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The Benefits of Extensive Reading

Extensive reading – what is it?

Well, it’s like intensive reading: intensive reading for English classes or finding answers for your YES / NO /NOT GIVEN questions in IELTS, but for fun! Extensive reading is reading something that you enjoy or are interested in and lots of it; extensive reading is just reading, and it should be for enjoyment, interest or pleasure.

Reading is a mental activity as opposed to TV which is not; TV is purely visual (although TV is good for listening comprehension and pronunciation among other things, but that’s another story).

Everyone including those of us learning a second language can benefit from extensive reading. Carrel and Grabe (2010) argue that language learners can improve their comprehension and vocabulary by doing a little extensive reading. According to Julian Bamford and Richard Day (in Kreuzova 2019) you should read as much as you can on a variety of topics that you have chosen; the materials should be easily understandable to you from books, newspapers and magazines.

Extensive reading is moving away from the intensive reading of answer identification in your Cambridge, TOEFL or IELTS exams, and the reading skills of skimming and scanning toward a more relaxed form of reading; the kind of reading you do on the sofa because you want to, because there is nothing on TV or there’s nothing on your streaming service worth watching. So, think about what you like to read; are you interested in reading about what English-language newspapers say about your country or region; are you interested in learning about your own country’s history from another perspective? Like cooking? Read a few recipes? Remind yourself, what do you like reading in your own language: try reading the same in English.

I was surprised when I started to learn about British history from the Spanish and Argentinians. I never knew the British invaded Buenos Aries in the nineteenth century. I never knew the Dutch sailed up the Themes and stole the English flagship. It has also been suggested that extensive reading helps in examination results, make them more aware of the grammar when they are reading, increase a learner’s reading proficiency and by extension their vocabulary learning (Prowse, 2000) and (Liu and Zhang 2018).

There are other beneficial effects. It is generally believed that reading develops your concentration. When you’re watching TV, you’re probably doing something else: chatting, eating, doing your nails, interacting with social media, but reading, well reading is a different matter.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love binge-watching The Man in the High Castle on a lazy Saturday afternoon trying to forget work. With a book, you need to concentrate and focus on what is written and everything that it implies. Which brings me to another thing reading improves: your imagination. You can lose yourself in a character or situation, imagining yourself in their situation. Imagine yourself as a different person or asking yourself what you would do in such a situation.

In turn, reading is a good de-stressor; you are more likely to read when you’re in a quiet room, with no TV and oblivious to the world outside and exercising the most important organ in your body – your brain. So, while you are doing whatever you are doing like channel hoping, you are not using your imagination. We switch off our imaginations, but with a book we use our imaginations to a greater extent. Reading enhances your verbal skills; TV is visually-based media and normally uses short and simple sentences whereas books contain complex language more than you would find on TV or in a streaming service. This means using a greater range of vocabulary, longer sentences and more complex sentences; you can become aware of punctuation. So, go and borrow a graded reader from your school’s resource centre, borrow a book from the city library or read some on-line articles in magazines or newspapers on-line.

by Chris Scott, March 2020

Reference List

Carrel, Patricia. L., and Grabe, W. (2010). Reading. In: N. Schmitt, ed., Applied Linguistics, 2nd London: Hodder Education, Page 215- 229.

Sarka Kreuzova 17 July 2019, Encouraging Extensive Reading, English Teaching Professional (1 09), viewed 31 December 2019, < https://www.etprofessional.com/encouraging-extensive-reading >.

Philip Prowse (2000), The secret of reading, English Teaching Professional, (13), viewed 2 January,2020, < https://www.etprofessional.com/the-secret-of-reading >

Liu. J., and Zhang. J., (2018). ‘The Effects of Extensive Reading on English Vocabulary Learning: A Meta-analysis ‘, English Language Teaching; Vol. 11, No. 6; 2018, viewed 2 January 2020, < https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1179114.pdf >

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Listening

When we listen to something, it often goes in one ear and out the other – as the popular English idiomatic expression goes, or it falls on deaf ears, but that shouldn’t happen if you want to improve your listening skills; you should be all ears.

