Friday, 26 April 2013

Cities of England

As it was Saint George's Day earlier this week, we thought it would be nice for some students to learn about different cities in England.  

The Key Adults Evening Group very much enjoyed reading about different English cities and liked seeing a video of Manchester, where two of our teachers - Sally and Aminah - are from.  

Read now about six English cities and then answer the questions below:


London is the capital of England and Great Britain. 

It is in the south east of the country.

The River Thames runs through the city.

8 Million People


London Bridge, Buckingham Palace

Famous People:  

The Queen, David Beckham, Adele


Manchester is one of England’s most creative and industrial cities.  It is in the north west of the country. 

The rivers Irwell, Mersey & Medlock run through the city.

2 Million People


Old Trafford, Afflecks Palace

Famous People:  

Liam & Noel Gallagher, Emmeline Pankhurst


Birmingham is the 2nd largest city in England. It is in the west midlands.  People from Birmingham are known as ‘Brummies’. 

3.5 Million People


 Bull Ring Shopping Centre

Famous People:     

George Cadbury, Ozzy Osbourne


Cambridge is a historic English city with one of the world’s leading universities.  It is in the east of the country.   It was once a Roman Settlement. 

Population:                       120,000 People


Kings College Chapel

Famous People:               Pink Floyd (Band)


Leeds is a major urban city in the county of Yorkshire.  It is in the north east of England. It is in a valley of The Pennine Hills. 

Population:                        1.5 Million People


Millenium Square, Sky Plaza

Famous People:               

Mike Tindall, Harry Ramsden


Liverpool is cultural city on the north west coast of England.  The River Mersey runs through the city. People from Liverpool are known as ‘Scousers’.

2 Million People


Liverpool Cathedral, The Cavern Club

Famous People:  

The Beatles (band), Wayne Rooney

1. In which city is Millenium Square?

2. Where does the chocolate maker George Cadbury come from?

3. Which city has one of the most important universities?

4. What is the capital city of England?

5. Where do Scousers live?

6. Which city has three rivers?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Happy Saint George's Day

Today is Saint George's Day.  

George is the patron saint of both England and Modica Alta.  

Today the Flyers and the Movers will be learning all about Saint George and studying English vocabulary connected to this festival.  

Here is some information about the saint:

Saint George

Saint George was the son of a Christian nobleman, born around 275-285 AD in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina. He was raised as a Christian and became a Roman soldier, working for the Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia and rising to the rank of Tribunus.

Diocletian worshipped the Roman Gods and in AD 302 he issued an edict that every soldier must make an offering to the Roman Gods. Christian soldiers who refused to do so must be arrested. George insisted that he would remain Christian, even though Diocletian tried to bribe him with promises of land, money and slaves.

Eventually Diocletian decided reluctantly to execute George. Before he was arrested George gave all his money away to the poor, and he went to his death bravely, even though he was tortured horribly.

Saint George is the patron saint of England and many other countries. He is most well known for his part in the story of "Saint George and the dragon".

Saint George and the Dragon

There was once a city called Silene. The people of Silene were not Christians but they were happy enough, going every day to draw water from a nearby spring and living a simple life. One day, however, a dragon decided to make its nest by the spring and life became very difficult for them! Many men tried to fight the dragon or chase it away, but they all failed.

As they had to have water, the people of Silene came up with a plan. They would distract the dragon by taking him a sheep every day, for a meal. While he was busy eating, they quickly took the water they needed.

Everything worked fine for a while, but one day they didn't have any more sheep to offer the dragon! They became more and more thirsty and eventually, in desperation, they decided to take the dragon a young girl instead. Lots were drawn to see which young girl would be chosen each day.

One day, Silene's princess was the chosen maiden! The king begged for his daughter to be spared, but nobody listened, and the princess was dragged off to meet the dragon like the other young girls before her.

