Happy Halloween!

Hello everyone!

Are you ready for the spookiest night of all year? Nowadays we’re all familiar with Halloween and all its traditions such as trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. But, where do these festivities come from?

The Origins…

The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve and it has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win” in English and “Samaín” in Galician).

The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. It was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires as it was believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them but, actually, the practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of “souling,” when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2).

But then, how come the USA is now the country which celebrates it the most?

Well, Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century and it stuck. Halloween is now popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.

The most significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the “trick” element.


As you can see, Galician, Irish and Scottish people share a very profound bond: The Celtic culture. We share cultural background and traditions which shouldn’t be overlooked! So go ahead and enjoy Halloween or Samhain, because, at the end of the day, the name is the least important thing!

Happy and spooky Halloween and Samhain folks! Watch out for ghosts!!!

Special thank you to our teacher Eoin for contributing to this post. Cheers Eoin!

Tune in, turn on or drop out!

Hello everyone!

It’s phrasal verb’s fun day!!! These multi-word verbs are usually feared by many students but, as I told you in the previous post, today we are going to have some fun with them!

There is a little poem by our Director Terence J. Paul (aka Terry) that I’m sure you’ll find challenging as well as extremely enjoyable! 😀

Students of English, please listen to my tale

of the birth of that child who makes you wail.

Her name was Hazel, his name was Herb

the fruit of their union – a Phrasal Verb.

No one could get it, none could stand

a child so tricky, so underhand.

They studied his meanings, so deep and obscure

but for a child so tricky there was no cure.

His meanings were multiple and arbitrary at that

his particle could change at the drop of a hat.

She’d say “make out” and mean “see a distance”

he’d say “make out” – “ligar” in this instance.

He’ll say “go through” and mean “check” or “assess”

nothing to do wirh “ir” and less with “a través”.

So, what can be done with such a troublesome child

to stop him from driving all students wild?

There has to be a system, a strategy, a plan

to help you to study as best as you can.

Now such a plan I’ll give you to make a new start.

To ease all your nightmares and put hope in your heart.

So do as I say and read what I write

and all the phrasal problems will vanish overnight.

Written by Terence James Paul (all rights reserved)

So, let’s take a look at those problems!

The most common problems:

  • The amount of phrasal verbs there are
  • They usually have more than one meaning (figurative vs literal)

Solutions:

  • Don’t let just a number overwhelm you. 🙂  Remember that you have started learning them most likely at the same time you started studying English. If you think about it, aren’t “get up” or “wake up” phrasal verbs?
  • Just look at them as words, just one more part of your vocabulary list, and how do you gain vocabulary? Read! Read every single article or piece of writing you run into. Having said this, it is true that figurative meaning phrasal verbs are hardly ever found in writings or books because they are considered too informal so, how can you become familiar with them? Well, how about films and series? I can assure you that we teachers can definitely tell when a student watches TV in English (even with English subtitles) due to his/her range of vocabulary, listening skills and pronounciation.

So, what are you waiting for? Turn your TV on or surf the Internet to watch a film or an episode of your favourite series in English! And remember that at Euroschool we are opening a Cinema Club you can also join!  I promise you’ll realise it makes a big difference! 🙂

Now clic the link below for some phrasal verb’s fun!

Macmillan Games

Until the next post folks! Go hard on those verbs! 😉

The history of English

Hi everyone!

Did you know that there are over one million words in English language whereas there are (roughly) half a million in Spanish? When I found out about this I started digging, looking for the reason why there are so many as most of them are not used in daily life! And then it hit me: could it be because of all the phrasal verbs they’ve got? Afetr all, the Cambridge Phrasal Verb Dictionary has 432 pages!!!! And there are new ones coming up every year so it doesn’t look like that dictionary is gonna get any shorter!

But let’s go back to why, why does the English language have so many words? I have found a youtube video which will shed some light on this matter. Just clic on one of the links below and check it out! 😉

The history of English language in 10 minutes (with subtitles)

The history of English language in 10 minutes (without subtitles)

Awesome, isn’t it? What struck the most was the very few things the evolution of English language has in common with Spanish. Here in Spain RAE chooses the new words to be included in the dictionary very carefully whereas in English it seems, if they like a word they just add it!

That’s all for today guys! But I know some of you may be thinking: “So, why were phrasal verbs mentioned and highlighted before? What do they have to do with this post?” Well, they are related, sure, but phrasal verbs are something we will have some fun with in our next entry, keep your eyes peeled!

We're back!!!!!

Hi people!!!

How is the summer going? It is September already!

In Euroschool we’re already preparing the new school year and today we would like to show you a little bit more about us. So let’s get started with a few words from our Director!

