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Narrative Techniques

Apr 14, 2015
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Have you ever read a story of which you already knew the ending? Why can such a story still be enjoyable? Often times, how a story is told is more important that what is told. Writers use narrative technique to deliver a story. Interesting narratives make for interesting reads. Point of view - Who tells the story? Narration - Who is the narrator speaking to? Speech - How do the narrator and the characters of a story speak? Writing narrative texts is also a good way to practise using grammar you may already be familiar with. Why not incorporate tenses other than the Past Simple? Using the P…
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Owl Cafe!

Apr 09, 2015
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This week, London gains a new attraction for one week only: The Owl Café! Our Japanese students may already be familiar with the concept: for a fee, you and friends can eat and drink whilst in the company of these magnificent birds. It’s the latest of example of animal themed cafes popping up in London following on from Cat Cafes and Lizard Cafes. More than 35,000 people entered the ballot to win tickets and the lucky winners will be drawn this week. Profits from the ticket sales will go to the Barn Owl Centre, a charity dedicated to bird welfare. Would you be interested in going? What animal …
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Category: Learn English

Lots of students think that the difference between the present simple and present continuous is easy. At some point a teacher tells them that the present means something that is happening now, then people start making mistakes and using the present simple for things happening now. In fact the present simple is for facts – e.g. the table is square. Or for things that are routines, that we do everyday, e.g. I come to school at 9am everyday, or I’m always late. We use the present continuous for things that are happening now – e,.g. you are reading this blog, or I am typing this blog. Hope this he…
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Eclipse!

Mar 19, 2015
Tomorrow is quite a special day - there will be a near total eclipse of the sun by the moon! This is when the moon passes in front of the sun and stops the sun's rays from reaching the earth. This means that it will go dark! In London around 85% of the light will be eclipsed, but in other parts of the world it may be higher or lower. Apparently the next time we will experience such a dramatic eclipse is in 2026 so try not to miss it! It will start at 8.30 and become darkest at 9.30 am - so if you're in your lessons you'll have to ask your teacher if you can go out to have a look at it! Remembe…
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Category: Learn English

Did you find the explanation about the present simple and the present continuous helpful? I hope so! Let’s carry on with that theme now and think about the past simple and past continuous. When do we use the past simple? Finished actions in the past, usually with a time. E.g. I bought some potatoes last week. We use the past continuous to talk about actions that were in progress at a certain time in the past, and often we use these two tenses together with when or while. For example. While I was shopping last week, I bought some potatoes. Was shopping is the longer action and bought is the sho…
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The British Museum

Mar 05, 2015
It might be nearly Spring but it’s not warm enough to go to the park yet, so you might want to go to some museums with your friends at the weekend. London is quite famous for it’s free museums and they’re a great thing to do if it’s raining too much to do anything else. Have you been to the British Musuem? Sometimes teachers in our school take their students there to do different kinds of lessons and talk about the exhibits. If not you should definetly go down and see the free exhibits, or if you are feeling rich you could pay to see the current exhibition, right now their popular ‘Eight mummi…
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London Fashion Week

Feb 24, 2015
Category: Learn English

This week has been London Fashion Week – a very important date for all fashionistas. Here is some informal vocabulary you can use related to wearing clothes, that use the verb ‘dress’. Dress up: Phrasal verb – to get dressed up – to wear the kind of clothes you wear when you go to a party Dress down: Phrasal verb – to dress down – to wear informal clothes that you wear around the house Dress for the occasion – to dress for the occasion – to wear a specific kind of clothes, e.g the kind you wear to a wedding or a job interview Dress to impress – to dress to impress – to wear clothes that …
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Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year everybody! Today we can celebrate the turn from Year of the Horse to the Year of the Goat or Sheep. Do you know what animal you are born under in the Chinese Horoscope? Here is some interesting information for you to read about Chinese customs over the new year period: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/special-report/chinese-new-year/ and have a look on the Timeout website for some more information about what’s going on in London http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/chinese-new-year-in-london. Don’t forget to wear red – it’s a lucky colo…
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Pancake Day!!!

Feb 17, 2015
Category: Learn English

Today is a very important day! Perhaps the most important day of the year – it’s Pancake Day! Otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, this is the day before Lent begins (a period when Christians give up luxury items before Easter). Traditionally people made pancakes to use up all the luxury food items they had in their cupboards before Lent began. Not everybody follows Lent nowadays but Pancake day still remains as a great time to get together with friends and cook lots and lots of pancakes. Have a look at this website for recipe ideas. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/pancake-day D…
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This weekend is Valentine’s Day, so in preparation let’s look at some useful vocabulary. What do you think the words in the following story mean? Try to guess them and I’ll tell you on Thursday. John met Julie at a Language School, they were in the same class and he started to realise that he had feelings for her,  he thought about it and decided to ask her out! Luckily Julie fancied John too and they went on a date. They began their relationship, but sadly one day after an argument they decided to break up with each other. Hopefully one day soon they will make up, but who knows?!
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