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A Tale of Focus and Dedication

A Tale of Focus and Dedication
Every so often, I like to blog a case study.  I like to do these blogs because it shows you firsthand what it looks like to work with me and how I can help you achieve your goals, and it also highlights the success and victories of my extremely hardworking students!  This case study illustrates a journey we both took to reach a particular language goal.  Like the other case studies I have done, the benefit gained was mutual, but unlike the others this case study was a very scary journey. Continue reading

Viking Invasion!

Viking Invasion - Language Immersion
What I love about our little corner of the UK is that there is always something new and exciting going on!  The next few weeks is no exception, because the Jorvik Viking Festival is coming to York!

Celebrated as the largest Viking festival in Europe, (yes there are others apparently!) this event attracts thousands of guests to York from around the world.  This week-long festival celebrates York’s Viking heritage with all kinds of events such as dramatic combat performances, living history encampments, and historical talks.  Every year they celebrate a different period in Viking history, and this year they will explore the last Viking King in York, Eric Bloodaxe! Continue reading

Head North!

Head North
As many of you will know I live in North Yorkshire, the most northern part of the biggest county in England.  It is known as ‘God’s own country’, an epithet which is richly deserved for its beauty and diversity as well as its size, but one that was most likely bestowed upon it by the locals! Continue reading

English Golfing

English GolfingIf you love golf, then you have to play golf in the United Kingdom.  Golf as we know it originated in Scotland in the 15th century, and it has been played all over the United Kingdom with great enthusiasm ever since.  King Charles I was a lover of the game, and in fact was on the premier golf course of the time, Leith near Edinburgh, when he received news of the Irish rebellion of 1641.  Mary Queen of Scots loved golf so much that she took the game with her to France when she went there to study.  In fact, the term ‘caddie stems from her French military helpers who were called cadets in French. Continue reading

Sharing Your Teacher’s Life

Sharing Teacher's Life
When it comes to learning a language, there are few experiences more rewarding than an immersion experience.  With some immersion experiences, such as ours, the student can actually come and live with the teachers for a specified period of time.  As total immersion language learning experiences go, living with your teacher has to be one of the best. Not only are you dropped into a full language experience, you are also surrounded by the culture, social life and even the petty goings-on of an English, Scottish, US etc. household – you become part of the life in that house for the period that you are there.  You need to be prepared for this – you will have to share your teacher’s life for the duration of your stay. Continue reading

Give Your Brain a Boost

Give Your Brain a BoostLearning a second, (or third, or fourth, or even fifth for some of us!) language can be really hard.  It takes discipline, hard work, and some serious brain power.  We learn languages for a lot of reasons; to get a better job or begin a new career, to live in a new country with success, to have a better relationship, or because it is so fun and interesting to do!  It also turns out that learning a new language is super good for your brain!

I love everything that has to do with learning languages, so when I saw this article about how good learning a new language is for your brain I thought it would be a fun topic to share with all of you!  This article by Deane Alban says, “It’s now known that learning another language is one of the most effective and practical ways to increase intelligence, keep your mind sharp, and buffer your brain against aging.”  Here are just a few of the ways that your pursuit for linguistic achievement can boost your braincells: Continue reading

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!

Teach Old Dog New Tricks
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well this may be true for dogs, (though I’m not even entirely sure it is!) but it sure isn’t true for humans! I believe that you are never too old to learn something new or to master a new skill, and that is true for learning a new language as much as anything else! It may be true that it is easier to pick up a new language when you are very young and learning your first language, but with practise and commitment I believe you can learn a new language if you really want to. A lot of people think it is too hard to learn a new language because the language classes they have been subjected to have been dry, lifeless recitations and the forced memorization of verb conjugations. Who would be inspired by that?! Continue reading

New Year, New Ultimate IELTS Workshop

New Year IELTS Workshop
Soon the calendar will roll over onto a New Year!  This is a time of celebrating, reflecting on the year we are leaving behind, and, of course, setting new goals and resolutions for the year ahead.  If your New Year includes a resolution to finally get the band you need in the IELTS and make your mastery of the English language a living reality, then we have got exactly what you need! Continue reading

Thinking in English

thinking in english
At this point in your life you may be totally focused on just passing the IELTS that you will say, “Berni!  How can I even think about thinking in English! It is too much!”  But I wanted to tell you some of my experiences with learning a foreign language and give you something to aim for.  After all, you are learning English to become fluent in it, not just to take and pass an exam.  And you can do it!  You can learn English well enough not only to pass your IELTS, but also to eventually become so fluent that you think in English as well.

I remember when I was at school learning French, one of the best pieces of advice my teacher gave us was, “If you don’t know it don’t use it!” Continue reading

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Afternoon tea is something Quintessentially English & we’d love you to try some Real Yorkshire tea and cake!

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