Teacher Training at ELA-Edinburgh

This August we will run the latest in our hugely successful series of ELA Teacher Training Programmes – and it’s not too late for you and your colleagues to benefit from our expertise in professional development of teachers.

Options on the programme include:  Special Needs, Business programmes, CLIL.

At ELA-Edinburgh we specialise in courses for non-native teachers of English. These courses are a chance for teachers to review their language skills but also develop techniques and review the methods they use in the classroom.

What does the course involve?

  • A pro-active review of the different methodologies
  • Lesson planning: Aims, Timing, Components, Class Layout, Types of Tasks, Supplementary materials
  • Input sessions on how best to teach writing, speaking. reading and listening skills
  • Games: discussion on their use. Designing fit-for-purpose and adapting ‘known’ games
  • Error Correction and Teacher Talk Time Workshop

    Improve your error correction

Of course, the list goes on. Our courses are bespoke and designed to suit the needs of our trainees.

 

 

 

Why choose ELA-Edinburgh?

  • Learn from our DELTA qualified and experienced teacher-trainer
  • Enjoy our modern classrooms and interactive smartboards
  • Have access to our extensive library of teaching materials
  • Study in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic new town
  • Experience the unique buzz of Edinburgh’s festivals in August
  • Meet students from all over the world and be part of our international community

Come to Edinburgh in August and experience the world’s largest performing arts festival

If you would like some more information on the course or discuss your requirements, please email dos@elacademy.co.uk or give us a call on 00 44 131 226 6182

Building English Language Skills – With a Twist

ELA – Edinburgh Broadens Horizons!

Last week, at ELA, students of the Liceo Scientifico Statale Galileo Galilei of Trieste participated in a 35 hour course . Unlike our standard array of activities however, they also took part in a series of Model UN (MUN) workshops with the Edinburgh University Model UN Society (EdMUN). Model UN seeks to simulate the activities of the actual UN, and teach valuable life skills such as public speaking, debating and negotiation through that medium. It was a new and innovative way of engaging advanced students with the English language and judging by the feedback we have received it was a huge success.

More than any simple classroom activity, MUN has the capacity to draw students into engaging with current affairs as well as improving their English skills. The workshops contained over 15 hours of lectures and training in public speaking, negotiation, conflict resolution with a healthy dollop of international politics. The whole thing was capped by a one day Model UN Conference taking place on Saturday, which allowed the students act as an ambassador for a country in a simulated UN. It was remarkable to see the progression of students over one week from being shy and reluctant to speak; to giving full two minute speeches by Saturday. We very much hope that this is only the first of many new and interesting activities we can bring to our students.

Aside from thanking our wonderful students from Liceo Galilei, we also have to extend our thanks to EdMUN and the Edinburgh University Student’s Association for working with us on this exciting new project. It has been a true pleasure!

Announcing Liceo Galilei Visit, and Model UN Partnership

ELA-Edinburgh  and the Edinburgh University Model UN Society (EdMUN) are pleased to announce that the Liceo Galileo Galilei of Trieste will be in Edinburgh during the 2nd week of March to take part in a series of language classes and EdMUN’s TeachMUN project.

Students from Liceo Galilei will take part in rigorous language classes in the mornings, and then learn all about the Model United Nations phenomenon in the afternoons. As well as essential language skills, they will learn valuable skills such as public speaking, debating and negotiation in a week-long series of fun activities. We look forward to welcoming them to historic Edinburgh on March 6th!

This is part of our ever-improving number of social, academic and cultural activities that we offer here at ELA, not just for youth students, but students of all ages! ELA is delighted to be able to team up with a local University Society for this venture, and hopes to hav
e many similar successful events in the future.

 

Introducing….. IELTS

There can be no doubt; IELTS has largely cornered the market for universities and visas. It’s a safe bet that if you want to study in the UK, or move here from the outside the EU, IELTS will help you on your way.

IELTS is recognised at universities and governments all over the world. In the UK it is one of only two exams recognised by UK Visas and Immigration. Students; IELTS will help you get your tier 4 visa to come to the UK and enjoy our fantastic colleges and universities. Remember that ELA is always happy to arrange short term Visa and TIER 4 Visa letters for candidates who qualify for them!

