Jonathan Taylor sings and plays guitar during production of Vseki den in Bulgaria
Jonathan Taylor is EnglishClub’s “Music Man” and this article about him recently appeared on Radio Bulgaria’s website.
When I asked Jonathan Taylor, a teacher of English in Bulgaria’s Sevlievo, if he liked Bulgaria, he replied: “I love it.” The Englishman has been living in the village of Krushevo since 2011 and says this country attracted him with its beauty and tranquillity. The village is now his home and he plans to stay there together with his Bulgarian friends. He also likes spending his free time in Sozopol. Jonathan is a musician, writer and teacher. This is precisely why we met him on International Teacher’s Day- October 5.
It’s time to announce the winner of our Amazing Athletes at Rio competition. ugg homme pas cher We had over fifty entries to choose from, and it wasn’t an easy decision, but we’re happy to announce the winner of a free copy of 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context is Nafisa Saleem from India. Nafisa’s favourite athlete at Rio was the Indian badminton player Pusarla Venkata Sindhu. ugg men Sindhu beat Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s badminton singles semi-final to reach the final against Carolina Marin of Spain, the current World Champion. ugg soldes Even though she couldn’t win the gold medal by beating Carolina, Sindhu made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal. nike air max 90 Here’s Nafisa’s winning entry: “Shobha Dey the famous Page 3 columnist taunted the Indian Olympic contingent saying that the sports persons went to Rio to picnic and to click selfies. Many protested at her unpleasant remarks. After four years of strenuous training each athlete was included. Most of the Indian athletes come from middle class background but they aim for the stars. nike x fragment Dipa Karmakar came into the limelight in gymnastics and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu as a badminton player. I watched Sindhu’s semi final match and was fascinated by each move she made. The score in the second game left no doubt in the minds of the audience who the better player was. She was cool and composed on the court, very elegant and what flashes through my mind’s eye are the images of her smashes which left her opponent helpless. bottes ugg pour homme Sindhu is a young, energetic player, she has the inner drive to win and achieve. She has set her eyes on the Olympic gold at Rio 16 and on behalf of all Indians, I take the liberty to wish her all the best.
We’ve seen many great performances by amazing athletes at the Rio Olympics. nike air max 90 We’ve seen Jamaica’s Usain Bolt win the men’s 100 metre sprint for the third time. This makes him the first track and field athlete to compete in the same event at three Olympic Games and win the gold medal each time. bottes timberland We’ve also seen American swimmer Michael Phelps become the most successful Olympic athlete ever. timberland homme He first competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when he was only 15 years old. timberland pas cher He didn’t win a medal in Sydney, but since then he’s won more Olympic medals than anyone else in history. He’s won a total of 28 medals in freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and medley competitions, including 23 gold medals. nike flyknit Many younger athletes have also done amazing things at the Rio Olympics. Kyle Chalmers is an 18-year-old swimmer from Australia who surprised everyone, including himself, by winning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. And Simone Biles, a 19-year-old African American gymnast, has won four gold medals and a bronze in her first Olympics. After showing her amazing skill and talent in gymnastics she became many people’s favourite athlete at Rio.
American gymnast Simone Biles, winner of 4 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias / (CC BY 2.0)
But representing your country at the Olympic Games is an amazing achievement in itself, even if you don’t win a medal. For some people their favourite athlete is someone like this from their own country who trains hard and does his or her best, no matter what their chance of winning might be. But for others their favourite is an Olympic star who’s won lots of medals, no matter which country they come from. Tell us which of the athletes in Rio you like the best in the comment box below:
Who’s your favourite athlete at the Rio Olympics, and why?
Win a free ebook! Write your answer in the comment box below and you’ll have a chance of winning a free copy of 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context. The winner will be announced on August 21st. Please note ⇒ This competition is now over and the winner has been announced. You can still add comments below if you like, however.
