Remember, remember the 5th of December

Did you know that on this day in history… …Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born …Claude Monet died …the British government imposed a 50 mph speed limit on UK roads to save fuel …Britain’s first female judge was appointed …Walt Disney was born Now can you guess the year in each case?

Welcome to EC Canada!

EC proudly announced the additon of LSC’s three Canadian schools into the ever-growing EC family last month bringing the total number of EC English language centres to 15 around the world! LSC is the oldest and most respected private language school in Canada. They have many years’ experience teaching English to international students, and a reputation for academic excellence. EC Toronto Canada’s largest and most multi-cultural city has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Shopping, food, sports, museums and nightlife – Toronto has it all. Our school is in mid-town Toronto and has spacious classrooms and modern facilities. EC Vancouver Rated as one the world’s greatest places to live, Vancouver is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and huge mountains. This is a wonderful place for outdoor activities and to explore nature. The city’s a relaxed and interesting place to stay with a variety of cool neighbourhoods to check out, and our large city-centre school is at the heart of the action! EC Montreal Located in the province of Quebec, Montreal is the world’s largest fully bilingual city (English & French). Its European atmosphere and international flavour make it one the most unique cities in the world. Our modern school is located in the Faubourg shopping mall in the city centre. For more information (or to book an EC course in Canada) go to http://www.ecenglish.com/learn-english-canada.

Breakfast Club: new language

Yesterday in Breakfast Club, 5 EC students from France and Japan discussed the headlines of the day, namely the summit taking place to rescue the eurozone and the cause of death of the singer, the late Amy Winehouse.   There was a lot of new vocabulary which came up – here are just a few of the new words we talked about below. Can you guess which story they came from? a trillion (n) = 1,000000000000 binge drinking  (n) = when people drink a very large volume of alcohol in a short space of time with the intention of getting drunk an increase in debt = more debt rehab (n) = short form of rehabilitation; a form of treatment to help someone overcome a problem they have the bailout package (n) = the agreement the Heads of State were trying to come to to save the economies in the Eurozone to stare at someone/something (v) = to look very hard at something. It is considered impolite to stare at people a gun (n) = a tool used to shoot things, animals or people the leaders/the Heads of State (n) = the people responsible for the government in their countries e.g Prime Minister, President, Chancellor Breakfast Club takes place in our cafe every week, Tuesday-Friday 8.30-8.55am.  See you there soon!

TOEFL and TOEIC for Visas

The UK Home Office is now accepting the TOEIC and the TOEFL exams as proof of your English level for visa and immigration requirements.  For more specific details follow these links; ETS website: www.ets.org Home Office:   http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsfragments/45-new-list-of-english-language http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/new-approved-english-tests.pdf EC London runs preparation courses for both the TOEFL and TOEIC exams and is even an official TOEIC exam centre.  Check the link from the EC London homepage for details of the next TOEIC exam. For any questions about these exams contact Cameron camerondean@ecenglish.com

Stranded in Sydney…no longer!

After 4 days of waiting, we finally got a call from our airline and we we’re flown back to the UK on Saturday, arriving Sunday. I’ve never been so excited about coming home as, although it was wonderful being away, there’s no place like home and when you’re denied something, you want it even more. So back in London, back at EC and enjoying every minute! I really hope everyone who is stranded around the world makes it back home very, very soon! Good luck! 🙂

Stranded in Sydney- day 2

While airspace in the UK has now reopened and flights are finally taking off and landing, I am still in Sydney, awaiting news. It really isn’t as bad as it sounds being stranded but, as with everything, it depends on how you look at it. We’re lucky enough to be staying with friends, near a beach, with unseasonably good weather and enough money to get by on. There are thousands of people worse off than us so while we’d love to be back home in the UK and back at work, we’ll just have to grin and bear it a little while longer… I wonder what we’ll be doing tomorrow…. 🙂

Volcanic Ash Crisis – being potentially stranded in Sydney

Last Thursday, I caught the end of the news while I was on holiday in Adelaide, Australia, and heard that a volcano had erupted in Iceland, leaving a large ash cloud around 3 miles high and heading towards the UK and the rest of northern Europe. It’s now Monday night in Sydney and since that first mention of the volcanic ash cloud, I’ve been checking the BBC and The Times websites approximately 5 times an hour to wonder at this “Act of God” and wonder if I’ll be catching my flight back to London tomorrow. Well, it doesn’t look good  – the latest information is that Quantas, the Austraian airline, have cancelled flights till Thursday, and there will be an announcement on Monday 5pm UK time. That would be 2am on Tuesday Australian time and we’re due to fly at 2.45pm so, the chances are very slim. So, my boyfriend and I could be stranded here in Sydney until further notice. Don’t get me wrong, it could be worse – we’re lucky enough to be staying with friends in one of the most beautiful harbour cities in the world where the weather is unseasonably good and the people are friendly and laid-back.  But we really DO want to get back to the UK and we really DO want to get back to work but we really DON’T want to spend the next few days at an airport or trying every type of transport known to man to make it back, including naval war ships, only to find that we could have got a flight quicker. So, in the absence of any certainty, I thought I’d share my feelings and thoughts as I experience this incredible, never-seen-in-this-lifetime, situation. If you’re stranded or a potential strandee, let me know what you’re doing … Read more