The English language is a fascinating mix of regional dialects and unique slang, shaped by centuries of history and cultural influences. Throughout its long history, the UK has had many invasions and visitors. From the Romans in ancient Londinium to the rolling hills of the Saxon heartland, and from the Viking raiders of the north to the Norman conquerors of the south, each wave of historical influence has shaped the dialects of the UK. Each region of the United Kingdom has its own distinct flavor of language and accent. Today, we embark on a slang tour to explore some of the expressions from different regions.
Tips for success with the Pearson English International Certificate
Studying for the Pearson English International Certificate (PEIC) is a challenge for any student, but there are many different areas where you can help yourself or your students achieve top grades.
By becoming familiarized with the test format, equipping test-taking strategies and having awareness of commonly occurring vocabulary and topics, learners can be on the path to success in the PEIC.
Know the test
Understanding the test format and what to expect in each exam section will give students the confidence they need on test day.
Do drills on how many sections there are, how long they have for each section, and the order of the sections too. This will help learners anticipate what’s coming next and feel prepared throughout the exam. For example, the recording is played twice in listening section 2 – dictation. If students are aware of this, they can use the first recording to note key ideas and the second to complete the dictation fully.
Give yourself/your students plenty of practice under test conditions. Do timed mock exams, without phones or dictionaries, to help get a feel of the real test.
As the speaking section is done simultaneously for all candidates, get yourself/your students used to communicating in loud environments. Doing mock exams for the writing sections will also help students become aware of their word count and how long it takes to achieve this. It’s important to note that each writing task has a word limit and there are penalties for being significantly above or below.
Learn test strategies
Knowing the test format is important, but so is being equipped with test-taking strategies. For all sections, train yourself/students to use the questions and rubric to their advantage. Underlining the keywords from the question will help learners prepare for the task ahead and predict potential answers.
In the listening sections, students are given ten seconds before the recording is played. Learners should identify and underline keywords and use this time to predict the topic and vocabulary of the recording. Remind yourself/students that even if you think you have the answer, you need to listen carefully to the entire recording, as it’s also likely that some of the keywords will be used as distractors.
It’s also helpful to highlight keywords in the prompts and questions in the reading sections. For example, when dealing with multiple choice questions like in section 5, test takers should first highlight keywords from the question, then scan the text for these keywords. This is the part of the text where the answer is located, and where they should direct their attention. It’s important to read this section of the text carefully and also be aware that the answer may be paraphrased or a synonym.
Planning is crucial in the writing sections, and highlighting keywords from the question is an important planning step. Read the task carefully and identify the words that indicate the type of writing that is required and the audience. This will help guide the writing style and register. For example, in section 8, noticing the difference between writing a letter to a friend and a letter to a magazine editor will change the tone of the task.
Build a strong lexical base
Prepare further by building a strong grammar and vocabulary base with topical and functional language.
Introduce yourself/students to a wide range of themes on social and current issues, as well as personal and familiar topics. It's useful for learners to note useful vocabulary and phrases and test themselves on these regularly, making a note of the spelling, as this is essential in all sections of the exam.
Test takers will encounter gap-fill style tasks in both the listening and reading sections. Students can predict what kind of word is missing by reading around the gap. Train yourself/your students to consider what part of speech the answer will be, and if the other words in the sentence give clues to the topic or theme. Give them plenty of practice with word formation so they can easily identify the missing information.
Higher points are awarded for complex structures and expressions during the speaking and writing sections. Teachers should provide learners with functional language such as discourse markers and linkers, so they can connect and extend their ideas. It’s also important to have a range of vocabulary they draw on to express their opinions, offer suggestions and to give reasons, as this will help give their answers complexity and depth.
Studying these things should provide a solid knowledge base of the exam format and structure, coaching learners to use different test-taking strategies and directing their study of vocabulary and grammar, so they can work more efficiently and confidently toward their goal of passing the PEIC.
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Language is not only a tool for communication but also a means to explore and comprehend diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives. Europe, with its vast array of languages, is a prime example of this linguistic diversity. Each year on September 26th, Europe observes the European Day of Languages, which is a day solely dedicated to celebrating and embracing this linguistic richness.
Europe is a magnificent tapestry of languages, with over 200 spoken throughout the continent. This diversity is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of each nation and reminds us of the intricate historical, social, and linguistic elements that mold our identities. The European Day of Languages inspires people to cherish and honor this linguistic heritage.
Why September 26th?
September 26th marks an important date for celebrating linguistic diversity and promoting multilingualism. This day commemorates the adoption of the "European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" by the Council of Europe in 1992, a crucial document that recognizes and safeguards the linguistic rights of minority languages spoken within European countries. By celebrating the European Day of Languages on this date, it renews our commitment to supporting the rich diversity of languages and cultures that make our world a more vibrant and fascinating place.
What type of events happen?
The European Day of Languages offers language learners a chance to participate in language exchanges, which is an exciting opportunity. During such exchanges, learners from diverse backgrounds partner up and teach each other their native languages. This not only helps improve language skills but also promotes intercultural understanding.
Various European cities offer language workshops led by enthusiasts and experts, providing an introduction to different languages.
Storytelling is an incredibly effective tool for learning languages. Libraries, schools, and cultural centers hold multilingual storytelling sessions, where stories from different cultures are shared in their original languages. This helps both children and adults to better understand and appreciate the beauty of linguistic diversity.
Cinema provides a wonderful opportunity to explore different languages and cultures. Throughout Europe, foreign films are often shown with subtitles, enabling viewers to fully immerse themselves in new linguistic worlds.
Museums often showcase exhibitions highlighting the linguistic and cultural heritage of various regions, providing insight into the history and traditions of different languages.
Cafés and restaurants might offer special menus featuring diverse cuisines and multilingual staff – a delightfully tasty way to explore languages and cultures.
Games and Competitions
Language-based games and competitions, such as crossword puzzles and spelling bees, are organized in schools and communities to provide a fun and educational way to celebrate language.
If you are a teacher hoping to celebrate this occasion make sure to check here for ideas on what to do.
Check out what events are happening near you here.
Just like the European day of Languages, we at Pearson Languages are fully committed to empowering and celebrating language learners and educators alike. That's why we are now supporting French, Italian, and Spanish language learning with the Global Scale of Languages (GSL). With these new language learning frameworks at your fingertips, you can confidently design curriculums and personalize learning pathways to help fast-track your learners’ progress and help your learners be themselves in French, Italian and Spanish.
Whether you're a teacher, a language learner, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of languages, the European Day of Languages and the GSL provide exciting opportunities to explore, learn, and enjoy the rich tapestry of Europe's linguistic heritage.
Can we play a game? How many times have you been asked this in class? And how often do you say Yes? Young learners love to play games, and if you choose the right ones, they can have a hugely beneficial impact on their learning.
As well as being fun, games can provide learners with necessary language practice, as well as lowering the affective filter (i.e. anxiety, fear, boredom and other negative emotions that can all impact learning). Games also foster a positive, relaxed environment.
So are you ready to play? Here are a few tried and tested games that work especially well in the primary classroom. Each game is designed to consolidate and review the language students have been learning, and take from 5 to 15 minutes. The games are flexible enough for you to adapt them to different levels, age groups and skills.