For the first time ever, a team of refugees is competing at the Olympic Games. asics gel lyte v All ten athletes in the Refugee Olympic Team have escaped from their country of birth because of war or other dangers. They include athletes originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria. The team was led into the Maracana stadium during the Opening Ceremony by Rose Nathike Lokonyen, a 23-year-old 800-metre runner. Rose fled from war in South Sudan with her family when she was just eight years old and has lived in a refugee camp in Kenya ever since. bottes ugg pas cher The team also includes four other South Sudanese runners now living in Kenyan refugee camps; Yiech Pur Biel (800 metres), James Nyang Chiengjiek (400m), Anjelina Nada Lohalith (1,500m) and Paulo Amotun Lokoro (1,500m). adidas zx flux pas cher Other team members include Syrian swimmers Yusra Mardini and Rami Anis, judo athletes Yolande Bukasa Mabika and Popole Misenga from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopian marathon runner Yonas Kinde.
The ten members of the 2016 Refugee Olympic Team. Rose Nathike Lokonyen is in the far-right column, middle row.
Refugee Olympic Team Quiz
1. Was there a Refugee Olympic Team competing at the 2012 London Olympics?2. nike air huarache pas cher How many members of the team now live in the country of their birth?3. How many members live in Kenyan refugee camps?4. soldes timberland How many runners does the team include?5. In which sport are athletes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo competing?6. From which country did the team’s swimmers escape? Write your answers in the comment box below. You can then check your answers here: First Olympics refugee team – Answers
fled (past tense of verb “to flee”): left a place quickly, esp.
The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games are being held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to September 18. nike air max 2013 The Summer Paralympics are held every four years, shortly after the Summer Olympics. Over 4,000 athletes from 161 countries are competing in Rio. They’re competing in 528 events in 22 Paralympic sports for athletes with a disability of some sort. To qualify for a particular event, each athlete must have the same type and degree of disability. The sports in which they can compete include tennis, rugby and basketball for wheelchair athletes, 7-a-side football for players with cerebral palsy and 5-a-side football for visually-impaired players. There are also events in table tennis, shooting, sailing, rowing, judo, volleyball and many other Paralympic sports, including a wide range of swimming, athletics and cycling events for athletes with many different types of disability. buy ff14 gil Like all top athletes, Paralympians compete with determination and do their best to win. nike air max 97 But whether they win a medal or not, they represent their countries with pride and inspire us to face life’s challenges with courage and keep a positive attitude, no matter what.
Rio Paralympics Quiz
1. In which year will the next Summer Paralympic Games be held?2. What must all the athletes in a particular event have in common?3. chaussures ugg femme What are 5-a-side footballers unable to do?4. Which limbs do Paralympic basketballers use to move themselves around the court?5. What’s the total number of footballers on the pitch at any one time during a match for players with cerebral palsy?6. nike internationalist According to this blog, what do Paralympians help many of us do? Write your answers in the comment box below. You can check your answers in our next Paralympics blog.
How much do you really know about the Rio Olympics? Put your answers in the comment box below. nike internationalist If you don’t know the answer, try guessing!1. nike cortez How many tickets have been sold?2. How much is the cheapest ticket?3. asics gel nimbus How much is the most expensive ticket?4. nike air max 1 How many years since golf was last played at the Olympics?5. botte ugg pas cher How many years since rugby was last played at the Olympics?6.
EnglishClub’s music man, Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi, won a prestigious music award this month for his 9/11 tribute, The Falling Man(If Only). Jonathan’s song was chosen as Best Folk Song December 2015 in the Akademia Awards.
Odd Jonathan, whose stage name comes from his struggles with dyslexia, was inspired by the documentary ‘Voices from the Towers’. His award-winning song is also featured as part of the artist memorial gallery of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. The video below was created by Jonathan’s former English students.
2016 is a new year with new beginnings and sad to say Tara Benwell, for over seven years the mainstay at MyEnglishClub, will be moving on to pastures new as from 1st January.
