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Study Experience in London and English Study Tips for Students

English Study Tips

This week two Bloomsbury International students have recorded a conversation they had about their English study experiences in London and some useful English study tips.

You will hear Haruka from Japan and Jung from South Korea discussing what they like about London, English study tips, advice for students, must-see places in London and more!

If you can’t listen to the video, or if you find it difficult to understand, you can read the conversation below.

As you have probably heard, a very inspirational leader, Nelson Mandela, passed away last night and I can’t finish this blog without a short mention of him. As Jung said in the recording, “Some people who like eating Japanese food or Korean food that means they don’t prejudice people and … it could be they don’t have any stereotype. Yeah, I hate people who have discrimination.”

There is a fantastic quote from Mandela which I think describes people very well and it is something we can all learn from:

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Video transcript:

Haruka: Hello I’m Haruka. I’m studying here for 4 months and I’m taking speaking test for FCE exam on Sunday.

Jung: So you’re getting nervous right?

Haruka: Yeah, nervous

Jung: My name’s Jung and I’m from Korea. So, I’ve been in London for 7 months I think and I’ve been in this school for 3 months. It’s my second school. Actually, I’m satisfied with teachers, especially in this school because they are professional.

Haruka: Yes of course, they are professional

Jung: For me, study experience in London is… actually, before I came here I couldn’t meet many types of people, such as European, Chinese, Japanese, etc. However, when I came here it was not hard to find diverse people in London. Especially in London, apparently just 40% of people they are British and apart from that they are foreign people. So for me, especially in London I can meet many kinds of people so that’s why I can study English with them. So, how can I say? We can share same side – does it make sense? Because all of us are students, kind of, so if we suffer from some problem, they can fix and I can fix for them.

Haruka: Or give some advice.

Jung: Yeah because if they are already fluent that means they’ve solved the problem so I can get advice from them.

Haruka: That’s good. Before I came here I didn’t think I can speak English like now so… I don’t know… but I was in an upper-intermediate class in the beginning and I didn’t even think that I could get into that class so it was a surprise for me

Jung: Do you have any tips or advice for students?

Haruka: Try to use words or phrasal verbs… the usual, in everyday conversation.

Jung: Thank you for obvious answer.

Haruka: It’s a good answer, right?

Jung: Yeah. For me, actually I can’t give them any advice because if I did, if I do, I don’t think, I’m still suffering from English vocabs. So I think, just… I think speaking is… Some people think speaking is the most important in English, in using English but I think writing is also important…

Haruka: Yeah writing!

Jung: So, if they write as many as they can, they can improve. So, apparently writing is… yeah, teacher said… writing is ‘slow speaking’.

Haruka: Yes, yes, exactly.

Jung: So, even though that is just writing, they can improve their speaking and their fluency as well. So I think that’s a kind of tip.

Haruka: Yeah, that’s what I thought about the second half [of the lesson] today and… yeah, in writing we have to use many synonyms or paraphrasing or something, and we can improve my vocabulary as well. Yeah, slow speaking. Writing is also important.

Jung: Have you ever experienced any struggling?

Haruka: Well now I’m in some kind of trouble and I’m now struggling to solve it. My family sent me a parcel but the Parcelforce sent me a letter that I have to pay import VAT and I don’t understand, so I have to read their website and make some enquiry. Kind of bad things, maybe.

Jung: So, did you solve the problem?

Haruka: Not yet. I’m now reading their notice or something

Jung: It can be good study for you!

Haruka: Yeah, of course! Yeah.

Jung: For me, I’m gonna talk about good thing in London because you’ve already talked about bad thing in London. So, I’m working in a Japanese restaurant as a waiter. That’s why I could meet some people who are generous and kind for me. Some people who like eating Japanese food or Korean food that means they don’t prejudice people and they could be… it could be they don’t have any stereotype. Yeah, I hate people who have discrimination. But, yeah, during my work I could meet many kinds of nice people so yeah it is… for me, it is the best experience living in London I think. So, do you want to recommend to students to go somewhere?

Haruka: I like Soho and Borough market.

Jung: So typical.

Haruka: Typical, yes I know. But Soho has… In Soho there are many kinds of interesting or nice restaurants… I don’t know, I didn’t try everything but they looks, no, they look very nice and I want to try them. Or in Borough Market we can have good delicious tasty food.

Jung: Fresh food, right?

Haruka: Fresh food, yes.

Jung: Is it expensive?

Haruka: Not really.

Jung: I will try.

Haruka: You should.

Jung: I’ve been there before but just, I chose wrong day.

Haruka: Ah yeah!

Jung: At the time they didn’t open the market

Haruka: Monday or…

Jung: Yeah, I think so. So just, I looked around the market. So, ok I’m gonna try again but I’m still… For me, you MUST go to theme park. It is called Thorpe Park! I found…how can I say? Many differences between Koreans and UKs [theme parks]

English Study, Thorpe park

Thorpe Park Map

Have fun with English

True or False

Listen to Haruka and Jung’s conversation about their English study tips and their experience at Bloomsbury International– are these sentences true or false? (Try to answer before you read the text above)

1. Jung has been studying at Bloomsbury International for 7 months.

2. 40% of people in London are foreign.

3. It is important to practise your writing skills as well as speaking skills.

4. Jung likes working in a Japanese restaurant.

5. Borough market is open every day.

Last week’s answers:

When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine, Birthday greetings bottle of wine? 

If I’d been out till quarter to three, Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I’m sixty-four?

You’ll be older too,
And if you say the word, I could stay with you. 

I could be handy mending a fuse, When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride. 

Doing the garden, digging the weeds, Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage, In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line, Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say, Yours sincerely, Wasting Away. 

Give me your answer, fill in a form, Mine for evermore,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I’m sixty-four?

Here are some tips to help you get more out of your independent English study and practice:

Use every single opportunity
English study isn’t just about rote learning. To really improve your language skills you need to use English at every opportunity.

  • This could include any of the following:
  • talking to staff when you buy goods in a shop
  • buying your bus tickets from the ticket office rather than a machine
  • telephoning a tourist attraction to ask for information about its opening hours
  • listening to British radio
  • reading British newspapers and magazines
  • going to a show at the theatre or cinema.

Every single thing you do to immerse yourself in the English language will help you to improve your skills.

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