In both English newspapers and on television news programmes, humorous or ‘quirky’ news items offer readers and viewers some light relief from depressing news of economic and social problems. English people are known as ‘a nation of animal lovers,’ and readers enjoy news articles about animals doing odd, brave or unusual things or overcoming difficulties.
Recently, the London Metro newspaper covered the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, complete with eye catching photos of dressed up dogs and an attention grabbing headline; ‘Dressed up like a dog’s dinner.’ It went on to describe ‘the four legged followers of fashion,’ who were dressed in all the latest trends. Dressed up is a common phrasal verb or multi-word expression, meaning to wear smart or stylish clothes. If you’re ‘dressed uplike a dog’s dinner’ you are probably going out for the evening;
Is good English language knowledge important for your work and career?
What Do You Think?
This is question we are commonly asked by students before they enroll on an English language course and at the risk of sound bias, I would say the answer is most definitely ‘Yes’.
Out of all the factors that determine your success in your professional career, as important as what you know is who you know or in other words, your relationships and connections and with English being the most common language in the world it’s important for you to be able to communicate effectively with others.
A good command of English can help you achieve that.
I thought I would take this time to write a post about how good English skills can help you not just at work but in other areas of your life as well.
One obvious answer would be to join a good English course. However, the age of the internet has brought along many wonderful and useful tools that have made our life easier. Sat-navs, e-book readers and the myriad tools available in Microsoft Word such as spell-check and auto correct all attempt to improve our productivity in some way.
The downside of using these tools without giving it much thought, especially inbuilt typing tools such as auto-correct commonly found in MS Word also means that without a conscious effort, we could very likely be using words inappropriately without having fully understood what they mean.
Lets take a look here at some very simple ways you can steadily improve your English grammatical skills and mistakes to avoid
1) Understand the meaning and spelling of the more complex words in your vocabulary before you use them
This is perhaps the most common mistake people make when speaking in English: using incorrect spellings not just of complex words but often very simple ones as well. Take the example of ‘they’re, their and there’.
Check our advice on learning English vocabulary – read or listen:
Luckily for you, vocabulary is one component of any language that is perhaps, the easiest to improve. There are hundreds of tips, tricks and ways you can improve your vocabulary quickly and effectively. Here we are going to take a look at some of which I and our students have found most helpful.
1. Learning the meaning of new words is important
However, knowing the correct context to use it in is more important. The most effective technique I have found to help improve vocabulary is setting a goal to learn a couple of new words each week and then finding at least 2 places where you can use them: one whilst speaking and another whilst writing. This approach will help you avoid simply memorising the meaning of the word (which is of little use alone) and then knowing when and how to use it
Are you looking for a good English language school abroad?
Here is some advice…
The best way to learn English is to spend time immersed in the language and culture of an English speaking country.
The important thing to remember when choosing an English language school abroad is to keep your goals and preferences in mind in order to make the right decisions:
Your goal may be to learn English in preparation for a job or to study abroad
Choose a school that prepares you for national and international certification exams, like those given in Trinity, Cambridge, City and Guilds, and others.
Your goal may be to try to fit learning English abroad into your schedule
For busy people, who have very little spare time you will want a school that offers a flexible programme. Most schools offer courses that accommodate different schedules. Make sure that the school is aware of your schedule so they can customize your course accordingly.
Your goal may be to learn
Academic English, or
English for tourists
Whatever your goal, finding a course taught by, native English speaking instructors is essential.
How do I know which English school and course to choose?
Start by choosing your desired geographical location. For example: in a tropical location, in a warm climate, in a city, in the country…
Since cost is a major factor for most students – make a list of schools in your chosen location by order of the cost of their standard course, including accommodation.
Visit the websites of several English schools you’re interested in to find out the methodology and materials they use so you know it will fit your learning style.
Narrow down your list of schools then begin contacting them and ruling out those that don’t meet your goals and criteria.
What else do I need to know about choosing an English school?
You are investing a lot of time and money. Therefore, it is in your best interests to check on the certifications and licenses of the schools and teachers to ensure you will be receiving legitimate and proficient English instruction.
It is important that the school you choose gives you the choice of what courses to take based on your goals and skill level, i.e. beginner or advanced.
If you are going abroad during a peak period, such as the summer, schools typically employ temporary teachers just for these periods. These instructors may be inexperienced.
Ask what kind of accommodation options the school offers. It is beneficial to attend a school that arranges home stays with families. Staying with a local family is the best way to learn about a new culture and be immersed in the language.
To cut costs and ensure you are picking a recommended school, go with a group. Group organisers are familiar and knowledgable with all the schools out there. However, organisers do receive discounts from most language schools. Agents who organise these tours will choose the schools who give them the largest discounts, thus, they may not necessarily be the best schools.
Be careful that the school you choose is a professional one that employs qualified, experienced, native English speaking instructors and is committed to maintaining high standards.
The meaning of ‘IELTS’ explained and exam taking tips
If you are thinking about taking an English exam and not sure which to choose you may be asking what is the IELTS exam. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is the most popular English proficiency test in the world. It is designed to assess your language ability to determine if you can adequately study or work where English is the primary language.
Since 1989, IELTS has proven to be a secure and valid test recognised by universities and employers in over 130 countries, including: the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is also recognised by immigration authorities, professional bodies and other government agencies.
If you’re looking to work and study English at the same time, an evening English course may just be ideal for you.
Here we look at some of the advantages of our evening classes to help you decide if this is right for you.
Firstly, as availability of jobs globally (and especially in countries like Greece and Spain) continues to reduce, many students who come to Link School find the need to work and study at the same time in order to be able to fulfil the cost of not just improving their English language skills but also of supporting themselves during their stay in London.
Common mistakes in English: stationary vs stationery
Are they two different words or is it just a spelling mistake?
These two words are often confused. Stationary is an adjective. Means standing still, not moving. Stationery is a noun. Means writing materials, as pen, paper, envelope, ink, ruler.
Word origin: from Latin ‘stationem’ (station). ‘Stationarius’ in Medieval Latin was a stationary seller. (Peddlers were more common in the Middle Ages). ‘Stationers’, sellers with a fixed location, were often bookshops. From the 18th century ‘stationery’ was used for articles sold by a stationer, seller of books and paper.
Yes. To book your English course online, request a placement test and we will send it to you by e-mail. Registration form can be also sent by e-mail.
Will I get a certificate?
Yes, on your request. It is a good idea to collect certificates showing your progress in English and add them to your professional portfolio. There is an administration fee of £5 for the issue of a certificate.
Is there a registration fee?
No. Many English schools charge registration fees, but we don’t. You will only pay your course fees. However, if you book other services with us, additional fees may apply.
Do I need a course book?
If you attend our part-time English courses, you will need to buy a course book. With our intensive English courses student books are available to buy or borrow from the school.
What if I miss my class?
Don’t worry, if you miss one or two lessons, you will be able to follow your course. Ask your teacher what was done, check with a colleague their notes and your text book.