English article,

  • Is Immersion Better Than Learning English Online or in an Academy?

    Studying English

    It’s a dream for many people to spend a summer break in an exotic foreign country, hanging out with the locals, making a friend or two (or even a summer romance!) and returning home refreshed and fluent in a foreign language.

     

    But can someone just pick up a language simply by being in the country in which it is spoken? Many companies that organize immersion exchange programmes, summer camps or English language courses in an English-speaking country would have you believe that it’s so much easier than with traditional English academies or online English classes. Even the wordimmersion itself sounds so, well, easy. Justimmerseyourself in the language, like standing under a waterfall, and everything will just seep into your skin.

     

    I’m afraid to say that in my case this just did not happen. Before I spent four months travelling around South America, everyone had told me I would ‘pick up’ Spanish as easy as ‘uno, dos, tres’. I took an Ipod full of Spanish songs, somehow hoping that the language flowing through my ears would end up stuck in my brain. But after a month or two, I couldn’t do much more than order a beer and have a basic conversation. So why was I ‘failing’?

  • Let's Talk About It

    Articles for discussion in the Let's Talk about it session. 

  • The Last Rolo - Culture Article

     

    When it comes to the last croissant we would probably share, or at least offer to do so, but there are other things that it is harder to share – a favourite sweet perhaps, the last square of chocolate.

    I remember years ago in college there was only one slice of ham on the plate and eight people. All but one had had enough, but one person was still to take her second slice. She was Swiss and newly engaged, and as she reached out I couldn’t help teasing her ‘They say in England that if you take the last piece of food from the table you will never marry.’ She hesitated just for a moment and then declared ‘Oh, such nonsense.’ before taking the first bite-full.