Free English Lessons at ELA-Edinburgh in June

Would you be interested in receiving free English lessons from enthusiastic teachers in top class facilities? Normally it would be too good to be true but at ELA-Edinburgh this June it is our reality!

Those of you who regularly read our blog will know that ELA-Edinburgh is putting on a Trinity CertTESOL course from June 5th-30th. This teacher training course will give our trainees a great qualification as they start their teaching careers.  An important part of the course is teaching practice; our trainees will do at least 6 hours of teaching during their course. This is where you and your friends can benefit!

We are offering free lessons for students who will be taught by our trainee teachers. Every weekday from June 6th -June 29th you could benefit from two hours of free lessons! This is an offer that we can only run during CertTESOL courses so don’t miss out! We only have a certain number of places available so don’t wait too long before applying.

All levels of English are welcome, when you apply we will send you a level test to complete and find the right class for you. All you need to do is pay a £30 deposit, which you will get right back if you attend all the classes! Plus, as a bonus, you will get an hours’ free lesson with a highly experienced teacher at the end of your course!

This is a unique opportunity to get lessons in one of Edinburgh’s premier private language academy and benefit from our fantastic teaching resources. As the saying goes, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!

For more information, or to ask for a placement test, email dos@elacademy.co.uk phone 0131 2266182 or come and see us at 71 George Street!

Learn to Learn to with ELA-Edinburgh

Here at ELA-Edinburgh we see helping our students become better students as one of our main goals. With this in mind we include ‘learning to learn’ sessions at the start of all of our courses and the feedback from them is always great.

Make sure this isn’t you!!

Earlier this year we brought you tips on how to study more effectively, just look back in our blog to check out the details. Today we present some advice on how to learn vocabulary. If you sit at your desk and repeat irregular verbs to yourself, we are here to help!

  • Flash cards

You can make them at home and study them on the bus, at lunch or in front of the TV. Here is an example to get you started that shows some of the information you might want to include.

 

Don’t forget to mix up the order of the cards and take a moment to guess before you turn over your card!

If you’re more into technology you can try some of the great learning apps, such as Quizlet, which let you build your own personalized vocabulary lists

 

 

  • A notebook
  • Perhaps the next stage from flashcards is a notebook with your organized class notes. Teachers often notice that students write down vocabulary in a lesson but then do not organize it. Successful students generally have a well ordered notebook with different sections for phrasal verbs, idioms or grammar notes. This involves re-writing your class notes at the end of every week but you will soon notice the benefits.
  • Dictionaries

    Whether online or print, dictionaries will define a word, help you spell it and explain how to pronounce it.

     

  • Word Maps

Word maps give you the freedom to link words in groups or categories and the chance to illustrate your diagrams. If you’re a visual learner and enjoy learning through pictures, they could be             perfect for you.

  • Learn ChunksMany people find it easier to learn phrases rather than individual words. For example, ‘do homework’ or ‘make your bed’ are chunks of language. Other examples of chunks might be phrasal verbs, ‘to get on well with somebody’, or idioms, ‘to get on like a house on fire.’
  • Learn to take words apartMany language students find that analysing a word helps them to guess it’s meaning without turning to a teacher or dictionary for help. For example; the word ‘unimaginable’ might look long and complicated but let’s try taking it apart:

    Viewed like this the word has three clear parts; the prefix, the stem (or route) and the suffix. If we remember that ‘able’ refers to ability and that ‘un’ is a general prefix to make something negative, we can guess that unimaginable means impossible to imagine. This technique is particularly useful for speakers of other European languages.

  • Review OftenYour goal is to transfer your new vocabulary from your short term to your long term memory. There’s no point learning words in class today and not being able to use them a week later so make sure you look back over your notes regularly. With the help of a well-organized workbook you can make sure that vocabulary doesn’t slip out of your head.

 

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!

New Year’s Resolutions to help you study in 2017

As Edinburgh welcomed 2017 in style at our world famous hogmanay street-party, the ELA team are here to help you start 2017 with an academic bang!!

Edinburgh started 2017 with a bang and so can you at ELA!!

Make sure this is the year you make the improvements you want in your English; take control of your learning and become a better student. All our teachers at ELA encourage our students to take responsibility for their own learning. We know it is our job as teachers to make our students better at learning.

Here are some resolutions for 2017 to make this come true:

Be Prepared

Come to class with a pen and a notebook for new vocabulary and grammar. It’s amazing how many students expect to remember language without writing it down! Sadly, most people do not have such good memories….

Write down new vocabulary!

Don’t be shy!

Tell your teacher what you need and what you want to study. Be ready to give your teachers feedback on the lessons and let them know if you want to change anything.

Move your cultural life into English

Remember that most language is learnt out of the classroom so the most important thing is exposure to the language. Learners who become fluent all really enjoy using English to socialise, read, watch TV or listen to music. Even if you don’t think you’re learning anything, your brain is busy remembering things.

Take advantage of the UK

Here in Edinburgh you will be surrounded by English. You can never understand all the new language you meet everyday but be prepared to guess its meaning. Use the context to help you and don’t be afraid of making a mistake!

Use your teacher as a resource

Will you be the teacher’s pet?

