english school

Dinner Club After English Class In London

      Not only does EC offer English lessons for adults in London, we also offer dinner club as part of our social program. Dinner club is a great way to meet other students, learn about other cultures, and try different food. Last week the cuisine was traditional British food, and next week we will be going to a barbecue restaurant. After a long day of English class, dinner club is also a way to relax and unwind. Every week we pick a new restaurant for students to try. London has so many great restaurants with different foods from around the world. Other than trying delicious foods dinner club is also a great way to learn about other students and their cultures. Last week we had students from Korea, Japan, Turkey, and Taiwan. The students shared experiences from their country and got to learn about each other’s countries. Getting involved in social activities is always a good way to meet new people and practice your English. Dinner club is not the only social event we offer. We also have meditation, walking tours, and dance classes. If you would like to learn more about our weekly social events make sure you check our social calendar. If you are interested in dinner club and want to get involved in our English lessons for adults in London look at our website.

Fancy a Breakfast Club?

The Breakfast club is a free activity provided at the school in the lounge every day Tuesday to Friday. The breakfast club is done by one member of the staff who change every day, every morning from 8.30 am to 9.00 am. It is a conversation class to wake up your mind in English before you start your class. It can be a discussion about a specific topic, a game or a mini lesson.   All the students can join the breakfast club, students from all levels. It is a conversation activity but it can also be a listening activity. The breakfast club is a really good opportunity to improve your speaking and listening skills outside the class. You can also get to know the other students during this activity and share with them. Sometimes we start the breakfast club on one topic and we move to another one, the students can give their impression about anything and sometimes some tips. For example, which museum you can visit, what is their favorite place in London, they share some good restaurant addresses.   It’s really nice to see the students interact with each other’s and get friendly :). It also good for the students to listen to other student’s accent, to be able to understand the different nationalities accent, to be able to understand their classmate in class. The breakfast club is a good opportunity to improve your English during a fun activity. EVERYONE IS WELCOME, so don’t hesitate to join us. Interesting of having EC London breakfast club experience, join us at the school to take English classes for adult in London.

Metro, your new bedside book

Hi new Londoners, future new Londoners or Londoners!   Shall we speak a little bit about the most famous thing in London? Any guesses?….. ……   The London tube 🙂 , or more about Metro the tube free newspaper. I take the tube every day to go to work and I always pick up one of these multiple newspaper, the most common one is Metro. I love reading it during my journey, it is really interesting and sometimes funny. At first you will be quite surprise about the headlines, sometimes it’s huge and big but you will have a little article in the newspaper which is quite surprising when you are expecting a full article or a full explanation. There is also a lot of stories about British people, sometimes happy stories sometimes sad stories. And you will have a little bit of politic, advertising and sport especially FOOTBALL!! The thing that astonished me is the property section, is it huge, maybe half of the newspaper. Which is surprising knowing that in London there is some issues with accommodation for British people themselves but also for foreigners. Let’s talk about a really nice section and also my favorite, the Travel news. You always have the latest news about transport in London (tube, trains, buses), about TFL (Transport For London). You will always be aware of any works on some lines, or any events etc… This section is really well written as well. A few days ago, I was reading Metro and on the Travel news section they were giving tips about what to visit in London and especially the best times to visit these see sight to avoid the crowd (even if it’s really busy all the time in London). You can have a look on the picture below :).   … Read more

Dynamic English lessons for adults!

When we think about adult English lessons, people very often imagine very serious students sitting around doing lots of grammar exercises. Well, they’d be partly correct. Here, at EC London 30+, our students are very motivated and serious but that doesn’t mean that all of our lessons are about sitting down doing gapfill exercises. Check out this lesson for instance: Today, one of our teachers had his students running out of the classroom carrying messages to their partners and working on their pronunciation and listening skills. He then went on to use these messages to teach “used to” to his students. This dynamic and interesting teaching style is quite typical of our teachers at EC. Check out the pictures of this English lesson below.   Keep coming back for more interesting lessons and blogs on grammar, secret London locations and messages from our wonderful past students. Please feel free to leave us a comment anytime.  If you are interested in learning more about our adult English lessons, check out our website. If you would like to practise your English online, try our Learn English website.

Sunday Meetups To Practise Your English

    IEL Sunday School is an extra Sunday meetup to speak as much English as possible, learn some new vocabulary and meet great people. This Sunday 1st March 2015 we are having our first Sunday School in our EC Covent Garden centre at: 7-11 Stukeley Street, London, WC2B 5LB. The meetup will be very informal and useful, plus you will get to meet people from all over the world who are staying in London. The activity will involve learning some new vocabulary and speaking as much as possible to other people at the meetup. You will need to be an intermediate speaker of English to get maximum benefit from the afternoon. At least one professional English teacher will be there to help you too. The meetup will start at 3pm sharp and will finish at around 5pm so please be on time (or even a little early). The school building café will not be open on Sunday so please bring your own refreshments with you. Please sign up at Reception – it’s only £1 for EC students! Why not come along and practise your English? If you would like to study English in London please visit our website. We also have an interesting travel guide which tells you all about learning English in London, the history of London, useful tips on shopping and entertainment and the current cost of living in London. 

Weekly Grammar Question: When is the future not the future? When it’s the future in the past!

The future in English is a wonderful minefield of oddities and exceptions but one thing that actually makes a little bit of sense but is often avoided by students is the future in the past. The idea here is to discuss the future of a past time. It’s very useful, especially for discussing failed or changed plans. Check out the dialogue below between the two men in the picture, talking about their weekend and then we’ll have a look at the structures in more detail. Click on the links to get the meaning of the more difficult words. Andy: So, how was your weekend? Joe: Well, you’ll never believe what happened to me. We went out on Friday night after work for a few drinks in the local and we were hoping to leave there about 8:00 but as usual we ended up having a few more pints than we’d planned. So we left at about 10:00 and we were going to go to a bar in Soho but on the way this fight broke out next to us on Tottenham Court Road. We weren’t involved but somebody called the police and they were going to arrest us because they thought we’d started it. Well, we explained what had happened and some passersby backed us up so the police let us go but it was quite scary. Andy: Wow! Why didn’t you just turn around and run in the other direction when you saw the fight? Joe: Well we were about to run away but a lady fell over next to us and hit her head on the footpath so we were trying to help her when the police arrived. Andy: Oh OK, well maybe next Friday you should leave at 8:00. I think you’re getting a little bit old for this … Read more

Weekly Grammar Question: Is the Past Perfect as simple as it seems?

I can’t count the number of times over the years that students have said something along the lines of: “Teacher teacher, I don’t understand the present and past perfect, it’s too difficult”. Now, the present perfect can be quite tricky to get your head around for a number of reasons. The main one being that there are a variety of different uses and also that while there is a version of the present perfect in many languages, it is slightly different in English, which can be confusing. The Past Perfect, however, is great! It has one use and it doesn’t really change. It’s also not as common as the Present Perfect and isn’t as big a deal. So, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s all fine. Check out the examples and explanations below for more info on how we use it.   I didn’t eat a curry for two months. My wife cooked a curry. I came home from work the other day and saw the curry. I ate it very quickly and it was absolutely delicious.  what do you think of this story? Is it interesting or boring? Clearly, it’s ridiculously boring. It’s also incredibly unnatural. When we tell stories, we like to make them more interesting by changing the order of events so that the listener/reader is kept interested. We also think of pieces of information while we are speaking/writing and we add them in as we think of them. These pieces of information often happened before the actions we’ve already talked about. This is when we need the Past Perfect. We use it when we’re telling stories to describe actions or situations that happened before the story or before other actions in the story. Compare the story above with the one below. Which one do you prefer? … Read more

Weekly Grammar Question: Will + Going to (making predictions)

