Trebinshun Blog

THHow to develop your confidence in using English

by Claire Jaynes

The biggest area where our learners want to improve at Trebinshun House is in being able to use English more confidently. Whether our students are preparing to speak at international conferences, lead weekly conference calls or negotiate contracts with new suppliers, what they all have in common is wanting to feel more sure of their language skills. So, what do we do on our Intensive Training programmes which helps to develop learners' confidence?

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THHow to be more fluent: the bigger picture

By Claire Jaynes

Unless we grow up in a bilingual home or community, many of us can struggle to achieve a good communicative level in another language. As adults, we only have short periods of time which we can dedicate to learning. So how can we improve our fluency in the shortest time possible? 

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TH Intercultural communication: what is its place in language learning?

By Claire Jaynes

Today, more than ever, we are working with individuals on a daily basis from around the world. At Trebinshun this week, we have a microcosm of these globalized working partnerships: a Swiss student who uses English, French and German in her job; a German student who works for a Japanese company and deals with suppliers in Russia, China and India and a Spanish student now based in the UK. Not to mention our other students who all have their own reasons for learning English and working with different cultural groups.

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THReflective Learning

By Claire Jaynes 

Last week, we had an amazing group of teachers and teacher trainers from the Netherlands at Trebinshun House. Of course, we very often work with business people on our Executive courses but in addition, we also work with closed groups in quite specialist areas, in this case, teaching and learning (a subject close to our hearts). One theme that came up was reflective learning: what is this and why is it useful for language learners.

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THReaching a plateau: how do you get from Intermediate to Advanced?

By Claire Jaynes

As a teacher, it has often been my experience that students are concerned with reaching advanced level. They have reached the point where they can communicate on an everyday basis on a fairly wide range of topics and without making too many mistakes. These students have reached the 'Intermediate Plateau' and at Trebinshun House we work with many clients who already have this solid foundation but are looking to progress further. So how to express oneself more clearly, to be able to manage more complex tasks such as presentations, skillful negotiations or perhaps go on to a higher level of studies?

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THTranslation: what you need to know as a language learner

By Claire Jaynes

We proudly redesigned our website last year (hope you like it!). Like many companies with an international reach, we had it translated into 9 languages. Only this week, we had some feedback from one of our Russian partners about the 'Finding us' section which reads instead that Trebinshun is a godsend*. Well, we think so too but that was NOT our intended message. 

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THDo you feel different when speaking your second language?

by Claire Jaynes

Is it just me or do you feel different when you speak in another language? And I'm not talking about feeling embarrassed about pronunciation or feeling annoyed when not finding quite the right word or even - more dramatically - using completely the wrong word (yes, we've all been there). Some people report taking on a new identity when they use another language: my friend, Helen, says she becomes more extrovert when she speaks Portuguese or Spanish. Watching her, she certainly gets more animated and gesticulates a lot more than she does when speaking English. Is there any academic evidence for this idea?

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THWhat can you gain from studying at advanced level?

by Claire Jaynes

Many teachers question how they can work effectively with Advanced level students. At the same time, students sometimes wonder if there is more to learn and what is the value of 'another' training course. After all, according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), an intermediate student (B1/B2) can read articles and reports, can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity and can understand information on a wide range of subjects, especially in their field of interest. Sounds useful. So what does it mean to be 'advanced' level and what can you gain from doing further training at this level?

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THHow to get the most value from your language training course

by Claire Jaynes

As teachers and trainers, we often get asked, how can I make the most of my training course? What are the most effective ways to improve? Most of our clients are already successful in their own fields so the knowledge and skills they bring is invaluable. What they need from us is our expertise in the area of language and learning and the ability to match that with their objectives. Whilst acknowledging that everyone has different learning styles and preferences for the way they learn, most of us give the following advice and follow this through during the programme:

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THIt's more difficult to learn a language as an adult: fact or fiction?

By Claire Jaynes

The story goes that it's much easier for children to master a second language than an adult. Their brains are more used to learning and they can mimic pretty well (a useful skill when it comes to pronunciation at least). But does that mean that anyone over say 30, should give up on language learning? Obviously, we're slightly biased (we're in the business of teaching adults after all) but let's look at the evidence...

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THHow do we use English in 2016 and beyond?

By Claire Jaynes

English as a Lingua Franca

Last week we talked about a fascinating fact about English: that there are more non-native speakers who use English to communicate than native speakers. (OK, perhaps fascinating to us in language teaching). But did you know that not every German speaker who uses English is like every other German speaker. Yes, we are all individuals and have our own way of speaking BUT research proves,"...how (your) English develops depends entirely on who you communicate in English with, and the majority of the interlocutors will be speakers of other languages than their own." What does this mean for teachers, students and users of English?

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THWhat do you know about English?

By Claire Jaynes

I promise this isn't a test: we're not interested in your knowledge of the tense system of English (what a relief, I hear you say). But what is so compelling about this language that you are learning, one that has become so prominent in the world of business and education?

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