Tara actually started contributing to EnglishClub way back in 2003, writing materials for the Young Learners section, English for Work and many other pages. In 2006 Tara started writing and recording Listen to News, a popular weekly news story with audio and exercises. Then in 2008 we launched MyEnglishClub as our social network. Tara was the first administrator of MyEnglishClub and has worked hard to help and support its thousands of members. Since 2008 Tara has continued adding new lessons and pages to EnglishClub and helping in the overall running of the site.
A US federal judge has ruled that Happy Birthday To You, the most recognized song in the English language, is not protected by a valid copyright. This is great news for anyone who wants to use the song in a movie, advertisement, or other commercial production.
The publishing company Warner/Chappell has been collecting millions of dollars in royalties for use of the Happy Birthday song since 1988. This is the year Warner took over a publishing company that once claimed to have the copyright for Good Morning To You, a kindergarten song with the same tune as Happy Birthday. Good Morning To You, which has been out of copyright for years, was written by an American teacher named Patti Hill and her piano-playing sister Mildred. The judge ruled that no valid copyright for the combination of the sisters’ adapted lyrics (Happy Birthday To You) and tune exists.
This new ruling suggests that Warner/Chappell not only has no valid copyright, but that it may also have to pay back millions of dollars in royalties that it has collected over the years. Warner/Chappell will have a chance to appeal.
Some legal experts warn that this ruling doesn’t officially put the Happy Birthday song into the public domain. A valid copyright holder other than Warner/Chappel could still come forward.
Which video site do you use to watch English videos? Have you tried Daily Motion? This is an alternative to YouTube, and you can now view EnglishClub’s videos on our DM channel. All of our Music for Learning English videos are now available in a playlist. We will be adding more EnglishClub videos soon.
Do you enjoy using Vimeo to watch English videos? You can now view EnglishClub’s videos on Vimeo. All of our Music for Learning English videos are now available on Vimeo in one handy Collection. We will be adding more EnglishClub videos soon. You can contribute your own videos to Vimeo, too. See you there.
EnglishClub’s music man Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi celebrated his upcoming 50th birthday in style at the first annual Krushevo Music Festival. Krushevo is a small village in north central Bulgaria where Jonathan lives with professional photographer Nicola Miller. Jonathan and Nicola organized the festival and invited musicians and music lovers to attend.
EnglishClub’s music man Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi (right with guitar) runs through a sound check with other local and visiting musical acts at Krushevo Music Festival 2015. Photo: Nicola Iona Miller Photography
Several musical acts played throughout the day and into the night, including Vladimir Totev, a famous Bulgarian writer and his partner Dimi Dimitrova from the Russe Philharmonic Orchestra. Local bands Teen Dork and No Limits also hit the stage. Other acts included Mick Black and Matt Rider from England and Jamie McDonald from Ireland. Jonathan, himself, was also part of the show. Read on »
Are your students practising making predictions in English? On EnglishClub’s YouTube Channel, you will find a unique set of videos that can be used for a fun making predictions activity.
You Know What I’m Gonna Do?
EnglishClub’s video series “You Know What I’m Gonna Do?” features our Thai friend, Kid, using the informal contractiongonna. (She also asks her questions in an informal way: “You know …?” instead of “Do you know…?”). In each video Kid asks viewers what they think she is gonna do with the object that she has in her hands. Read on »
EnglishClub has a new reading and vocabulary resource all about Music. In this section, you will find in-depth articles and glossaries about many different music genres. If you’ve never tried using a jigsaw activity in the ELL classroom, now is a great chance to give it a try.
An eponym is a word that comes from a person’s name, such as boycott (from a selfish land agent)or petri dish (named after a German bacteriologist). Here are a few more eponyms that you will find in this section: Read on »
Are your classroom walls looking a little bare? EnglishClub’s NEW wall posters offer useful English vocabulary diagrams. These posters are FREE for anyone to download and print without modification. The following posters are now available.
Have you seen EnglishClub’s stickers? These images are FREE for anyone to download and use. They include easy English words and phrases. You can use them to express your thoughts and emotions in English in your online correspondence with friends and family members.