`April is the cruelest month……….´or at least that´s what the esteemed poet Thomas Stearns Eliot believed. I´m not sure if schoolchildren around the world  who are now returning to their desks or adults who are returning to their respective jobs would agree. September….they may argue, seems a much crueler deal. After a month or more of enjoying the long, lazy “glorious” days of summer, it is once more unto the breach and no more onto the beach (to paraphrase good ol´Henry V).

Fortunately, here at Euroschool we face no such dilemma. Now that the school is open all year round each day seems like a good day and while each term brings its own challenges we take great pride in being able to offer our services to  those who need them….when they need them.

Speaking of which, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers and students who worked tirelessly throughout the summer and offer my Congratulations to those students who were successful in their exams and my commiserations to those who fell short. Indeed, we are all immensely proud of the June Exam Results in which we managed to maintain our overall pass rate of 85%.

Congrats and thanks must also go to all our teachers and students who took part in our off – site summer courses : England, Southsea; Manzaneda, Galicia and The Big, Fat, Fun Urban Camp, Los Castros. The feedback has been incredibly positive and for that we are eternally grateful.

And so to THE FUTURE. I´m sure you´re all anxious to know what we have planned next. Well, more of the same for one thing and MORE of the new for another. Plans are afoot to relaunch our cinema club, open a conversation club and put into practice any of the ideas you may come up with. So put your thinking caps on and get ready for another GREAT YEAR at EUROSCOOL.

Remember: What we achieve tomorrow depends on what we do today.

Excelsior.

Terence James Paul.

Now, do you want to take a look at our school? Well, you know you just have to ask!


This is us!

Image result for arrow down

Euroschool of English, because “What we achieve tomorrow, depends on what we do today”

So go ahead and contact us via the comments section on this very page, web (www.euroschoolofenglish.com), Facebook, phone (981140024) or just come and visit (Fernando Macías Nº13), we’ll be more than happy to help and welcome you aboard!

I’m sure we’ll see each other very soon! 😉



Royal baby's first month

A couple of months ago the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton and Prince William) announced the birth of their second child: Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte (Elizabeth Diana) of Cambridge 🙂

But, have you ever wondered how much you actually know about the British Royal family? So, it’s time you found out and that’s why we have prepared a super quiz for you all! How many do you reckon you can get correct?

Have a go on your own or bet with your friends (since we are talking about English people you may as well adopt their customs! 😛 ), the answers will be posted at the very bottom of the page so you can check but no cheating guys!!!

1.  Which of the following is the Queen’s private residence?
a) Balmoral Castle; b) Windsor Castle; c) Buckingham Palace

2. Royal weddings generate souvenirs. What was the first royal wedding commemorated by mass-produced souvenirs?
a) George, Prince of Wales and Princess Caroline of Brunswick in 1795
b) Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg in 1816
c) Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840

3. Which is the following is not among Prince William’s given names?
a) Charles
b) Arthur
c) Louis

4. Who once said of Prince Charles, “You can’t possibly be king with ears like that!”
a) No one, it’s a fabrication
b) Prince Philip
c) Lord Louis Mountbatten

5. The Queen famously referred to a difficult year of her reign as her “annus horribilis.” What year was she referring to?
a) 1992, the year Charles and Diana separated
b) 1993, the year she started paying taxes
c) 1997, the year Diana died

6. There is no doubt that the Queen is a wealthy woman, but it is impossible to know precisely how much she is worth. In 1989, Fortune magazine tried to figure it out. What amount did they come up with?
a) £150-million
b) £785-million
c) £7-billion

7. The Royal yacht Britannia has only one double bed. All the other beds are single. Why?
a) By tradition, only the Queen and Philip were entitled to a double bed.
b) Prince Charles ordered the double bed for his honeymoon cruise with Diana.
c) The Queen Mother had it installed after she fell out of a single bed once too often.

8. The Queen is the longest reigning monarch in Europe. Who is in second spot for longevity?
a) King Albert II of Belgium
b) King Juan Carlos of Spain
c) Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

9. Which of the following is not among the charities Prince William supports?
a) The Welsh Rugby Union
b) 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives
c) The Royal British Legion

10. Prince Harry is William’s younger brother. Harry, however, is a nickname. What is his real name?
a) Albert
b) Henry
c) Charles

11. Which of the following is the Queen’s official residence?
a) St. James’s Palace
b) Buckingham Palace
c) Windsor Castle

12. How many rooms are there at Buckingham Palace?
a) 775
b) 902
c) 1,066

13. How many Commonwealth countries, other than the U.K., recognize the Queen as head of state?
a) 4
b) 15
c) 26

14. In what language other than English is the Queen fluent?
a) Welsh
b) French
c) German

15. The Queen owns all the sturgeons, porpoises and whales in the waters around the U.K. True or false?

16. Which of the following European monarchs is not directly related to the Queen?
a) King Juan Carlos of Spain
b) Prince Albert II of Monaco
c) King Harald V of Norway

