CertTESOL course at ELA-Edinburgh June 5th-30th

ELA-Edinburgh is excited to announce that our Trinity CertTESOL course will run from June 5th-30th this year. You only have to read our blog from September 29th to know what benefits a CertTESOL qualification can bring to an aspiring teacher. To put it in a nutshell, this certificate is respected around the world and will open doors as you begin your ELT career. With CertTESOL in your pocket you can find jobs in places you want to be and work for schools that are well-run.



Having signed up for the course, what are you expected to do to earn your teaching certificate? It’s worth pointing out that every CertTESOL course follows the same strict guidelines laid down by Trinity. This helps to ensure that the qualification is respected wherever you want to work. What follows is an outline to what the course actually involves.

A pre-course task and interview. This is mainly aimed at evaluating your knowledge of English grammar but don’t worry, you’re not expected to be an expert! The interview gives the course tutor a chance to make sure the course is right for you and, if you’re a non-native speaker, assess your level of English. 

A total of 130 timetabled hours and 70 non-timetabled hours. This includes 6 hours of your teaching, observed and assessed, plus 4 guided hours observation of experienced teachers. You will also receive 90 hours of supervised input.

4 or 5 written assignments. These are in the form of a journal and are designed to help you reflect on the elements of the course you have just studied. As there is no test at the end of the course these take on added importance.

Teaching Practise. This unit is by far the biggest on the course, taking up 74 of the 130 scheduled hours. It covers a wide range of issues including: methodology, teaching skills, guided observation, textbook and materials evaluation as well as methods of testing.

Language Awareness and Skills. The second unit tests trainees’ knowledge of grammar, lexis and phonology and how to teach these to students.

Learner Profile. Unit 3 aims to teach you how to analyse students’ needs, design courses and teach one-one classes. It draws on the knowledge you gained in the first two units.

Materials Assignment. In this unit you will learn to produce, adapt and evaluate the materials that you use in lessons. You then use the materials you designed in a lesson observed by a Trinity moderator.

Unknown Language. The final unit examines methods and approaches suitable for beginners of a language, while avoiding use of the learners’ mother tongue.  

End of course party. Traditional and well deserved!

At ELA-Edinburgh we enhance this comprehensive course of learning by providing you with fantastic, modern classrooms with interactive smart boards and a wide range of textbooks. Though you will be led by our experienced and friendly course tutors, the whole ELA staff is on hand to help. 

You can find more information on the CertTESOL syllabus here and visit our website for more information. Alternatively, can contact us at info@elacademy.co.uk

Top 5 reasons for downloading an audiobook



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:



Enjoying Edinburgh

We love the capital city of Scotland for its beauty, unique atmosphere, fantastic architecture and great history.

We organise weekly excursions around Edinburgh and introduce it to our students coming to ELA from all over the world.

There is nothing more rewarding than showing them all the sights of our city, helping them to immerse themselves into its atmosphere and observing their enthusiasm when they learn about Edinburgh and Scotland.

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Edited Collage


PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage

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Join us to learn more about ELA and our social programme.





How to study when you have hardly any free time?

Today we’ve decided to look at one of the most popular topics discussed by many ESL students. Almost all adult learners work full time nowadays and as we all know, there is hardly any free time left for learning or improving a foreign language.

However, we do believe that motivation is crucial for any type of activity including language learning.

Let’s look at some ways that can be used to learn or improve your language skills in the situation of almost zero spare time:

1) Find and arrange lessons via Skype.


It is the most convenient way of studying as it has lots of benefits for both parties.

• You don’t have to spend time getting to a language school or your private tutor’s house, nor do you have to spend time returning home. Such lessons can be held in absolutely any place where a computer and stable Internet connection are available (your home, cafes, libraries, etc.).
• You don’t have to cancel your lessons when you’re on a business trip or otherwise away.
• All study materials such can be transferred instantly or right before the lesson begins. Therefore, you save money by not purchasing expensive books.
• You can have lessons with a teacher from any part of the world, including native speakers from an English speaking country.
• Some professional teachers record their lessons and send them as an mp3 file to the student who can listen again and again to the lesson.

2) Listen to authentic materials online.


There are loads of websites that offer users to download or stream various genres of recordings like podcasts, video clips, educational video, seminars, etc.

