Welcome to today's Lunchtime Lessons post. This week we are looking at how to use the words AS and LIKE. Our Lunchtime Lessons are are free Online English classes where we look at areas of English which are often difficult for students.
If you didn’t manage to join us for our live session, you can catch up with the highlights of the class below. If you’d like to join our live session for the chance to ask the teacher questions, you can book your place directly on our website. These classes are 100% free and are on Tuesdays at 12pm.
There is only one thing being talked about in Scotland at the moment, and that is the result of the independence referendum on the 18th of September. On the morning of the 19th, we will know if Scotland has chosen to go it alone or remain part of the UK.
Regardless of personal opinion, it is extremely important to understand how we have arrived at this point and discuss the possibilities. So, we have put together a class all about the history before the referendum with lots of great videos and a selection of useful vocabulary.
These resources are also great for teachers to download if you'd like to use them with your class.
As always, our materials are 100% free, we just ask that you share them with your friends!
You can find the downloadable material at the top of the blog, just click for the PDF, and you can find the videos listed below.
Whatever happens on the 19th, the debate so far has been peaceful, respectful, intelligent and eye-opening. Here at The Edinburgh Experience we think that spirit will continue regardless of the result. What do you think the result will be? Leave us a comment!
Looking for English classes? Our academic year has started in Edinburgh, have a look HERE for more information.
For our ADVANCED class, you can find the 1979 referendum and mine closure videos at this link, along with a great summary of our recent history
Video of Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond
For the INTERMEDIATE level you can find the YES campaign video here
And the video from the NO campaign
Hello and welcome back! This month we have a class all about the word SO. SO is an extremely common word in English with lots of different uses, and is often confused. In this post, we're looking at all the ways we can use it, the pronunciation and also expressions which use SO.
As always, download our PDF where you can also find the answers. Please share our blog with any friends you think might be interested. Our materials are 100% free!
At this time of year you're probably starting to think of what to do during your summer holidays. Well, why not come to the beautiful city of Edinburgh to enjoy one of our marvellous English courses? We combine our courses with integrated language tasks which take place in some of the most interesting cultural locations in the city. This means you get to combine excellent teaching with a brilliant holiday! Find out more about our courses HERE.
Remember, we have discounts for groups, students and the unemployed so get in touch to see if you qualify. Our classes are limited in size to ensure our students get the best possible teaching, so contact us as soon as possible to ensure your space!
Until next time!
The Edinburgh Experience
Happy Halloween to you all! At The Edinburgh Experience, we LOVE Halloween and want to share our reason why with you! Most people think of Halloween only as a commercial holiday, but it's so much more than that! Find out today about the history of the day and how we celebrate it in Scotland.
INTERESTING HALLOWEEN FACT - "Trick or treat" is translated in Spanish as "truco o trato", but this is incorrect. The word "treat" in this context means something special which you don't normally have. You could transalte it as "capricho" or "algo especial". This is a great example of why you ALWAYS need to look at the context of language.
THIS MONTH'S LESSON - Please download our PDF where you can read a text about the history of Halloween in Scotland, and also the roots of the tradition in the United States. You can listen and read at the same time, if you press the TEXT AUDIO button.
We also have lots of great vocabulary for talking about fears and phobias. Listen to the VOCAB AUDIO button where you can hear an explanation for each word and match them to the definitions on the PDF. You'll find the answers on page 3.
We've also included a list of discussion questions for teachers to use in class.
And as an extra treat, enjoy Michael Jackson's Thriller below with lyrics!
Until next time!
The Edinburgh Experience Team
Happy Valentine's Day from The Edinburgh Experience! We hope that you're having a wonderful day wherever you are.
Today we have a relationship theme and lots of expressions for you to learn!
We'll be looking at multi word verbs related to relationships so as usual you need to download our PDF and then listen to the audio to find out what they mean.
As always, the answers are at the end of the document.
Don't forget to have a look at our summer courses as well. The dates have been announced! Places are limited so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about Valentine's Day. Do you think it's romantic or just an excuse to sell more chocolates and flowers? Leave us a comment and practise your writing!
And we leave you with a wonderful song by the Beatles! Enjoy and follow the lyrics.
Lots of LOVE from us!
There are some words in English which look very similar. Some words have almost the same meaning but with a small difference. And some words look similar in spelling to Spanish but are actually totally different! For whatever reason, they are confusing! Today we’re looking at some common problems
Can you explain the difference between fun and funny? Download our PDF then listen to the audio to hear the explanation There are also some practice exercises for you do to, and of course the answers!
What words confuse you in English? Leave us a comment and we can help explain!
Want some extra practice? Have a look at this useful video.
