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Adventure Time!

May 12, 2015
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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
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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
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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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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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