3) Use your e-readers.


Almost all of us have an e-reader. Yes, some people might find it hard to read an e-book as the whole reading experience is slightly different to the one with a paper book. However, advantages of such devices are really hard to ignore: you can download any book you like and as many books as you wish; you can find authentic texts and also their adapted versions, which is great for those who have just started learning foreign languages.

4) Practice speaking and writing via forums.


There are a great number of forums online that provide a unique opportunity to chat with native speakers as well as other language learners. You can share your ideas on learning techniques, discuss topics that interest you and even arrange a video chat and practice speaking skills.

5) Listen to songs and audio books.

audio books

If you commute to work by car, you can listen to a CD or an mp3; if you travel by train or bus, you can use your mp3 player and enjoy an audio version of your favourite book.

6) Travel and communicate.


If you love travelling or you have to travel a lot due to your business arrangements, use this opportunity to get acquainted with people and practice speaking with them.

So, now we have at least six ways of learning and improving a foreign language.

What learning tips do you usually use?

Share with us.

Team ELA


Mysterious Rosslyn Chapel

Many of our students have read a famous book written by Dan Brown where he described secrets and beauties of the Rosslyn Chapel. It is a gorgeous building full of mystery and legends. This week our students are going to visit it and we hope they will enjoy their experience.


We would like to share some information about this unique place and building with all of you.

Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 as a place of worship and services continue to be held here weekly. The chapel was founded by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness of the Scoto-Norman Sinclair family. It is the third Sinclair place of worship at Roslin, the first being in Roslin Castle and the second in what is now Roslin Cemetery. The Chapel has also been a popular destination for visitors for generations. By the late 18th-century, it was starting to appear on popular itineraries and its popularity greatly increased after the publication of Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, in 2003.

da vinchi code

After the Scottish Reformation (1560) Roman Catholic worship in the chapel was brought to an end, although the Sinclair family continued to be Roman Catholics until the early 18th century. From that time the chapel was closed to public worship until 1861 when it was opened again as a place of worship according to the rites of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Since the late 1980s, the chapel has also featured in speculative theories concerning a connection of Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, and the Holy Grail.

Among Rosslyn’s many intricate carvings are a sequence of 213 cubes or ‘boxes’ protruding from pillars and arches with a selection of patterns on them. It is unknown whether these patterns have any particular meaning attached to them — many people have attempted to find information coded into them, but no interpretation has yet proven conclusive. Unfortunately many of these ‘boxes’ are not original, having been replaced in the 19th century after erosion damage.

The chapel has also acted as a burial place for several generations of the Sinclairs — a crypt was once accessible from a descending stair at the rear of the chapel. This crypt has for many years been sealed shut, which may explain the recurrent legends.

The Chapel is still family-owned. Its owner, the Earl of Rosslyn, is a Trustee of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, which was established in 1995 to care for the Chapel and oversee its conservation and public access. The Trustees run the charity through a Management Committee, under the chairmanship of the Countess of Rosslyn, who is also a Trustee. Other members of the committee are volunteers with relevant skills and experience.


You can get there by car or bus, by foot or by bicycle. All the information and details can be found here: http://www.rosslynchapel.org.uk/p/getting-here-I561/

Have you already visited the Rosslyn Chapel?

Share you experience with us.

ELA team


To each his own…

“Fashion changes, but style endures.” –  Coco Chanel

Start here!

1. Look at the picture. Discuss and decide:Picture 1

  • Which one(s) would you wear at school? Why?
  • When would the other ones be worn?
  • Which one(s) is (are) your least favorite? Why?
  • What is the meaning of this sentence:

“Ted always wears 5 different colors, but to each his own…”?

Vocabulary fun!

2. Work with a partner. Match the words and expressions on the left with their meaning on the right.

1.dropping names   A. peppermint candy

2.bring me shame  B. a picture taken of yourself that is uploaded to Facebook

3.YOLO                    C. try to make me feel bad because of something I did

4.coupon book       D. dead

5.mints               E. saying the names of famous people you know to impress others

6.selfie                     F. tickets for a discount

7.deceased              G. you only live once; an excuse for doing something stupid

3. Match one of the words from the list below (a- i) with one of the images (1-9) in picture 2.Picture 2_To each his own

(a) stripes     (b) plaid     (c) glitter    (d) sequined    (e) fluorescent (f) belt   (g) suspenders     (h) crocs    (i) Uggs

ROFL CU!  (Read Once- Fun Listening Coming Up!)

