Lessons in the "Education" Category

Forget apps, try speaking to someone. It’s called conversation!

Today, we are going to talk about speaking. Do you remember how to speak? Sorry, am I interrupting a message you have just received on your mobile? Oh! You’d better look at it. It obviously takes priority over this speaking exercise!

Honestly – we need to reclaim the art of conversation. I mean, look around you. Half the people in the café, pub or bus are on their mobile phones sending messages to people they’ve probably never met. Why? Because it’s easier to use an app on their mobile rather than talk to that real person sitting opposite them.

World University Rankings 2015

The Times Higher Education Magazine recently published its annual list of the world’s top 800 universities. This year it includes 70 countries. The California Institute of Technology continues to be the number one university in the world. It has maintained this position for five years running.

The US remains the world leader when it comes to top universities. It has six of the top ten universities, down from seven last year. These include Stanford University (No 3), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No 5), Harvard University (No 6) and Princeton University (No 7).

Bad Office Etiquette – part 2

Today, we are going to be looking at more bad office etiquette. For example, bad language is often used at work. It shouldn’t be. Whilst some is probably ok, endless swearing is not ok!

Boasting to others how much you earn is another big no-no. Perhaps it’s better to be a bit coy. Bragging about your salary to someone who you then discover actually earns more than you might make you look like a fool! That person, if earning less, might then resent you. Simply by buying your round of coffees might signal your earning power in a more subtle way – right?

Bad Office Etiquette – part 1

Today, let’s talk about bad office etiquette. We’ll discuss many things; including checking your phone while talking to a colleague to not buying a round of coffees… It’s incredible just how many bosses check their emails while talking to their staff. Does yours? It’s bad manners, but everyone does it!

Bad behaviour at work is rife! Nobody likes to admit bad behaviour and we probably do it without thinking. Many of us have bad electronic manners. Some people might steal other people’s ideas.

What do you think of National Service?

Today, let’s talk about national service. It is something I hadn’t given much thought to, but when one of my students suggested I do a lesson on it I thought, why not?

National Service is the name used for compulsory government service. This is usually conscripted military service. It is typically for male citizens around the age of 18, who have to enrol for one to two years’ of military service.

The British High School Prom

In the old days right across Britain there was the end of term or Christmas school disco. Today, thousands of schools in Great Britain put on the High School Prom for year 11 students as a reward for completing their GCSE’s. These 16 year old students will then go on to take their A levels, leave school to go to college or start work.

The High School Prom idea is based on the American-style High School Prom, which is actually geared for older 18 year old students. In Central Europe 18 year old students do a similar such thing in February by attending a Vienna style Ball.

Category: School / High School Prom / Teenagers

Jamie Oliver: We need cookery lessons in schools

One of the UK’s most famous chefs, Jamie Oliver, has urged the British government to introduce cookery teaching into schools to help fight obesity. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Oliver, alongside leading health figures, call on him to introduce a minimum 24 hours of practical cooking lessons and food education for all pupils aged four to 14. The group laments that the “pride” of hosting the Olympic Games has been tainted by the shameful fact that Britain is officially “the fattest nation in Europe”.

Teaching children through the National Curriculum how to prepare nutritious meals for themselves and their families would be an important step in tackling the rising obesity epidemic, the letter argues. Without these skills, people are less likely to exercise control over their diet and food intake, and tend to rely on pre-prepared food or takeaway meals, the campaigners add.

Category: Jamie Oliver / Cookery / Schools

Should Children Learn The Lord’s Prayer?

Recently in Britain the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he believes that children should be taught the Lord’s Prayer in school. Speaking to the BBC on its children’s TV programme Newsround Dr Williams said he was worried by news that half as many children know the prayer compared with 40 years ago.

He said, “I’d like to see schools introducing children to the Lord’s Prayer, so that they know it’s there, they know what it means and why it matters and they then can make up their own minds later about whether they wish to use it.”

Category: Religion / Church of England / Lord’s Prayer

Studying English abroad

Many students want to learn English, as it is the business language of the world. One can blame the British Empire for that! Of course, there are 101 other languages out there to learn but where to learn English?

In England is the obvious answer! However, many students in non-English speaking countries enroll on local courses in their country. At each level - be they a beginner, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate or advanced level they learn grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking. Having a conversation in English is a vital part of the learning process.

Many students will probably be taught by a non-native speaker, as in some countries there is a shortage of native speakers. These teachers have themselves learnt English and are happy to pass their knowledge on to others. Some students however will get the opportunity to practice their English with a native English speaker.

Category: Languages / Studying a Language / English

Etiquette lessons for students

Students are to be given etiquette lessons from next term at a school in Wales. The reason is that teaching staff are so fed up with the demise of good etiquette they have decided to place politeness on the curriculum for all children. Thus from next term pupils at Llandovery College in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales will receive etiquette lessons in class.

The idea is based upon the TV programme ‘Ladette to Lady’; a former TV reality show in the UK and Australia that taught wayward girls good manners. It is about to be mirrored by the school in Wales. Students will be taught lessons in good manners. This includes how to hold cutlery in restaurants and holding doors open for females.

Llandovery College warden Ian Hunt wants to drive home the message that ‘manners maketh man or woman.’ “Teachers at the college will be teaching good manners, which will equip our students for the outside world. From holding doors open for fellow students to understanding the importance of an RSVP, we hope our programme puts old fashioned manners into a modern context,” he said.

Category: Teaching / Etiquette / Wales