Tag Archives: FCE exam preparation

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:

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:

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:

 

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.

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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:

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:

 

IDIOMS & ANSWERS

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

Let’s see!

  1. The best of both worlds:
  • Meaning: to experience two good things at the same time
  • Example: Working part-time and looking after the children means you can experience the best of both worlds.

2. Speak of the devil:

  • Meaning: use this idiom when you are talking about somebody and then they arrive unexpectedly
  • Example: Tom’s just got a new car. Speak of the devil, here he is!

3. Let the cat out of the bag:

  • Meaning: to tell a secret
  • Example: I let the cat out of the bag about her pregnancy.

4. To feel under the weather:

  • Meaning: to feel ill or sick
  • Example: I’ve got a really bad cold – I feel really under the weather.

5. To kill two birds with one stone:

  • Meaning: to achieve two things at once
  • Example: I killed two birds with one stone when I went on holiday with my Dad because I got to go away and to spend time with him.

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:

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