Monday, 1 September 2014

Thinking of starting a course? Here's what we do...

Happy 1st of Septemeber everyone!

It's at this time of year that people start to think about enrolling on their courses and considering their learning options.  So with this in mind, here is a quick rundown on the types of courses we offer.

Courses for Adults and Young Adults (Over 12s):

We offer courses which prepare people to take Cambridge English exams.   English language qualifications from Cambridge University are one of the most prestigious language certificates in the world and are accepted globally by educational institutes, such as universities, major international businesses and government bodies.

Students who enroll at our school are initially given a diagnostic test to assess their current level of English, this involves an appointment during which the student will have a face-to-face conversation with one of our teachers to assess speaking and listening skills, this is then followed by a written test which assesses reading and writing skills, as well as knowledge of the English grammar structure.  Once we have a clear understanding of the level you are starting with, we are able to suggest which of the Cambridge courses you should attend.

Cambridge English courses start at Level A2 on the European Framework of Reference, this means this student must already have a basic knowledge of English.  Usually, if you have studied at a scholastic level, you would likely be at the level to start an A2 course.  In some cases though, students are below the level to start the Cambridge A2 course, with these students, we suggest to attend an A1 course, which is designed by our teachers and focuses on individual learner needs.  At the end of an A1 course, students receive a Certificate of Attendance from our school and will then be in a position to start an Cambridge A2 course.

Level A2 - Cambridge Key:                  This qualification is the first level in Cambridge English.  It teaches the student English at an elementary level so that they have a basic knowledge of the language and allows them to communicate in English at a basic level.  The four key skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught with integrated grammar and vocabulary.

Level B1 - Cambridge Preliminary (PET):            The second level of Cambridge English qualifications also teaches the key skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening and integrates an intermediate level of grammar and vocabulary.  This courses allows students to use English on a day-to-day basis for work, study and travel.

Level B2 - Cambridge First (FCE):          This is an upper-intermediate qualification, again it incorporates grammar and vocabulary with the four key skills, this time with the inclusion of teaching use of English, this gives a higher level of understanding of the structures within the English language and allows the student to use English more expressively and creatively.  The qualification proves that the student has a good understanding of written and spoken English and this can be used for work, study and travel.

Level C1 - Cambridge Advanced (CAE):            This is an advanced level qualification and is highly regarded internationally, it teaches more complexly reading, writing, speaking and listening, while giving the student a high level of grammar and the ability to use subject specific, diverse vocabulary.  Passing this qualification shows the student is a high achiever who can use English to an excellent standard, if the student plans to work and/or study in an English-speaking environment this certificate could prove to be vital.

Level c2 - Cambridge Proficiency:           This is the highest level of Cambridge certificate and likens the knowledge and use of the student's English to that of a native speaker.  Students will be taught more complex structures and given direction on how to use both written and spoken English with complete accuracy and with great complexity.  If you achieve this level, you have proved that you have mastered the language to the highest possible level and this will be positively received by businesses, educational bodies and governments worldwide.

In addition to these qualifications, we also off Cambridge specialist programmes in both Legal and Business English.


Courses for Children:

Cambridge English also cater to young learners from ages 7 to 12 and we offer courses which prepare children for Cambridge exams, which are fun, motivational and interesting.

For children under 7, we offer a programme designed by one of our teacher's who has had seven years experience working with younger children, both here in Sicily and previously in the United Kingdom.  This 'Kids English' programme is based on the idea of learning through play and uses games, songs and interactive methods to engage children in learning English.  This programme is a fun way to introduce young children to a foreign language and we have had great success with the children who have attended.

Cambridge Young Learners courses, similarly to adult courses, are on three levels.  We try to group children with others who are at their level of understanding of English rather than their age, this is a proven method and is much more productive in motivating children and encouraging learning at their natural level, as all children develop at different paces.

Cambridge Starters:           This is the introductory level of English for children, it allows them access to basic language structures and develops their initial vocabulary.  The key skills; reading, writing, listening and speaking are taught throughout the programme and learners are encourage to experiment with language.