Ears – ears are important; they are our auditory apparatus attuned to sound waves created by the vocal cords of others; our ears pick up sound waves; the ear transforms these waves into intelligible signals that our brains can understand. 

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Listening for communication is to understand the spoken word; as students need to understand what speech is; sentence intonation and stress that maybe focusing on specific information and interpreting the context and topic – stress, intonation, rhythm and the paralinguistic features such as intonation or volume loudness.  A familiar cry from us all when doing a listening exercise in a language class is ‘I don’t understand’.

Normally, in a teaching class where you are leaning the language, as opposed to exam orientation and familiarization, your teacher will play the recording at least twice maybe more using one or more activities; you may even have the transcript to help you.

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But why is listening a problem? Is it you? Is it the quality of the recording? Is it noise pollution from elsewhere in the school or from the traffic outside? Are the accents of the speakers strange or unintelligible? Is the recording not being played enough times? Are the speakers talking too fast?

A lot of the listening comprehension problems stem from unfamiliarity with a speaker’s accent; their speed of delivery, idiomatic language and perhaps most importantly from technical elements of pronunciation that the listeners, us the students, haven’t been acquainted with such as pronunciation, recognising contractions, understanding the reduction and blending of sentences at word or cluster level; the adding of extra sounds in rapid conversation between words and the many English words where we don’t pronounce all the syllables or sounds, for example chocolate where it is pronounced choc-late.

There are also may words that sound the same in rapid speech; words that sound almost the same ‘cab’ and ‘cap’, ‘sheep’ and ‘ship’. There is also the familiarity learners have with one particular type of accent; as learners, we have to be open to the fact that speakers of a particular language, be it English, Spanish or Chinese have various accents and speeds of delivery. If we become accustomed to just one accent, we will have difficulties understanding the range of accents spoken by ‘native’ English speakers from across the English-speaking world and more importantly those speakers of English whose first language isn’t English who outnumber native speakers.

Types of Listening

 So, what types of listening do we do? There are perhaps two types of listening we do not only as language learners but also in our mother tongue; firstly, there is the listening we do in class or a lecture theatre or on TED Talks;  the language here is high in information; we listen for the most part passively; we also watch TV in this way – passively, unless we are shouting at our football team or a politician, but on TV the spoken language is more dynamic with a range of styles formal informal, spontaneous, chatty and prepared.  The second type of listening we do isactive, possibly in a conversation, where we have to understand the subtle cues of politeness and turn taking in a conversation.  In this type of listening where we are participating, non-linguistic features like body language and facial expressions are used to get our meaning across. 

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When I learned Spanish, I spent two years just watching Spanish-language soap operas, mini series and movies; the actors had a variety of accents and came from many different countries.  As such my listening skills are now very good; it required dedication.

So, how do you improve your listening skills? Listen to as much radio, music and TV as possible; listen to as many accents as possible and learn how the language is pronounced.

By Chris Scott, March 2020

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EASILY CONFUSED WORDS

English has a lot of words that can be easily confused not only by those of you learning English, but also by those of us studying English, and by ‘native’ speakers. English is a rich mix of different influences; very little survives of the original Celtic language from the original inhabitants of the British Isles apart from place names such as York; Church Latin brought by the Roman’s persisted until the sixteenth century; the Germanic Anglo-Saxon ‘settlers’ colonised the eastern and southern part of Britain by the 5th century. Then came the Viking invasions in the 9th and 10th centuries; they brought the influence of Old Norse. In 1066, the Norman conquest of England began bringing a heavy Norman French influence. Then with Britain’s expanding trade and eventually Empire new words entered the language brought not only by the British but the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch empires thought trade.

There are also many inconsistencies in spellings; there are homographs (wind and wind), homophones (capital and capitol) and homonyms (produce the verb and produce the noun).

