Happy Birthday, Your Majesty! Exploring Royal Vocabulary

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The Queen's birthdayPatriotic households everywhere will be flying the flag for The Queen on 21st April as Her Majesty celebrates her 92nd birthday. The Queen normally celebrates her special day privately, although the event is marked by gun salutes held at midday in Central London and other gun salutes around the capital at Hyde Park, Windsor Great Park and the Tower of London. This year, there will also be a special musical celebration at the Royal Albert Hall. We’re raising a glass to the Queen as she cuts her birthday cake, so come and join us for some royal vocabulary! Continue reading

Get On the Starting Line… It’s the London Marathon!

London Marathon EFL Lesson - starting lineIt’s the London Marathon tomorrow! This big race is held annually in the spring and this year we’ll see over 40,000 people take to the streets of London for the 26.2 mile course. The heat this weekend has raised some concerns about health and safety of the runners, but it hasn’t deterred thousands from lacing up their trainers with over 75% running to raise money for charity. Read on to learn more about this long-distance race and explore vocabulary and conversation topics in our fun London Marathon EFL lesson.  Continue reading

Amazon’s Alexa to Offer Real-Time Translation

Real-time translation from AlexaAmazon is exploring the possibility of adding real-time translation to Alexa’s range of capabilities. If the real-time translation technology is enabled, this will help Alexa to tackle cultural misunderstandings, subtle nuances of speech and complex language barriers. Although the popular voice-enabled assistant can already translate simple words and phrases between a small number of languages, real-time translation from Alexa will enable universal communication on a much more sophisticated level.   Continue reading

Mother’s Day EFL Lesson Ideas

Mother's Day EFL LessonMothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which falls three weeks before Easter. This day was originally a religious day when people would visit their ‘mother’ church, but later it also became a day to celebrate motherhood. Mothering Sunday is now intertwined with the secular celebration, Mother’s Day and the two names are often used interchangeably. Join us to explore the origins of the day and enjoy our ‘correct word’ exercise and gap fill games. Continue reading

Celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day EFL Lesson - Women's History Month - International Women’s Day falls on 8th March every year and coincides with Women’s History Month. This special day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day also highlights areas where action is still needed to achieve gender parity around the world. An International Women’s Day EFL lesson can engage with these issues in a highly relevant way. The concept of access to education as a basic human right is reflected in language learning, as a great way to empower people through knowledge. Read on to get inspired! Continue reading

St David’s Day EFL Lesson – Exploring Welsh Culture

Happy St David's Day - Red Dragon FlagSt David’s Day falls on 1st March each year. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales and the Feast of St David commemorates the day he died in 589 AD. This special day has been celebrated since the 12th century and although it is not a national holiday in the UK, it is regularly marked with celebrations.

On Saint David’s Day it is traditional to eat Welsh foods and celebrate Welsh culture. This is an ideal time to explore all things Welsh in the EFL classroom, introduce students to Welsh culture and learn some new vocabulary. Join us in exploring the Welsh flag, national symbols, language, accent, foods and traditions for a fun St David’s Day EFL lesson! Continue reading

Whose or Who’s? Possessives and Contractions

Whose or Who's? Which word to use - owl eyesThe question is often asked: should it be whose or who’s? Whose and who’s are often confused, even by native English speakers. So what is the difference between ‘who’s and ‘whose’ and how do you know when to use each word? The difference is simple: ‘whose’ is the word we use to ask who owns something, while who’s is simply a shortening of ‘who is’. Contracted forms of words are rarely used in formal writing but they are often used in speech. The words ‘whose’ and ‘who’s’ are homophones, which means they sound the same. This is why the confusion arises. Continue reading

Who or Whom? How to Know Which to Use

Who or Whom? Wise OwlWhat is the difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom’ – and how do you know which to use? This grammar question has stumped many native English speakers, so it is no surprise that non-native speakers find it difficult. ‘Whom’ is used to refer to the object of a preposition or verb. But how does this work in real life? Read on for an explanation of the grammar behind ‘who’ and ‘whom’, common misconceptions surrounding the ‘who or whom’ debate and useful examples of sentences showing when to use ‘who’ and ‘whom’ – and when it is a personal choice. Continue reading

Could Globish Replace English After Brexit?

Globish - What is Globish?

Last month, former Italian prime minister Mario Monti said that the English language should be ‘upgraded’ after Britain leaves the EU. It is clear that Monti thinks regular English is unsuitable for use on the world stage. But how should English be upgraded? Perhaps the answer is to use Globish. English has a million words but only a fraction of these are used on a day to day basis. It makes sense to concentrate on the most useful language when communicating internationally. But what exactly is Globish – and how could it replace English? Continue reading

English in International Trade: Britain’s Secret Weapon Post Brexit? 

English in International Trade The UK should be ‘forced’ to give Europe the English language after Brexit, former Italian prime minister Mario Monti has said. Monti, who is also a former EU commissioner, declared that English is ‘one of the very best products of Britain’ and that it should continue to be the main language of Europe. However, he also said that Europe should ‘upgrade’ English after the UK’s departure from the EU to increase its competitiveness on the world stage. The importance of English in international trade is obvious – so could this be Britain’s secret weapon post-Brexit? Continue reading