Cambridge Movers:           For children who have already had an introduction to the English language, most commonly, those who have already completed the Starters course.  Children are given the opportunity to develop their understanding of the language and are taught reading, writing, listening, speaking and some basic grammar throughout.

Cambridge Flyers:            This programme is aimed at children who already have a general understanding of the English language, often the learners will have already completed the Movers course.   The level of the course is pitched at A1/A2 and therefore, gives learners an elementary understanding of English and are prepared to use English at a basic level.  Reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught throughout the programme.


So, what are you waiting for?  Call us today to talk about your language needs and we will organise an appointment to assess your level.

Take the first step of improving your language today!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

September is Coming!

While everyone is still enjoying the summer, the sun is still be soaked up, the beach parties are still in full swing and fashions are continuing to reflect the heat of summer, the calendar keeps on creeping nearer and nearer towards September and the start of our back-to-schoolnew school year.

Group lessons will be starting soon, so now is a good time to contact us to arrange your free diagnostic test.  The test involves a short chat with one of our teachers and then a written test, this is to assess your level in order to place you on the most suitable course to fit your needs.

If you are thinking of starting a course with us in the school year, now is the right time to get in touch and organise to come to speak with us and for those of you returning to the school, we will be in touch to let you know when your groups will start again.  For individual students who have taken a summer break, we advise to contact us as soon as possible to arrange your return lesson to the school.

Take a step forward in improving your language skills , there is no time like the present, so telephone, call into the school or email today.

Wishing you all a happy and fun end to your holidays.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Tips for improving your Speaking & Listening Skills this summer

What you can do to improve your speaking skills:

It might seem simple but the best thing you can do is speak!
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, everyone does and we learn more from what we get wrong than what we get right.
Don't be afraid to join in conversations, you may not be able to make huge contributions in the beginning but little by little you will progress.
Find other English language students and spend time speaking to them in English - practice, practice, practice!
There are a lot of tourists in the area at the moment, so why not try to make conversation with them? Ask where they are from, how long they are here for and what they like about Sicily.
If you can't find anyone to talk to, talk to yourself!! Just saying sentences out loud will boost your confidence and make your speaking more well ordered when you do find someone to speak to.

Happy chatting!


What you can do to improve your listening skills:

The only way to get better at listening is to listen, listen, listen!

Watch English/American films and TV shows in their original language (with Italian subtitles if you are below an upper intermediate level).
Go to English language news sites and watch the news in English (for example

Listen to English language music while studying the lyrics, you could even try to learn the words to some of your favourite songs.
Spend time in the company of English speakers, try to join in with their conversations if possible, listen to the tone and rhythm of their voices... there are lots of tourists around during the summer, so now is the best time to find some native speakers to do this.

Remember, even though you are on holiday, language is something that needs to be practiced and kept up - like playing a musical instrument or maintaining fitness.

Happy Listening!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Exams are OVER!

HappinessOur final exams for the academic year 2013/14 have just finished!

Well done to everyone who has attended Cambridge courses and taken exams this year.

This year we have had a record number of students at our Modica school, plus the opening of our second school in Ragusa has meant that even more candidates have been sitting exams this year.  It has been a lot of hard work for the teachers and everyone involved in the school but ultimately, we are all very pleased with the progress students have made this year.

It is wonderful to see so many of our students return year after year to continue their progress in learning English, we have built strong relationships with you over the time you have attended the school and, although there is always relief at the end of exams and the end of the school year, it can also be quite sad to say goodbye.  We have, of course, welcomed many new students to the school this year too, our teachers all say what a pleasure it is to get to know you all.

Special mentions to our teaching staff of this year; Sally, Lucy, Ariane, Chris, Luke, Mike, Alistair, Nadine and Caroline have all worked really hard and have high hopes for the students they have taught over the past year.  Also, to our secretaries Isabel and Eliana who keep everything organised.  And of course, to our school's director, Catherine who has been working harder than ever to improve the school and to continue to offer excellence in English language instruction in the province of Ragusa.

The school remains open throughout August for individual students who wish to continue learning.  New group classes will begin in September and we hope to see many of you again then.