I want to be buried with a mobile phone just in case I’m not dead.
Do you use EnglishClub on your mobile device? The EnglishClub team is working on a new responsive website design that will make it easier for you to read, watch, and listen to EnglishClub resources on your smartphones and tablets. With responsive website design, the navigation, text and media should fit nicely on your mobile screen so you don’t have to resize the content manually. The layout of the screen changes automatically depending on the device you are using. This is known as an optimized viewing experience.
Converting EnglishClub into a user-friendly site across desktops, browsers, and multiple devices is our primary focus this year. The EC team is working section by section, so it will take a bit of time before every resource page is mobile friendly. In the meantime, you can check out the sections below on your mobile device to get a feel for how things are going to look. Read on »
Are you teaching or learning country names in English? Jonathan Taylor’s latest tune “The Countries Song” is a fun introduction to English geography. Be sure to check out EnglishClub’s full vocabulary section about The World. Read on »
Today’s technology allows journalists, webmasters, teachers, and a variety of contract workers to telecommute from all over the world. I’ve been working virtually with EnglishClub founder Josef Essberger for over 11 years.
In the past decade, Josef and I have worked remotely on a wide variety of EnglishClub projects and developments, including the Learning English Video Project, This Week in History, and Listen to News. We also developed and continue to maintain EC’s social network, MyEnglishClub, which has grown to 115,000 members in the past few years. We correspond daily via email, and have spoken on the phone just once. Occasionally we exchange packages and large files via snail mail. This week, we met in person in Toronto, Canada! Read on »
Have you heard our latest song from Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi? You are probably familiar with it. It’s the Happy Birthday Song! EnglishClub’s Happy Birthday Song is a fun adaptation of the traditional birthday song. Read on »
Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi, EnglishClub’s music man, recorded a new holiday song for you to enjoy. If you are familiar with Jingle Bells, you’ll have no trouble singing along to this rock n’ roll version. Read on »
MyEnglishClub welcomed its 100,000th member today! Marco joined us from Italy. He is an intermediate English learner who likes Guns N’ Roses. His favourite English saying is Take it easy. If you are already a member, please leave a welcome message on Marco’s wall. If you’re not a member, join MyEC on this historic day in EnglishClub history.
It took five years for MyEC to reach this milestone. During this time, English learners and teachers have posted thousands of photos, videos, blog posts and discussion topics. This content allows our members to learn and teach English in interesting ways. Here are some of the most popular posts and uploads to date.
Are you looking for new ideas to use in the classroom or in your online teaching? The fourth annual Reform Symposium Conference (RSCON) is taking place from October 11-13th. This is a free online conference for teachers. Come out and learn how teachers around the world are wowing their students, and how you can too! EnglishClub is going to be there presenting about one of our resources.
An online professional development conference for educators. Read on »
EnglishClub has a new section for English learners who want to practise their writing. Our weekly Writing Prompts are designed specially for English learners. Each writing prompt gives learners the chance to practise and review one aspect of written English. The prompts link to a handy resource page. Each prompt also includes a model example.
For Learners: You can respond to the prompts in your notebook at home or on your MyEC blog. If you don’t have a blog, set one up on MyEC. If you’re not on MyEC, join today! It’s free, and you will have an instant audience of learners and teachers for your blog. Use the tag #corrections if you want teachers or advanced learners to help you with your writing.
For Teachers: Print the writing prompts out to use in class, or assign them easily for homework by sharing the link. You could also set your students up on MyEC and have them share their blog posts with you.
Following the news is a good way to practise English. Many English learners read, listen to, or watch the news in order to learn new vocabulary and practise reading and listening skills. Having a little background information about the news in one’s own native language is very helpful when it comes to understanding the news in a foreign language.