Confusion can come about when the meaning is misunderstood by the listener. When we learn a new language, or study our own language, enter a new job or read a new book we are confronted by new words that can confuse us in the form of faddy neologisms or jargon.

It took me a few days to stop using the Spanish word coger in South America; I could no longer coger el colectivo I had to tomar el colectivo (take the bus) in South America. In English there are a number of ways we can confuse ourselves; the first are the superficial differences between the ‘Englishes’ usually to do with spelling or semantics – the meaning of a word. For example, there were two computer programmers; one from America and one from England. When the English programmer and finished writing his program, he sat down to watch a TV programme; then, when the American finished her program she sat down to what her TV program. Which program or program you use depends on where you are and what you are doing. In the next two examples the meaning of each sentence is different; In England it is quite acceptable to say “I’ve never seen such a gorgeous ass”; you would be complimenting someone on their donkey, but using the exact same words in the United States could land you in gaol or is it jail? I get easily confused by these two words. There are also confusions brought about by time, for example, until the early twentieth century, it wasn’t unusual for people of a certain education to say, “I’m feeling rather gay today.” This meant “I’m feeling rather happy.” During this time people sometimes said they felt rather ‘queer’ or strange; both gay and queer have different meanings today – in the early twenty-first century; these are prime examples of the semantic shift in words. England also has a fantastic culinary tradition; one such culinary delight is the faggot; I love faggots and regularly eat them – faggots in England are large meatballs by the way. However, I am sure this is still an arrestable offence in some parts of the United States and the wider world.

Time has also changed the meaning of wicked and cool; in the late 1990s they meant something like fantastic or really good. In today’s news media the words snowflake and gammon have taken on a new meaning. These words are often used as terms of abuse in the news media it is debatable how much they are used outside the confines of newspapers and troll or water armies. Confusion can also occur through pronunciation; in the American ABC comedy TV series Modern Family the character Gloria Delgado-Pritchett played by the American-Columbian actor Sofía Vergara is asked by her husband to get some baby cheeses and she orders lots of baby Jesuses. But there is also confusion brought about by homophones; for example, which of the following means to be still or not moving? In her Grammarly blog Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English, Brittney Ross mentions two confusing words: Complement and Compliment; both words are spelt differently; they both have different meanings but the same pronunciation both for the verb and noun forms. So, what happens when we hear these words, how do we learn how to spell them? Stationary or stationery? Confused? It’s common to confuse these two words even among so-called ‘native’ speakers, so look at the two words in context: The train was stationary, so I popped into the stationery store and got these envelopes and pens. How do I get around the problem? In my head I tend to stress the final vowel in both words and remember the context; that helps me remember the spelling. And there are the principles and principals: There are fundamental principles we all live by; one of them is that we shall not steal. Many school principals have at least a master’s degree is the headmaster of a school. How do you remember which is which? Well you could use spelling mnemonics; for example, my pal is a school principal. The other way of confusing you is the non-transparent spelling system; we don’t always mean or say what is written; in English vowels aren’t pronounced or used. Take, for example, the word chocolate; in Spanish all the vowels are pronounced, in English we are lazier and drop the second ‘o’ vowel sound, so it’s pronounced as choclate.

So, knowing how a word is pronounced and practicing can often help our spelling, but there is also the problem of the spell check; how many of us have used the spell check and this marvellous device has sent the wrong word making us look completely illiterate? Embarrassing isn’t it! As Brittney Ross says in her Grammarly blog Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English ‘your word might be spelled right, but it may be the wrong word.’ We also have the double entendre is a figure of speech that has two meanings or interpretations; this form of ambiguity can cause confusion in meaning, for instance, newspaper headlines are notorious for this; take for example this headline, ‘Strikes to Paralyse Travellers’; does it mean that travellers will be physically paralysed or does it mean that the infrastructure will be paralysed and travellers won’t be able to travel? Anther confusing example is that 21 taxes choke tourism operators – Parliament cries; a parliament crying because tourism operators were choked by twenty-one taxes!

