Categories
Academic IELTS B1 Test CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS Grammar IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation ISIC Language School Life in Reading Listening online english Reading Reading University skills Solent University Southampton Southampton University Universities in UK Vocabulary

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 >

Categories
Academic IELTS B1 Test CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School eurospeak Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Learn English Reading Southampton

ESPECULAR SOBRE LAS FOTOS EN LOS EXÁMENES DE EXPRESIÓN ORAL

¿Te preguntas qué decir cuando tienes que hablar de fotos en tu examen de expresión oral? Especular es la respuesta. “Pero ¿qué es especular y cómo lo hago?” Te oigo preguntar. Sigue leyendo para obtener la respuesta. 

Especular es cuando adivinas algo basado en la evidencia, y usar modales de especulación es una gran manera de especular. Aquí tienes algunos ejemplos: 

 

 

I think hmust be happy because he’s smiling. 

 

Aquí usamos must + bare / base infinitive para mostrar que estás casi completamente seguro de que algo es verdad. 

 

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

 

Aquí temenos could + be + ing para mostrar posibilidad. 

 

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

 

Aquí usamos might + have + past participle para mostrar posibilidad. 

 

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

 

Aquí temenos may + have + been + ing para mostrar posibilidad 

 

También podemos usar can’t para mostrar que estás casi completamente seguro de que algo no es cierto, por ejemplo: 

 

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

 

Los dos primeros ejemplos son sobre el presente. Si estás haciendo el examen B2 First, puedes impresionar a los examinadores usando modales de especulación en el presente. 

 

Los últimos tres ejemplos son sobre el pasado. Si estás realizando el examen C1 Advanced, puedes impresionar a los examinadores utilizando modales de especulación del pasado. 

 

Por lo tanto, no te quedes sin palabras cuando tengas que hablar de fotos en tu examen de expresión oral. Especula basado en lo que puedes ver y usa modales de especulación para hacerlo. 

 

Categories
Academic IELTS B1 Test CAE Exam Preparation English Courses eurospeak Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation GCSE English General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Southampton Study Abroad

Cambridge vs. IELTS – Welche Prüfung ist die richtige Wahl für mich?

Einige der häufigsten Fragen, die uns von den Studenten gestellt werden, sind: Worin besteht der Unterschied zwischen Cambridge-Prüfungen und IELTS oder Welche Prüfung sollte ich ablegen? Es sind die 2 größten Prüfungen in Großbritannien, also werfen Sie einen Blick auf unsere praktische Tabelle unten, um zu entscheiden, welche für Sie die Beste ist. 

 

  Cambridge  IELTS 
Prüfungsarten  Verschiedene Prüfungen für verschiedene Stufen – KET (A2), PET (B1), FCE (B2), CAE (C1) und CPE (C2)  Die gleiche Prüfung für alle Stufen, aber Sie entscheiden sich für Akademisches Englisch oder Allgemeines Englisch. 
Benotung  Wenn Sie die A-C-Note bestehen oder aber scheitern solltenbekommen Sie, wenn die Stufe hoch genug war, trotzdem ein Zertifikat von der darunter liegenden Stufe.  Sie erhalten eine Punktzahl zwischen 1-9. 
Lerngebiete  Lerngebiete – Sprechen, Hören, Schreiben, Lesen und Gebrauch des Englischen (letzteres konzentriert sich auf Grammatik und Wortschatz).  Lerngebiete – Sprechen, Hören, Schreiben und Lesen   
Zertifikat  Sie erhalten ein Zertifikat, das für immer gültig ist.  Ihr Zertifikat wird in der Regel nur für zwei Jahre nach Ablegung der Prüfung an entsprechenden Institutionen akzeptiert.  
Zweck  Um ein Allgemeines Englischniveau nachzuweisen; akzeptiert von einigen Universitätskursen.  Um an eine Universität in Großbritannien zu gehen; für einige Arten von Visa; um im NHS (National Health Service= Nationaler Gesundheitsdienst) zu arbeiten. 

 

Wenn Sie sich nicht sicher sind, denken Sie darüber nach, warum Sie eine Prüfung ablegen wollen – machen Sie es, um Ihr allgemeines Niveau belegen zu können oder einen Kurs an der Universität zu besuchen? Oder um einen Job oder ein Visum zu bekommen? Auf der Website der jeweiligen Organisation finden Sie heraus, was sie brauchen – oft werden beide Arten der Prüfungen akzeptiert.  

Cambridge vs IELTS – Which one to choose?

Categories
Academic IELTS CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Exams English Language School eurospeak Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Reading Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Summer School

Cambridge vs IELTS – Which one to choose?

Some of the most common questions we are asked by students are ‘What is the difference between Cambridge exams and IELTS?’ or ‘Which exam should I take?’ They’re the 2 biggest exams in the UK, so have a look at our handy table below to decide which one is best for you.

  Cambridge IELTS
Types of exam Different exams for different levels – KET (A2), PET (B1), FCE (B2), CAE (C1) and CPE (C2) The same exam for all levels, but you choose the Academic English or the General English exam
Grading Pass A-C grade, or fail, although a ‘high’ fail gets a certificate from the level below You receive a band score between 1-9
Papers 4 papers – Speaking, Listening, Writing, Reading and Use of English (this is focused on grammar and vocabulary). 4 papers – Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading
Certificate You have a certificate which is valid forever Your certificate is normally only accepted at institutions for 2 years after you take the exam
Purpose To prove a general level of English; accepted by some university courses To go to university in the UK; for some types of visa; to work in the NHS

If you’re not sure, think about why you’re taking an exam – is it to show your general level, or to take a course? To get a job or to get a visa? Check on the website of the specific organisation to find out what they need – often they will accept either type of exam.

At Eurospeak we have extensive experience with both types of exam, so why not come in and have a chat with one of our friendly staff and let us help you find the exam and course which is best for you!

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:

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School eurospeak FCE Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Life in Reading Pancake Day Reading Shrove Tuesday Summer School

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:

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School eurospeak Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Reading University Solent University Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Summer School Uncategorized Universities in UK

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:

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Reading University Solent University Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Summer School Universities in UK

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:

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Reading University Solent University Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Summer School Universities in UK

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:

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Reading University Solent University Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Summer School Uncategorized Universities in UK

MINOR SENTENCES

A minor sentence can be thought of as a sentence where a verb is missing. Here are some examples:

  • Nothing coming.
  • Wow!
  • Like father, like son.
  • Not now.
  • Sarah here.
  • Oi, you!

It could even be possible to have a whole conversation using minor sentences:

A: How much for these?

B: One pound for ten.

A: Too much. How about these? How much for them?

B: Ninety pence for ten.

A: Alright.

B: A few sprigs of parsley too?

A: Okay.

Minor sentences are informal, so are most often found in spoken English rather than written English. However, these days, you could also come across them in tweets.

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:

Categories
CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Language School English Testing Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Reading University Solent University Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Summer School Uncategorized Universities in UK

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: