2011
04.20

Student Radio

Listening to the radio is a great way to practice your language skills, and there are many benefits for the listener. You can listen at home on the radio (Just like the old days), or why don’t you download a podcast, or stream it live on your laptop.

Thanks to the internet, there is now a wealth of different radio stations and programs that can be accessed any time of day, and cater for any taste, so you are bound to find a subject that interests you.

But what would be better than listening to a radio program for practicing you’re English? Making your very own radio show!

That is what a group of EC students were recently encouraged to do. The group were given time to create, write and perform their own radio show, as if it were going out live on air.

This was a great success, the students enjoyed the experience of seeing exactly what goes into putting a professional program together.

There were some very original ideas, from the funny to the strange! After this experience it is something that is going to happen again, perhaps in the future we will make feature length radio documentaries.

For those who are interested in radio resources I would like to recommend the following radio websites:

This American Life

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

This American Life is probably my favourite radio program, it covers many different stories which are all told in a very unique way. They have an archive which dates back to 1995, have a look and pick a subject which interests you.

All things considered

http://www.npr.org/programs/all-things-considered/

A daily show on a variation of topical matters.

Radio Lab

http://www.radiolab.org/

Radio lab make some of the most beautiful sounding radio, focusing mainly on science subjects, you are in for an exciting ride! My recommendation would be to wear headphones and enjoy!

Last but not least, the world famous BBC Radio 4

With this endless list of programs, documentaries and comedy you will probably end up with quite a serious addiction to your wireless set.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/

So why not download a podcast, sit in the park and learn with your eyes closed.

Over and out

Rob EC London

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2011
04.12

Do you use websites to practise your English skills for your exams?

Here is a list of websites that you may find useful as resources to practice your reading, listening, vocabulary, grammar  and summarising skills in English for exams such as the TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC and Cambridge exams.

www.npr.org - American news and culture website.  Good reading and listening practice for all exams, particularly to practise integrated skills for the TOEFL.

www.flo-joe.co.uk – Cambridge website with vocabulary exercises updated daily.  Great for Cambridge exams and the TOEIC.

www.voanews.com – Another American news website.  A little more formal/academic than npr but great for the same exams and skills practice.

www.bbc.co.uk – UK news website.  Excellent resource for vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening skills practice for the TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and Cambridge exams.  Be sure to check out the learn English section at www.bbc.co.uk/learning/subjects/english.shtml

www.guardian.co.uk – UK news website.  More formal/academic than the BBC.  Excellent resource for vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening skills practice for the TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and Cambridge exams

www.elllo.org – Listening and comprehension practice website.  Great for lower level students preparing for the TOEIC or the FCE.

www.thisamericanlife.org – American website that contains podcasts and audioblogs on various topics.  Useful for listening and note-taking practice, especially for gaining cultural knowledge for the TOEFL.

www.nationalgeographic.com – Great web resource for a variety of topic based articles to improve reading, listening and vocabulary skills for the TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS AND Cambridge exams.

www.economist.com – Academic political and economic focussed website.  This is a fantastic resource for higher level students wishing to expand their vocabulary knowledg and improve advanced listening and readin skills.  Suitable for TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, CAE and CPE.

There’s a lot here.  Please try them out one by one and let us know what you think.  Also, if you have any other useful websites to suggest please post them up here for everybody.

Cameron – camerondean@ecenglish.com

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2011
04.04

EC London – Fundraising for Japan

The lovely teachers and incredibly generous students of EC London managed to raise an AMAZING £450 for the disaster relief in Japan last week. Students queued up to buy raffle tickets to win the opportunity to either have a one-to-one dinner or private lesson with their favourite EC London teacher. The winners were announced in the cafe on Friday – Lisa Jonsson won a dinner with the teacher of her choice and Hassan Seyed Zabidi won a free private lesson.

A great big THANK YOU to all the teachers who offered their highly valuable free time and to all the students who donated so generously to this incredibly important cause. All proceeds go to the Japan Society of the UK earthquake fund (http://www.japansociety.org.uk/earthquake/)

by Jessica Conway

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