Tag Archives: Study at Eurospeak

St. Patrick Day – Traditions

 

St. Patrick’s Day – St Patrick day traditions

Every 7th of March St. Patrick day is celebrated, this traditional festivity comes from an ancient story and has a lot of symbolic elements. Discover the history and the meaning of them:

  • The Shamrock

The shamrock, which was also called the “seamroy” by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism.

  • Irish Music

Music is often associated with St. Patrick’s Day—and Irish culture in general. From ancient days of the Celts, music has always been an important part of Irish life. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs.

  • The Snake

It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick), and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland.

In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The “banishing of the snakes” was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within 200 years of Patrick’s arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.

  • Corned Beef

Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage.

Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day at the turn of the century.

Irish immigrants living on New York City’s Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors.

  • The Leprechaun

The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.”

Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.

 

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

 

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:

What is Pancake Day?

The time has come for one of the best days of spring – Pancake Day! But why on earth do we have a day to celebrate pancakes?

Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday, as it is also called) is celebrated 40 days before Easter Sunday, one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.

On Pancake Day we use all of the nice foods in the house, like eggs, butter and sugar, to make pancakes and then we eat very plain food for the next 40 days. One of the most popular pancake toppings in the UK is lemon with sugar, but you can have jam, Nutella, or even cheese!

An important tradition on Pancake Day is flipping the pancakes – you have to throw them up in the air and then try to catch them in the pan! It takes a bit of practice, but it’s good fun. Some towns even have a pancake race, where people have to run and flip pancakes at the same time!

You can see one of these races on Broad Street in Reading, from 12.30pm on Tuesday 5th March.

Come and join us for the Eurospeak Pancake parties this week –

Southampton – Tuesday 5th March, 1pm

Reading – Thursday 7th March, 4pm

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

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:

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:

8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STUDYING IN THE UK

  1. There are more than 395 universities and colleges, offering 50.000 undergraduate-level higher education courses across the UK
  2. UK higher education applications are made through UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service which is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities.)
  3. There are different deadlines for applying for different courses, and to different universities ( you should visit the University website to learn more about deadlines)
  4. You will need to pay tuition fees – these vary depending on the uni or college and course you choose. You may be able to get financial help with your tuition fees, or a scholarship. However, EU students are not subject to tuition fees in Scotland.
  5. The amount of money you will need to cover living costs will vary based on where you study. London and other large cities tend to be more expensive.
  6. Many international students need to apply for a visa to study in the UK, and there are work permit restrictions and some English language qualifications you may need.
  7. Universities advise all applicants what standard of English is required for their courses. Most course providers will ask you to demonstrate proficiency in English, or to take an approved English language test if English is not your first language.
  8. First year students tend to live in university halls of residence (university accommodation) – but there are more accommodation options.

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:

 

EXAM PREPARATION: 5 IMPORTANT STUDY TIPS

We all know how difficult & stressful the days before exams can be. We are impatient for the end of this nightmare. But there are some really good tips that will help you face this situation with confidence.

1. Organize your study space!

Make sure that you have enough space to spread your textbooks, notes and your pc. Put the right light for your room and take one comfortable chair. Get rid of all distractions and make sure you feel as focus as possible. For some people, this mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Put your mobile phone on silent & try not to spend your time playing games or on social media.

2. Drink plenty of water!

Remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.

3. Organize study groups with friends!

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

4. Practice old exams!

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.

5. Regular Breaks & Snacks!!!

And finally, of course we have to mention two more really important tips which are to take regular breaks & snacks!

Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps. Everyone’s different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or, if you’re more productive at night-time, take a larger break earlier on so you’re ready to settle down come evening. You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don’t have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus, so keep away from junk food. Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries.

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:

MAJOR SENTENCES

major sentence (also called a regular sentence) is any complete sentence that is made up of or contains an independent clause—that is, it has both a subject and a predicate (a verb and any of its constituent parts).

Here are some examples:

  • Brad came to dinner with us.
  • We all agreed; it was a magnificent evening.
  • I hope that, when I’ve built up my savings, I’ll be able to travel to Mexico.
  • Sentences come in many shapes and sizes.
  • Would you like to travel with me?

Regular sentences come in a variety of structures and patterns, and can be further categorised as simple sentences or multiple sentences. Simple sentences are composed of a single clause, whereas multiple sentences are composed of two or more clauses.

For example:

Simple sentences have one finite verb. Multiple sentences have more than one finite verb and thus have more than one clause.

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?

  1. A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Meaning: A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

Example:  “Wow, this photograph really is amazing. A picture paints a thousand words!”

  1. A Drop in the Bucket

Meaning: A very small part of something big or whole.

Example: “What we were paid for our work was a drop in the bucket compared to what the company earned.”

  1. An Arm And A Leg

Meaning: Very expensive. A large amount of money.

Example: Be careful with that! It cost an arm and a leg.

  1. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

Meaning: Don’t rely on it until your sure of it.

Example: She wanted to buy a dress in case someone asked her to the dance, but I told her not to count her chickens before they hatched.

  1. Go Down Like A Lead Balloon

Meaning: To be received badly by an audience.

Example: The issue that the politician raised in his speech went down like a lead balloon with the public.

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: