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Voyager: quelles sont les options pour venir à Reading?

Reading est une ville britannique située dans le Berkshire, au sud ouest de Londres à seulement 40 kilomètres au Sud d’Oxford et à une soixantaine de kilomètres de la capitale. Il est assez facile de s’y rendre depuis la Capitale que vous arriviez de Gatwick Airport or Heathrow Airport ou de St Pancras International. Dans cet article, nous vous donnons toutes les informations utiles pour vous rendre sereinement à  Reading.

Voyager depuis Heathrow Airport:

La meilleure option pour voyager de Heathrow à Reading est de prendre le Bus de la compagnie “RailAir”. Ce départ du bus se situe au Terminal 5.

Si vous atterrissez au Terminal 5, vous n’avez qu’à vous rendre au niveau de l’arrêt numéro 9 où vous pourrez trouver les informations avec les horaires de passage du bus. Vous pouvez acheter directement votre ticket par carte dans le bus.

Si vous arrivez  du terminal 4, il existe un transfert gratuit vers le Terminal 5 pour pouvoir rejoindre la gare de bus.

Si vous venez des Terminaux 1 2 ou 3, il est conseillé de suivre les panneaux d’indication pour Heathrow Central Bus station. Une fois arrivé sur place, vous trouverez  des automates pour acheter vos tickets de bus.

Il faut regarder les informations sur les écrans pour pouvoir connaître l’heure de départ de votre bus pour Reading.

Un ticket Adulte coûte environ £20.

Lorsque le bus arrive à Reading, il vous dépose devant la gare de Reading.

Voyager depuis Gatwick Airport

si vous atterrissez au terminal Nord, vous devez prendre la navette (gratuite) pour le Terminal Sud. Une fois arrivé à ce terminal, vous devez vous rendre à Gatwick Train Station.

Vous devez ensuite acheter un ticket de train pour Reading, ce qui coûte environ £30. Le trajet dure entre une heur et une heure et demie pour vous rendre à Reading. Ce ticket vous servira pour la totalité du trajet donc gardez le bien pour effectuer les différents changements.

Il faut prendre le train “National Rail Thameslink”pour Central London et vous arrêtez à Farringdon pour faire un changement pour “Hammersmith & City Line” et sortir à l’arrêt Paddington. Vous devez quitter le métro pour vous rendre dans la gare de trains de Paddington. Enfin, il faut prendre “the National Rail Great Western Railway train” pour Reading Station. Depuis la gare de Paddington, il y a de nombreux trains, veuillez bien lire les indications du panneau d’affichage pour savoir quel train s’arrête à la gare de Reading.

Cela prend une vingtaine de minute pour vous rendre à Reading depuis la gare de Paddington.

Voyager depuis St Pancras International:

Si vous avez pris l’Eurostar et êtes arrivé à St Pancras International, vous devez vous diriger vers la gare de King’s Cross  pour prendre “the Underground” (le métro londonien) et choisir “Hammersmith & City Line”. Faites attention, certains métros ne s’arrêtent pas à Paddington, soyez donc vigilant et regarder les arrêts avant de monter à bord de train. et sortir à l’arrêt Paddington. Vous devez quitter le métro pour vous rendre dans la gare de trains de Paddington. Enfin, il faut prendre “the National Rail Great Western Railway train” pour Reading Station. Depuis la gare de Paddington, il y a de nombreux trains, veuillez bien lire les indications du panneau d’affichage pour savoir quel train s’arrête à la gare de Reading. Cela prend une vingtaine de minute pour vous rendre à Reading depuis la gare de Paddington.

Espérant que ces informations vous seront utiles lorsque vous viendrez étudier à Eurospeak Reading!

Sources:

https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/by-coach-or-bus
https://www.firstgroup.com/railair
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The Benefits of Extensive Reading

Extensive reading – what is it?

Well, it’s like intensive reading: intensive reading for English classes or finding answers for your YES / NO /NOT GIVEN questions in IELTS, but for fun! Extensive reading is reading something that you enjoy or are interested in and lots of it; extensive reading is just reading, and it should be for enjoyment, interest or pleasure.

