New Year Language Learning Goals

Language learning goals for the New Year

  New Year is a time for fresh starts and we definitely need one of those after 2020! A great place to begin is by setting your intentions for the upcoming months. What do you hope to achieve in your life and in your language learning? Why set goals for language learning? Learning a new language is a huge task and it can be difficult to stay motivated. As with learning any new skill, you feel much more motivation when you can see that you’re progressing. That’s why at EC Brighton, we encourage students to set themselves goals. By doing this, they can keep on track and really see where they are improving. And what better time to start than at the beginning of a new year? What’s a good goal? When setting yourself a goal, it’s a good idea to follow the SMART model. This means making your goals: Specific – This means deciding exactly what it is that you want to achieve. It shouldn’t be too vague or you won’t really know if you have managed to do it. Measurable – This usually means giving yourself a number to work to. You should say how many or how long you would like to do something. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of what you have done so that you can check this. Achievable – Here you should make sure that your aim is something you can actually do. It’s important not to set yourself impossible tasks because you will feel demotivated if you fail. Relevant – Everybody’s goals should be personal to them and also reflect their ability and needs. If you are just beginning your English language journey, you shouldn’t try to run before you can walk. Learning how to use mixed conditionals is … Read more

Watching English Christmas films

Best Christmas films to watch over the holidays

    Everyone knows that watching films is a great way to improve your English language learning. You get to hear new words in context and listen to native speaker’s pronunciation. Plus, it’s fun! We asked our staff here at EC Brighton School of English to recommend us some of their favourite Christmas movies. Elf Michael – Centre Director When it comes to choosing my favourite Christmas film, it’s a bit of a toss up between Elf and Muppets Christmas Carol. However, I think Elf just shades it. It’s the story of Buddy, a human raised as one of Santa’s elves at the North Pole who returns to New York to find his real father. The only problem is his dad has no Christmas spirit. It is up to Buddy to get his dad off Santa’s naughty list and save Christmas. It might sound a bit juvenile, and it is in some ways, but Will Ferrell is what makes this film. He is never better than when he is playing the role of a man-child. And ultimately this film does actually restore your Christmas spirit, which after the 2020 we’ve all had, can’t be a bad thing! Home alone Charlotte – Assistant Director of Studies This has been my favourite Xmas movie ever since I can remember. Every year I watch it while wrapping presents and enjoying a glass of mulled wine to get in the festive spirit. It’s about an 8 year old boy, Kevin, who is accidentally left at home while his family go on Christmas vacation. While his family are away, two dumb burglars decide to try to rob his house. Kevin creates an elaborate series of traps to scare the robbers away, most of which would be lethal in real life. Even though I’ve seen this … Read more

EC Brighton student Chiya Ando

Chiya Ando – What’s it like learning English in Brighton during Covid?

Many people dream of studying English abroad and we are happy to say that a little thing like a pandemic doesn’t get in the way of this. Our schools have put in place safety measures to make sure students can continue to learn with us safely. As a result, we have lots of students at EC Brighton who are still having a great time learning English. There are still plenty of opportunities to experience a new culture and forge lots of lifelong international friendships. Not to mention the chance to practise your English with native speakers. Our student Chiya is enjoying her experience studying at our English Language School in Brighton, even during these difficult times. Read on to hear what it’s like studying with us here in our Brighton school.   In the classroom Before I got into EC Brighton, I was worried if I could understand the lessons in English, but the teachers kindly teach me until the students understand it, so it’s been a month and a half since I started going to school, but I can feel my improvement in English. The teacher doesn’t teach using only textbooks. They think for us fun lessons using games, music, etc., so I enjoy learning English every day! Staying safe I wear masks all the time at school, and the classrooms and classes are made so that we can keep a social distance with my friends and teachers, so I feel safe to go to school. Outside of school Although there was a limit of 6 people to gather because of Corona, after class I went to the beach with my school friends and went to restaurants and enjoyed my time outside of school. And I’ve been working in a restaurant, so I enjoy communicating with native speakers! Within … Read more

A windy day on Brighton beach

5 English Weather Idioms

  If you have ever met an English person, you might have noticed that we like to talk about the weather A LOT. This might have something to do with the fact that we experience several seasons in one day! Consequently, there are a lot of idiomatic expressions connected to the weather. Here are a few common ones, along with an example of how to use them: To feel under the weather ‘I’m feeling a bit under the weather today.’ We can use this expression to say we are not feeling 100% healthy. For example, maybe you have a headache or feel like you are starting to get sick. To be snowed under ‘Sorry! I didn’t reply sooner because I’ve been completely snowed under this week.’ This expression means that you have been very busy, usually with work or an important school project. As a result, you might also feel that you have too many things to do and it is too much to manage. To break the ice ‘The best way to break the ice is to make a joke’ We often use this expression to talk about a new social situation which is uncomfortable, for example your first day in a new class or meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. ‘Breaking the ice’ means saying or doing something to get the conversation started and make everyone feel relaxed. Every cloud has a silver lining ‘I was annoyed I missed my train, but I got chatting to someone on the platform and made a new friend while I was waiting for the next one so I guess every cloud has a silver lining.’ You can use this idiom to talk about a positive part of a negative situation. For example, the Coronavirus has made people better at … Read more

Good luck with the exam

Good luck to our FCE and CAE students!

  Every year at EC Brighton we run intensive Cambridge courses for students who wish to complete their FCE or CAE exams. Cambridge certificates are a great way to show employers your level of English, so many student opt to take this qualification. What are Cambridge Exams? The exam itself has 5 parts: Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening and Use of English. This means you need to be good at all of these skills to achieve a passing grade. You do the speaking test with a partner, so you can show off your conversational skills. The writing paper requires students to complete an essay for the first part. In the second section, you have a choice of either a report, an email, an article or a review. For the CAE exam, you may also choose to write a proposal. The Reading and Use of English paper come together. In it you will find a selection of reading comprehension tasks, alongside grammar and vocabulary questions. It sounds like a lot, right? Having a teacher to guide you through the exam is a big help as there are lots of techniques to learn for each paper. And of course, the language itself! Our Cambridge Students After 12 weeks of preparation, our CAE and FCE students are finally took their exam last week. These students have been very lucky as they’ve had brilliant lessons delivered by Sam and Chris. Both of whom are very experienced Cambridge Exam teachers! Studying for a test is not easy as it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, Sam and Chris managed to make the process fun and engaging, even when we entered our second lockdown. One class was so happy with the extra care and personal touch from their teacher that they wrote a beautiful … Read more

Struggling with your English pronunciation

Tips to improve your English pronunciation

Pronunciation is a part of language learning which is sometimes forgotten, but it’s a very important thing to practice. You might have perfect grammar and know loads of vocabulary, but if nobody can understand you, then it will still be hard to communicate. If you are lucky enough to study at an English school in The UK, then your teacher should give you lots of help with this. However, if you’re looking for some ideas to help with self-study, please read the tips below: Use your phone If you ever want to find out if you are pronouncing something correctly, there is a quick and easy way to check. Most mobile devices now have built in voice recognition software, for example, the iPhone’s Siri. Change your phone settings to English and practice speaking to it. Ask it questions or just repeat words which you find difficult to pronounce. It will immediately give you feedback on your pronunciation and let you know if you are easy to understand. Use what you know A good way to improve your pronunciation of words which you struggle with is to focus on using words which you can pronounce. Find a word with the same sound and add to it. For example, let’s take the word ‘saw’. This one can be confusing because the spelling suggests a different pronunciation. However, this word sounds just like ‘or’ with an ‘s’. So if you can pronounce ‘or’, you can also pronounce ‘saw’, just by adding an ‘s’. Try it! Use a mirror Sometimes a word or sound can be tricky because you don’t have the same sound in your language. This means you have to train your mouth to make the right shape. It can help to look in the mirror while you doing this. You should … Read more

Delicious takeaways in Brighton

Best Brighton takeaways to order during lockdown

Many students who learn English in The United Kingdom often ask about English food. What is it? What do English people actually eat? The truth is we eat everything! Here you can find cuisine from all over the world. Brighton especially is a city for foodies as it has loads of awesome local restaurants offering culinary delights. The good news is that you can still enjoy loads of delicious food even during lockdown. Here are 5 outstanding restaurants offering takeaway meals which can be delivered to your door. Fatto a mano This is quite possibly the best pizza in town. It’s very reasonably priced with an excellent selection of pizzas, which they top with quality ingredients from Italy. If you like cheese, you should try the Burratina, topped with creamy Burrata and provola or go classic and order a Bufalina. Yefsis This is the most amazing comfort food! Yefsis is a Greek restaurant which serves a range of dishes, the most popular being pitta wraps stuffed with meat, chips, roasted vegetables which they cover in your choice of sauce. If you’re a vegetarian, there’s still lots to offer as you can replace the meat with halloumi or order the yummy Kolokithokeftedes (courgette and feta fritters). Giggling Squid Here you can find fragrant Thai dishes with beautiful presentation. There’s a great selection of fish, meat and vegan dishes which they season to perfection with aromatic flavours, so there’s plenty to choose from. If you want something simple, the coconut rice alone is to die for! Turkish Villa According to our students, this place serves some of the best authentic Turkish food. It offers traditional kebabs and a huge selection of meze dishes. There’s also tasty Turkish pizza, otherwise known as ‘pide’ and many veggie wraps to choose from. Honest Burger There … Read more