Chris Scott February 2020

Reference List

Brittney Ross [n.d.], Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English, Grammarly blog, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.grammarly.com/blog/commonly-confused-words/ >.

Mirror.co.uk 17 August 2016, Strikes to Paralyse Travellers, Mirror, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/strikes-to-paralyse-travellers-638297 >

Richard Annerquaye Abbey January 24, 2019, 21 taxes choke tourism operators – Parliament cries, viewed 30 December 2019, https://thebftonline.com/2019/editors-pick/21-taxes-choke-tourism-operators-parliament-cries/

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Critical Thinking

Ever since I went to college many years ago, I’ve been hearing the term critical thinking; it keeps popping up from time to time, but do we as teachers and students sit down and think about what this means, and do we use critical thinking outside the confines of academic study? Do we use this in our everyday lives?

For me, critical thinking is challenging the assumptions we have about the way we think, what we believe, what we read in the newspaper, what we are told, see on TV or the internet and hear in the world around us and not just in the classrooms; it’s about challenging dogma; it’s about looking at the preconceptions we and others have of the world around us; it is about challenging what we believe and how we behave.

Levels of Critical Thinking

For Chia Suan Chong (2019) it is about promoting meaningful and positive relationships and building empathy as well as developing one’s academic potential. But how can we use this in the classroom and in our everyday lives? What benefit does it give our students or us as learners?

Blooms Taxonomy (Bloom cited in Pineda-Báez) is most often cited when attempting to define critical thinking. According to Benjamin Bloom, there are six levels of critical thinking.

The first level is Remember; it is the ability to recall dates, people’s names, places, quotations and formula.

Level two is Understand; this is to comprehend what you are reading; it is to understand newly acquired information, to describe, classify and explain it, e.g. what is the difference between a cat and a lion.

The next level, level three, is called Apply; this is where we use this new information, solve problems, demonstrate, and interpret information.

Level four is Analyse; it looks at materials and decides what the overall purpose is; what is its relationship with other parts in society and the world in general. It is to differentiate, organize, and to relate information to the wider world, and compare or contrast.

The fifth level is Evaluate; this is to form an opinion or judgement based on standards and criteria; it seeks to appraise, argue and defend a point of view or opinion; it judges, selects, support, and critiques information.

The final level is Create; it is to use conjecture, formulate new ideas, and to investigate; it is to put all the information you have and create something innovative.

Critical Thinking Based on Reason

Another simpler definition of critical thinking is which I like is from Tim Moore (cited in Schmidt); According to research conducted by Moore, critical thinking is based on reason; in today’s world basing an argument on reason as opposed to reactionary opinions that are so prevalent in the news media and politics today is a good thing; it allows us to decide if something is good or bad, true or false, it allows us to consider the validity of something; it is thinking sceptically; critical thinking involves thinking productively, challenging ideas and producing new ideas; it involves coming to a conclusion about an issue or issues; importantly for me and something I feel strongly about; it is about looking beyond a reading or listening text’s literal meaning.

Critical Thinking in the EFL classroom

When we look at these levels, we see that we as students use most of them in the EFL classroom; those of you preparing for the IELTS and Cambridge English exam use them all the time; it is a valuable skill that students use when they enter institutes of higher education.

Regardless of your background we use critical thinking skills when deciding what to what, buy in the supermarket or believe in the newspaper.

How can they be used more in the EFL classroom or our own language learning? In her article Ten ways to consider different perspectives, Chong suggests a number of activities where critical thinking can be applied to classroom activities; one activity is ‘What would their day look like? Where the students select a photo of a person, animal or inanimate object, do a little research and give a little presentation to the rest of the class; another activity is the classic debate where you could divide the class into opposing teams; Chong suggest having students argue for or against something they would normally oppose or disagree with. This is a good way for students to try to understand something from another’s perspective.

