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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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Category: Study tips

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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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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Adventure Time!

May 12, 2015

Are you an adventurous person? Do you take many risks on a day-to-day basis? Coming to a foreign country to learn a new language is very brave but what other adventurous things have you done? In this weeks Speaking Skills Class at ICE, the students have been learning new vocabulary which they have then been using to debate the statement: 'Is it always better to be safe than sorry.' Do you agree? Here is some of the vocabulary we covered in the class: Adjectives:  Intrepid - fearless, daring. Foolhardy - unwisely bold Reckless - acting without care Nouns: Daredevil - someone who is reckl…
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London Craft Week

May 06, 2015
Coming to a new country can be an enriching experience (hopefully!). It’s an opportunity to learn a new language, taste new cuisine and socialise with people from different cultures. But why stop there? Why not learn a new craft? Starting today (6th May) and continuing until  Sunday (10th May), “London Craft Week”  will be taking place across the city. According to the organisers, the event aims to introduce the talent, people and techniques behind beautifully made things to a wider audience. Why not join a workshop?! A full listing of events can be found on the official website (www.londonc…
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Writing a Review

Apr 29, 2015

This week, as part of our ‘Study Skills’ classes, the students have been writing reviews. Have you ever written a review? How about in English? It’s a great way to improve your writing skills and an opportunity to use some different grammar/vocabulary that you might not usually use. Here are some examples of the techniques ICE students have been using in their reviews: Narrative voice: If you’re retelling a part of a story, you might want to use a variety of past tenses. Try using past continuous, past perfect and even past perfect continuous if you’re feeling brave! Adjectives: Use a variet…
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London Marathon!

Apr 23, 2015
The London marathon will take place this Sunday (26th April). Starting at Greenwich, the route mainly follows the river Thames and finishes in Westminster. The London Marathon is one of the most famous in the world and dates back to 1981. The event is one of the world's biggest fundraisers; since it's first year, it has raised over £500m for various charities. The event also draws a huge crowd of people who come along to support the runners and to enjoy the spring sunshine. Why not join them? Follow the link to see Time Out's recommendations for places to catch the action: http://www.timeout…
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Tweed Run!

Apr 16, 2015

As the cost of travelling increases and the roads in London become ever more congested, more and more Londoners are taking to bicycles to get around. But with our eagerness to get around quickly, have we forgotten how enjoyable a leisurely cycle can be? This Saturday (18th) sees the seventh annual London Tweed Run which aims to raise money for the London Cycling Campaign (www.lcc.org.uk). Although tickets for the event have already sold out, many spectators are expected to line the streets to offer support to the riders as they travel the route and pass some of London’s landmarks whilst dress…
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