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Business English: The Importance of English in the Workplace English is the global language. It may not be spoken natively by most people (Mandarin and Spanish top the list), but it is indisputably the language spoken most widely in business. Successful business is all about communication. When communication takes place across borders, having a language in common is essential – and that language is increasingly becoming English.   Importance of English in Developing Countries English is important for businesses across the world, but especially in developing countries. An article in The Gu…
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Silent Disco!

Jul 03, 2015
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When planning a night out, do you and your friends have trouble deciding on which club to go to? If you all have differing music tastes,  finding a suitable venue that you all agree on can prove problematic. Worry no more, all your planning nightmares could be a thing of the past for there is a new growing trend in London: Silent Discos. The concept is simple: every person in the club is given their own set of headphones and can choose between different DJs playing different sets simultaneously. With this, everyone should be able to enjoy their night together whilst listening to their own ch…
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Past Modals

Jun 25, 2015
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Using modal verbs in the past can be tricky since they can be used in different ways with slight but important differences in meaning. The first way in which we use modals in the past is relatively straightforward and requires only a simple word change: I can speak French                         (Present ability) I could speak French                      (Past ability) I have to go to Porto                       (Present obligation) I had to go to Porto                         (Past obligation)   Some past modals can be formed with have and the past participle. When we use past modals u…
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World Naked Bike Ride

Jun 12, 2015
Taking the bike can be one of the best ways to get out and about around London. But if you take a wrong turn this weekend you might find yourself caught up in something very unusual: The World Naked Bike Ride! Part protest against oil-dependency, part celebration of the human body, the event starts at various points across London and merges at Westminster Bridge before finishing at Wellington Arch. It’s up to you how many items of clothing you are willing to shed but remember not to get naked before you reach the event! For more information, visit the official FaceBook page: www.tinyurl.com…
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Making Predictions

Jun 10, 2015
Category: Study tips

If you think something is possible in the future, you are making a prediction.  I think England will win the next World Cup.  These are the most common expressions for making predictions. The percentages (%) are very approximate - just to show you the order of the expressions.   It'll definitely rain. 100% chance of rain It'll almost certainly rain.  It's bound to rain. 90%-99% It'll probably rain.  It's likely to rain. 80%-95% It'll possibly rain.  It might rain. 50%-80% It might not rain. 20%-50% It probably …
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The UK music festival scene is bigger than it’s ever been. With around 200 music festivals in 2015 alone, the growth doesn’t appear to be stopping. Despite the growing number of festivals, tickets for the major festivals are not only expensive but hard to get a hold of too: this year’s Glastonbury festival sold out last year within a day of going on sale. But fear not, one of London’s premier music festivals is coming this weekend AND there are still tickets available. ‘Field Day’ has been running since 2007 and has been growing in size every year. Included amongst this year’s acts are: Patti…
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In this week’s Intermediate class, the students have been revising Defining Relative Clauses. Initially they may seem complicated and confusing but, with practice, they can be used to make your writing more descriptive and interesting. Defining relative clauses give essential information to define or identify what we are talking or writing about. For example: Students who study hard pass their exams. An elephant is an animal which lives in hot countries. If we remove the defining relative clause, the sentence is still grammatically correct but the meaning is different: Students pass…
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Polite Requests

May 26, 2015
Category: Study tips

Do you ever get annoyed with English people continually saying please, thank you or sorry? It’s important to remember that English is a very polite language which uses a lot of indirect structures. For example, you may have noticed the unusual way that English people make requests. This week, my students have been learning and practising using Polite Requests: When making a request we often incorporate a modal verb such as can or could (could might be considered a little more formal). REMEMBER: although the sentence is structured like a question, the speaker is not looking for an answer: “…
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The People's Tower

May 20, 2015
Do you consider yourself creative? Or destructive? How about a combination of the two? This weekend you can be both as part of The People’s Tower project in London. This is an open event to the public with the aim of creating a “fantastical, epic building from cardboard and tape soaring above the Earlsfield skyline”. Assembled without cranes or machines, only human power and hundreds of cardboard boxes, you’re invited to join Tara Arts and French artist, Olivier Grossetête to build The People’s Tower in the grounds of Burntwood School. But be aware, the Tower is only temporary; afterwards it…
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Mini-Sagas

May 14, 2015
Category: Study tips

In this week’s Writing Skills Class, the students have been creating their own ‘Mini-Sagas’. These are short stories which have to follow certain rules: They must be exactly 50 words in length (excluding the title) They must have a title of no more than 15 words They must have a beginning, middle and end They cannot just be a description of something The idea was originally invented by the writer Brian Aldiss and the newspaper The Daily Telegraph, which has held several mini-saga competitions The students found it tricky to tell a whole story within the 50 word limit. You have to con…
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