What is Sport and Exercise Psychology?

It’s almost impossible to watch a sporting event these days without someone mentioning confidence or motivation or mindset! Sport Psychology is becoming more accepted in mainstream sport, let’s find out why… Sport Psychology is the study of people’s behaviour, thoughts, emotions and experiences in a sport or exercise environment. It focuses on 2 distinct areas depending on the needs of the individual concerned: improving performance and improving well being. Generally we focus on one or the other with clients but there are occasions where the two crossover eg; managing one’s emotions can potentially lead to better decision making in competition or better reactions to mistakes = improvement in performance. This can also help to alleviate feelings of disappointment, frustration or anger at a performance which may cross over into life away from sport = improved well being. “Your your emotions affect your decision making…” How will Sport Psychology help me? Sport psychology is an individual process and every person’s needs differ. There is always development and improvement which can be made at any level of sport, whether amateur or professional. Sport psychology can help to see your sport and your performance from an objective and sometimes alternative perspective. It can challenge you to ask questions about things in your sport and performance that you take for granted. For example: How do you practice? Is it as close to competition as possible? Can you make it closer to competition? Have you tried practising challenging situations? If not, how will you react if you meet these situations in competition? “better decision making leads to improved performance“ What happens during a one-to-one Sport Psychology session? A one-to-one session could be in person or over Skype and can be in an office, at the practice ground or any venue of your choice. Typically, the … Read more

I scream, you scream, we all scream for gluten free, vegan “Cookies and Scream” Ice cream!

Cookies and Scream is a small bakery which offers a wide range of desserts, including warm and cool drinks. Cookies and Scream is multi-award winning, fully vegan and gluten free bakery in Camden Town, London. Every product is dairy, egg, wheat and gluten free. All bakes are low fat, low cholesterol and made with unrefined sugars. This means that nearly everyone can enjoy their incredible bakes, except for people who suffer from nuts and soya allergies unfortunately. They specialize in all types of cookies, brownies, cakes, pies and even doughnuts, all of which are incredibly tasty and fresh. You can purchase these bakes for take away or even sit at the cookie bar and enjoy a cup of coffee or a cookie shake with gluten free and vegan ice cream. Camden is a brilliant place to find cheeky snacks which are gluten free and also vegan meaning that they are dairy free and egg free. Camden is just a 20 minute walk away from Euston station in London, making it easily accessible to most people. So if you ever find yourself craving a tasty snack, you now know where to go! By Lexi Gatt (Intern)   If you’d like to improve your English, check out the English lessons for adults in London we offer at EC LONDON 30+

What is Comic Relief?

  This week at EC Covent Garden school for Adult English courses we are organising an event for Comic Relief. We hope that our students will help us to raise money for this special charity, which is quite popular in the UK and everywhere in the city people work to help raise money for this organisation. The famous Live Aid concerts in 1985 saw rock ‘n’ roll royalty come together to raise awareness of, and money for, starving people in Ethiopia. Entertainers from the world of comedy were inspired by the success of these events and established Comic Relief to do a similar job using laughter instead of music. Over the following thirty years Comic Relief has become a biennial institution with millions of participants raising an impressive £1 billion for good causes in the UK and the developing world. Every penny of that £1bn. has gone to charities that help disadvantaged people as the administration costs of the organisation are all paid for by corporate sponsors. That alone would make Comic Relief a special charity, but what really makes it such an enduring success is its way of combining very serious issues with a light-hearted approach. People are encouraged to wear ridiculous clothes and perform ludicrous stunts in sponsored events that raise money for important causes. In this way the general public have come to see donating time and money as a positive, enjoyable thing rather than an onerous obligation. You can join in this celebration of silliness this Friday, the 13th of March. Put a few coins into our collection bucket, buy a raffle ticket or put on a red nose –the symbol of Comic Relief- and get your fellow students, who are taking Adult English courses at EC Covent Garden, to sponsor you to keep it on all … Read more

Vanessa tells us a little bit about her English lessons!

Just last week we had to say goodbye to one of our students, Vanessa. It was wonderful to have Vanessa at the school; she really threw herself into her English lessons and according to her teachers, she was a pleasure to teach. She has very kindly given us a brief description of her English experience at EC Covent Garden 30+ and her lessons:   I chosed this destination because I was interested to learn English for the holidays with my family and my travel agency “Sprachen ch” recommendet it. I learned at the same time interesting topics , I learned to have confidence to talk. I improved my pronunciation, and my favourite Ec activity was to speak with my group in the scholl.I like this sistem to learn because is profesional and easy. I would recommend my friends this scholl. The staff in Ec have a nice relatiochip and are very helpful.I’ll remember the moments where we laugh together.   Thank you for everything Vanessa, good luck with all of your future holidays and your English practice. We hope to see you again in the future.   If you’re thinking about studying English in the future or doing adult English courses in the U.K., check out our website.

Election Fever in Britain

If you plan to learn English in London or generally in the United Kingdom in 2015 you will probably hear about the upcoming general election. They will happen in May 2015 but the electoral campaign has already started. The election will decide how the 650 seats in the House of Commons, which is the lower house of the British parliament, are divided up. The majority is composed of 326 seats and any party or coalition which achieves this majority will appoint the new British Prime Minister. The United Kingdom is divided into Parliament constituencies and each constituency will generally elect one Member of the Parliament (MP). There are 533 seats in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in North Ireland. There are 4 main parties which will compete for the elections. The leading ones are the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. The Conservative Party, the party of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, currently holds the majority in a coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party. The leader is David Cameron who will run for the general election in 2015 for the appointment of Prime Minister. The Labour Party will be represented by Ed Miliband. Historically this party has always been more powerful in the northern areas of England and in Scotland and its historical leaders are Scottish, such as Ramsay MacDonald, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The Lib-Dems are the third party. Until the end of the First World War it was in competition with the Conservative Party in the era of David Lloyd George as Prime Minister, but they lost power with the rise of the Labour Party. The last party is UKIP. This is a nationalist party which strongly supports the independence of the United Kingdom and is against any restrictions imposed by the European Union. … Read more

Our students check out the graffiti in Shoreditch!

 A Guided Tour of the graffiti in Shoreditch!   February in London and a windy grey day did not stop the students of EC Covent Garden who went to visit one of the hidden pearls of the city, the fabulous street art venues in the central borough of Shoreditch! This tour is part of our new Free English Lesson programme, open to EC Covent Garden students, which is composed of two activities, the first one is an excursion in London with one of our English teachers and the second one is a free English lesson based on what our students have done and learned. This is a way to socialise, discover London with Londoners and learn English at the same time! Since 2000, Shoreditch has grown as an important staging ground for graffiti artists from around the world, such as Swoon, Roa, Blek Le Rat and Vhils and local artists like Banksy, Eine, D*Face, Sweet Toof, Pure Evil and Stik. Over the last 15 years the walls of Shoreditch have constantly changed, hosting new and diverse artwork, and turning the area into a huge and astonishing open-air art venue. Graffiti is the oldest expression of art in the history of human beings. The first graffiti art work is 40,000 years old. In the past, graffiti was used to enforce laws, to tell stories or to consolidate religions. Nowadays graffiti is widely recognised as the art form of social and political dissent against the status quo. The day after their excursion, these EC Covent Garden students joined a Free English Lesson, a presentation class, with Kirsty, their English teacher and guide for their tour in Shoreditch. Click here if you want to learn more about our English lessons for adults in the UK. Check out our website if you’d like to … Read more

St David’s Day is coming your way!

What’s coming up in March? Do you love to socialise? If so, then here are two days that you can be part of next month. Learn about what these days mean, some fun facts and how to improve your English below. St David’s Day    When is it? On the first day of March we celebrate St David’s day in honour of the Saint David of Wales who died on that day in 589 AD. Who is St David? He was a Celtic monk who lived in the 16th Century and spread the word of the religion Christianity across Wales. His most famous story is of him standing on a hill and preaching about Christianity… then the ground on which he was standing rose up… and the huge crowd could hear his words. How do British people celebrate this day? Some children wear the national dress of Wales which is a tall black hat and a red cloak. Most people mark this day by wearing the Welsh emblem which is a small daffodil or leek. You usually see magnificent yellow daffodils at the start of Spring which is a very exciting occasion for British people! Why? Because the sun is coming! Goodbye Winter! Want to hold your own Welsh dinner party? Welsh cuisine is wonderful! Try making ‘Cawl’ a dish made with lamb & a mixture of Welsh vegetables like leeks & swede and of course a fusion of herbs like rosemary, thyme & parsley.   If you’d like to improve your English, follow this link and learn more about English parties! What can EC students do to celebrate St David’s? London loves different cultures & celebrating them to the maximum! You can be in the heart of it all.  Near to EC Covent Garden is London’s Welsh centre for … Read more

Weekly Grammar Question: Changes over time!

If you’re anything like my students studying English in the U.K., at some point in your student life you’ll have been confused by the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect continuous. Well, rest assured, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean they are impossible, check out these examples below of the present perfect and present perfect continuous being used to describe change over time, and then have a look at the meaning / use underneath.   So I moved to South Korea for a year about 6 years ago, leaving all of my friends behind. My closest friend at the time was a guy named Stephen. We’d known each other for years. I’ve drawn a picture of him for you. As you can see, he didn’t really look after himself very well. He was the nicest guy you’d ever meet in your life and was an amazing friend but when it came to being fashionable or doing exercise, he was a disaster. After a year in Korea, I returned home and immediately went over to Stephen’s house to say hi to him and his family. Well, you wouldn’t believe the person who opened the door. I’ve drawn another picture for you to give you an idea of what he looked like. So, as you can imagine, I was extremely impressed. “What has happened to you?!” I said. Obviously, the surprise was clear on my face as he just smiled and said the following:   Well, I met a girl a few months ago and everything has changed for me. I’ve been shaving every morning now and moisturising twice a day so my skin has cleared up. I’ve also been exercising a lot more, I’ve taken up jogging and yoga and I’ve lost quite a lot of weight. I’ve been jogging twice a week … Read more

It’s Pancake Tuesday!

Today is Pancake Tuesday, one of my favourite days of the year. When I was young, I used to come home and my mother would make us extra thin pancakes, rolled up with jam, sugar and lemon. We’d gobble them down, they were absolutely delicious. I’ve never really been able to recreate her pancakes and Pancake Tuesday has never really been the same since but I have got quite good at making American-style pancakes and I’ve decided to share what might be the easiest pancake recipe of all time. And, just so you also learn English I’ve added some definitions for the more difficult words. Just click on the word for a dictionary definition. Here’s what you need: Flour Milk salt Sugar Fresh fruit Syrup Here’s what you do: Take a mug of flour and sieve it into a bowl. Fill the same mug with milk and pour that in. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Mix it all up. Melt some butter in a frying pan on a low heat. Ladle in some of your pancake mixture and when you start to see some bubbles on top, flip it over. When the pancakes are nice and golden, serve them up with some fresh fruit and syrup.   It’s not quite how mother used to make them but they tick my boxes: easy to make and delicious! So, try them out and let me know how they go…and hopefully you’ll learn English words along the way as well. Here’s a few students at EC London enjoying their pancakes. Now it’s your turn!   Try out our learn English website if you’d like to learn English vocabulary. Have a look at our main website if you’re thinking about booking some adult English courses in the UK.  

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