4. Watch this video Video 1 and take 5 minutes to write down as many words as you know from the video. How many of the words from exercise 3 can you find?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. Watch the video again. In what order do these characters appear?

Picture 3_To each his own

6. Listen to the lyrics and fill in the gaps in this text.

It might seem (a)__________, wearing stripes with plaid

I instagram every meal I’ve had

All my used liquor (b)__________ are on display

We can go to see a show but I’ll make you pay (because I’m tacky)

Wear my belt with suspenders and (c)_________ with my socks (because I’m tacky)

Got some new glitter Uggs and lovely (d)_________ sequined crocs (because I’m tacky)

Never let you forget some favor I did for you (because I’m tacky)

If you’re okay with that, then, you might just be tacky, too

I meet some chick, ask her this and that

Like ‘Are you pregnant girl, or just really (e)________?’ (what?)

Well, now I’m dropping names almost constantly

That’s what Kanye West keeps telling me, here’s why (because I’m tacky)

Wear my Ed Hardy shirt with fluorescent orange (f)________ (because I’m tacky)

Got my new resume it’s printed in Comic Sans (because I’m tacky)

Think it’s (g)__________ threatening waiters with a bad Yelp review (because I’m tacky)

If you think that’s just fine, then, you’re probably tacky, too

Bring me shame, can’t nothing

Bring me shame, I never know why

Bring me shame, can’t nothing

Bring me shame, I said

Bring me shame, can’t nothing

Bring me shame, it’s pointless to try

Bring me shame, can’t nothing

Bring me shame, I said (because I’m tacky)

43 Bumper Stickers and a YOLO license plate (because I’m tacky)

(h)_________ along my coupon book whenever I’m on a date (because I’m tacky)

Practice my twerking moves in line at the DMV (because I’m tacky)

Took the whole (i)_________ of restaurant mints. Hey, it said they’re free (because I’m tacky)

I get drunk at the bank

And take off my (j)__________, at least (because I’m tacky)

I would live-tweet a funeral, take selfies with the deceased (because I’m tacky)

If I’m bitten by a zombie(k)________, I’m probably not telling you (because I’m tacky)

If you don’t think that’s bad, guess what, then you’re tacky, too

7.Work with a partner. Describe what these 4 characters are wearing.Picture 4_To each his own

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?


How to Improve your English

It doesn’t matter whether you are a foreign student or a native speaker, your English skills can always be improved. We would like to share several tips with you:


  • Watch films and TV programs and listen to any online radio. This will help you to improve listening skills and expand your vocabulary at the same time. If you decide to watch documentaries, films or TV programs, you can start doing it with subtitles turned on, then turn the subtitles off when the listening part of this activity becomes easier.


  • Read a lot: books, newspapers or journals, magazines, blogs, articles and other materials in English. Try to choose material that is slightly above your current level, use a monolingual dictionary if necessary (for example such dictionary as Cambridge online dictionary http://dictionary.cambridge.org/). This is also a great tip for improving your English in a technical or professional field. You need to spend only 15 minutes a day to improve achieve good results.



  • Record your monologues or answers to various tasks and keeping a diary. This allows you to use all your reading, listening and grammar skills that you’ve been practicing.


  • When you feel you are ready, surround yourself by English speakers and try to avoid using your native language as much as possible. There are many native speakers you can chat with via Skype or other programs.


  • If you do all the activities mentioned above, your progress will be great. And, of course, after such hard work don’t forget to reward yourself.


Enjoy learning English!


True or False

  1. Language is one of our most important cultural inventions.
  2. Language change is a process of decay.
  3. Grammar books used in schools cover most of the rules and processes of English.
  4. Eskimos have many words for snow, and they “see” snow differently than others do.
  5. Writing and speech are essentially the same thing.
  6. Appalachian English is Elizabethan English.
  7. Children require detailed instruction to learn language.

No look at your answers. Write a paragraph below based on your opinions.