Are you going to London? (Odd English laws)

Hello everyone!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!! I hope you are having a great time and a good rest this holiday.

Today we are going to talk about London. Many of our students go to the capital to check their English skills and absorb some of the amazing, and sometimes quite surprising, British Culture and we think it is an awesome idea, specially this time of the year as it is so beutiful. However, did you know that Spanish and British laws are sometimes different? That’s right! And sometimes you have to be very careful not to break them.

Don’t worry though, no need to panic! We are going to detail three situations in which you may be breaking the law without even realizing. Take a look!

  1. Gambling in the library: Yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking. There’s nothing more appealing than going to the British Museum Library and take a break from walking while playing a good game of “mus”, not in England though.. Sorry about that! 😀
  2. Having a whale as a pet: I know, I know… Truly sorry about that you will have to find a Spanish one if you want a pet whale as all of those in England are property of the Queen. 😮
  3. Being drunk… in a pub!: Now, you can get drunk in a pub but you have to leave your drink and go outside the moment you’re drunk! So remember that if you are spending New Year’s Eve in one!

Well, I hope you liked our post/warning about going to the UK! And remember, if you have any doubt whether something is legal, better ask a bobby!!!! 😉

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016!!! 🙂

Image result for Happy 2016

Image result for Happy 2016

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!

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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! 😉



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!!! 🙂

Reading and Use of English Paper (Word formation)

EXAM COUNTDOWN – STRATEGIES AND ADVICE

PAPER 1:  Reading and Use of English  PART 3:  Word Formation

*This is a task with eight gaps, based on a text of between 150-170 words

WHAT’S TESTED?

This is a test of your ability in word formation.  The focus is on vocabulary and the formation of words from a root, using prefixes and suffixes, internal changes and compound words.  There may also be a grammatical element (such as plural forms, verb tenses and participles) to the changes that need to be made.  Some of the words you have to form may be part of fixed expressions or collocations.

You may be given a noun and have to transform it into a verb, or produce an adjective from a noun.  It is important that you know the meaning and the functions of the many different prefixes (e.g. un/in/dis/re-) and suffixes (e.g. -ally/ion/able/ment) and that you are familiar with compounds (e.g. worldwide/outcome/downsize).

STRATEGY

Always read the title and the whole text carefully, ignoring the gaps for the moment, to get an overview of the topic and to understand the main points of each paragraph or group of sentences.

SYNTAX

Use your knowledge of grammar to understand what part of speech the missing word is (e.g. noun, verb, adjective, adverb) and think through the range of possible affixes, negative prefixes and suffixes.

SEMANTICS

Look carefully at the way the sentence is constructed to decide whether the missing word should be positive or negative.  Look for evidence of two opposing ideas.  When the root presents several possible derivatives, look at the context carefully to check that you have the derivative with the correct meaning.  Remember that more than one change to the stem word can often be required.

EXAMPLES

Let’s look at the verb DECIDE and it’s derivatives. Look at these two sentences and think about syntax.

  1. The people couldn’t believe that once again their Prime Minister was shown to be a weak  and ___________ leader.

  1. Even after she had asked her friends and family for advice, Nadine was still ____________ whether to go to college or not.

In both sentences we need an adjective.  Here are the possibilities……

decided

undecided

decisive

indecisive

deciding

….now think about semantics.  We can see from the meaning and construction of the sentences that we need a negative adjective in both.  Now check the meaning of both derivatives.

a) undecided: (not before a noun) not having made a decision about something important

b) indecisive: 1. unable to make clear decisions or choices 2. not having a clear result

ANSWERS 1(b)   2(a)

Now look at these two sentences and think about syntax:

  1. Due to internal disagreement there were weeks of __________ about who would get the promotion and when.
  2. It was a maddening trait of his, this __________, which in his case was complicated by his extreme politeness.

This time we need a noun in both sentences.  Here are the possibilities:

decision(s)

indecision

decisiveness

indecisiveness

…The semantics tell us that we need a negative noun in both sentences.

a) indecision: the state of being unable to decide what to do

b) indecisiveness: describing a person’s inability to make clear decisions or choices

ANSWERS 1(a)   2(b)

To sum up, don’t forget these TOP TIPS:

1)      Analyse the text on two levels:  SYNTAX and SEMANTICS

2)      Check to see if the word is plural or singular

3)      Remember the root word ALWAYS has to be changed

4)      Brainstorm the root word to see how many forms you can think of…

5)      Remember….TIMING.  Don’t let the clock tick away for the want of ONE WORD. Take an educated guess.

Speaking Exam

Hi again!

I hope Saturday’s mock went well!!! Remember you will get results and feedback from your teachers throughtout the week.

But, now that the die is cast for the written parts it’s time to take a look at the Speaking Test!!! Let’s get started by taking a look at some students’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) as I’m sure you’ll find them handy! 😉

FAQs (Speaking Exam)

Can I choose my partner for the Speaking Exam?

No. This is organized by the exam center.

What if my partner in the exam doesn’t speak or speaks very little?

Firstly, this is rare. You must remember that in the speaking exam, you are marked individually. Examiners never compare candidates. You just concentrate on what you have to do, inviting your partner to join in a conversation by saying “What do you think?” or “Do you agree?” If your partner doesn’t respond appropriately, the examiner will see that you have done your best.

What if my partner speaks too much?

Again, this is unusual. If this happens, interrupt! There are many ways to politely interrupt in this situation (ask your teacher). Remember, the idea is for candidates to interact with each other and the examiner. If one candidate tries to dominate a conversation, it will not count in his/her favour.

What if my partner seems to speak much better English than me?

This is irrelevant to the speaking examiners as they will never compare candidates. You are marked following a strict criteria where there is a maximum and minimum score any candidate can receive according to level.

What happens if I don’t understand a question?

Don’t worry. Ask the examiner to repeat it and if you still don’t understand, he/she will probably just ask you another one. You will not fail the speaking exam for not understanding a question. Your result is based on your performance throughout.

Can I ask the examiner questions?

No, but with one important exception, “Could you repeat that, please?”

How can I find out more information about the details of the exam?

Information about times, dates and the cost of each exam is displayed around the school. However, you can also ask your teachers or at reception for further information.

And now, shall we look at some detailed info about the exam? Check the following presentation!

http://www.slideshare.net/EuroschoolOfEnglish/slideshelf

I hope you have liked today’s post and I would really like to hear what you have to say. As you already know, our students’ opinion is very important for the Euroschool team so….

we have opened the comments section! So, now you can let us know what you think of our blog, as well as suggestions or new ideas both for our website and the Red Lobster!

😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

What are you waiting for? We are looking forward to hearing your opinion! 🙂

Commenting Rules
The Comments Section is intended to foster dialogue and interaction with students. However, Euroschool of English reserves the right to not publish any comments that contain: abusive or offensive comments, offensively off topic, ads or spam, threats and/or comments from Internet trolls.