Reading is a mental activity as opposed to TV which is not; TV is purely visual (although TV is good for listening comprehension and pronunciation among other things, but that’s another story).

Everyone including those of us learning a second language can benefit from extensive reading. Carrel and Grabe (2010) argue that language learners can improve their comprehension and vocabulary by doing a little extensive reading. According to Julian Bamford and Richard Day (in Kreuzova 2019) you should read as much as you can on a variety of topics that you have chosen; the materials should be easily understandable to you from books, newspapers and magazines.

Extensive reading is moving away from the intensive reading of answer identification in your Cambridge, TOEFL or IELTS exams, and the reading skills of skimming and scanning toward a more relaxed form of reading; the kind of reading you do on the sofa because you want to, because there is nothing on TV or there’s nothing on your streaming service worth watching. So, think about what you like to read; are you interested in reading about what English-language newspapers say about your country or region; are you interested in learning about your own country’s history from another perspective? Like cooking? Read a few recipes? Remind yourself, what do you like reading in your own language: try reading the same in English.

I was surprised when I started to learn about British history from the Spanish and Argentinians. I never knew the British invaded Buenos Aries in the nineteenth century. I never knew the Dutch sailed up the Themes and stole the English flagship. It has also been suggested that extensive reading helps in examination results, make them more aware of the grammar when they are reading, increase a learner’s reading proficiency and by extension their vocabulary learning (Prowse, 2000) and (Liu and Zhang 2018).

There are other beneficial effects. It is generally believed that reading develops your concentration. When you’re watching TV, you’re probably doing something else: chatting, eating, doing your nails, interacting with social media, but reading, well reading is a different matter.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love binge-watching The Man in the High Castle on a lazy Saturday afternoon trying to forget work. With a book, you need to concentrate and focus on what is written and everything that it implies. Which brings me to another thing reading improves: your imagination. You can lose yourself in a character or situation, imagining yourself in their situation. Imagine yourself as a different person or asking yourself what you would do in such a situation.

In turn, reading is a good de-stressor; you are more likely to read when you’re in a quiet room, with no TV and oblivious to the world outside and exercising the most important organ in your body – your brain. So, while you are doing whatever you are doing like channel hoping, you are not using your imagination. We switch off our imaginations, but with a book we use our imaginations to a greater extent. Reading enhances your verbal skills; TV is visually-based media and normally uses short and simple sentences whereas books contain complex language more than you would find on TV or in a streaming service. This means using a greater range of vocabulary, longer sentences and more complex sentences; you can become aware of punctuation. So, go and borrow a graded reader from your school’s resource centre, borrow a book from the city library or read some on-line articles in magazines or newspapers on-line.

by Chris Scott, March 2020

Reference List

Carrel, Patricia. L., and Grabe, W. (2010). Reading. In: N. Schmitt, ed., Applied Linguistics, 2nd London: Hodder Education, Page 215- 229.

Sarka Kreuzova 17 July 2019, Encouraging Extensive Reading, English Teaching Professional (1 09), viewed 31 December 2019, < https://www.etprofessional.com/encouraging-extensive-reading >.

Philip Prowse (2000), The secret of reading, English Teaching Professional, (13), viewed 2 January,2020, < https://www.etprofessional.com/the-secret-of-reading >

Liu. J., and Zhang. J., (2018). ‘The Effects of Extensive Reading on English Vocabulary Learning: A Meta-analysis ‘, English Language Teaching; Vol. 11, No. 6; 2018, viewed 2 January 2020, < https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1179114.pdf >

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EASILY CONFUSED WORDS

English has a lot of words that can be easily confused not only by those of you learning English, but also by those of us studying English, and by ‘native’ speakers. English is a rich mix of different influences; very little survives of the original Celtic language from the original inhabitants of the British Isles apart from place names such as York; Church Latin brought by the Roman’s persisted until the sixteenth century; the Germanic Anglo-Saxon ‘settlers’ colonised the eastern and southern part of Britain by the 5th century. Then came the Viking invasions in the 9th and 10th centuries; they brought the influence of Old Norse. In 1066, the Norman conquest of England began bringing a heavy Norman French influence. Then with Britain’s expanding trade and eventually Empire new words entered the language brought not only by the British but the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch empires thought trade.

