Lessons in the "London" Category

The Olympic Games – London 2012

The countdown to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London continues. Final preparations are being made. The excitement is building. The Olympic flame continues its journey around the UK. Giant Olympic rings have been unveiled across the UK including at Tower Bridge in London.

Athletes are moving into the Olympic Village that will become home for more than 17,000 athletes during the games. Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees are expected to take part. Billions of people are expected to watch the opening ceremony on TV on Friday 27th July that will be broadcast live from London at 9pm.

Category: Sport / Olympic Games / London 2012

Cockney cash

Next time you go down to your ATM machine consider the language you will choose when you get your cash. Will it be in your language, or in English, French, German or something else? What about Cockney? If you are in London, especially around the East End of London, those people going to the London Olympics this year might just be surprised to see the choice of Cockney as a language choice when withdrawing cash from an ATM (Cashpoint, Bancomat, hole in the wall, cash) machine.

Category: Business / Banking / Economic

Events in London – April to June

Today’s English lesson focuses on more happening events in London.

Spring - The London Marathon is normally held in the spring. It is one of the biggest running events in the world. It is one of the top five marathons. Started in 1981, it raises money for many good charitable causes.

April – Enjoy some good old English heritage on the 23rd April when it is St George’s Day in England. London hosts the day with a host of festivities including street parades, theatrical events and many children’s activities. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson puts on a family-friendly St George’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square.

St George is the patron saint of England. His name is commonly associated with St George and the Dragon. Legend tells of St George saving the princess by slaying the dragon. A story every school child knows in England. It is on this day you will see the English flag flying right across the country.

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

BBC World Service is 80!

“This is London” – Part 1 - Recently the BBC World Service celebrated 80 years of broadcasting. Started in 1932, it broadcast originally on short-wave only. Today it broadcasts on short-wave, FM, digital radio and the internet. Its audiences continue to grow. However, short-wave listening has declined. But for millions BBC World Service remains a lifeline to the outside world.

Short-wave is still important because listeners can catch the signal that travels thousands of miles across international boundaries, sometimes eluding the censors, by bouncing off the turbulent gases of the ionosphere, the layers of electrified gas several hundred kilometres above the earth. Listeners are used to the background noise of electronic warbling, whistling and hissing, that short-wave has reliably delivered for 80 years.

Category: Broadcasting / BBC / World Service

Dickensian London celebrates his bicentenary year

This year marks the bicentenary of Charles Dickens. The famous British writer and author created some of the best known characters in English literature, including Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Miss Havisham. Dickens was inspired by what he saw in the streets of London. Hence the term Dickensian London.

In his day Dickens saw the capital, its hustle and bustle, its glittering promise and grimy streets and the extremes of poverty and wealth experienced by those who lived there. Dickens was known to spend hours pacing the streets of London, especially at the dead of night, drawing inspiration from what he saw around him. Alex Werner, the curator of the Museum of London: “It triggered his imagination.” He added, “He knew its alleyways and streets better than anyone.”

The Charles Dickens Museum is housed in Dickens former family house in Doughty Street. It was here he wrote ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Nicholas Nickelby’. The museum, which opened in 1925, holds the world’s most important collection of Dickens items, including his pens, letters and furniture.

Category: Charles Dickens / Bicentenary / London

Events in London – January to March

Today’s English lesson focuses on more happening events in London.

January - The New Year’s Day Parade in London is the first big event of the New Year. It runs through many of the West End’s famous streets. The parade, which started in 1987, features more than 10,000 performers from 20 London Boroughs and countries from across the globe taking part. Each year it gets bigger and bigger! The money raised goes to thousands of local charities.

Also happening in January is the London International Boat Show. In 2012, it returns to the ExCel Arena. The annual event offers visitors a multitude of things to do with boats! An alternative thing to do in London in January is to go to the annual Twelfth Night Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. The event marks the end of Christmas and the start of the New Year. Visitors can see a folk play enacted.

London is also a good place to be to see Chinese New Year celebrated. Next year sees it taking place on 23rd January. Chinatown in Soho will be the place to be! Watch out for the fireworks, firecrackers and crispy Chinese Duck!

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

Events in London – October to December

Today’s English lesson focuses on more happening events in London.

October – Witness Halloween in London! Get spooked on October 31st. Watch out for many witches at parties in clubs across the capital. Get haunted at the Tower of London or get spooked at the London Dungeons.

October also sees the Pearly Kings & Queens Harvest Festival take place in London. The event at St Paul’s church near Covent Garden is traditionally on the second Sunday of October...

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

The London riots

LondonTuesday 9th August - lunchtime - The capital was overnight once again under attack from a mob of rioters. Parliament has been recalled by the Prime Minister David Cameron, who himself cut short his holiday to fly home to deal with the situation. British newspapers today reported the police last night lost control of London’s streets, as lawlessness spread to all parts of the capital.

Huge swathes of London and three major other British cities woke up to the charred debris after the third night of rioting. The Metropolitan Police have promised 16,000 officers, an unprecedented amount of police, with all able-bodied officers on the streets of London tonight as they try to quell the unrest. So far more that 450 people have been arrested and 69 people have been charged. Tomorrow night’s England football game at Wembley against Holland has this morning been called off.

Category: London / Riots / Lawlessness

Events in London – July to September

Today’s English lesson focuses on some events happening in London.

July – In the first week of July London sees the final week of Wimbledon. The famous annual lawn tennis championship is the world’s premier tennis tournament. First started in 1877 the event plays host to all the top international tennis players at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

Next July London will host the Pride Parade. The event on the 7th July promotes gay, lesbian and transsexual issues.

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

A visit to London

London is probably the world’s most visited city, such is its popularity. It draws in visitors from all over the globe. It is a huge city. So what should one see in London?

Tourists should try a ride on a double decker bus; go on a journey on the London Underground and a trip in a London cab. Traditional sites to see include London Bridge and Tower Bridge. These are the two most famous bridges that cross the river Thames.

HMS Belfast is located in between and is well worth a visit. The nearby Tower of London offers visitors the chance to see the crown jewels, the ravens and the Yeomanry of the Guard. The West End is for shopping. The area includes Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, Regent Street and Piccadilly. Here you can see the legendary Eros statue.

If you go to Buckingham Palace in the summer you can go around it. Maybe take afternoon tea with the Queen. Maybe not! You could visit 10 Downing Street and see British Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence.

Category: UK / Tourism / London