Happy celebrating the end of your exams, here's hoping the results will reflect all your hard work.

Thank you to all our wonderful students!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Times for Key, Preliminary & First Certificate Exams - Summer 2014

Please note exam times for Key, Preliminary & First Certificate candidates taking their exams this month:

Cambridge Key (A2)

Speaking Exam:                         Monday 21st July      17:15-17:45

Reading, Writing & Listening Exams:           Thursday 24th July   From 12:00


Cambridge Preliminary (B1)

Speaking Exam:                         Monday 21st July     16:15-17:00

Reading, Writing & Listening Exams:             Thursday 24th July     From 09:00


Cambridge First (B2)

Speaking Exam:                         Monday 21st July     14:30-16:00

Reading, Writing, Listening & Use of English Exams:         Friday 25th July     08:30-14:00


Candidates are reminded that they must bring their identity cards on the day of the exam, failure to do so will mean you are not permitted to sit the exam.  You should also bring a pencil, a pencil sharpener and a rubber.  

If you have any questions regarding the exam schedule, please contact the school or speak with your teacher.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Happy 4th July - American Independence Day!

4th July

Today is Independence Day in the United States of America, which marks the anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress — July 4, 1776. That means that this year — 2014 — marks America's 238th birthday.

The Declaration of Independence was the official announcement that America would no longer be ruled by the monarch of Great Britain.

On July 4, 1777, the night sky of Philadelphia lit up with the blaze of bonfires. Candles illuminated the windows of houses and public buildings.  Church bells rang out load, and cannons were shot from ships breaking the silence.  The city was celebrating the first anniversary of the founding of the United States.

The Fourth of July quickly became an annual date for celebrating and is the main patriotic holiday for the whole nation.  The famous Star Spangled Banner, America's national flag, can be seen flying proudly through cities all over the USA, people march in parades and there are huge fireworks displays, as well as traditional family dinners and neighbourhood parties.

The United States, due to its vast continental stretch, hosts the most native English language speakers in the world, as well as being home to many immigrants who have learnt English as a second language.

Today at school, we are spending a little time learning about this important holiday for our American cousins.



Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Good Luck to the Movers and Flyers


Wishing all our wonderful Movers and Flyers the very best of luck for their exams on Monday.

Today was many of the young learners last lesson before their Cambridge exam.  Pictured are Sally and Luke with just a few of the children from both levels.

All the young learners have worked so hard towards their certificates and we are sure they will do well in their forthcoming exams.  We are always sad on the last day of the children's lessons but it is such a pleasure that the majority return to us every year to continue to improve their English language skills.  All the Movers will be moving up to Flyers level from September and the Flyers have now completed their last lessons as young learners, the next time they join us, they will be studying towards Cambridge Key.

Once again, good luck everyone and thank you so much for working so hard!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Good Luck to the Starters!


Good Luck to all the Starters who will be taking their Cambridge Young Learners exam at our Modica school tomorrow.

Pictured is Sally with her Starters group who have their last lesson today.  They have been working hard and enjoying learning English all year.

Also taking their Starters exam at our school tomorrow, are students from Mickey Mouse School, where our teachers have been contracted to teach young learners during the last school year.

We are sure all the children will do well in the exams, we have some fantastic young learners who are all keen, quick learners who love using English.

Looking forward to seeing all the Starters in the next school year when they begin their Movers course.

Best of luck - You can do it!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Australian Government to accept Cambridge English: Advanced test scores for more visa programs from early 2015

Taken from

The Immigration and Border Protection Assistant Minister, Senator Michaelia Cash, has announced that the present restrictive regulations have been changed to allow more choice for visa applicants. The changes mean the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test, which is already widely taken by student visa applicants, will be available to other visa applicants from early next year.

Cambridge English Language Assessment’s Regional Director, Ms Sujata Stead, said the Government’s changes were sensible and welcome. “Opening the English language testing regime to more competition and wider choice can be nothing but good for visa applicants,” Ms Stead said. “The CAE test has been used by student visa applicants since 2011 so its security and proof of high achievement have already been demonstrated in Australia. While the increased choice and competition that will come from the Federal Government’s changes will lead to greater efficiency, it is also likely to bring a wave of innovation from English language testers.”

At present, only IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and OET (Occupational English Test) are available to applicants for the vast majority of visa classes. In addition to IELTS and OET, since 2011 student visa applicants have had the option of taking Cambridge English: Advanced or two other English language tests. TheCambridge English: Advanced test for student visa applicants will be entirely unaffected by the changes and will continue to be accepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for student visa applications. The department will accept test scores for Cambridge English: Advanced for all visa programs from early 2015, with the final implementation date to be confirmed. Scores from a Cambridge English: Advanced test taken before the 2015 implementation date will not be accepted by the department, except in the case of student visa applications where scores will continue to be accepted by the department.

Minimum required test scores for the Cambridge English: Advanced test will be published on the department's website ( later this year. Cambridge English Language Assessment, which owns and develops Cambridge English: Advanced, is a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Ariane's Last Day

Today we are saying goodbye to Ariane Fuchs, as it is her final day of school.  IMAG1370

Ariane has been teaching at both our Modica and Ragusa schools for the past year, as well as representing us in public schools throughout the Ragusa province.   Half-American, Half-German, Ariane, has been teaching both English and German as she is a native speaker of both.

Ariane intends to stay in Modica, where she will soon be starting work in a Bed & Breakfast.

From everyone at English International School, good luck and thanks to Ariane!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Mike says goodbye for the summer

Today is Mike Smith's last day of work before he returns to the UK for the summer months.


Mike has been working at our school in Modica this year and has also taught in a number of our public school projects throughout the province of Ragusa.   Mike is an excellent team member and has been particularly popular with his tutors in public schools.

Mike will be teaching in England at a summer camp once he arrives home and will be coming back to work with us here in Sicily in the next school year.

Wishing Mike an excellent summer in the UK and looking forward to working with him again in the next scholastic year!

See you soon, Mike!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

See you later, Alistair!


Finishing for the summer today is Alistair Simpson, who has been teaching at our Ragusa school this year.

Alistair will be heading back to his native Scotland, before returning to Sicily with friends to tour the island.  He intends to return to working at the school in the next academic year.

Alistair was the first teacher to be based at our Ragusa school, which opened in September 2013, and he quickly made his mark on the school, making friends with students as well as working hard.  He has also worked in a number of our public school projects across the province of Ragusa.

We would all like to wish Alistair all the best for the summer and to say thank you for all the hard work you have done at the school this year.

Happy travels, Alistair!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Nadine's Last Day


Today is the final day of work for Nadine Aslam, who has been teaching at our school in Modica over the last few months.

Nadine has been extremely popular with students since joining our team on a temporary basis and quickly built strong relationships and friendships with both students and fellow teachers alike.

After initially heading back to the UK, Nadine will be embarking on summer adventures through Europe and intends to have a new experience teaching elsewhere in the world in the next school year.

A huge thank you to Nadine for all your hard work and from all of us at English International School, we wish you lots of luck and happiness on your future journeys and in your teaching career.


Bye Bye, Nadine - you will be missed!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

CLIL Seminar for Teachers


Seminario e laboratorio CLIL per insegnanti



L’English International School fa una presentazione del CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning.


Il Ministro dell’Istruzione ha stabilito che l’approccio CLIL(Content and Language Integrated Learning) dovrebbe essere adottato per l’insegnamento delle materie non linguistiche nell’ultimo anno dei licei (terzo anno per gli Istituti linguistici) e delle scuole tecniche.

Ci si è resi conto che il CLIL può contribuire significativamente all’aggiornamento dell’istruzione del 21° secolo.

Infatti, questo approccio muove l’Istruzione italiana alla ribalta dell’Istruzione internazionale dove una delle principali sfide è quella di andare oltre le lezioni tradizionali centrate sull’insegnamento verso lezioni centrate sui vari modi di apprendere.

In tutta l’Europa, coloro che hanno utilizzato il CLIL stanno scoprendo che esso, sviluppato per bene, è molto più della somma delle sue parti: l’insegnamento consapevole della lingua porta automaticamente all’istruzione consapevole dei concetti e perciò evoca naturalmente un approccio mirato all’apprendimento dove i concetti più importanti vengono compresi ad un livello profondo sia in Storia, sia in Fisica, sia in Geografia. Questo è il potenziale CLIL. Per la realizzazione di questo potenziale in Italia e ovunque nel mondo non occorreranno insegnanti che parlino Inglese in modo fluente ma insegnanti  a cui saranno familiari la pedagogia dei concetti e la pedagogia della lingua . Occorre anche che siano esperti nella realizzazione di processi centrati all’apprendimento e nello sviluppo di contesti altamente motivanti dove la comprensione è profonda e trasferibile.

Con tutto ciò in mente, il nostro seminario mira a far familiarizzare gli insegnanti con la struttura del CLIL e include due laboratori che forniscono informazioni riguardo il corso e il certificato del TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test)  per gli insegnanti.





Lunedì 9 Giugno 2014



Giovedì 12 Giugno 2014



Via Sacro Cuore

103/B – Modica (RG)

Tel: 0932 456613

Centro Giorgio La Pira

Via Giorgio La Pira, 1 – Ragusa

Tel: 0932/625444-340/8188181





  • Introduzione

  • Cos’è il CLIL?

  • Laboratorio di Matematica CLIL

  • Pausa

  • Laboratorio di Storia CLIL

  • Informazioni riguardo il TKT

  • Eventuali domande


Il seminario  dura 2.5 ore e sarà eseguito dalla nostra Direttrice e dalla Direttrice degli Insegnanti e i laboratori saranno introdotti da due dei nostri insegnanti madrelingua.

É fortemente consigliato che gli insegnanti che già conoscono l’Inglese partecipino lo stesso perché la conferenza sarà per la maggior parte eseguita in lingua inglese.

I posti sono limitati, perciò, occorre prenotarli in anticipo tramite e-mail o telefonando la scuola.


Per ulteriori informazioni riguardanti il seminario contattare la scuola.


Cordiali saluti,




Sally Joy Turton

Director of Studies

English International School  

Friday, 16 May 2014

Goodbye Caroline!

This week we are saying goodbye to one of our teachers.  Caroline Wright

Caroline Wright has been working for the last few months at our Ragusa school.  She has been a great asset to the team and has got on well with her students, young and old.

Caroline will be heading off to do a teaching internship in norhern Italy before returning to the UK, where she will be working at an English Summer Camp.

I'm sure all our students will join us in wishing Caroline the very best for her future and, from all of us at English International School, many thanks for all your hard work.


Good Luck, Caroline!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Intensive Summer Courses

Corsi intensivi di 8 settimane

L’English International School realizza corsi intensivi di 8 settimane presso le nostre scuole di Modica e Ragusa.  Tutti i corsi saranno tenuti dai nostri insegnanti madrelingua  qualificati con il Cambridge CELTA e includono materiali della Cambridge University Press.


Massimo 10 studenti per classe.


I corsi iniziano il 3 Giugno 2014 e includono 80 ore di insegnamento distribuite in 8 settimane. Per i livelli dall’ A2 al B2 il corso terminerà con un esame Cambridge ESOL, gli studenti del livello A1 riceveranno un certificato di frequenza.


Prima di iniziare il corso gli studenti verranno sottoposti ad un test d’ingresso al fine di stabilire il loro livello prima dell’inizio del corso.


Livello A1


Livello A2 –



Livello B1 –



Livello B2 –


Intermedio avanzato

80 ore di lezioni

Libro+Materiale didattico



esame, gli studenti riceveranno un certificato di frequenza.




          Totale - €440

80 ore di lezioni

Libro+Materiale didattico



24 luglio 2014





Totale – €539,50

80 ore di lezioni

Libro+Materiale didattico



24 luglio 2014





Totale - €546

80 ore di lezioni

Libro+Materiale didattico



24 luglio 2014





Totale - €648


Tutti gli studenti devono iscriversi a questi corsi entro il 30 maggio 2014 e metà del corso deve essere pagato. La seconda e ultima rata del corso deve essere pagata entro il 1 luglio 2014.


Per ulteriori informazioni contattare la scuola.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Irish Study Holiday - Summer 2014

Vacanza studio di Inglese

Il Campo Estivo per studiare l’inglese e vivere l’Irlanda


L’English International School, in collaborazione con Home From Home Ireland, sta organizzando una vacanza studio nel paesaggio emozionante delle bellissime campagne d’Irlanda.


La vacanza includerà un programma di lezioni intensive d’Inglese, attività fuoriporta come il kayak, il surf e l’equitazione e un’immersione nella cultura fantastica dell’Irlanda attraverso musica tradizionale, danza e sport.


Gli studenti risiederanno nella loggia residenziale di Home From Home Ireland, dove troveranno tutti i comfort e staranno sotto la supervisione di adulti. Saranno al sicuro durante tutta la permanenza.


Al ritorno in Sicilia, offriremo a tutti i partecipanti un corso di preparazione all’esame di 20 ore, sia per il Cambridge Key (A2) che per il Cambridge Preliminary (B1). Gli esami si terranno presso le nostre due sedi di Modica e/o Ragusa.


Prima della partenza tutti gli studenti verranno sottoposti ad un test d’ingresso, che stabilirà il livello e determinerà quale certificato lo studente dovrà cercare di ottenere.


Date:                                                    Campo estivo dai 12 ai 14 anni

                                                             Da sabato 28 giugno a sabato 19 luglio


Campo estivo dai 15 ai 18 anni

                                                             Da sabato 19 luglio a sabato 9 agosto



Permanenza in Irlanda                                  € 1850.00

20 Ore di Corso di Preparazione all’esame € 185.00

(incluso materiale didattico)


Tassa d’esame (Cambridge Key)                 € 99.50

Tassa d’esame (Cambridge Preliminary)     € 160.00


Volo di ritorno, Dublino- Comiso                   Costo aggiuntivo


Questa è una fantastica opportunità per studiare inglese con i parlanti nativi. Gli studenti verranno accompagnati in gita dai nostri insegnanti madrelingua altamente qualificati e in Irlanda incontreranno molti altri insegnanti madrelingua. Inoltre, questa rappresenta una grande possibilità di essere immersi nella cultura irlandese e gioire della bellezza dell’Irlanda mentre è possibile prendere parte ad eccitanti attività fuoriporta.


Per ulteriori informazioni, non esitate a contattare la scuola.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Happy Carnivale!

Teachers at our Modica school have been really getting into the spirit of Carnival today.

We've been wearing costumes, dancing and adding a touch of carnival to our lessons throughout the day.

We hope everyone has lots of fun tonight!

[caption id="attachment_719" align="alignnone" width="225"]Lucy Lucy[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_722" align="alignnone" width="225"]Chris' Carnivale headstand Chris' Carnivale headstand[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_723" align="alignnone" width="300"]Last night a DJ saved my life! Last night a DJ saved my life![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_724" align="alignnone" width="225"]Sally Sally[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_726" align="alignnone" width="225"]Chris Chris[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_727" align="alignnone" width="225"]Chris & Ariane Chris & Ariane[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_728" align="alignnone" width="225"]Luke Luke[/caption]

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

Our Kids English class will be making cards with Sally today and lots of students will be enjoying love songs throughout the day.

Some First Certificate and Advanced level students have been looking at the following famous love quotes and discussing their meanings...

Love is a trap.  When it appears, we see only its light, not its shadows.


Paulo Coelho


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King


Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference  between one person and everybody else. 


George Bernard Shaw

 Black Heart 


Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,

And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.


William Shakespeare



To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.

Bertrand Russell



Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive.

Dalai Lama



The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.


Vincent Van Gough

Thursday, 30 January 2014

If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked A Cake - Third Conditional

Some First Certificate students have been learning about the Third Conditional today.

We use the Third Conditional to talk about impossible conditions, impossible because they are in the past and we cannot change what has happened.  We often use this language to talk about regrets.

Past PerfectWOULD HAVE + Past Participle
IfI had won the lotteryI would have bought a car.

Notice that we are thinking about an impossible past condition. You did not win the lottery. So the condition was not true, and that particular condition can never be true because it is finished. We use the past perfect tense to talk about the impossible past condition. We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the impossible past result. The important thing about the third conditional is that both the condition and result are impossible now.
Sometimes, we use should havecould havemight have instead of would have, for example: If you had bought a lottery ticket, you might have won.

Look at some more examples in the tables below:

past perfectWOULD HAVE + past participle
IfI had seen MaryI would have told her.
IfTara had been free yesterdayI would have invited her.
Ifthey had not passed their examtheir teacher would have been sad.
Ifit had rained yesterdaywould you have stayed at home?
Ifit had rained yesterdaywhat would you have done?


WOULD HAVE + past participlepast perfect
I would have told MaryifI had seen her.
I would have invited Taraifshe had been free yesterday.
Their teacher would have been sadifthey had not passed their exam.
Would you have stayed at homeifit had rained yesterday?
What would you have doneifit had rained yesterday?

Gracie Fields sings If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake, see if you can find more uses of the Third Conditional in this song...

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


SPOKEN: Come in! Well, well, well. Look who's here. I haven't seen you in many
a year.

If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake
If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake
Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?

Had you dropped me a letter, I'd a-hired a band, grandest band in the land
Had you dropped me a letter, I'd a-hired a band
And spread the welcome mat for you

Oh, I don't know where you came from
'cause I don't know where you've been
But it really doesn't matter
Grab a chair and fill your platter
And dig, dig, dig right in

If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, hired a band, goodness sake!
If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake
Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?

If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake
If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake
Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?

Had you dropped me a letter, I'd a-hired a band, grandest band in the land
Had you dropped me a letter, I'd a-hired a band
Spread the welcome mat for you

Oh, I don't know where you came from
'cause I don't know where you've been
But it really doesn't matter
Grab a chair and fill your platter
And dig, dig, dig right in

If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, hired a band, goodness sake!
If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake
Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?

Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?
Howdya do-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Happy Australia Day, Mate!



This Saturday is Australia Day.

The day will be celebrated by Australians everywhere, including here in Modica by our own Ozzy, the school's Director, Catherine.

The event marks the anniversary of the first arrival of British ships to the coast of Sydney and is now a day of patriotism for the Australian people.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to look at some Australian slang terms:

1.  "This arvo"

Meaning:  This afternoon

Example:   Nice weather we're having this arvo.


2.  "Dunnie"

Meaning:  Toilet

Example:  I have drank so much water I've been in the dunnie all this arvo.  


3.  "Fair dinkum"

Meaning:  genuine, the absolute truth

Example:  Joe's fair dinkum, I'd trust him with my life.  


4.  "Rellies"

Meaning:  relatives, members of the family

Example:  My rellies in Italy are coming to visit next year.  


5.  "Thongs"

Meaning:  flip-flops

Example:  I've got a new pair of thongs for the beach.  


6.  "Bloke"

Meaning:  a man

Example:  The bloke in the thongs seems fair dinkum.  


7.  "G'day mate"

Meaning:  hello friend

Example:  G'day mate, fancy coming surfing this arvo?


8.  "Pissed as a parrot"

Meaning:  To be very drunk

Example:  She was fair dinkum pissed as a parrot at the party last night.  


9.  Watering Hole

Meaning:  A pub or a bar

Example:  Bruce is pissed as a parrot at his favourite watering hole this arvo.  


10.  Drongo

Meaning:  A stupid person, an idiot

Example:  The bloke's a drongo, he fell down the dunnie in front of his rellies, shouting "G'day mate!" after coming home from the watering hole this arvo pissed as a parrot, wearing only his thongs, fair dinkum.  

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

New free app and online game helps Cambridge English Young Learners

Taken from the Cambridge English website...


Monkey Puzzles World Tour – available both online and as a free iOS app – is the latest educational game from Cambridge English Language Assessment. Monkey Puzzles World Tour provides a fun way to practise reading and listening skills and is ideal for people taking Cambridge English: Young Learners (YLE) tests. Students join the Monkey as he travels the world through eight progressively challenging games, featuring exciting new scenes and sound effects, and including two games designed to help practise listening skills.

Building on the global success of the original Monkey Puzzles game and app, launched in 2012, Monkey Puzzles World Tour is targeted at students working towards levels A1–A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and is ideal preparation for both the paper- and computer-based Cambridge English: Young Learners tests.

Students can access the game through the Cambridge English website, or can download the free app from the iOS App Store, allowing them to practise their English skills in the classroom, at home and on the move. Schools can also embed the game into their own websites as an additional resource for their younger students. For more information on how to access the game:

Friday, 17 January 2014

Our Excellent Scicli Teacher-Students

[caption id="attachment_695" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The Scicli teachers group with our school's Director, Catherine Ciancio, who is leading the course Some of the group with our school's Director, Catherine Ciancio who is leading the course[/caption]

Teachers from Scicli schools, Quintino Cartaudella and Scicli Centrale are studying English at our school in Modica.

The group of nine teachers are currently working towards a Cambridge Key (A2) certifcate, under the instruction of our school's Director, Catherine Ciancio.  The ultimate aim of the group is to achieve European Framework of Reference for languages level B2, in order to continue to study towards a CLIL certificate with our school.

CLIL, Content and Language Intergrated Learning is becoming an increasing demand in public schools in Italy.  CLIL is an approach for learning content through an additional language, thus teaching both the subject and the language.  CLIL is fundamentally based on methodological principles established by research on "language immersion". This kind of approach has been identified as very important by the European Commission because, "It can provide effective opportunities for pupils to use their new language skills now, rather than learn them now for use later. It opens doors on languages for a broader range of learners, nurturing self-confidence in young learners and those who have not responded well to formal language instruction in general education. It provides exposure to the language without requiring extra time in the curriculum, which can be of particular interest in vocational settings." The European Commission has therefore decided to promote the training of teachers to "..enhancing the language competences in general, in order to promote the teaching of non-linguistic subjects in foreign languages".

Our school offers CLIL training for teachers who have already achieved a general English qualification at a minimum level of B2.  We also offer courses for those who wish to gain the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) qualification.

The group of teachers from Scicli are working well towards their general English qualifications, their skills are steadily developing and their ability to communicate in English is excelling.  They will be taking their Key exam in the spring and we are confident all nine teacher-students will do well.

[caption id="attachment_696" align="alignnone" width="300"]Teachers working in the lab at our Modica school Teachers working in the lab at our Modica school[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_697" align="alignnone" width="300"]Teachers studying at our Modica school Teachers studying at our Modica school[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_698" align="alignnone" width="300"]Teachers working hard at our Modica school Teachers working hard at our Modica school[/caption]

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Our Ragusa School

Yesterday, Sally (our Director of Studies) spent the day at our school in Ragusa with the school's main teacher, Alistair.

She met with students and joined in on some lessons.  It seems our new school is well appreciated by students and parents in the area and everyone was focused on developing their English language skills, enjoying learning with their mother-tongue teachers and working hard towards Cambridge English qualifications.

The Ragusa school is our second learning base, situated in Centro Giorgio La Pira in Via Giorgio La Pira.  The school opened in September and, like our school in Modica, boasts well-equipped learning environments with CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, awarded by the University of Cambridge) qualified, native-speaking teachers.  Our focus is to deliver English language instruction at the highest of levels, most students will be working towards a Cambridge qualification.

So for those in the Ragusa area, who are considering starting an English course, why not pop in to the school and see what we can offer!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Welcome New Students and New Teachers!

We are back at school and have been hearing all about what our students have been doing over the festive period.  It's great to see everyone back at school and eager to continue developing their English skills.

We have also seen a number of new students join our classes for 2014.  Indeed, many are still enrolling.  So, we would like to welcome all of our new students and wish you a very pleasant learning experience.

Joining us in 2014, are three additional teachers, two at our school in Modica and the third at our school in Ragusa.  The new staff are very much looking forward to meeting their students and helping to improve their language skills.

A very happy 2014 to everyone!