However, don’t panic about learning lists of 100s of verbs! Just learn them as they appear. The most important thing is to learn them in context as they very often change meaning. Today we’re looking at them in the context of Christmas! Look at the verbs in the text and see if you can understand what they mean. You can find the answers at the end of the blog post. Don't forget to click on the links to get your little Christmas presents from us!
We very often make mistakes with functional language because we translate it literally. Below are some examples of language to give opinions. They are direct translations from Spanish into English which are incorrect. Do you know how to say them properly?
- I think learning English is great!
- Yes, I’m agree with you.
- Is learning English difficult?
- Difficult no, but it’s complicated.
- Is the school open tomorrow?
- I think no.
- Practising listening in English is important.
- I’m disagree. I think speaking is more important.
Listen to the AUDIO button and find out how to say them properly! You can find the answers and a worksheet on our PDF button.
Do you have any more questions about how to express opinions? Please comment on our post!
The news reached me the other day that UGT, one of Spain’s biggest trade unions, has made an official complaint against the Region of Madrid for employing non-qualified native English speaking teachers for their pet project, bilingual schools.
I can’t believe it didn’t happen earlier. While the economic crisis and spending cuts have been constantly in the public eye, the changes being carried out in the bilingual schools system have been slipping in under the radar.
Originally it consisted of having language assistants in primary schools. I’m sure few people would find a problem with this. In fact, I’d like to see it in the UK. It's a great way to introduce a foreign language at primary level.
But I digress. The language assistants morphed into the former
president of the region Esperanza Aguirre’s flagship policy. A polyglot herself, Aguirre had a vision of Spanish children growing up in a bilingual society, similar to that of the Nordic countries.
Not a bad idea in principle? Well, apart from the fact that I suspect this policy was brought in to detract from other very negative ones, there are some pretty fundamental flaws with the plan.
Firstly, the reason that Nordic countries have such a high level of English is that they are surrounded by the language. T.V is in English, films aren’t dubbed and due to not many people being fluent in Finnish
there is a real necessity for speaking a lingua franca.
In Spain, unless you live in the centre of the capital it is pretty much impossible to find a cinema where films aren’t dubbed. Despite there being many English speaking programmes on TV, none of them are in the original language, and even in the “red button” digital age
people won’t watch in English.
A lot of parents don’t speak English and out of large city centres it’s not easy to find or hear people speaking it either.
Basically, for a six year old there is absolutely no necessity for them to speak in English. I was brought up bilingual, speaking Spanish in Scotland. I never spoke Spanish when I was young unless I was in Spain. Why? Because people understood me when I spoke to them in English. It was only in Spain when I realised English didn’t work that I used Spanish.
So, if Spain wants to be truly “bilingual” in English it needs to change a lot of things on a social and cultural level.
But why on earth SHOULD Spain become a bilingual country? It has
no historical ties with the UK, at least not very positive ones. Other countries such as Germany and Portugal have high levels of English without resorting to bilingualism. Isn’t it enough to simply raise the hours and quality of English lessons children are getting at school? And what about the consequences of this “bilingualism”. There may well be some potentially dangerous fallout from the way these schools are being organised and developed.
Teachers with years of experience are in danger of losing their jobs if they don’t drastically improve their English in a very limited time, and often to an unachievable level. What does this say of how much their knowledge and experience is valued?
Youth unemployment is at over 50%. My English classes are full of incredibly talented, motivated and intelligent teaching graduates with a good level of English. It’s impossible for them to find a job. Shouldn’t these jobs be going to them?
The “native speaker” is being put on a pedestal and considered the
best possible teacher simply because they grew up speaking the language. This is the equivalent of me performing open-heart surgery simply because I once put a plaster on someone. We are endangering an entire generation’s education by putting them into the hands of
unqualified people during crucial formative years. What does it say of a society or government when they don’t value their teachers?
And in the long-term, what impact is this going to have on Spanish identity? Children are basically being told that unless you can speak English you’re inadequate. I feel these schools are giving the English language priority over the Spanish one. It smacks of imperialism, an
invading nation coming in and imposing their language on the population. We’re destroying the beauty of studying a foreign language.
Learning a foreign language should be about opening doors to other worlds and ideas. It makes you a better human being because it makes you think in a different way. Imposing a language only leads to resentment.
Teaching is a vocation. Teachers are some of the most dedicated people in the world. It’s the most important job there is. Without teachers, you can’t have anything else. Spanish teachers are already fighting against some of the most severe public spending cuts in history. Are we really going to make them fight this battle as well?
Learn vocabulary and expressions while you communicate in English! Please feel free to comment on our posts or ask any questions