Write down some of the new words you have met in your cultural life and check their meaning with your teacher. You’ll soon be the teacher’s pet!

Set yourself targets

When you study a new piece of grammar look for opportunities to use it! Remember that satisfaction you feel when you use the 3rd conditional perfectly. After all, what’s the point of using the language on paper but not being able to produce it in conversation?

Be Honest

When you don’t understand something or get confused please do tell your teacher. Mistakes are good because we can learn from them and they give your teacher an idea of how to help you.

 

If you follow our advise and take advantage of the great teachers we have here at ELA, we’re sure 2017 will be a successful year for you!

You will be as successful as this young student

Our New Home in George Street

We have some exciting news to share: ELA has moved to a brand new location in the heart of the Edinburgh city centre: 71 George Street, 4th floor.

Office,4th Floor Office Suite

Our new location at 71 George Street

While we will miss the building on Melville Street, this new location offers incredible views of the city from every room! Who needs a decorative poster of Edinburgh Castle or the view to Fife when they can simply look out the window? Our new classrooms get lots of natural light and have a far more modern layout, offering our students and staff more comfort and convenience. We still have our fantastic interactive smartboards as well as classrooms perfect for groups classes, individual lessons or business English

 

The Castle meeting room

The Castle meeting room

Our morning class make use of of our smartboards!

Our morning class make use of of our smartboards!

 

Additionally, the new site is in a far more central location, surrounded by a great variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and more. It is easily accessible from any direction of the city and perfectly situated for our students to go out and discover the best Edinburgh has to offer once their classes end for the day.

We are so thrilled to share this news with you – stay tuned for a special invitation to come see it for yourself and help us celebrate!

 

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!

Top 5 reasons for downloading an audiobook

AUDIOBOOKS

 

You might have heard this term, which started circling the web over 5 years ago, but didn’t know what the fuss was all about. Well, let us introduce you to this modern way of ‘reading’ or learning a language.

Please meet audiobooks, professionally narrated recordings of different kinds of literature, ranging from classical novels to modern sci-fi, including biographies and even recipe books. They are usually the exact version of a book, but sometimes they are shortened to further simplify the reader’s or in this case the listener’s life.
Now that we know what audiobooks are, we will find out why they are so popular and where to download free audiobooks in English.

Here are top 5 reasons why you should listen to an audiobook.

1. Audiobooks are great for those who do not like reading. We all have different learning techniques, some prefer reading while others prefer listening, so if you are one of the latter team, then audiobooks are your perfect match. Also, they are amazing for when you are feeling too lazy to read or just too busy to spare some of your time to reading.

2. You can take your audiobook wherever you want. It will substitute your boring date on your walks in the park, sunbathing sessions by the pool and many other activities like going to the gym, travelling and so on. Whether you are on the move or lying in your cosy bed, they can be downloaded straight to your phone or other smart device and be available within minutes.

3. When learning a new language, for example English, audiobooks will help you improve your pronunciation and boost your vocabulary. Furthermore, listening is proved to be an efficient way of memorising important facts, so stack up on books and get learning.

4. If you haven’t seen yet, there is a huge list of audiobooks available to suit everyone’s taste. And since they do not take up any space in your bag you can download several books at a time and enjoy listening to different stories and scenarios.

5. Another advantage of audiobooks is that you can set your own pace and regulate the speed of the recording. You can set it on low speed, to allow your brain to consume and process new information, or you could speed it up and learn more in an hour.

And if you are still not convinced, I suggest you give it a go and let us know what you think.

Big fans of audiobooks, who I am sure are members of Audible, will most definitely recommend to sign up and explore the rich collection of books that Audible has to offer.

At last, all I have to say is, audiobooks are wonderful! Even if you prefer reading books, you should at least once, try listening to your favourite novel.

 

As promised, here are a few websites where you can download free audiobooks in English:

http://esl-bits.net/

http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks

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?

Silly Science

alien-1085230_960_720

1. Work with a partner and try to answer these questions:
A. If sound can’t travel through vacuums, why are they so loud?
B. Why does hair go grey?
C. How can fish hold their breath for so long underwater?
D. Why do you get wrinkly fingers when they’re in water for too long?
E. Can a ninja walk on water?
F. Coconuts have hair and produce milk. Why aren’t they classed as mammals?
G. Which came first: the chicken or the egg?
H. What happens if you put mints into a bottle of soda?

2. Watch this video and take notes.

A. Which question from Activity 1 does it answer?
B. What explanation does it provide?
C. Describe the different steps of the experiment.

3. Watch this second video and answer these questions.

A. Which question from Activity 1 does it answer?
B. Fill in these sentences with 3 words from the video:
a. Jamie decides to modify the liquid by adding some blue food colouring and ___________ which is used in pancakes, to make it look like ___________ so Adam can try the experiment under different conditions.
b. The experiment __________ and Adam _____ across the surface.
c. The explanation is that the new combination is a non-Newtonian __________ which can change its viscosity, and, while it may look like a _________, it will act like a solid on impact.
d. Lastly, if Adam steps and stands on it, he will _______ and it is quite clear that ______________ could not _____________.

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