While it’s great to stay informed, too much news can be depressing! The news is full of tragedies, disasters, and conflict. Staying connected to the world can even become addictive if you aren’t careful. A teacher who uses EnglishClub.com’s Weekly News in her classroom recently expressed concerns about the “negative news” on our podcast. Read on »
Just released! Another hit song for you to listen and learn by from EnglishClub: the Months of the Year Song — or It’s Been a Year (since you broke my heart). As usual, it comes with sub-titles so you can follow along more easily.
Jonathan Taylor’s latest song 7 Days a Week I Rock n’ Rollis now available for English learners. Not only will you learn the proper pronunciation of these important English words, you’ll never forget the order of them. Try learning English with music. “It’s good for the soul!”
Have you had a chance to listen to the Be Verb Rock Star Song? Jonathan Taylor’s latest song for English learners is catchy and fun! The singer challenges English learners to listen carefully. Can you count the be verbs in his song? “Rock on!”
Google is rolling out vanity URLs. EnglishClub can now be found easily on Google+ with our NEW custom URL: google.com/+englishclub. Don’t forget to add EnglishClub to your circles so that we can add you back! Be sure to fill out your profile so that all of your Google+ contacts know which circles you belong in.
Look to see if your favourite brand or celebrity has a Google+ vanity URL. Type google.com/+_______ (name) into your browser.
Announcing a complete new section of 720 drag-and-drop games that learners can play to practise talking about TIME – past, present and future. These games, specially created for EnglishClub by Matt Errey, cover pretty well every way in which we talk about time in English, whether using tenses, special constructions like “going to” and “used to”, or modal auxiliary verbs like “must” and “would”.
The games are in sets of ten, with each set focussing on just one particular way of talking about the past, the present or the future. The first game in each set is the easiest, and the last game is the most difficult. In each game, the words in a sentence are mixed up or “jumbled”, and players try to put them back into their correct order.
For example, one of the sets focusses on using “going to” to talk about future plans or intentions. In a game in this set, players might have to make a sentence with the following words: “movie”, “to”, “I’m”, “tomorrow”, “a”, “see”, and “going”. Players can drag these words around, trying different combinations, until they come up with a sentence that they think is correct. If they come up with either “Tomorrow I’m going to see a movie” or “I’m going to see a movie tomorrow”, they earn the maximum score of 100%. Players can then click on “Next Game” to play another game about “going to”.
There are 720 games in 72 different sets, and learners who gradually work their way through the whole collection are sure to improve their understanding of the many ways in which we can talk about time in English.
Are you ready to check out a new EnglishClub music video (with subtitles)? Rainbow Nation Colour Song, by Jonathan Taylor, is a catchy reggae tune about colours. Sing along as you watch and listen to the video. You can’t help but learn the colours!
This year, 2012, sees EnglishClub’s 15th anniversary. With support and encouragement from members and visitors worldwide, EnglishClub has matured into one of the longest standing, most dependable resource sites for English learners and teachers on the web. Since our 10th anniversary on 07/07/07, we’ve added the very popular My.EnglishClub social network hosting our members’ pages, blogs, photos, videos, music, discussions and chat; and it’s been exciting to see the highly original and interactive content created by learners and teachers. We’ve also produced the Learning English Video Project, a major 7-part video series about English learners on five continents. We continue to innovate and add new content from lessons and quizzes to Read on »
Are you a Twitter user? Twitter is a useful social media site for English learners. Set your language to English, and learn the language in small bites. One way to do this is to follow people who are using the #twinglish tag. Simply type the hashtag #twinglish into the search box. Then follow those people, or check out their tweets. Tweeters who use this hashtag are usually English learners or teachers.
Another useful hashtag on twitter is #vocabulary. Teachers and learning site managers often tweet words and expressions with a brief explanation. Sometimes there is a link to a more in-depth explanation. Dictionary sites also tweet new vocabulary definitions regularly. You will also notice mini quizzes and exercises in some #vocabulary tweets. Read on »
EnglishClub’s new release, The I Song by Jonathan Taylor, is a fun reminder about the importance of capitalizing the letter I when it stands on its own. Even if you’re chatting, texting, or writing a status update, it’s still a good idea to use capital letters properly. Take the time to use the shift key even in casual conversations. Then, when it’s time to write a business letter, exam, or essay, you won’t have bad habits.