A few weeks ago we looked at the difference between will and going to for making plans but what about predictions? How can we express our thoughts about what will happen in the future? Are will and going to the same? Are they completely different? Read on to find out.   The Rules: So, the rule is pretty simple: 1) We use will for predictions based on our opinions, without any evidence to back it up. e.g. “I think we will have flying cars by the year 2025”. (In this situation, the speaker is expressing their opinion about the future but they really have no concrete facts to support it)  2) We use going to for predictions backed up by evidence. e.g. “Ooh, look at those dark clouds above, I think it’s going to rain”. (Whereas in this situation, the speaker can see that the clouds above them are quite dark and therefore they think it’s going to rain. The dark clouds are the physical evidence that supports their opinion) 2) We could also use it in the negative. e.g. “Not I don’t think it’s going to rain, those clouds aren’t rain clouds.” The Reality: However, this is English and therefore rules are made to be broken and there are exceptions and oddities throughout our wonderful language, especially when it comes to the future. Take football for example. I’m Irish, our football team is awful, absolutely terrible, shockingly bad, and it has been awful for years and years. Spain, on the other hand, have an excellent football team and have won numerous competitions with some of the best players in the world. So, if Spain and Ireland were playing each other, the logical prediction would be: “Spain is going to win!” We have years of evidence to support out prediction. But what would … Read more

Weekly Grammar Question: Habits – past, present and annoying!

Habits, we all have them, both good and bad. Present habits are one of the first things you learn to express in English but there’s so much more to it than just the present simple. Take a look at some of the different examples and the explanations below provided us by the great team of teachers at our London 30+ English school. Read on and improve your English. LET’S START WITH THE EASY STUFF. I go to Tesco every day after work. (This is a nice and easy present simple habit. It’s something that happens routinely in the present. Remember that you can also grade the frequency of your habits by using an adverb) I rarely / sometimes / often / usually / always cook dinner at home. (The adverb of frequency comes before the main verb) I am rarely / sometimes / often / usually / always on time. (The adverb of frequency comes after “be” verb)   BUT WHAT ABOUT ANNOYING HABITS? My brother is always borrowing my clothes without asking. (In this situation, I used the present continuous to show that I am annoyed by this present habit. The “always” adds to the annoyance.) AND WHAT ABOUT TEMPORARY HABITS? At the moment, I’m drinking a lot of beer but when I leave England and return to my country, I’ll probably stop. (The present continuous suggests that this habit will not continue forever. It is temporary) BUT HOW DO WE EXPRESS HABITS IN THE PAST? I used to play football when I was younger but I gave up when I left school. (Used to + verb: expresses an action that was a habit in the past but no longer is) I didn’t use to eat vegetables but now I love them. (remember that the negative is spelled slightly … Read more

Weekly grammar question: Is the past simple or is the past continuous? by Kirsty Emma Watts

Do you believe everything you’re told? Past simple versus past continuous Urban Legends Recently, I did a road trip in Australia. While I was there, I heard many a story this is one that my friend told me late one evening on Byron Beach. Although it’s not easy to swallow, it’s funny to imagine. These two guys my friend knows work for Chase Bank. Every year they go to Australia for a big bank-sponsored surfing competition. This past year, these guys and their team won. They went out afterwards to celebrate and went on to drink lots of beers. After drinking up a storm, they stumbled into their rented car and began their reckless drive. They were driving on a bush road when they accidentally hit a kangaroo. On getting out of the car they realised that the kangaroo had died in the accident. Being so drunk they propped up the kangaroo against the car. They dressed it in one of their jackets and took pictures of themselves with their arms around it. To their shock and horror, while they were taking pictures, the kangaroo came back to life! The kangaroo wasn’t dead. It had passed out! When the kangaroo came to, it started to box the drunken guys and actually broke one guy’s jaw! It then hopped away into the bush. The guys tried to chase the kangaroo in the car but on getting in. realised that the keys were in the jacket that the kangaroo was wearing. They called a taxi and as they were returning to town they saw a pack of kangaroos and one was still wearing the guy’s jacket. The taxi man couldn’t stop laughing! “Unbelievable!” I hear you say. Maybe. But let’s look at how this story was told…   “They were driving on … Read more