Clearly IELTS is more important than ever. So what is it????

Unlike most other exams IELTS can be taken by students of various levels, the exam is designed to evaluate a range of abilities. As such there is no pass or fail; instead there are bands from 1.0 to 9.0, with half scores also possible. You can see how it compares with the Common European Framework below:

ielts-scores

IELTS tests the four skills of reading, listening, writing and speaking. Most candidates are relieved to find there is no grammar section! You also have the luxury of choosing from General or Academic IELTS, though the vast majority of people take the academic exam as it’s what universities and colleges want. Although the language in IELTS reading and writing can be quite formal there is plenty of room to produce phrasal verbs and idioms in the speaking! Just remember not to beat around the bush!!!

At ELA we have had a decade of teaching IELTS to highly motivated students. We have had the pleasure of seeing countless students from all backgrounds achieve the score they needed to progress in their academic or professional lives. As teachers this gives us the kind of job satisfaction that keeps us motivated!

We have a library stuffed with IELTS materials

ielts-materials

  • Various different course books
  • Official IELTS practice tests
  • Listening materials
  • Interactive smartboards in classrooms
  • Writing and speaking guides
  • Vocabulary books

All of these resources are put to good use by our experienced teachers to make sure you’re given support in the areas you need. At ELA you can study for five hours a day. In the morning (9-1230) you’ll focus on expanding your language skills as well as academic English. In the afternoon you can produce the language you’ve learnt in our IELTS course (1330-1530.) Longer-term students will have regular tutorials with our director of studies, who will keep an objective eye on your progress.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of IELTS then we’re ready to help. Contact us at dos@elacademy.co.uk to get started!

IELTS at ELA

Hello, fellow lovers of language!

This week, we’ve asked one of our talented teachers here at ELA to speak about the IELTS Exam, a topic that we have frequent questions about. If you have more questions about this popular exam, you can visit the ELA website. You can also find great practice materials on the British Council’s  page. And, of course, if you have more in depth questions, or would like to know how to enrol, visit us here.

IELTS

And now we bring you Jonny’s introduction to IELTS:

What is IELTS?  Do I need it?

Well, there are two ‘parts’ to this English Examination, and students choose the exam based on whether they are doing Academic IELTS  or General IELTS.

Most students choose Academic IELTS, as they are preparing for an undergraduate or Postgraduate University course, either in Britain or abroad. Students choosing General IELTS usually require it as a VISA requirement or as a quick (but very appreciated) test of their English for an employer, or perhaps because they simply want to test themselves. In reality, the Speaking and Listening exams are exactly the same, while Writing and Reading are slightly different, but we’ll talk about that if you join the course.

You might ask what we do to prepare for these exams. The truth is that it isn’t all Exams Exams Exams.  To do well, you need to have a good appreciation of grammar and a wide vocabulary, while also possessing other skills and abilities, such as comprehension, written and fluency skills, with clear pronunciation, for example.  You also need to be able to understand the nature of Academic English.  So, yes, everyone does practice exams but it is much more than just exams.

At Edinburgh Language Academy, our classes take place from 13.30 to 15.30 every day, although we do intensive courses too – and, if you prefer 1-1 classes, we can be arrange this at a time to suit you.

Thank you for your interest in ELA! We look forward to welcoming you soon!

How to Build a Time Machine

Start here

Work with a partner. Answer these questions:

1. Is it illegal to break the laws of physics? Can you give an example of one law of physics?
2. Do you think time travel is possible? What do you know about Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity?
3. If you could open a portal to the past, where and when would you go?
4. What about a shortcut to the future- would you jump ahead in time? Why (not)?
5. Look at these two images. How are they connected to the idea of time travel?

1 2

A. Match these words ( Black hole, Wormhole, Dark energy, Quantum mechanics) with a definition:

1. a theory that explains the behaviour of elementary particles, both separately and in groups

2. a theoretical form of energy postulated to act in opposition to gravity and to occupy the entire universe, accounting for most of the energy in it and causing its expansion to accelerate.

