Tag Archives: IELTS Berkshire

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

 

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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?

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?

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5 reasons to learn English!

Five of the most important reasons to learn English:

  1. English is one of the most widely spoken languages

One in five people in the world can speak or at least understand English. English is one of the official or main spoken languages in more than 50 countries.

  1. English will make you more desirable to employers

An important reason to learn English is for your career. You will feel more comfortable to speaking English, even with native speakers and earn your manager’s respect.

  1. English improves your memory and keeps your brain engaged

There is some evidence that suggests being bilingual can protect your brain as you get older.

  1. English is the language of the Internet

Many Websites are written in English- you will be able to understand them and to take part in forums & discussions

  1. Because it’s fun!

By learning English, you will also learn about other cultures. Few experiences will make you grow as a person more than learning the values, habits and way of life in a culture that is different from yours.

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.

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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:

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.

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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.

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