EC Brighton Student Victoire

Victoire from France – What do you like about EC Brighton?

  When deciding to study abroad, there are so many schools to choose from, but not all of them are as amazing as EC. If you don’t believe us, hear it from one of our students! Our student Victoire Baxas definitely made the right choice by picking our Brighton English school to complete her Intensive English course. Watch her testimonial of her time here at school. ‘I’m really happy with my time here because I’ve already done trips in other schools in England, but the level of the lessons were so low compared to what I’ve done here. The English level’s very high. We are a lot of international students, so we don’t speak in our own language, which really helps. It was my best trip in England!’ Choosing EC If you’re thinking about studying a language course abroad, why not choose EC? Our schools offer high quality lessons with experienced teachers in an international environment. Through our Intensive English Courses you can practise your speaking skills with students from all around the world and take in all that the city has to offer. It’s the perfect way to upgrade your level of English while meeting new friends in a global community. The city of Brighton The city of Brighton has always been a popular destination for language learners because of it’s amazing location. Our school is based right next to the beach where you can enjoy a traditional meal of fish and chips while you walk along the promenade. Brighton is also surrounded by some beautiful countryside, so you can go on some lovely walks. For example, see the breathtaking views of The Seven Sisters or stretch your legs walking up Devils Dyke. If that’s not your thing, why not explore some of the kooky shops which Brighton has … Read more

EC Brighton Student

What’s it like learning English in Brighton during Covid?

Wondering what’s it like learning English in Brighton during Covid? EC student, Katja, shares her story of studying at our Brighton English school at this unique time.   My enjoyable English course in Brighton in the times of Corona When I was planning my language stay to improve my English skills, (unfortunately) the destinations were limited because of the travel restrictions. So, one of the options, which I got from my agency, was to learn English in Brighton. A lovely town on the south coast of England with a beautiful beach, nice cafés and restaurants and wonderful countryside. And it is all easily reachable with the Coaster bus every 10 minutes! Of course, I was worried about doing a language stay in times of Corona. However, today I know that this was just a part of my experience but not what had a lasting effect on my time in Brighton. More important are my experiences with my classmates and the passionate English teacher Sam at school. Also the time I spent together with my host fathers, or outside school with new friends, has been great. At School EC Brighton was very accommodating when we came from Switzerland. We had to stay in quarantine for the first two weeks at our host family’s house. We got our English textbook personally delivered by the school manager so that we can start online lessons immediately. The school made also sure that we can stay as comfortable as possible in our host families. It wasn’t the start we had expected. However, we managed well because they were well-prepared with all the different online teams, the online material and the remote speaking sessions. We also got a really helpful introduction at the beginning, so we had all information which we needed. Of course, after quarantine, … Read more

Barbara dos Santos – What do you like about EC Brighton?

There are countless reasons to enjoy studying at EC Brighton. The location alone is enough to make for a fantastic experience learning English. Afterall, a very important part of the learning experience is where you are and how often you can practice with native English speakers. No matter where you choose to study, if you study with EC you’ll have a great experience learning English. We have incredible well trained staff that are on hand to help you with all aspects of being a student.   Barbara Rosa Dos Santos from Brazil studied general intensive English at EC Brighton for four weeks. Here’s her thoughts on her last day: I had a great time in Brighton and I really liked it! This experience will help me a lot. Thank your EC Barbara   If you’re going to study English with EC, then you’ll be able to get access to the best accomodations available to students. This includes residencies where you will be neighbours with many other students from around the world, or host stays where you will leave with an English family and get to practice English all day. There are lots of activities and perks available to EC students, to make your time with us memorable and full of useful English learning experiences. You can take trips to other parts of the country, enjoy fun sports in the local area or indulge in some weekend treats when it feels right. Whenever you’re facing challenges you can count on EC staff to be there to guide you through it, no matter what aspect of being a student it involves.   brighton english courses