Most of the activities involve trying to see life through someone’s else’s eyes. I saw a similar activity in Buenos Aries a few years ago when students used shoes to imagine the shoes lives.

by Chris Scott, January 2020

Reference List

Chia Suan Chong 17 July 2019, Ten ways to consider different perspectives, English Teaching Professional, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.etprofessional.com/ten-ways-to-consider-different-perspectives>.

Clelia Pineda-Báez December 2009, Critical Thinking in the EFL Classroom: The Search for a Pedagogical Alternative to Improve English Learning, ResearchGate, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277834572_Critical_Thinking_in_the_EFL_Classroom_The_Search_for_a_Pedagogical_Alternative_to_Improve_English_Learning >.

Anthony Schmidt [n.d.], CRITICAL THINKING AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING PT. 1, EFL magazine, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.eflmagazine.com/critical-thinking-english-language-teaching/ >

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発音の向上

 

ハッキリとした発音はコミュニケーションにおいて、とても重要な役割を果たします。発音をおろそかにすると、恥ずかしい思いをしたり気まずい状況に陥ってしまうこともあり、発音練習の意欲をなくしてしまうこともあります。以下では、自宅でリラックスしながら発音練習をして自信をつける、さまざまなヒントをご紹介します。 

鏡とBBCの発音練習ビデオを利用する 

発音は運動の一つです。正しい発音をするには口の形に注意することが大切です。 「BBC Learning English」のビデオと鏡を利用して、難しい発音の訓練をしましょう。 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/features/pronunciation

自分の発音を録音する 

初めは少し違和感を感じるかもしれませんが、自分の発音を録音することで、何を修正する必要があるのかを実感できます。映画やテレビ番組のセリフを繰り返し発音し、聴き返してみて本物の発音と比べてみましょう。さらに、口の形を分析するために、発音している姿をビデオに撮るのもよいでしょう。 

 Siri」に話しかける 

Siri、Alexa、Googleなどの瞬時にあらゆる情報を提供してくれるAIアシスタントは、多くの人々に利用されています。しかし、これらの賢い機能が発音向上にも役立つということをご存じですか?言語設定を英語にして会話をしてみましょう。とくに難しいと感じた発音フレーズを書き留めておき、それらを発音してみてAIアシスタントが理解できるかを確認してみましょう。 

歌をうたう 

歌をうたう行為は気分を上げる効果だけでなく、発音練習にも効果があります。歌詞がついた曲のミュージックビデオをみてみましょう。まずは慣れるまで何度か聴いて、その後歌手に合わせて歌をうたってみます。必要に応じて停止したりリピートしたりして、練習しましょう。 

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Prüfungsvorbereitung: 5 Wichtige Tipps…

Wir alle wissen, wie schwierig und stressig die Tage vor den Prüfungen sein können. Wir warten ungeduldig auf das Ende dieses Albtraums. Aber es gibt einige wirklich gute Tipps, die Ihnen helfen werden, dieser Situation mit Zuversicht zu begegnen.  Als erstes…
  1. Organisieren Sie Ihren Lernplatz!

Achten Sie darauf, dass Sie genügend Platz haben, um Ihre Lehrbücher, Notizen und PC unterzubringen. Zusätzlich sollten Sie das richtige Licht für Ihr Zimmer und einen bequemen Schreibtischstuhl haben. Beseitigen Sie alle Ablenkungen und stellen Sie sicher, dass Sie sich bestmöglich konzentrieren können. Für einige Menschen bedeutet das fast völlige Stille. Im Gegensatz dazu hilft Anderen Hintergrundmusik.

Über all dem sollten Sie Ihr Handy  jedoch konsequent auf stumm lassen und Ihre Zeit nicht mit Spielen oder Social Media verschwenden. 

