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

Cambridge Assessment Launches New English Language Test: Linguaskill

taking an online test - Cambridge Linguaskill language testCambridge Assessment English (previously known as Cambridge English Language Assessment) has launched a new simplified test called Linguaskill. This is a multilevel online test, which can provide personalised results within 12 hours. Linguaskill can test the writing, reading and listening skills of students from beginner A1 level up to advanced C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Continue reading

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! Let’s Explore Wedding Vocabulary…

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement! The fifth in line to the British throne became engaged to the American actress earlier this month. The news was revealed to the media last week and has been warmly received by everyone. The union of Harry and Meghan brings Britain and America together – although they remain two nations divided by a common language! Join us for an exploration of wedding vocabulary and words related to engagements as we await the next royal wedding. Continue reading

Are We Losing the Gradable Adverbs of British Understatement? Quite Possibly…

Cosmo Duff Gordon - Titanic - British understatementAn English academic has claimed that many English adverbs are falling out of common usage. The classic understatement of English speakers means our language has always been peppered with phrases such as ‘rather difficult’, ‘quite likely’, ‘awfully expensive’ and ‘terribly sad’. These trademark English expressions are under threat as we are doing away with gradable adverbs. Not only this, many traditional English words are being eroded by an influx of Americanisms. So does this mean the end for gradable adverbs and classic British understatement? Quite possibly… Continue reading

How Do You Pronounce Hurricane Ophelia?

Hurricane Ophelia - pronunciationHurricane Ophelia arrived in the British Isles on October 16th, leaving many homes in Ireland and Wales without power and schools temporarily closed. There were violently strong winds across parts of Scotland, Wales and England as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia hit British shores from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. With so much discussion in the news about the hurricane, English language learners might have been intrigued or confused about the ‘ph’ pronunciation in the word Ophelia. Read on to find out the correct pronunciation of Hurricane Ophelia, how hurricanes get their names and how the ‘ph’ sound and letter combination works in English. Continue reading

Learn Ancient and Rare Languages in New Online Courses

Tribalingual - rarest languages courses

Have you ever wanted to talk to locals in the ancient language of Gangte? Now you can! Tribalingual is running a series of online language courses for students wishing to learn rare languages and help preserve ancient cultures. The last native speakers of a number of ancient and rare languages have been recruited to help deliver content for the courses, which will be taught via video link. Languages available to study include Ainu, a Japanese dialect, Greko, a ancient form of Greek, and Buryat, a Mongolian dialect. Would you like to study one of the world’s rarest languages? Continue reading

UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Kicks Off!

UEFA Women's Euro 2017 The UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 is currently playing in the Netherlands, giving us the perfect excuse to move on from tennis after the excitement of Wimbledon and into some fresh football vocabulary! The Euros group stage began on 16th July and the final will take place on 16th August. Join us for a soccer-themed language and culture lesson as we explore the fascinating history of women’s football and dive into the latest footy action with the Euros 2017! Continue reading

Portugal Song is First Non-English Eurovision Winner for a Decade

Portugal's Salvador Sabral wins Eurovision 2017

Salvador Sabral’s victory for Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest this year is the first time that a non-English Eurovision song has won the coveted crown since 2007. Salvador performed Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both) at the Grand Final in Kiev to an enraptured crowd. One of the most interesting elements of the singer’s performance was that the bossa nova was entirely in Portuguese, written and composed by his sister. Continue reading

Forgotten First Languages Leave Imprint On Brain, Study Shows

forgotten first languages - baby learningYou never forget your first language – even if you have never spoken it, scientists have discovered. Babies develop knowledge of the language they hear in their first few months of life and will always retain that knowledge on an abstract level. It has been discovered that your brain retains the hidden ability to recall forgotten first languages decades on. The findings indicate not only that you never truly forget your birth language but also that language acquisition as a baby is abstract in nature and not dependent on experience. Continue reading