We welcome children, adults and families to our family homestay for English language, activity and golf holidays in beautiful central Scotland.
Operating as usual
Some photos from our boat trip under the iconic 3 Forth Bridges. We also saw lots of seals, an abbey on an island and a castle on a sandy beach. Then some time on the beach before driving home over the newest of the 3 bridges.
Among the bluebells this afternoon.
Up above the snow line this afternoon. We saw a white hare.
Helena took some wonderful photos on our walk yesterday - thanks!
Amazing sunset yesterday, looking over Crieff.
Amazing sunset here last night.
[02/27/21] Lovely spring weather now.
[02/25/21] Spring weather after all the snow.
The power of punctuation!
Bobble hats made out of snow and sledging.
Bobble hats made out of snow and sledging.
Sledging and snowmen today.
Sledging and snowmen today.
In the hills above Crieff today. A glorious sunny day and a beautiful sunset.
Crieff in December.
I've been wondering which word I should teach students for the - well, I call it the sitting room. But others don't!
It turns out that I'm not the only person to have been asking that question. Here are the results of a survey carried out last year. So I won't be teaching people "sitting room" anymore.
What do you call the communal room with the TV? Living room – 39% Lounge – 30% Sitting room – 16% Front room – 5% Family room – 4% TV room – 1% Drawing room – 1% Other – 4%
Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/13/living-room-or-sitting-room-what-you-call-your-front-room-might-be-to-do-with-age-and-class-8896219/?ito=cbshare
What do you call your living room? A John Lewis and Partners report found that living room and lounge was most popular names for the communal space in the house.
We're having a fantastic cherry season. Cherry ice cream is delicious.
#sprachaufenthalt; #languageholiday #séjourlinguistique
We're now open for family language holidays!
We went on my current favourite walk yesterday. We saw a hare, 2 herons flying together, several birds of prey, 50 ducks, a million horned sheep.
#sejourlinguistique #sprachurlaub #englishcourseinscotland #languageholiday #sprachaufenthalt
There's still time for a family language holiday...
englishlanguagehomestayscotland.co.uk June and July are wonderful months in Scotland. It’s warm but not too warm. The countryside is green and covered in wild flowers. And you can pick wild fruit wherever you go! This is a photo of the girls frolicking (there’s really no other word for it) in a field of oxeye daisies. We have … Co...
englishlanguagehomestayscotland.co.uk Why not stay with our family and take an English course in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland? We are opening for family language holidays, with activities and sight-seeing, from 15th July. Please contact us for details. Scotland now has very few cases of Coronavirus (we are well ahead of England!)...
The wonderful bluebells of Crieff.
Last night, Naomi and I went beaver watching. We watched 2 beavers as they swam, communicated and messed around with sticks in the water.
We also saw 3 pure black baby rabbits running around outside the biggest rabbit warren you've ever seen. A successful release to the wild a few years back I think.
Plus 3 beautiful deer, lots of bats flying right up to us, ducklings, a swan on her nest.
I only managed to take a photo of the sheep with lambs!
And then, sunset.
It's such a beautiful evening.
Some beautiful snowy weather last week, up in the hills above our English homestay.
#sejourlinguistique; #sprachaufenthaltenglisch; #vacanzestudio;
Have you considered a family English course?
This is what a typical day looks like on a family language holiday at English Language Homestay Scotland
The old tradition of sending teenagers on a language exchange has developed into the paid language homestay. But it’s not just for teenagers.
If you’d like to spend a family holiday, with a chance for both parents and children to improve their English, you can now all stay in an English speaking family. English lessons are designed around what your family needs, and can be shared at no extra cost.
A family homestay holiday suits families with children of any age. We’ve had guests as young as 3 and 4 – and the 4 year old took some English lessons – and as old as 17. We’ve had families with both parents, and with one. We can accommodate families of up to 5 people.
Do you need to hire a car? If you’re a family of 4 or less, it’s not necessary, though you may of course choose to do so.
One of the great advantages of a homestay holiday is that you’re completely immersed in English. During meals, in the car, while sightseeing or exploring the Highlands, in the garden, in the evening – you can spend half the day just chatting in English. And it’s the best possible way to discover a new culture. You’ll also see some places that tourists don’t see – we’ve lived here for years, and we know the best, the most beautiful and the least touristy places to visit.
A day at our homestay looks something like this:
• Family breakfast
• English lessons for children and/or adults. General, business, legal and HR English. Lessons are designed to be fun and encourage confident communication.
• For guests not taking lessons, there’s plenty to do in town, we have a garden with games, or you can go for a walk in the hills or along the river, or take the children to our excellent local park.
• Family lunch
• Trip – trips are chosen with you to suit your family. There are lots of fun places to take young children as well as teenagers – including a Harry Potter tour in Edinburgh, strawberry picking, a children’s zoo, building a fire by the river. Adults enjoy the beautiful Scottish Highlands, ancient castles, historic towns and whisky distillery tour.
• Family supper
• A quiz on Scotland. A treasure hunt. A family board game. A family DVD.
A family homestay holiday is designed around your family. If you have any questions – just get in touch. We’d love to have you to stay!