 

  1. Trinken Sie genügend Wasser!

Denken Sie daran, dass eine ausreichende Flüssigkeitsversorgung für Ihr Gehirn unerlässlich ist, um optimal zu arbeiten. Achten Sie also darauf, dass Sie während Ihrer Vorbereitung und auch am Prüfungstag immer viel Wasser trinken. 

 

  1. Organisieren Sie Lerngruppen mit Freunden!

Zusätzlich können Sie mit Freunden eine Lerngruppe organisieren. Wahrscheinlich haben Sie Fragen, auf die Ihre Freunde eine Antwort wissen und umgekehrt. Solange Sie sich alle einig sind, dass Sie sich für eine bestimmte Zeit auf das Thema konzentrieren, kann dies eine der effektivsten Möglichkeiten sein. Denn Sie fordern sich selbst heraus und können zusätzliche Tipps bekommen.

 

  1. Üben Sie alte Prüfungen!

Eine weitere effektive Weise, sich auf Prüfungen vorzubereiten, ist mit früheren Prüfungsversionen zu lernen. Dies hilft Ihnen, sich an den Aufbau der Fragen zu gewöhnen und – wenn Sie die Zeit messen  entwickeln Sie so auch das richtige Zeitgefühl für die einzelnen Abschnitte. 

 

  1. Regelmäßige Pausen& Snacks!

Und schließlich müssen wir natürlich noch zwei weitere wirklich wichtige Tipps erwähnen. Und zwar: Regelmäßige Pausen und Snacks nicht vergessen! Dies ist mindestens genauso wichtig, wie genügend Wasser zu trinken.

Studien haben gezeigt, dass für eine langfristige Wissenserhaltung die regelmäßigen Pausen sehr hilfreich sind. Jeder ist anders, also entwickeln Sie Ihre eigene Lernroutine. Wenn Sie morgens besser lernen können, beginnen Sie früh und machen mittags eine Pause. Wenn Sie nachts produktiver sind, machen Sie früher am Tag eine größere Pause, damit Sie bereit sind, sich am Abend auf den Lernstoff zu konzentrieren. 

Auch wenn Ihnen wahrscheinlich nach einer Belohnung in Form von Süßigkeiten ist oder Sie glauben, nicht genügend Zeit zum Kochen zu habensollten Sie trotzdem versuchen sich während der Lernphase gesund zu ernähren. Dies kann wirklich einen Einfluss auf das Energieniveau und die Konzentration haben, also halten Sie sich von Junk Food fern. Versorgen Sie Ihren Körper und Ihr Gehirn ausreichend mit Nährstoffen, indem Sie nahrhafte Lebensmittel wählen. Die Konzentration und das Gedächtnis werden nachweislich unterstützt von z. B. Fisch, Nüsse, Samen, Joghurt und Heidelbeeren.

Viel Erfolg bei der Vorbereitung und Prüfung! 

English version:

EXAM PREPARATION: 5 IMPORTANT STUDY TIPS

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Grammatik lernen für den Alltag

Meistens verwenden wir ein unterbewusstes Wissen, wenn wir in unserer Muttersprache sprechen. Wir denken nicht viel darüber nach, wie wir sagen sollen, was wir denken, wir sagen es einfach. 

Wenn wir eine zweite Sprache lernen, entwickeln wir oft eine ganz andere Art von Wissen. Ein Wissen, das bewusst ist und mentale Anstrengungen erfordert. Zum Beispiel wissen wir, dass Verben in der Gegenwart in der dritten Form Singular ein -s angehängt bekommenDiese Art von Wissen während des Sprechens zu nutzen fällt uns jedoch viel schwerer. Das liegt daran, dass der Zugriff auf dieses Wissen in Echtzeit nicht einfach ist. Gleichzeitig müssen wir auf viele andere Aspekte des Gesprächs achten. Das Ergebnis ist, dass wir am Ende zwar die richtigen Sprachkenntnisse haben, diese aber während der fließenden Kommunikation nicht anwenden können. 

