Tag Archives: Learn English Southampton

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

 

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:

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

Reading Strategies For Dealing With Unfamiliar Vocabulary

Vocabulary acquisition is key

One of the biggest hurdles students encounter are words they have never heard before. In order to effectively learn new words, there is a whole other set of strategies specifically aimed at understanding new vocabulary.

  • Look at the image for clues: Say they don’t understand a word in the title. Does the photo shed some light onto what it might mean?
  • Look for familiar words within a word: They may not know the meaning of “misinformation”, but they may see it contains the word “information” and try to figure out how the prefix “mis” changes its meaning.
  • Look for context: Some of the other words in the sentence might provide clues as to the meaning of a strange word.
  • Read beyond the sentence: Students should not remain stuck in a single sentence they don’t understand. Quite often clarification and context clues appear further in the reading.
  • Re-read the sentence: Once they’ve figured out the meaning of a new word (or looked it up in the dictionary if all else fails), they should re-read it and see if it makes sense.

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