There are also many inconsistencies in spellings; there are homographs (wind and wind), homophones (capital and capitol) and homonyms (produce the verb and produce the noun).

Confusion can come about when the meaning is misunderstood by the listener. When we learn a new language, or study our own language, enter a new job or read a new book we are confronted by new words that can confuse us in the form of faddy neologisms or jargon.

It took me a few days to stop using the Spanish word coger in South America; I could no longer coger el colectivo I had to tomar el colectivo (take the bus) in South America. In English there are a number of ways we can confuse ourselves; the first are the superficial differences between the ‘Englishes’ usually to do with spelling or semantics – the meaning of a word. For example, there were two computer programmers; one from America and one from England. When the English programmer and finished writing his program, he sat down to watch a TV programme; then, when the American finished her program she sat down to what her TV program. Which program or program you use depends on where you are and what you are doing. In the next two examples the meaning of each sentence is different; In England it is quite acceptable to say “I’ve never seen such a gorgeous ass”; you would be complimenting someone on their donkey, but using the exact same words in the United States could land you in gaol or is it jail? I get easily confused by these two words. There are also confusions brought about by time, for example, until the early twentieth century, it wasn’t unusual for people of a certain education to say, “I’m feeling rather gay today.” This meant “I’m feeling rather happy.” During this time people sometimes said they felt rather ‘queer’ or strange; both gay and queer have different meanings today – in the early twenty-first century; these are prime examples of the semantic shift in words. England also has a fantastic culinary tradition; one such culinary delight is the faggot; I love faggots and regularly eat them – faggots in England are large meatballs by the way. However, I am sure this is still an arrestable offence in some parts of the United States and the wider world.

Time has also changed the meaning of wicked and cool; in the late 1990s they meant something like fantastic or really good. In today’s news media the words snowflake and gammon have taken on a new meaning. These words are often used as terms of abuse in the news media it is debatable how much they are used outside the confines of newspapers and troll or water armies. Confusion can also occur through pronunciation; in the American ABC comedy TV series Modern Family the character Gloria Delgado-Pritchett played by the American-Columbian actor Sofía Vergara is asked by her husband to get some baby cheeses and she orders lots of baby Jesuses. But there is also confusion brought about by homophones; for example, which of the following means to be still or not moving? In her Grammarly blog Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English, Brittney Ross mentions two confusing words: Complement and Compliment; both words are spelt differently; they both have different meanings but the same pronunciation both for the verb and noun forms. So, what happens when we hear these words, how do we learn how to spell them? Stationary or stationery? Confused? It’s common to confuse these two words even among so-called ‘native’ speakers, so look at the two words in context: The train was stationary, so I popped into the stationery store and got these envelopes and pens. How do I get around the problem? In my head I tend to stress the final vowel in both words and remember the context; that helps me remember the spelling. And there are the principles and principals: There are fundamental principles we all live by; one of them is that we shall not steal. Many school principals have at least a master’s degree is the headmaster of a school. How do you remember which is which? Well you could use spelling mnemonics; for example, my pal is a school principal. The other way of confusing you is the non-transparent spelling system; we don’t always mean or say what is written; in English vowels aren’t pronounced or used. Take, for example, the word chocolate; in Spanish all the vowels are pronounced, in English we are lazier and drop the second ‘o’ vowel sound, so it’s pronounced as choclate.

So, knowing how a word is pronounced and practicing can often help our spelling, but there is also the problem of the spell check; how many of us have used the spell check and this marvellous device has sent the wrong word making us look completely illiterate? Embarrassing isn’t it! As Brittney Ross says in her Grammarly blog Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English ‘your word might be spelled right, but it may be the wrong word.’ We also have the double entendre is a figure of speech that has two meanings or interpretations; this form of ambiguity can cause confusion in meaning, for instance, newspaper headlines are notorious for this; take for example this headline, ‘Strikes to Paralyse Travellers’; does it mean that travellers will be physically paralysed or does it mean that the infrastructure will be paralysed and travellers won’t be able to travel? Anther confusing example is that 21 taxes choke tourism operators – Parliament cries; a parliament crying because tourism operators were choked by twenty-one taxes!