Die meisten Experten in diesem Bereich des Zweitspracherwerbs sind sich heutzutage einig, dass wir zur Überwindung dieser Schwierigkeit viel Übung benötigen. Nach dieser Ansicht kann die Praxis der Anwendung unseres bewussten Wissens uns helfen, allmählich ein unbewusstes Wissenssystem aufzubauen. Dieses wiederum ermöglicht es uns schließlich, eine zweite Sprache so zu sprechen, wie wir unsere Muttersprache sprechen: Fließend, spontan und mühelos. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Die Praxis kann eine Reihe von Aktivitäten umfassen, von den traditionelleren Übungen, die für ein Grammatikbuch typisch sind, über kommunikativere Unterrichtsaktivitäten bis hin zu Gesprächen außerhalb des Klassenzimmers. Alle diese Arten von Praktiken sind von Vorteil, wenn nicht sogar notwendig, aber vor allem hängt ihre Wirksamkeit davon ab, ob wir unser bewusstes Wissen nutzen oder nicht. Wenn wir also beispielsweise die Verwendung einer Grammatikregel lernen wollen, sagen wir, das Anhängen      von -s, um einfache Verben in der dritten Person Singular zu präsentieren, müssen wir versuchen, diese Regel während der Übungen richtig zu verwenden. Dies wird in der Anfangsphase erhebliche Anstrengungen erfordern, aber der Aufwand wird mit zunehmender Übung allmählich abnehmen. 

Das heißt Sie brauchen sich keine Sorgen mehr machen und sollten stattdessen versuchen, Ihre Grammatik im Alltag mehr anzuwenden.

Viel Erfolg dabei wünscht Eurospeak!

 

English version:

LEARNING GRAMMAR FOR REAL COMMUNICATION

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SeaCity Museum, Southampton

Last week was amazing; I visited the SeaCity museum in Southampton with my friend Hassan.  I learned a lot about Southampton’s history and the Titanic.  Actually, I got very excited watching the Titanic film. 

While we were at the museum, we talked about what happened, and we visualised the lack of safety boats on the Titanic and how this changed for future ships.  In my opinion, there is no person to blame, but this was the result of a sequence of mistakes and wrong decisions.  

The important thing is that we get the benefits of what happened and maybe try to avoid such events again. 

Mustafa A.

October, 2019 

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Akademisches und Allgemeines IELTS – Was ist der Unterschied?

Es gibt zwei Versionen der IELTS-Prüfung: Akademisches und Allgemeines. Hier ist ein kurzer Guide zu den Unterschieden (und Ähnlichkeiten) zwischen den beiden Arten 

Beide Versionen der IELTS-Prüfung bestehen aus vier Abschnitten: „Hören“, „Lesen“, „Schreiben“ und „Sprechen. Die Abschnitte Hören und Sprechen sind in beiden Versionen gleich, Die Abschnitte Lesen und Schreiben sind  jedoch unterschiedlich.  

In beiden Versionen hören Sie im Bereich Hören insgesamt vier Monologe und Gespräche und beantworten dazu eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Fragen. Sie werden die Aufnahme nur einmal hören und der Test dauert ca. dreißig Minuten.  

In beiden Versionen beantworten Sie im Bereich Sprechen Fragen zu vertrauten Themen. Sprechen anschließend ein bis zwei Minuten lang kontinuierlich über das Thema und beantworten Fragen zu abstrakteren Themen. Die Sprechprüfung findet individuell mit einem Prüfer statt. Sie ist elf bis vierzehn Minuten lang.  

Für Academic Reading lesen Sie drei längere Texte und beantworten eine Vielzahl von Fragen dazu. Die Texte sind eher akademischer Natur. Sie haben eine Stunde Zeit, um den Test abzuschließen.  

Für General Reading lesen Sie ebenfalls drei Texte und beantworten eine Vielzahl von Fragen zu diesen. Allerdings beziehen sich diese Texte mehr auf arbeitsrelevante Themen und allgemeine Interessen. Dieser Test dauert ebenfalls dreißig Minuten.  

