Tag Archives: IELTS Exam Preparation

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:

 

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:

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:

Eurospeak Southampton
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LINKING WORDS & EXPRESSIONS

When you speak and when you write, it’s important to link what you say together. One way that you can do this is by using linking words and expressions, so here are some that you can try out.

To add more information:

in addition

furthermore

moreover

For contrast:

but

though

however

nevertheless

To introduce reasons:

for this reason

it follows that

on account of this

To introduce results:

as a result

in consequence

arising from this

For purpose:

for this purpose

to this end

with this in mind

in order to

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
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www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
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Improving Your Listening by Having Conversations

Why are you learning English? For most people, the answer is to be able to speak to others. But when you speak, you also need to listen. Therefore, a great way to practise listening is to have conversations with people in English.There are a number of steps you can take to do this successfully.

  1. First, consider the situation where the conversation will happen. What kind of vocabulary are you likely to hear in that situation? If there are words that you don’t already know, try to learn them beforehand so you can recognise them when somebody says them.
  2. Next, when you’re having the conversation, don’t worry about trying to understand every single word – you will not be able to do this and it’s also not necessary! What’s more important is to listen for the specific information that you need to continue the conversation. So just listen for this.
  3. But what if I still don’t understand enough? That’s okay too because you can ask people to repeat themselves and you can even sound like a native speaker by using some of these expressions:
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch that.
  • Huh?
  • Come again?
  • What was that?

So, go out, speak and listen to people. Try to implement these three steps and when you have conversations in English, you may well find that listening is easier.

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
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Southampton
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SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636 494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
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Reading
Berkshire
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+44 (0) 1189 589 599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

IDIOMS & ANSWERS

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

Let’s see!

  1. Idiom: See eye to eye
  • Meaning: to agree
  • Example: My finacé and I really saw eye to eye on the wedding arrangements.

2. Idiom: Once in a blue moon

  • Meaning: something that happens very rarely.
  • Example: I don’t really like fish so I only go to seafood restaurants once in a blue moon.

3. Idiom: When pigs fly

  • Meaning: something that is very unlikely to happen or will never happen.
  • Example:  I’ll get a pay rise when pigs fly.

4. Idiom: To cost an arm and a leg

  • Meaning: to be very expensive.
  • Example: Houses cost an arm and a leg these days.

5. Idiom: A Piece of Cake

  • Meaning: something that is very easy.
  • Example: Speaking English is a piece of cake 😉

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

 

BEGINNING & ENDING AN INFORMAL EMAIL OR LETTER

When you write an email or a letter to a friend or family member, it is usually appropriate to write informally. Here are some informal words and expressions that can help you to begin and end your emails or letters in an informal way.

Formal email / letters start with Dear, but when you’re writing to a friend, you can be much more, well, friendly. You could try these ways of saying hello:

  • Hi, Hiya, Hey, Heeeeellllllllloooooo,

You may want to follow any of the above with your friend’s name, but always use a comma at the end.

Next, move down two lines and start with a capital letter, but what can you write here? Here are some suggestions:

  • This is just a quick email / letter to say…

It was great to hear from you.

Thanks for your email / letter.

Sorry I’ve taken so long to write back.

Of course, you then need to write the main body of your email / letter. When you get to the end, you could try finishing with one of these expressions:

  • Well, that’s all for now.

Give my love to everyone.

Don’t forget to write soon.   

followed by:

  • See you soon,

See ya soon, (ya is a very informal way of writing you)

All the best,

Lots of love,

and your name – don’t forget your own name – that’s very important!

So, the next time you’re writing an email or a letter to a friend, try using some of these expressions to set an informal tone.

SPECULATING ABOUT PHOTOS IN SPEAKING EXAMS

Do you wonder what to say when you have to talk about photos in your Speaking exam? Speculating is the answer. “But what is speculating and how do I do it?” I hear you ask. Read on for the answer.

Speculating is when you guess something based on evidence and using modals of speculation is a great way to speculate. Here are some examples:

  • I think he must be happy because he’s smiling.

Here we use must + bare / base infinitive to show that you are almost completely certain that something is true.

  • He’s looking at a website, so he could be looking for another job.

Here we have could + be + -ing to show possibility.

  • He looks injured. I reckon he might have broken his leg.

Here we use might + have + past participle to show possibility.

  • She seems tired, so I think she may have been working very hard today.

Here we have may + have + been + -ing to show possibility.

  • She can’t have slept enough last night because she looks tired.

We can use ‘can’t’ to show that you are almost completely certain that something is not true.

The first two examples are about the present. If you are taking the B2 First exam, you can impress the examiners by using modals of speculation in the present.

The last three examples are about the past. If you are taking the C1 Advanced exam, you can impress the examiners by using modals of speculation in the past.

So, don’t be lost for words when you have to talk about photos in your Speaking exam. Speculate based on what you can see and use modals of speculation to do it.

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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Eurospeak Reading
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WANNA SOUND LIKE A NATIVE?

One way to help you sound like a native speaker of English is to pronounce words in the way that natives do. Three examples of native pronunciation are gonna, wanna and gotta. But what do they mean and how can you use them?

  • Gonna is a contraction of going to, so you can use it when using be going to

Example: I’m gonna go out tonight. = I’m going to go out tonight

You can use it with all persons – first, second and third person, singular and plural – and the stress is on the first syllable: gonna.

  • Wanna is a contraction of want to. You can use it with all persons, except third person singular because third person singular -s just gets in the way!

Examples: I wanna eat a biscuit. = I want to eat a biscuit.

They wanna buy some new clothes. = They want to buy some new clothes.

but NOT: He wanna go swimming.

For wanna, the stress is also on the first syllable.

  • Gotta is a contraction of got to. You can use it instead of got to or have got to / has got to and it works for all persons.

Examples: You’ve gotta do it! / You gotta do it! = You’ve got to do it!

He’s gotta have it! / He gotta have it. = He’s got to have it!

The stress is again on the first syllable: gotta.

You will find gonna, wanna and gotta are most often used in conversational English or in written English when the writer wants to emphasise the pronunciation of the words.

So, wanna sound like a native? Using gonna, wanna and gotta’s gotta do the trick!

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