Chris Scott February 2020

Reference List

Brittney Ross [n.d.], Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English, Grammarly blog, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.grammarly.com/blog/commonly-confused-words/ >.

Mirror.co.uk 17 August 2016, Strikes to Paralyse Travellers, Mirror, viewed 30 December 2019, < https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/strikes-to-paralyse-travellers-638297 >

Richard Annerquaye Abbey January 24, 2019, 21 taxes choke tourism operators – Parliament cries, viewed 30 December 2019, https://thebftonline.com/2019/editors-pick/21-taxes-choke-tourism-operators-parliament-cries/

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SeaCity Museum, Southampton

Last week was amazing; I visited the SeaCity museum in Southampton with my friend Hassan.  I learned a lot about Southampton’s history and the Titanic.  Actually, I got very excited watching the Titanic film. 

While we were at the museum, we talked about what happened, and we visualised the lack of safety boats on the Titanic and how this changed for future ships.  In my opinion, there is no person to blame, but this was the result of a sequence of mistakes and wrong decisions.  

The important thing is that we get the benefits of what happened and maybe try to avoid such events again. 

Mustafa A.

October, 2019 

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Benefits of reading and books recommendations

There is a great deal of research on the benefits of reading for students of a second language. Among them are learning a wide range of vocabulary, improving our written expression, improving general language skills, being motivated to read, developing our autonomy as learners, developing empathy and becoming better readers.

Before starting a book we have to take into account two things, that it is to your taste and that the difficulty of the book fits your level in that language.

To do this Eurospeak will show you below a selection of books that are available at the Eurospeak Southampton school.

Elementary level

The Watchers, Jim and Stella, an English brother and sister on holiday on Crete, and Nikos, their Cretan friend, go into the caves. But the watchers are waiting for them…

The adventures of Tom Sawyer, It tells the adventures of Tom and his friends in a graveyard, in a old house and in a cave… why is Tom afraid?

The Battle of Newton Road, a civil engineer wants to knock down the houses and build a new road. And the people of Newton Road are very angry. But can they win the battle?

A White Heron Sylvia, a shy nine-year-old, is bringing home the milk cow when she meets a young ornithologist who is hunting birds for his collection of specimens. He goes with her to her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother, Mrs. Tilley, has rescued Sylvia from a crowded home in the city, where she was languishing.

The Railway Children

Pre-intermediate level

The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories is narrated by a man who has been invited to visit his childhood friend Usher. Usher gradually makes clear that his twin sister has been placed in the family vault not quite dead.

The Canterbury Tales , a story told around another story or stories. The frame of the story opens with a gathering of people at the Tabard Inn in London who are preparing for their journey to the shrine of St. Becket in Canterbury.

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Boscombe Pool The deceased’s estranged son is strongly implicated. Holmes quickly determines that a mysterious third man may be responsible for the crime, unraveling a thread involving a secret criminal past, thwarted love, and blackmail.

The Man with Two Shadows and Other Ghost Stories

Intermediate level

Lorna Doone One day John meets and falls in love with Lorna, a member of the Doone family. She is betrothed to the son of the Doone heir, Carver, and he will do everything in his power to force the marriage on her.

The Picture of Dorian Gray a young man named Dorian Gray who has a portrait painted of himself. The artist, Basil Hallward, thinks Dorian Gray is very beautiful, and becomes obsessed with Dorian. One day in Basil’s garden, Dorian Gray meets a man named Lord Henry Wotton.

Alexander the Great

Advance level

Oliver Twist is a nine-year-old orphan boy who doesn’t know who his parents were. He escapes from a workhouse to London where he meets the ‘Artful Dodger’, leader of the gang of the juvenile pickpockets.