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"Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own" by Carol Burnett


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10 reasons to learn English

This article looks at the international importance of the English language, describing how it is used worldwide and why learning the language is an important skill to have. Many adults take English language courses for a variety of different reasons. Perhaps they want to enjoy worldwide travel or improve their job opportunities. Or maybe they’d like to keep up with international news and business or be able to enjoy English speaking music and films. This article focuses on 10 reasons why you should learn to speak it.

If you’re thinking of taking up a new language, English is one of the most sought after. This article looks at 10 great reasons to learn to speak English.

1. Travel in English speaking countries

A large percentage of the world’s population is made up of English speaking countries, so knowing the language opens you up to a wide range of travel opportunities. It’s much easier to get around a foreign country if you know the lingo!

London, England

2. Communicate with people worldwide

In many countries where English is not the first language, it’s still widely used as a common language. For example, it’s widely used throughout Asia – in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong – and throughout many parts of Africa. It’s also the second language throughout most of Europe.

So, you’ll be able to use your English skills to communicate in many countries around the world, even if they aren’t officially known as an English-speaking nation.

3. Enjoy more job opportunities

The demand for English-speaking employees is worldwide. Companies are always on the lookout for people who can speak English. If you have it on your CV, your chances of getting a job are greatly increased. If you become proficient enough, you can even use your skills to become an English teacher, via a TEFL course.

4. Watch popular films

Many of the world’s big blockbuster movies are in English. By learning the language you’ll no longer have to rely on subtitles to watch some of your favourite films.

Hollywood sign

5. Understand popular music tracks

The music scene is dominated by the USA and Britain – with most of the world’s biggest pop and rap stars singing in English. By learning the language you’ll be able to understand the meaning behind the tracks that you love.

6. Keep your mind active

Scientific research has proven that using your brain to learn a language can reduce your risk of having problems later in life, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Keep your mind active by picking up a new skill and enrolling in an Exeter based English school with Skola.co.uk. There are many courses available, for all ages and abilities.

7. Keep up with international news and business

English is the main language for news and information across the globe. Over half of the world’s newspapers are published in English, and the television news for many countries is also broadcast in it.

8. Reading great books

As well as reading great English and American classics, many best-selling books from around the world are published in English, making it an essential skill if you want to read the best worldwide literature.

Book collection

9. Gain a higher status in society

In many countries people who speak English hold a higher status in society. English is the most commonly used language in business so, if you can’t speak it, you’re at a significant disadvantage compared to those who can.

10. Teach your kids

If you manage to master the English language, you’ll be able to teach it to your kids as well. This will help open up job prospects and opportunities for them.

Learning a new language is a great way to broaden your skill set and open up opportunities worldwide. Enrol in an English class now to learn one of the most popular languages used across the globe.

 

Useful links

BBC

The BBC’s online resource to help you learn English

The Guardian

The Guardian has articles related to learning English

British Council

This website has a range of games, stories and exercises to aid your learning experience


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Helping your kids in their education

Teachers and schools are not the only persons and places that contributes to children’s education, parents and homes are part of the system too. For that reason, it is important that the familial environment is adapted and supportive. Kids have to be able to do their homework in the best conditions and to receive help from their parents, whatever their level of education. Parents don’t need to be teacher themselves to support their kids, a positive and responsible attitude is all it takes.

Be interested and responsible

Little details can make a big difference between a kid who doesn’t really care for school and one who is doing well. Children look up to their parents, so if you are taking an interest in what they are learning at school, they will realise it is important. Take the time to go over their homework, before or after they have done it depending on your availability. You will be able to see what they are doing but also find out what your kids like or don’t like, or where they weaknesses are.

It is the parents job to ensure that their kids are doing their homework, so establish rules and boundaries, like no television or computer before homework, and stick to them. Be attentive to their attitude so that you can pick up on signals and act before they get too much behind. Children education should be parents priority, so even if all you want to do is crash on the sofa after a long day of work, take the time to help your kids with their homework if they need you to.


