Moving House, by Chris Lewis

    One our teachers, Chris, tells us about moving into a new house and the difficulties with renting and buying property in London…     Living in London is expensive. Renting a room in Central London makes it even more expensive! That’s one of the reasons my fiancé and I decided to move. We’re also not getting any younger, and we wanted to live by ourselves. Therefore, we thought it would be sensible to buy a flat outside London. We soon found out that buying a property in the UK is incredibly complicated. Many of my property-owning friends told me that it’s one of the most stressful things you can do in your life (alongside organising a wedding, of course!). I won’t go into too much detail, but the process of buying a property in the UK is generally a little different to other countries. The procedure is that you have to: 1. Make an offer to the seller. 2. Choose a mortgage with a bank or building society. 3. Hire a lawyer to liaise with the seller and write up a contract. 4. Have a survey of the property done, and make sure the property doesn’t have any structural problems. 5. Negotiate a price with the seller (if the property has structural problems). 6. Exchange contracts with the seller. 7. Pay the mortgage for the rest of your life! To put it mildly, it’s a bit of a nightmare. Everything takes a long time, and sometimes the lawyers and agents don’t reply to your emails on time. In our case, it took about three months to get everything sorted out. The problem is that, before you exchange contracts (number 6), you have no legal protection. A person I know paid a lot of money to the lawyers to … Read more

The Premier League – 2015/2016

Chris Lewis has been teaching English at EC London 30+ for nearly 3 years and LOVES his football! Have a read of his blog about the Premier League…   Many people don’t like football, and I can understand why. It makes people do silly things and, at the end of the day, it’s just a game where twenty-two players kick a ball around. However, for many people it’s much more than that. In the UK, it can be a day out for the family (clubs like Ipswich and Liverpool are “family clubs”), it can be an escape from stress in everyday life, and it can be a way to make new friends. Football in England is wonderful. There’s passion, moments of magic, managers trying to outwit one another, and fans either going crazy or tearing their hair out. This season in the Premier League, it’s EVEN more wonderful than usual. The rich teams have been doing badly, and the “smaller” clubs have been winning. It’s beautifully unpredictable. The best and most well-known example is Leicester City. Their star players, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, cost the club a total of £1,4 million. Compare this to Manchester City, whose most expensive players, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, cost £103 million. That’s a difference of £102.6 million! This is what the table looks like at the time of writing:   As you can see, Leicester are above Manchester City. Some people say that the world of football can reflect the zeitgeist of contemporary life. Leicester’s success shows us that in life, money does not guarantee success!     If you’d like to learn more about Football or would just like to improve your English, check out the courses we offer at EC LONDON 30+

speaking English at our local pub on an English language course in london

Tips for study after EC LONDON 30+

So, each week a lot of students ask me what they can do to continue their English practice when they’ve finished their English language course in London. Obviously, there are lots of different things you can do: Buy a grammar book choose an English TV show and watch it every week. keep practising on EC ONLINE. keep a diary. read graded readers for 20 minutes each day. Keep reading the EC LONDON 30+ blog each week 🙂 But with all of the above suggestions, there is no speaking. Speaking and actually practising what you have learnt is one of the most important aspects of language learning. After you finish a course, your motivation is high, everything you have learnt is fresh in your mind and you’re eager to put it all into practice immediately. This is the time for you to organise a LANGUAGE EXCHANGE. But what is a language exchange? A language exchange is when you meet up exchange your language for another language. Find an English speaker in your country, meet up once a week for a coffee or a beer and exchange languages. Half of the time you speak English and half the time you speak your language. It’s great, it’s free and it’s practice with a native speaker. But how can I find them? Well, it’s easy really. I’ve lived in cities around the world and there is nearly always a website where you can advertise and find people who are also looking for language exchanges. Ask around or do some Googling to find the website. Another way is to ask in British or Irish pubs as they very often have language exchange nights that they organise each week. What if there are no pubs and no websites? If you can’t find anyone, you can also … Read more

new students starting their English course for adults at EC LONDON 30+

Lessons Learnt at EC LONDON 30+

After completing an English course for adults at EC LONDON 30+, one of our recent students kindly wrote some advice for new students coming to the school which we’d love to share with you. These are her words, completely unedited by us and I think they are very sensible and helpful. Thank you very much, Sandra!   Don’t lose your name sticker given to you on your first day, if you intend to leave the building only temporarily that day! Otherwise, the friendly, suited guys on the ground floor will refuse to let you go upstairs again. Been there, don’t that! It’s safe, as soon as you’re in possession of your student ID. Don’t immediately questions your ability to keep up with your class mates at the level you’ve been sorted into. People at school usually know what they’re doing…Besides, everybody’s weakness is a different one. In my case it was feeling like a complete idiot while speaking, whereas I felt quite comfortable with grammar. I’ve improved a lot – and finally included newly learnt words in conversations (and my writing) without even thinking about it. Even though you’ve been warned about the alarm going off every Tuesday at 5pm, you WILL get a heart attack anyway! Don’t fight it, embrace it instead. Conversation class is fun (and useful by the way). Don’t wait too long to try it out (same goes for Dinner Club)… If an English sentence sounds wrong to you, it usually is. Unfortunately teachers tend to ask you for the grammatical reason… Funny thing about English grammar: there are always terms I haven’t heard of yet! My class, for instance, dealt with “cleft sentences”, that obviously needed a very important name to intimidate already confused language students! Just don’t pay attention to those names. Grammar, hiding … Read more