EnglishClub has teamed up with singer, songwriter Jonathan Taylor to produce a new music video for English learners. The Alphabet Song for Rockers is now available on EnglishClub’s YouTube channel. Please share this video with your English language learning friends. If you’re an English language teacher, we hope you’ll practise this song with your students.
Stay tuned for more English language learning music videos by Jonathan Taylor (coming soon)!
EnglishClub’s This Week in History resource is now available on YouTube. Listen to short history clips as you follow along with the captions. You will find 52 weeks of news from around the world.
After you listen to the report, try turning the audio down and reading the words as they come up on the screen. Can you read at the same pace? Which words do you stumble over? Listen again and keep practising until you feel confident with your pronunciation and pacing.
If you need help with the vocabulary, be sure to visit This Week in History on EnglishClub, where you can review the definitions for some of the more difficult words in each report. You can also download the audio, try a quick quiz, and see a historic image that goes with the story. A new story is featured every Monday. The archives are also available.
Here is an example of a This Week in History video from the EnglishClub YouTube channel:
EnglishClub recently received a question from an English learner about finding listening materials. We wrote back to this learner, but thought we’d expand a bit on our blog in case any of you have the same question.
Q: Where can I find audio practice in American English on EnglishClub?
A: You may have noticed thatEnglishClub is written in British English.Our About page has the following explanation:
EnglishClub comes to you from England. It is written mainly in British English. But we have pages about other varieties of English such as American or Canadian. Don’t be surprised if you see a word that you think is wrongly spelled! Some words are spelled differently in British English and American English Read on »
Today sees the launch of a new Beta mobile version of MyEnglishClub for smartphones. Now MyEC members can browse MyEC on smartphones such as iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, easily viewing their own page as well as latest activity, blogs, photos, forums and other members. Blogs posts and forum replies can be added via mobile. It’s also still possible to go to the normal Read on »
The EnglishClub Team would like to say a special thank you to MyEC member Nadiyah who has been our Photo Gallery Moderator for two years. Before Nadiyah became a volunteer, the MyEC photo gallery was a bit of a junkyard. It was full of photos that were copied from the Internet. Most photos had no titles or descriptions, and weren’t very useful for practising English. Slowly, but surely, Nadiyah began to teach members how to make the MyEC Photo Gallery a space for learning and practising English. She did this with patience, dedication, and creativity. Like any great teacher, she provided great models that members could use in order to follow the photo guidelines. Nadiyah also held several Photo Challenges on her MyEC blog. People who participated forgot that they were learning English as they played along. Nadiyah’s English also improved tremendously as she taught members how to practise English with images. Nadiyah’s blog is a treasure of ideas for English teachers. The photos she takes are always excellent as well.
Nadiyah is a busy woman and has asked for a break from her duties as a MyEC mod. We will miss her help so much but are so grateful for everything she has done to make MyEC a fun, safe and creative place for practising English. We hope to have a new Photo Mod starting soon, and Nadiyah will undoubtedly have some tips to share. Perhaps she will return to her volunteer position when life gets a little less hectic!
The MyEC Video Gallery is full of useful videos that you can use to learn or teach English. The EC team is now in the process of categorizing the collection to make it easier for you to find useful videos for specific purposes. Many of the members on our site use music videos with lyrics to practise English. The new system will help our Karaoke Group members find suitable videos to practise with. Other categories include Grammar videos and Pronunciation videos. Click on the Videos tab to view all of the categories. All new videos that are uploaded by MyEC members will be categorized by admin before being approved. Read on »
CAMBRIDGE, UK (EnglishClub.com) Friday April 1, 2011 — Foreigners travelling to Southeast Asia to teach English may soon face strict screening procedures upon arrival.
The newly-proposed measures include grammar, spelling and IQ tests, hygiene and personal grooming assessments, as well as mandatory on-the-spot drug tests utilizing state-of-the-art urine-testing kits.