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Grass in the library

letswhiteboard:

What a fantastic idea!

Originally posted on SourceYour | So You Know Better:

It may be cold outside, but the students of Cornell University are enjoying the splendour of studying outside—sort of. Just in time for finals, the Olin Library was outfitted with thick carpets of grass, bringing the outdoors in.
After research by the Human Ecology department, professors installed the grass to give stressed out students the restorative benefits of nature.

Cornell-Library-Grass7In an effort to spruce up mental health during the crucial—and stressful—week of finals, Cornell professors decided to give students a little nature therapy. Rolled out amidst two rows of comfy easy chairs and side tables, students are invited to kick of their shoes and wiggle their toes in the grass. Extra potted snake plants flank the bottom of each chair, with signs that caution not of a wet floor, but to watch for snakes.

Cornell-Library-Grass2Students can also sit or lay down in the middle of the indoor lawn, hearkening the…

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GASP!!! Special Ed!

letswhiteboard:

Some fantastic points made about teaching children with disabilities in this post.

Originally posted on Voices of Sensory Processing Disorder:

When your child is born, MOST people don’t expect any serious complications or any disabilities. I say most because some people get testing done while they are pregnant that tells them their child will be born with a disability and are able to prepare for their child’s arrival. Which I think is awesome. But MOST of us expect a happy, healthy baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes.

According to the March of Dimes about 8 million children are born each year in the world with “birth defects.” These are the more severe disabilities that are sometimes genetic, sometimes because of prematurity or poor diet and sometimes just happen. These are the ones you can see right away.

Then there are people who have a happy healthy child. Who see small differences in them, but the children make all the “milestones” – sometimes even early. Whose child is smart and funny and…

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The Lazy Way to Get Organised

Being disorganised is can be frustrating and unproductive. A small amount of organisation can go a long way and help many different aspects of your life. If you are a self-confessed lazy person, you will need a little bit more help when it comes to organising yourself. In this article we look to help the lazy person in you become more organised.

Calendar

Use a calendar and make lists

Making lists and keeping things jotted down in a calendar will stop you forgetting your plan for the next hour, day, week, month and year. The lazy and often more beneficial way of doing this would be electronically through your laptop or smartphone.

Lists are great to discipline yourself to do things during a specific period of time. For example, if you feel that you are generally unproductive you can make a list of five or ten productive tasks to do during a day. Upon completing the list you will feel as if you have really achieved something with your day. Items on the list can be anything from taking the bin out to writing 1,000 words of your novel.

Calendars are incredibly easy to operate on your phone and PC, so instead of writing things down physically, you can simply store it electronically. The great thing about calendars, such as Google Calendars, is that you can access the same calendars from a number of devices. So if you update your phone with a coffee date or business meeting, it will show up on your home laptop, smartphone and work PC all at once.

Office box

Clean and tidy your space

Whether it is your desk at work, your bedroom, kitchen, living at home, or the documents and apps on your laptop or PC, cleaning and tidying is one of the best ways to get organised. Although the saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ is a bit of a cliché, there is certainly plenty of truth in it.

One way to clean and tidy for lazy people is to delegate tasks to others, which will make a task become complete much quicker. If you have children, you can make the cleaning and tidying into a game. Or you could look through your phone and find some friends that owe you a favour and get them to come round and help, with pizza and wine as bait.

Drawers with labels

Label and organise

Using labels is a great way of organising your belongings and documents. If you live in a small house, flat or studio apartment, you a likely to find storage an issue. To combat this you are likely to have boxes and other containers to keep your possessions. If you have a lot of storage that looks the same then what better way of organising than getting some labels?

One way of doing this would be to physically write out on sticky labels everything that you want. But if you are feeling particularly lazy then you could get someone else to do it for you.  A website where you can buy a number of different labelling products, such as sheet label and barcode designs, is South East Labels.

