different ways.

Other Cultures:

When you learn another language, you also learn about the countries and cultures where people speak that language. This is beneficial in itself, but it also helps to broaden your mind and makes your more open to new people and experiences.

Don’t Get Lost in Translation:

Ever watched something translated into your language and thought, I just don’t get the joke? That’s because so much is lost in translation. If you learn another language, you can watch TV and films, and read books in their original language and experience them in the way they were meant to be experienced, in other words, you will get the joke!

Your Own Language:

Learning another language helps to improve your knowledge of your own language. By learning about the grammar of another language, you will become more familiar with how your own language is structured.

Even More Languages:

Once you’ve learnt one second language, the good news is that it is then so much easier to learn additional languages. You will learn your third, fourth and even fifth language a lot more quickly than your second language because of the cognitive effects learning a language has on your brain and also because you will have developed study skills that you can apply more rapidly to additional language learning.

So, no more excuses! Start learning another language today!

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

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29a Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk