5 Phrases to Avoid When Flirting in English

5 Phrases to Avoid When Flirting in English

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen – Valentine’s Day is almost here, which means that love is in the air whether you like it or not. If you’re an English student abroad looking to meet that special someone, you might feel unsure of how to strike up a conversation that sounds friendly and natural. Here are a few phrases to avoid when trying to win over the guy or girl of your dreams!   1. “I spend so much money on boats / cars / shoes…”     OK Romeo, you’ll want to avoid this one like the plague. All this does is make you come across as either very insecure or superficial. Women will take someone kind-hearted and with a good sense of humour over someone with an expensive hairstyle or the latest iPhone. Remembering to take a shower once in a while certainly doesn’t hurt either…     2. “Whoa, look at that / those [body part/s]!”     This should go without saying, but sadly many men still don’t seem to realise that objectifying women always results in the opposite of the desired effect. Some dating coaches also call this the “machine-gun flirting” approach, it’s like shooting wildly in all directions until you hit something. Think less Tony Montana from Scarface and more Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.   3. “My ex was nothing like you.”     This is a confusing message to send; it might imply that you have no idea what you’re looking for in a match. It could also make the other person feel as though they are secretly being compared to a former partner. Not a nice feeling!     4. “You should smile more!”     Telling someone they have a nice smile is sweet. Telling someone TO smile is not, … Read more

young couple watching TV

7 Romantic Movies All English Learners Should Watch

Twilight, Shmylight… long before Edward Cullen dazzled everyone (ahem) with with his pallid skin and brooding eyes, actors like Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were already stealing audiences’ hearts all over the world with films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral or Pride and Prejudice. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re sure many of you movie-lovers are planning a Netflix marathon or romantic film night with that special someone. Watching movies is a great way to learn new English words in context, as well as hearing their pronunciation. Here’s our list of what we think all English learners should have on their to-watch list!   1. Notting Hill (1999) We did mention Hugh Grant above, didn’t we? Notting Hill just so happens to be one of his most famous films he’s ever done, cementing Grant’s status as a classic romantic Hollywood lead. The film’s story revolves around his character, book-seller William Thacker, and what happens when a famous American actress called Anna (played by Julia Roberts) walks into his shop. With a guaranteed happy ending, this movie is the real-life equivalent of sinking into a warm bath – and if you grew up during the 90s, the nostalgia factor is irresistible.       2. Titanic (1997) This list would definitely feel incomplete without this epic tearjerker that sent so many hearts aflutter (ah, young Leonardo DiCaprio!) It’s the quintessential tale of poor-boy-meets-rich-girl, offset with the tragic story of the doomed maiden voyage of the Titanic in 1912. We’d hardly be giving away spoilers by saying that this does definitely not end on an uplifting note, but if tragic romance is your thing, then get the tissues ready and settle down for 3 hours of gorgeous cinematography and heart-rending romance.     3. Moulin Rouge (2001) Don’t … Read more

7 Reasons to Study English in Malta This Easter

The Easter holidays are coming and that means a long stretch of time off from school. It also means that things are heating up and getting ready to welcome a whole new batch of Young Learner students to learn English in Malta. There are a lot of reasons why Malta is a great destination at any time of year, and Easter is no exception. 1. Cheap flights At Easter, flights to Malta are quite cheap and especially for German students. There are direct flights to Malta from various airports in Germany, making for efficient, affordable travel, whether the student is travelling solo, with friends or with parents. 2. Award-winning school Not only is Malta a country of two languages, with English being an official language, it is also home to some very high standard schools. EC Malta has won the Study Travel Star Award four times, which symbolises the school’s standard of service to students and dedication to language travel. 3. Perfect weather Easter 2019 falls on the 21st of April and this is a beautiful time of year in Malta. With temperature highs of 20°C, it is comfortably warm and sunny. This makes any time spent outside, whether going to and from school or socialising with friends, even more enjoyable. 4. Exciting activities Our Junior English Programmes are the ideal solution for the Easter holidays. They include plenty of activities, such as adrenaline-filled karting and laser tag, among other options. They also offer excursions to Comino island, a harbour cruise and walking tours of Valletta, Mdina and Bugibba at night. You can be sure of a full timetable combining the perfect balance of English classes and having fun! 5. Friendly and unique culture Maltese people are known for being friendly and welcoming, making it easy for our Young Learners … Read more

