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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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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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doug --- off the record

Yesterday, @banana29 shared with me a post listing 22 Top Blogging Tools.  I was intrigued with the title and impressed with the list of tools.  I actually use some of them for my own writing.  As I was reading, I was impressed with the level of sophistication in the use of the tools.

I know that some people use various tools and it can be frustrating at times to see the sort of superficial use that is sometimes demonstrated.  You just hope that it gets better with time or that there is a use in the classroom or professional learning that just happens to elude you at the moment.  Perhaps one of the most use/abused of these tools is the humble Wordle.  I’ve seen really silly uses for it and I’ve seen it used incredibly well in the hands of a skilled language teacher.

As I was reflecting on…

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10 Albert Einstein quotes

I know it’s hard to select just 10 quotes from the genius Albert Einstein, but life is about decisions and choices, so I put together this list of his best educational quotes:

  1. “The only source of knowledge is experience”
  2. “Imagination is more important than knowledge”
  3. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”
  4. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle”
  5. “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen”
  6. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”
  7. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”
  8. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”
  9. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”
  10. “Not everything that can be counted, counts; not everything that counts can be counted”