A lot of people in many countries are now working from home or not working at all because their companies have been forced to close down temporarily.
Are you one of them?
It is impossible or inadvisable to travel in these difficult times, but why not make the best of an awful situation? We suggest that you use this sad time while you are in lockdown or working less to start or continue your English language improvement with us.
No-one likes false friends but when we compare the English language to other languages, we find words that look similar but have different meanings; this can lead to embarrassing misunderstandings sometimes! We call these false friends and students at Trebinshun House love to explore these strange differences.
The UK is currently experiencing the full force of Storm Ciara.
Everyone knows that British people love to talk about the weather, but did you know that many English language idioms are based on the weather.
2019 is the 43rd Christmas for Trebinshun House as a language school for Business Executives.
We have welcomed people from all over the world to study in this beautiful part of Wales. Many of the clients who have studied here have shared an interesting fact or story about Christmas and New Year traditions in their own country.
The English language is full of idioms which often confuses and fascinates learners of the language.
Some of the things that we associate with Christmas in the UK, like Christmas trees and eating turkey for our Christmas lunch are often used in idiomatic language. As it’s Christmas, I thought it would be fun to look at some of these.
When we ask people the best way to improve our skills in something, the usual advice is to keep on practising.
This is an easy response but is this the best answer?
Obviously, if we don’t practise then it is difficult to maintain any new skills we have attained, but the question is what type of practice….
A student on one of our Executive English courses once asked me “what accent should I have?”
I love accents so I was a little surprised by the question and gave a quick reply “well, you are German, so I suppose a German accent .” After some discussion it became clear that he felt his accent sounded, in his words “unprofessional” when communicating with his American and British colleagues.
Recently, a student who was studying with us for 3 weeks told me he had dreamed in English – he was delighted and took it as a sign of real progress. Of course, he is right: the brain is working hard to integrate all the language taught in the classroom. For many of us, the ability to ‘think’ in another language is a sign that we are truly fluent. Yet, this is not something that happens overnight. So how can we move from translating every word to thinking and speaking with more ease in another language?
Two years ago we made quite a radical change at Trebinshun House.
We looked at the way our clients were booking intensive English language courses and realized that the majority of our clients were coming for one week courses. This was for various reasons – certainly life is much busier now and it is more and more difficult to leave the office or workplace for more than one week; also we have changed our opinion on the work/life balance and many of our clients make a priority of getting home for the week-end to be with their families; perhaps also the English level of our clients is rising and they need a short, sharp injection of language learning rather than a longer course.
Whether we call it ‘small talk’ or social English, the ability to start – and continue - a conversation with a stranger or a colleague or client is a useful skill. But the name itself seems rather negative: we want to do business and get to the point so why not just do that and not waste time? (some people might ask). Well, according to the Financial Times*, “If you don’t talk, people don’t like you much.” Let’s explore why small talk is important and how language is used.
It’s a couple of weeks into 2018 and your resolve to dedicate more time to English may be fading. Even if that’s not the case, we thought it would be fun to look at some of the ‘brain benefits’ of learning a language.