christmas movies

12 Christmas Classics to Improve your English

The festive season is a time for love, giving, compassion, and good cheer. If you’d like to improve your English this December, check out these 13 Christmas favourites that promise to warm your heart, enrich your vocabulary, and help test your listening skills! 1 | A Christmas Carol   Probably the most well-known and best loved Christmas story of all time. There are a few different film versions of this classic novel by Charles Dickens, and if it’s Christmas spirit you’re looking for, you definitely can’t miss out on this heart-warming tale full of valuable life lessons. 2 | The Holiday Two women (Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) from America and England swap homes at Christmastime after bad breakups with their respective boyfriends. Each woman finds romance in surprising places, but realise that the imminent return home may end the relationship. 3 | The Family Stone Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) wants to bring his girlfriend, Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), to meet his bohemian Connecticut family at Christmas. Straitlaced Meredith, feeling she needs backup, asks her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come along. Hoping to win the approval of her boyfriend’s parents and the rest of the family, Meredith succeeds only in revealing her rather uptight personality and causes Everett to have some second thoughts. 4 | The Polar Express Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump; Cast Away) reunite for Polar Express, an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe in the magic of life. 5 | Love Actually Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of one emotion that … Read more

learn english abroad christmas

Christmas Around the EC World

Whether you’re studying at EC English Language Centres, or are just curious about what the festive season is like in some of the world’s most iconic English-speaking destinations, you’ll definitely learn something new about Christmas today. Let’s go! The US The USA is a multi-cultural giant, with many popular Christmas traditions coming from all over the world. The most common festive customs include: Sending Christmas cards Singing Christmas carols Children writing to Santa Claus Christmas trees & decorations There are a couple of ‘unusual’ Christmas traditions in the USA, like the ‘Christmas Pickle’! The Christmas pickle is a decoration in the shape of (you guessed it) a pickle which is hidden somewhere on a Christmas tree. Whoever finds this strange decoration will either receive a reward or enjoy good luck in the following year. If you want to learn English in the US, visit our site for more info!   Canada Canada also has a great mix of cultural influences when it comes to Christmas there. The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is one of the oldest and largest celebrations in the world, and in Southwestern Nova Scotia, many families eat lobster, a shellfish caught off just off the shores of Nova Scotia itself. Curious about learning English in Canada? Find out more on our website.   The United Kingdom Families in the UK typically spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day together. Presents are an important part of Christmas in England, and families love to see how happy their loved ones are when they open their presents on Christmas morning! Children usually leave a snack by the fireplace for Santa Claus, and wake up early to see what gifts he’s brought them. Christmas day means a delicious lunch, which normally includes roast Turkey with lots of side dishes … Read more

Bristol Harbour Festival

Why Study English in Bristol This Summer?

Take advantage of the low British Pound to book a last-minute English course at EC Bristol this summer! Only two hours from London, but offering much better weather, Bristol is famous for its lengthy maritime history. It has been an important port city for 1000 years, and this summer packed with events catering to every preference. Watch Wimbledon on the Bristol Big Screen 27th June – 10th July Watch the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament live on Bristol’s Big Screen in the heart of Millennium Square! And if tennis isn’t your thing, there are many other events showing throughout the summer including opera performances and live coverage of this summer’s Olympic games. To best enjoy your experience, remember to bring your own deckchairs and blankets. For a full schedule visit Big Screen Bristol’s website. Bristol Shakespeare Festival 8th June – 29th July An entirely volunteer run production, this year’s event includes performances of Macbeth, King Lear, and a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Put your English to use while watching Shakespeare’s best works put on by national touring companies as well as schools, youth groups, and many other troops. While some shows are free, tickets are available online for others. Bristol Harbour Festival 15th -17th July This summer, four miles of the Bristol Harbourside will be transformed to celebrate the city’s nautical history. Enjoy a huge variety of concerts, performances, markets, food stalls, and much, much more. Entry to the festival is free, while food, drink, and other items are available for purchase. Visit their website for more information. Planetarium Nights at the Bristol Science Centre 30th June – 25th August Gaze at the universe from the comfort of your own seat in the UK’s first digital 3D Planetarium. The Bristol Science Centre is putting on a choice of two shows every Thursday this summer, each lasting 45 minutes. Of course, … Read more

Learn English in Malta | What’s on in July?

While temperatures begin to rise this month and diving into the sea seems more and more appealing, there are also many summer festivals taking place in July if you’re studying at EC Malta. Take a break from the heat to enjoy some smooth jazz or even a rock concert in Ta’ Qali National Park; there’s something on for everyone. Malta Arts Festival: 8th-18th July This year marks the 11th edition of Malta’s annual international arts festival. It includes interactive installations, dance, music, theatre and much more as part of their diverse programme, at locations around Valletta. Not only does it allow international performers to come to Malta, it also gives local artists an opportunity to be seen. Tickets are available for purchase, but the event also includes number of free performances. Visit the Malta Arts Festival website to purchase your tickets or see their full schedule. Marsovin Summer Wine Festival: 15th-17th July Held annually in the magical Hastings Gardens in the heart of Valletta, overlooking Sliema Harbour, the Marsovin Summer Wine Festival is an extremely popular event both with locals and tourists. For an entrance fee of €15, you receive the equivalent in wine tokens, a free promotional wine glass, as well as access to specialty wine classes, live music, and catered food. Open from 8pm until 1am every day of the festival, it offers the opportunity to enjoy a variety of wines made from grapes grown around Malta and Gozo. Get more information on the Wine Festival website! Jazz Festival: 21st-23rd July This year’s Jazz Festival aims to bring a lively mood to all of Valletta for their 26th event. Their line-up includes numerous Grammy award nominees and winners, former members of the Miles Davis’ band, and even Darryl Jones, the Rolling Stones’ bassist. This summer, the first night of the festival will feature free … Read more