While the princess stood before the dragon, trying to be brave, Saint George rode by on his horse. Seeing the pretty princess and realising the situation, he made the sign of the cross (to show he was a Christian), bravely fought the dragon and rescued the princess! The citizens were so impressed with his bravery that they converted to Christianity.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Question Words

Often for beginners, forming open questions can be a little tricky.  

At school, we are working really hard with the Young Learners and Key students to help gain a better understanding of question structure.  

This table is quite useful for those who are unsure about which question word is correct:

Question WordFunctionExample
whatasking for information about somethingWhat is your name?
 asking for repetition or confirmationWhat? I can't hear you.
You did what?
what...forasking for a reason, asking whyWhat did you do that for?
whenasking about timeWhen did he leave?
whereasking in or at what place or positionWhere do they live?
whichasking about choiceWhich colour do you want?
whoasking what or which person or people (subject)Who opened the door?
whomasking what or which person or people (object)Whom did you see?
whoseasking about ownershipWhose are these keys?
Whose turn is it?
whyasking for reason, asking what...forWhy do you say that?
why don'tmaking a suggestionWhy don't I help you?
howasking about mannerHow does this work?
 asking about condition or qualityHow was your exam?
how + adj/advasking about extent or degreesee examples below
how fardistanceHow far is Pattaya from Bangkok?
how longlength (time or space)How long will it take?
how manyquantity (countable)How many cars are there?
how muchquantity (uncountable)How much money do you have?
how oldageHow old are you?
how come (informal)asking for reason, asking whyHow come I can't see her?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Student of the Month - April

Name:   Giuseppe Di Raimondo

Level:  Advanced

Course:  Advanced (CAE)

April's Student of the Month is Giuseppe from the Cambridge Advanced English Group, affectionately nicknamed Pedro in school.  He has been studying with English International School for six years and already has three Cambridge certificates and is now studying to achieve an Advanced certificate.  

The Cambridge Advanced ceritificate is the fourth level of the Cambridge English exams and is  at level C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference.  Passing this exam shows that candidates are high-achievers, who can use English in all situations.  Accepted globally by employers, governments and places of study, this qualification provides high-level English skills for academic and professional success, particularly for those who would like to spend time living in English-speaking countries.  

Here are some questions we asked Giuseppe about his experiences at our school:

When and why did you start to attend English International School?
I've been attending English International School since I was 12 years old.  I started because I thought English could be useful for my future, both privately and professionally.  

What course did you begin with?
I started with Trinity 4 and then did the Trinity 6 course.  After that, I attended KEY, Preliminary and First, achieving good results.  Now I'm preparing for the Cambridge Advanced exam.  

So, what changes have you seen at the school and how is your learning experience different?
Over the years, several things have changed at the school.  There have been many different, excellent teachers.  The ways of teaching have changed according to the growing difficulty of the exams.  The organisation of the school has improved through the years too.  

What has been different about studying towards the Cambridge Advanced exam, in comparision to the previous courses you attended?
First of all, the teacher, and I have no regrets about this change.  Then, I have had to develop my linguistic knowledge, therefore, I started to read some books in English.  Furthermore, our group are asked to speak about complex topics in English, so I am improving speaking skills as well as listening ones...  having said that, the course is not very different from the First, in many ways.  

Your exam date has just been confirmed for July, what are your thoughts on preparing for and sitting the exam?
Well, I am a bit nervous but I think this is normal!  I'm trying to focus on the exam more and more and I hope to be ready before July.  Anyway, I have plenty of time so I suppose I'll be able to pass it.  

It is often difficult to remember that Giuseppe (or Pedro, as we prefer to call him!) is still in his teens, as he is so mature and takes his studies seriously, while being a jovial member of the group.  His continued development as an English language speaker is fantastic, with every lesson, his knowledge of the language seems to grow and grow.  His enthusiasm seems limitless, he always arrives early and rarely misses a lesson.  He is a pleasure to teach and a fantastic asset to our school.