3. a region in space where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape

4. a special type of structure that some scientists think might exist, connecting parts of space and time that are not usually connected

C. Play a fun game! Falling into a Black Hole!
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/black-hole-boardgame/en/

Video

A. Watch the first part of the video (0.00-1.00) and fill in these sentences:

Time travel is 1 _________________________________________
Einstein’s 2 ______________________________________ claims that the stronger the gravity the slower 3 ________________ moves.
This means that by linking two parts of 4 ____________________ that have different gravity you would in theory be able to travel back and forward in time between the two planets.
Gravity is the strongest close to a black hole, which means that time moves slower close to the black hole than it does on 5__________________________.
The problem is that right now scientists don’t know how to get space explorers from Earth to the black hole 6___________________ because they have not been able to build anything that travels faster than the 7___________________________.
Wormholes are claimed to be the only 8_______________________ that would allow people to travel back and forth in time.

B. Watch the next part of the video (1.00-1.57) and fill in this diagram that summarises how to build a time machine.

Diagram

C. Watch the last part of the video and take notes in order to answer the following questions:

1. According to the video, how far back in the past would a traveller be able to go?
2. How much energy would a time machine actually require?
3. What is the Grandfather Paradox?
4. In your opinion, will time travel ever happen?

A short video about the space race

This is a video 2 of our IELTS students prepared for the topic “The Space Race”. Very useful information to build a little bit of background knowledge about this less than familiar field. We hope it will help you cope with this daunting subject matter!

Don’t eat the marshmallow!

A few Upper-Intermediate/ Advanced exercises for you, based on an interesting video.

I. Answer the following questions for yourself, then compare your answers with a partner.
a. If your favourite food was in front of you, how difficult would it be for you to wait 15 minutes before eating? How about half an hour or a whole hour?
b. How often do you lie or make excuses in order to go do something more pleasurable?
c. Do you hate having to take turns with other people?
d. Do you routinely try to save a little money in case an emergency should arise?
e. How easy is it for you to motivate yourself to accomplish long-term goals?

II. Work with your partner and divide the following concepts into positive or negative: moderation, resisting temptation, extravagance, prudence, self-discipline, rebelliousness, fortitude, diligence, conscientiousness, impulsiveness, delay gratification

III. Watch this video

Answer these questions using no more than 3 words and/or a number. Fill in the notes with information about the Stanford University research into delayed gratification

Research conducted at: Stanford University
Participants: 1._______________________________
Method:
• Subjects were put in a room 2. _________________________
• Subjects were given a 3. _________________________ and told to wait 15 minutes
• Subjects were told they would be given 4. _____________________ if the 5. _____________________ was still there after 15 minutes
Results:
• 6. ______________ out of 3 participants could not resist temptation
• The longest subjects waited: 7. __________________
• Successful participants delayed gratification by doing something else

Follow-up study:
• 8. _______________ years later
• The same participants
• 9. _________________ of the initial successful participants had gone on to become highly successful individuals while a great percentage of those who had not resisted temptation were in trouble
• The same results were achieved with 10. __________________ children

Let’s prepare for IELTS (Writing test advice)

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is probably the world’s most popular English language test.

You might need to take this exam for various reasons, among which are life abroad, education and work around the world. A lot of companies worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

In less than three hours, it will help you to assess all of your English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Today we would like to share with you some writing tips that might be useful, if you decide to prepare for this exam.

  • During the exam you can write your answers in pen or pencil.
  • Carefully analyse each task and spend some time making notes
  • Plan your answers.
  • Write using paragraphs; put one idea in each paragraph.
  • Try not to repeat ideas using different words.
  • Avoid copying whole sentences from the question – you will receive no marks for this.
  • Always remember to stick to the topic; do not write about unrelated subjects.
  • It is important to manage your time; remember, Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1.
  • Spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and about 40 minutes on Task 2.
  • Word count matters; pay attention to the number of words required for each task; you  need to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2.
  • Your answers should be written in full; answers written in note form or in bullet points will lose marks.
  • It is recommended to avoid informal language.
  • Make sure you have time to check your spelling, grammar and punctuation; you will lose marks for mistakes. Spend just several minutes re-reading and correcting your answers.

Follow this link to listen to more tips from IELTS test takers: http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-your-test/tips-candidates

Have you ever taken IELTS test? What advice can you give to those who plan to take this test soon?