Learning English in Malta

5 Things You Need to Do in Malta

Summer is here! Every year, thousands of students make this Mediterranean jewel their destination of choice when it comes to learning English abroad. Made up of 3 sun-kissed islands, Malta is known the world over for its stunning beaches, crystal-blue seas, and a wonderfully laid-back vibe topped with a rich cultural history. If you’re planning to join us and learn English in Malta, here are 5 things you definitely need to do this summer: 1 | Learn English, of course! EC Malta is located right in the heart of Malta’s entertainment district, and offers a wide variety of courses in Academic English or English for Work to help you boost your education and increase career prospects. If you’d like to get to know your destination while improving your fluency, then English in the City is the way to go. One of the best things about learning English in Malta is that you’ll make friends and memories to last a lifetime! Visit our site for more about English courses at EC.     2 | Take a dip in magical St. Peter’s Pool, Delimara   This slice of paradise is away from the typical tourist hotspots, meaning that you and your friends can probably enjoy this natural pool in peace and quiet.         3 | Enjoy a day trip to Comino   Comino is a tiny island and diver’s paradise between Malta and Gozo, home to the crystal-clear Blue Lagoon. Grab your friends, book a boat trip, and enjoy a full day in beach heaven.       4 | Eat some pastizzi and enjoy a cold pint of Cisk   Pastizzi are a type of cheap, flaky pockets of pastry filled with ricotta or mashed peas that the Maltese love to treat themselves to. Many locals like to enjoy their … Read more

EC San Diego

7 Summer Destinations for 2016

Join EC English Language Centres for the opportunity to have fun in the sun while also improving your English skills in some of the worlds’ most coveted holiday destinations. At EC English, we know that what we learn inside a classroom must be practised in the real world. These destinations are perfect for anyone looking to enjoy their summer holidays while also improving their English skills. Join us in Malta, Vancouver, Brighton, Miami, and California at one of our English programmes this summer! Malta A favourite holiday location for travellers around the world, it’s easy to see why Malta makes our list. From beautiful sandy beaches with natural turquoise waters to the lively nightlife district, Malta has something to offer everyone. Enjoy an evening in the breath-taking capital city of Valletta, spend your day off basking in the sun at our beach club, and dance your heart out at any of the multiple summer music festivals on the island. Our school is located in the animated neighbourhood of St Julian’s and offers a range of English courses. [hs_action id=”1591″] Vancouver Consistently ranked in the top 5 worldwide cities in terms of liveability and quality of life, Vancouver features a stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains next to the shores of the ocean. Downtown Vancouver is almost entirely surrounded by water, creating beautiful beaches in the city centre. You’ve probably already seen it, as it is frequently used as a location to film movies and TV shows. Our EC English centre is in the heart of downtown, close to the shopping and nightlife districts, and offers a variety of English courses. Brighton Located on the south coast of England, Brighton has been called “the happiest place to live in the UK”. EC Brighton is two minutes away from both the Brighton Pier … Read more

Resolutions to Rock Your 2016

As another fun-filled New Year’s Eve waits for us just around the corner, people all around the world are making promises and resolutions which make or may not be kept when 2016 actually arrives. Whether you’re determined to start exercising, or are hoping to keep your promise to study harder, here are a few New Year’s Resolution ideas to make the year to come even better than the last. Get Organised    This is one of the most easily achievable resolutions you could pick. Throw away any old papers and files you don’t need, tidy up your study-space, and get you hands on a 2016 planner to keep track of things like a pro this year. If you’re looking to get rid of the clothes you don’t wear, why not collect the ones in good condition and donate them to a charity shop?   Help Others   Few things in this life can make you feel as good as helping others does. Whether you’re volunteering your time to a charity or making an extra effort to support friends and family, small acts of kindness will not only make other people smile, but will give you a sense of fulfillment which is tough to beat.   Learn a Language   Learning a new language is one of the most enriching experiences you can have. It’s not just satisfying to see your hard work pay off as your language skills develop – it’s a key to a whole new world of travel, communication, and culture. If you’re curious about learning English at one of our EC English Language Centres in 2016, check out our website and feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.   Travel More Nothing builds character and broadens the mind like a well-planned trip to another country. Travelling means discovering new landscapes, meeting new … Read more