Für Academic Writing schreiben Sie zwei TexteDer erste ist eine Zusammenfassung der Informationen. Möglicherweise werden Sie aufgefordert, Informationen aus einem Diagrammeiner Grafik oder einer Tabelle zusammenzufassen, welche einen Prozess, ObjekteKarten oder Pläne zeigen könnenDer zweite Text soll ein Aufsatz sein. Sie haben insgesamt eine Stunde Zeit für beide Schreibaufgaben.  

Für General Writing müssen Sie auch zwei Texte verfassen. Die erste Aufgabe ist ein Brief und die zweite Aufgabe ist ein Aufsatz. Die Dauer der Prüfung beträgt auch hier insgesamt eine Stunde für beide Schreibaufgaben.  

Jetzt wissen Sie etwas mehr über die Unterschiede und die Ähnlichkeiten zwischen Akademischem und Allgemeinem IELTS.  

 

English version:

Academic or General IELTS?

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Top 10 Sehenswürdigkeiten Großbritanniens (Teil 2)

Hier kommt der 2. Teil… Viel Spaß beim Lesen! 
1. Westminster Abbey 

In dieser Kirche in London, im Stadtteil Westminster, werden traditionell die Könige und Königinnen gekrönt und auch die Hochzeit von Prince William und Kate Middleton fand 2011 hier statt. Des Weiteren ist es auch die Grabstätte eines Großteils der englischen Könige. Über Westminster Abbey gibt es noch viel anderes zu entdecken, ein Besuch lohnt sich also! 

Mehr Infos: Westminster Abbey 

  

 

 
2. Windsor Castle 

Das „Windsor Castle“ ist ein königlicher Palast in der britischen Grafschaft Berkshire. Es kann leicht von London aus besucht werden, ideal wenn man eine Abwechslung zu London haben will. Außerdem residiert hier die Queen.  

Wenn du mehr über das „Windsor Castle“ wissen willst und etwas über die Preise erfahren willst, kannst du hier nachschauen: Windsor Castle. 

 

3. The British Museum 

Gleich vorweg: Dieses Museum ist nicht nur was für Kulturliebhaber. Es zeigt mehr als 2 Millionen Jahre der menschlichen Geschichte und Kultur und das nicht nur aus Großbritannien, sondern aus Afrika, Asien, Europa, Amerika und der Antike. Und das Beste: Der Eintritt für die Dauer-Ausstellungen ist frei. Also worauf wartest du noch? 

Mehr Infos: The British Museum 

 

 

 

4. Stonehenge 

Für die einen mag es nichts Besonderes sein, für die anderen dafür umso mehr: Stonehenge. Der Steinkreis gilt noch heute als ungelöstes Rätsel. Welchen Sinn hat dieser und wie sind die Steine dort hingekommen wo sie heute sind? Denn zu der Erschaffungszeit von „Stonehenge“ gab es noch keine Transportmittel wie heute. 

Jedenfalls sagt man sich, dass dort eine mystische Atmosphäre herrscht. Also warum sich nicht mal verzaubern lassen? 

Mehr Infos: Stonehenge 

 

 

 

 

  

 5. St Paul’s Cathedral 

In dieser Kathedrale fand das Staatsbegräbnis von Sir Winston Churchill statt und auch haben hier einst Prinz William und Prinzessin Diana geheiratet. Du kannst die „St Pauls Cathedral“ von oben bis unten besichtigen. Im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes, denn von der Spitze des Domes bis ganz unten, hin zu der Krypta, gibt es viel zu entdecken. 

Mehr Infos: St Paul’s Cathedral 

 

 

 

 

 

Das waren „Die 10 bekanntesten Sehenswürdigkeiten des Vereinigten Königreichs. 

Wir hoffen es hat dir gefallen! 

 

English version:

The 10 most famous sights of the United Kingdom (Part 2)