The measures, proposed by education department officials in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), are intended to prevent large numbers of unemployed foreigners from countries including the US, the UK and Australia from flooding the local job market in search of employment as “native English teachers”.
ASEAN is following up on its recently-announced single visa plans. Under proposed new arrangements, foreigners wishing to teach English will be thoroughly screened both before and after arrival, but once admitted will be able to teach in any of the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam).
With a population of about 600 million and covering an area of 4.5 million km2, ASEAN is the world’s fastest-growing English teaching market
Under the scheme, TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) teachers from outside ASEAN will receive an Alien Teacher Fitness Certificate (ATFC).
Teacher representatives have reacted angrily to the ATFC process which starts with police background checks followed by on-the-spot tests at the airport that include basic English ability, drugs and personal hygiene. Brian Pullman of TEFLA (Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Asia) called the procedure “degrading and racist”. Read on »
Anger over “inhuman” plans to vet student visa applications to UK with canines
Cent, stray Welsh Border Collie. “Very intelligent…but not necessarily best breed for pronunciation”
Following a report in the EL Gazette and the recent introduction of tougher rules designed to stop abuse of the student visa system, the UK Government has completed a feasibility study to determine whether dogs could usefully contribute to the English ability assessment – an essential part of the new visa procedure – thus freeing up valuable man-hours and saving the British taxpayer up to £23,000,000 per year.
The possibility of using dogs to test language fluency was given credence in an article in the March 2010 issue of the EL Gazette (print-edition) headlined “Dog masters ESOL” (English for Speakers of Other Languages). According to the report, members of the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) near Manchester, England had been “puzzled” [in September 2009] by a stray male border collie that would not respond to commands. After discovering that the dog had been brought to England from Poland, and did in fact understand Polish commands, the RSPCA staff started teaching it basic English commands, using a “reward-based” programme. Luke Johnson, one of the RSPCA animal care workers, described how the dog, known as Cent, became bilingual within 4 months. Read on »
Cambridge, UK – An independent UK film crew has set out to answer a series of questions, about how and why so many people are learning English as a foreign language. The “Learning English Video Project” was shot in England, Morocco, Romania, Spain and the USA and is now in post-production. This is the first documentary series of its kind to touch on all of the main aspects of ESL (English as a Second Language) from the student’s Read on »
At 12:01am GMT on April 1st, 2008, EnglishClub published an article reporting that the United Nations planned to phase out all languages but one by the year 2049. Judging from some of the 300+ comments that this article received, not everyone realised that it was an April Fool’s Day hoax, despite the date of April 1st being clearly stated in the first line. The article, heavily laced with absurdities to add credibility, cited climate change, terrorism and multiple personality disorder as among the reasons to move to a single language. Many readers spotted the hoax and praised it highly; others took great exception to the UN plans and expressed their thoughts passionately; and a few vented their spleen on EnglishClub for having published in such “bad taste”.
Redundant languages blamed for adding to climate change, terrorism and cultural division
CAMBRIDGE, UK (EnglishClub.com) Tuesday April 1, 2008 — The United Nations is to hold its first debate on language redundancy amid warnings that the problem is “a major contributor” to climate change, a “massive threat” to international security and the cause of “rifts and divisions” within society.
Andrew Steiner, UNEP head:
“French causing damage”
Next week’s meeting is the result of an improbable coalition of interests, and follows sustained pressure from the US Administration, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program.
“We’re reacting to two very sobering reports about the impact on climate change of the huge number of languages in use worldwide,” Andrew Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Program, told Reuters news service. At the same time White House spokesman Gordon Stanzel revealed serious translation challenges for the CIA caused by “an abundance of languages.” Pointing to the fact that terrorists typically use non-English languages amongst themselves, he suggested that only by making English the world’s “unique” language could security be assured. Asked why the world’s “unique” language should be English and not, say, Chinese or Spanish, he replied that English was already so Read on »