Climbing the Wallace Monument. In memory of the great Scottish hero William Wallace, who defeated the English in 1297.
The New Year Flambeaux.
Stirling Castle on our trip today.
Enjoying the Christmas holiday on the coast of Scotland.
A photo from our trip to the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar yesterday. Lots of different kinds of deer (the elks were amazing). A bird of prey display with a beautiful eagle owl. And several types of animals that used to live in Scotland - brown bears, wolves, lynxes and wild cats. Wild cats have now interbred with the domestic cat population, but may be re-introduced into the wild. The Scottish Government is also considering re-introducing lynxes and wolves!!
This morning's rainbow, above Crieff.
#séjourlinguistique #sprachaufenthalt #cursoingles
The English Proficiency Index 2019 – what can we learn from it?
The annual English Proficiency Index, published by the global English teaching company Education First, holds few surprises this year.
Based on an online English test taken by over 2 million people worldwide, the Index provides us with a rough but handy guide to levels of English in 100 countries. Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa are all represented.
So who won?
Top place goes to The Netherlands, closely followed by the Scandinavian countries.
In 10th place, Germany performs well. At No. 31, France has improved slightly on last year’s performance. Spain’s performance continues to decline, and it now comes 35th. Italy has also dropped down the Index, and is now in 36th place. France, Spain and Italy are the lowest performing countries in Western Europe, and are close to the lowest in the whole of Europe.
Can we trust it?
Let’s not take the Index too seriously. The participants in Education First’s online English test aren’t randomly selected, but are people sufficiently interested in their level of English to have come across and taken the test on their own initiative. That process doesn’t lend itself to accurate results. But it does appear that the steps being taken in both Spain and Italy to improve English teaching in schools have some way to go.
Learning from the Netherlands…
We don’t need the EF Index to tell us that the citizens of the Netherlands speak excellent English. Why is that, and can other, worse performing countries learn from their example?
The Dutch have one great advantage – shared only by the Germans. English, Dutch and German belong to the same branch of languages – the West-Germanic languages. This means that learning English is simply easier for Dutch and German speakers. That seems a bit unfair, but there it is. There are in fact plenty of similarities between, say, French and English too.
As in much of the rest of the world, a lot of Dutch TV programmes and films come from English speaking countries. But they’re not dubbed into Dutch. That’s not the case in France, Spain or Italy, where TV viewers enjoy watching in their own language. And that makes a real difference to levels of English.
I suspect that another factor affects language levels too. In the Netherlands, it’s taken for granted that schoolchildren will learn to communicate effectively in English. After all, the adults already do. That’s still not the case in many countries around the world. In my view, knowing that English can be learned, not just by a select few but by most of the people around you, provides a vital confidence boost. Learning to speak English well isn’t so difficult. And yes, of course you can manage it.
- The 10 best ways to improve your spoken English -
1. Spend as much time as you can with native English speakers. If possible, in an English speaking country. That way, you’ll know that you’re learning correct English. Native English speakers aren’t famous for their foreign language skills, so you’ll be forced to communicate in English. A total language immersion is the best way to make progress.
2. Speak up! It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes – it’s only by talking that you’ll improve. Don’t worry – native English speakers often don’t speak foreign languages well, and admire foreigners who manage to speak reasonable English.
3. Watch DVDs and listen to audiobooks, podcasts, etc. If you don’t understand them the first time round, listen again and again. Each time you listen, you’ll understand more. Live TV is less useful, because you can’t put it on repeat.
4. Use language CDs or audiobooks to help you with pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. Listen to a sentence, and then repeat it exactly as you’ve heard it.
5. Read books that you enjoy. Don’t try to read books that are difficult or boring. This is your chance to read the fun, easy books that you maybe don’t always allow yourself to read in your own language – thrillers, crime novels, children’s books…
6. Don’t spend your time looking up words in the dictionary. Try to work out the meaning of new words from the context. Only look up a word in the dictionary if you really need to know what it means.
7. Don’t think of something to say in your own language, and then translate it. You need to start thinking in English. If you listen to people speaking English and read English books, you’ll soon know what to say – just say it!
8. The best way to learn grammar is by listening and speaking.
9. Sometimes, take the time to slow down and think about what you’re about to say. Focus on getting the grammar right.
10. Take an online test now and then to check that you’re heading in the right direction. If these keep picking up on the same mistake, open the grammar book and do some written exercises. That’ll help to reprogramme your brain. Then go out and start speaking English again.
#inglesemcasa; #cursosdeinglés #viajedeidiomas; #دورة اللغة الإنجليزية في إنجلترا
#parleranglais; #hablaringles; #englischsprechen; #parlareinglese; تتحدث الإنجليزية #
Crieff and nearby this morning.
Would you like to improve your English while staying with an English family in beautiful Scotland? We are a family of mother and 2 daughters (aged 13 and 16). We speak standard English (easy to understand!). We live in a small town in beautiful countryside on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. But not far from Edinburgh.
Language holidays are available for children, adults and families.
You will be treated as one of the family, and will have the chance to explore Scotland with a great choice of trips and activities. Adults and families of course also have the freedom to explore independently.
Lydia Paish is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language (CELTA certificate) and an experienced English lawyer.
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