Archive for February, 2018

British English or American English

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Where you learn your English affects not just how you pronounce words but even the vocabulary you use. Which language do you speak? British English or American English?
British English or American English

British English or American English Test

Anticlockwise or counterclockwise

Biscuit or cookie

Chemist  or drugstore

Autumn or the fall

Car park or parking lot

Crisps or potato chips

Sweets or candy

Casualty or emergency room

Cinema or movie theatre

Dustbin or garbage can

Football or soccer

Garden or yard

Holiday or vacation

Lift or elevator

Lorry or truck

Mobile phone or cell phone

Petrol or gas

If you selected the first option in each line, you are speaking British English, the second option being American English.  Did you end up with a mixture of the two? The reality is in many cases, even the Brits themselves may end up using ‘Americanisms’.  Perhaps not too surprising when you consider  the global dominance of American movies and TV.

Have we piqued your interest?  Discover more with Oxford dictionaries.

Changing Life’s Priorities – Studying English at LSI

Monday, February 5th, 2018

We wanted to share this humorous and heartfelt account of one student’s experience of studying English at LSI and his reasons behind taking up his studies. It was written by Spanish journalist, Nacho Goicoechea, who has been studying English at LSI Brighton. As you will see from the photos, he’s not a bad photographer either! Nacho’s story …

Studying English in Brighton - Nachos

Hello. My name is Nacho, I am 35 years old, and I was a workaholic. I know I’m not in an AA meeting, but if I was, this could well be my opening line. I work in journalism and I owned my own company in Spain, an agency creating tailored content for sports clubs. My life was my work. I would work six days a week, 12 hours a day, leaving me no time for anything else. I had no girlfriend, and barely any spare time to spend with my friends or family. Infact the last time I stopped to blink, I was 30 and using work to recover from a break up.

After five years, I realised that I had to make a change. I needed an excuse to just leave everything behind me and make a fresh start. I suppose that studying English was as good a pretext as any, so I made up my mind and I quit my job. Life, or karma if you prefer, can be hard sometimes. I do have to admit however that it knows how to reward you when you finally learn how to listen. For the first time in ages,  I  began to sleep well. I even had time to  meet an incredible girl, and finally find some peace of mind. So I packed my bags and set off on my new adventure.

I decided to come to Brighton because a friend of mine had lived here for a couple of years . She’d told me what a wonderful place it is and how right she was! Brighton was far enough away for me to forget all my bad work habits, but close enough for the people that I love to come to visit me. I felt the city receive me with open arms. It is so similar to my hometown that I immediately felt at home.

Here, I am facing my fears – it’s my first time living abroad, knowing nobody.  I’m outside my comfort zone, constantly challenging myself. Although it may sound like a cliché,  I am doing stuff that I’ve never attempted in my life before. I’ve learnt how to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Can you believe I even won the school contest?  I took part in the Christmas Panto (I wanted to die of embarrassment but I did it) and I skated on ice without falling once! I took tea and scones at 5 o’clock with my little finger proudly extended and I enjoyed a football match in the Amex Stadium -go Seagulls! I’m having the time of my life. The most important thing is that I’ve found myself. So mission accomplished.

Of course my English is improving a lot thanks to some amazing teachers. A special thanks to Justin and Steve who have been very supportive and patient. When I arrived, I wasn’t able to write an email or barely make a phone call. Now I’m happy because I have time to read, watch movies and  whole TV series. I spend my weekends walking on the beach, taking photos of the pebbles, the seagulls and my  own personal favourite Brightonian landmark, the old West Pier. The people I’ve met from all over the world, the places I’ve been to and all the things I’ve experienced will always be part of me. Brighton will always be in my heart.

Photos of Brighton taken by Nacho who was studying English at LSI Brighton

Check out more great photos on  Instagram @nachogoico or out more about studying English at LSI Brighton.

The Benefits of Language Learning for Older Students

Monday, February 5th, 2018

It seems that the old adage ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ definitely doesn’t apply to language learning.  Recent studies show not only just how beneficial language learning is for the brain but that in some ways older students have an advantage over younger students. Great news indeed for those of us who are 40+ and looking to embark on learning a new language!

Research has shown that older students out perform their younger counterparts in areas such as vocabulary acquisition, better study skills, literacy skills and mnemonic devices. In general older adults have a larger vocabulary in their own language. They use this knowledge to map the newly acquired vocabulary to. However older students are more likely to struggle with pronunciation and the grammar and syntax of the target language.

Learning a language also helps to keep our brain fit. We know from current research that our brains change in response to new experiences and adapt accordingly. Thus acquiring new language skills actually develops new neural pathways in the brain adding increased flexibility. We are in essence giving our brain a good ‘work-out’.

It is true that it is more difficult to learn a language as we get older. However some researchers argue that we gain more if we learn at an older age. Thomas Bak was a researcher on a large project carried out by Edinburgh University.

“Learning a language later on in life might be more beneficial than learning it earlier, because it takes more effort. It has parallels with physical exercise. A stroll is good for your health, but not as beneficial as a run,” claims Bak.

It seems that there are so many good reasons to take up a new language. Why not check out our many language courses on the LSI website.

Language Learning for Older Students

Students at LSI New York