Useful links

How to become organised!

A great organisational guide

Get Organised

Helping businesses and individuals increase productivity

Organise my House

Organisation Inspiration!


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5 volunteering experiences that change your life

In the hustle and bustle of our busy modern lives, sometimes we all just need to pause and consider what’s really important. If there’s one getaway that helps to open our eyes and get a fresh perspective on things, it’s a volunteering experience.

Volunteering projects can take travellers to new and exciting corners of the world, not to mention give them the chance to make a real difference in communities abroad. With this in mind here is a look at just 5 of the fantastic volunteering opportunities available.

Medicine in Cambodia

Medical training extends further than just the role of a doctor or nurse, with volunteer placements also available to midwives, dentists and occupational therapists. A country always in need of volunteer help in the medical field is Cambodia. Located in the country’s capital Phnom Penh, medical placements take place in the state hospitals, while Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy graduates are also desperately needed in rehabilitation centres for landmine victims.

Journalism in Ethiopia

During a journalism placement in Ethiopia, volunteers work on the Reporter Weekly newspaper, which is published in both English and Amharic. Located in Addis Ababa, this placement offers the experience of working on a busy weekly paper as you try and get to the heart of a story whilst navigating different cultures. Staying with a host family and interacting with locals on the job, the placement offers an unparalleled insight into the Ethiopian way of life.

Teaching in Jamaica

 With approximately 21% of Jamaica’s adults unable to read and write, basic skills teachers are invaluable in this part of the world. Teaching classes of 10-15 students, this experience will offer an entirely new perspective on teaching as you pass on the fundamental skills that can change people’s lives.

Social work in Ghana

With high rates of domestic violence and child trafficking, a social work experience in Ghana certainly isn’t for the feint hearted. Yet in the face of such exploitation there is a real opportunity to make a difference in people’s day-to-day life. It’s a great opportunity to share your skills and expertise within the community and offer a more hopeful future for the victims of abuse.

This is a volunteer experience that will expose you to one of the more shocking sides of society, but with an experienced volunteer project provider you can still expect a safe and rewarding getaway. One such company is Projects Abroad PRO and you can take a look at their website for a full list of volunteer experiences available.

Marina biologist in Thailand

The coastlines of Ao Nang, Thailand are some of the most beautiful reef environments in the world. As a popular tourist destination, pollution rates have risen dramatically in recent years and volunteer biologists are desperately needed to help improve the marine environment. This opportunity offers first-hand experience of working with an incredible ecosystem as well as the chance to see one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

Resource box

The Guardian

10 of the best volunteer holiday

Lonely Planet Thailand

A comprehensive guide to one of the available volunteer destinations

Visit Jamaica

Tourism and travel advice from one of the potential getaway locations.


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Living Abroad to Learn a Language

Have you ever wished that you could be totally fluent in another language, be it for professional reasons, because you want to live abroad one day, or simply for your personal benefit? Even though we all did some French or Spanish at school, we barely have enough words to make any kind of conversation when away in France or Spain. Usually it is not a problem since everyone else speaks English, but does it make you wonder if we aren’t just lazy and if we are missing something?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, why not seriously looking into learning a new language? Of course, it is always hard to do so, even with the numerous evening classes offered by universities and other organisms. The biggest obstacles are the lack of time and practice, and the painful slow progress that brings discouragement. Well, there is an easy solution to them all, living abroad for a few months. This is by miles the best way to learn a language and become fluent quickly.

While in another country where everyone else speaks another language, you will be constantly hearing and reading it, thus getting quickly accustomed to it. You are sharing the locals daily life and learning to think in the foreign language because there isn’t anyone to help you translate everything. Furthermore, understanding the subtleties of a language demands that you have some knowledge and experience of its usage, all that you can get by living in total immersion in a foreign country.

Check some stories of those who have been doing this and start choosing which country you will live in next!

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