17. Of how many countries is the Queen head of state?
A. Four
B. Eight
C. 16
D. 2

18. How many prime ministers have served under the Queen?
A. 13
B. 10
C. 14
D. 12

19. Who is The Keeper of the Royal Conscience?
A. The Archbishop of Canterbury
B. Prince Philip
C. The Prince of Wales
D. Ken Clarke

20. How old was the Queen when she came to the throne?
A. 55
B. 45
C. 35
D. 25

Have you got your answers? Don’t scroll down if you don’t or you’ll see them and end up the fun! 😉

Hope you’ve liked today’s post! Let us know comments and results in the comment section below!

ANSWERS: 1a 2b 3a 4c 5a 6c 7b 8c 9c 10b 11c 12a 13b 14b 15True 16b 17c 18a 19d 20d

Have you got plans for the summer?

Hi everyone!

Summer is here and in Euroschool we have thought of the perfect plan for all of you, regardless of your age! Take a look at our options:

For children we have three different types of experiences:

– Summer camp in Manzaneda.

– City explorer summer camp in the United Kingdom.

La Coruña urban summer camp.

Now, we know that some of our students not only need to learn English but learn it fast because of their jobs. Well, we heard you! That’s why we are offering summer courses in the UK for adults completely adapted to your needs as we have several types of courses (from conversation ones to First Certificate B2 courses so you can finally get your certificate!).

Click in the pictures to enlarge them.

Not sure? Click the link below to see a video of our summer camps!

Summer_with_Euroschool

Have a great summer!!! 🙂

Rugby in Spain

Today we have Daniel Davis’ testimony not only about his first impression of our city, Coruña, but he is also going to tell us about one of his passions: Rugby!

Before you keep reading, take a look at this video to get a better idea about this sport:

What’s rugby about?

Little bit clearer, right? Keep scrolling to find out how a rugby player actually lives here in Coruña!

My name is Daniel, I am a teacher here at the Euroschool of English, what you are about to read is an account of my rugby season here in A Coruña.
Despite living in Gijón four years ago and playing against my current club, Club Rugby Arquitectura Tecnica (CRAT), I knew very little about A Coruña. Like most people from the UK I had heard of Deportivo but, apart from that, I moved to A Coruña with an open mind, ready to learn as much as possible about the city and the people.
One plus point to start with, was the fact that I joined up with the rugby team straight away.

Rugby is a sport unlike any other, where teamwork, discipline and respect are the core values, this means that any team in any country will welcome a new player and treat him like an old friend. This was exacly the treatment I recieved and it helped me settle in to life here in no time.
The season started with an away game to Belenos RC in Aviles, a “short” three – hour bus journey. This was a totally new experience for me, coming from Wales where a 30 minute journey would be considered a long one. Wales as a country is the same size as Galicia, with almost the same population. The difference is that in Wales there are over 200 clubs with 79000 registered players, compare this to Galicia where there are only 14 and the difference in popularity is stark. The travelling situation was highlighted in two journeys that I will mention.

The distances we covered this year were for me truly staggering, if I left my home town in Wales and travelled east on a bus for 8/9 hours I would be somewhere near the Dutch/German border, not preparing for a league game in the same country. Coming from a rugby mad country it is interesting and refreshing to see the comittment that these people put in to play a game of rugby.

One Sunday when we were due to play a regional game in Ourense. I had been on the bus for an hour when I asked (in my broken Spanish) how long the journey would take, “only two more hours” came the reply. 3 hours for a local fixture?! Worse was to follow however.
We have two teams, one team in the national second division along with teams from Asturias and the Basque country. One example of an away trip was early in Feburary and a trip to Eibar. A league game in the Basque country means leaving A Coruña at 12 on a Saturday and arriving in Bilbao 7 hours later. After a night in a hotel and an early morning journey to Eibar the game started 24 hours after leaving A Coruña. After a famous victory (the club’s first in Eibar) the realisation of the 8/9 hour journey back to Galicia sank in.

Our season was a good one, winning as many games as we lost which is very good considering we often had to travel without many players due to work or family commitments.
We, CRAT, play our home games at Acea de Ama and our season runs from October to April. Why not come down, watch a game and enjoy the friendly atmosphere? You’ll be sure to recieve a warm welcome!!

So, doesn’t it sound appealing? 🙂 If so, be sure to watch the rugby World Cup this summer which is being held in Britain!

Remember to leave your rugby comments and questions below!