St. Andrew’s Day Celebration: 27th November 2018

On 27th November (slightly early) the school celebrated St. Andrew’s Day with a ceilidh at the Albert Halls in Stirling. David Howes, the chairman of our charity, gave a short presentation on the life of St. Andrew and how he became the patron saint of Scotland.  


The international nature of the school was highlighted with flamenco dancing by Jennifer and Marta; German lantern songs by Lore, Alfredo, Dirk and Kim; Scots songs by Duncan and Jim; and Irish music for flute and violin by Jeremy and Carolyn.

The CEO of Volunteer Scotland, our guest speaker, George Thomson made an appal on behalf of IBBA girls school in Sudan (https://www.ibbagirlsschool.org/) and during the event we raised £146 for them.

Following a supper of Scottish food (stovies), the 80+ attendees danced the night away with country dancing- Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow and many more.

Everyone had a fun and happy evening. The next similar event will be held in the Albert Halls on 24th January at 6:15pm to celebrate Burns Night.


Richard

#St.Andrew’sNight #stirlingschoolofEnglish #party #scotland #volunteerScotland #IbbaGirlsSchool #ceilidg #burnssupper #EnglishClasses #stirling #scottishfood

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Christmas Party for everyone!

We would like to invite all current and former students, and volunteers to our Christmas Party at the Rock Centre (FK8 1AP) on 12th December, 10am-12:30pm.

It’s a free event, however, we’re asking everyone to bring a plate of food that can be eaten with fingers or a fork, and doesn’t require heating up.

Our students will perform some sketches, sing songs and we’ll also have some games. Invite your friends and family!

Halloween 2018

It’s Halloween again, the only time in the teaching calendar when it’s perfectly acceptable to come into school dressed as Dracula or a skeleton.

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This annual celebration lends itself to literacy and storytelling. Our teachers got us to to write ghost stories and taught us some useful Halloween related idioms.

 

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At break, tutor Richard showed us how to play “Dookin’ for apples” –it is a Halloween party game which involves taking an apple floating in a basin of water without using your hands, either by spearing it with a fork held in your teeth or by biting it. It was lots of fun!

 

 

The icing on the cake was the evening costume party at Mediterranea Restaurant organised by our IELTS student- Lara- she did a fabulous job! Even some tutors turned up dressed up in their not so scary costumes and danced the night away. Thank you for another opportunity to practice our English, learn about the Scottish traditions and make new friends.

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#Halloween #StirlingSchoolOfEnglish #storytelling #studyEnglish #Stirling #Alloa #ForthValley #HalloweenParty #idioms #languageSchool #speakEnglish #ghoststories

October Break 15th-21st October

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We are now closed for the October holiday! We would like to wish everyone a great break and look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 22nd October at 10am in the Rock Centre and on 23rd at 6pm in Wallace High School. New students are welcome!!!

If you’re stuck the holiday ideas,  have a look at the Harry Potter tour that Lisa, one of our tutors, has prepared for you.

Harry Potter tour

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Day of Languages 2018

Wednesday 26 September was the European Day of Languages, also known as der Europäischen Tag der Sprachen, or la Giornata Europea delle LingueHizkuntzen Europako EgunaLá Eorpach na dTeangacha, Evropský den jazyků … You get the idea. Celebrated every year since 2001, the European Day of Languages aims to promote Europe’s rich linguistic diversity and highlight the many benefits of language learning.

At the Stirling School of English, we believe that learning other languages is a way of helping us all understand each other better. Through learning English, our students are not only able to live and work in Scotland, but also feel part of the local community. Quite simply, it’s a way of overcoming cultural differences and making new friends. That’s why we made the European Day of Languages a special day for students and tutors from all our different classes to work together, learn from each other, and have fun.

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We started the day with a pronunciation workshop, led by Norman. This was a great opportunity for our students to practise the different sounds used in the English language, and it was also very useful training for our tutors! We learned about voiced and unvoiced consonants, word stress, rhythm, and intonation. We also worked on our listening skills by paying careful attention to the differences between words like ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’, ‘much’ and ‘march’, and ‘cart’ and ‘cat’. It was a very informative session, and the students certainly enjoyed taking part.

After our customary eleven o’clock break for tea, coffee and cake, we enjoyed a range of activities celebrating all different countries, cultures and languages.

Tricia Atkinson and Margaret McCann devised an entertaining series of games and challenges for our students, including a quiz on countries, flags and capital cities, a map of the world jigsaw, and a language activity based on a map of Stirling city centre.

There was also a chance for everyone to get creative. We got the coloured pens out, and invited the students (and tutors!) to draw a self-portrait and write about themselves in their own language.

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It was truly fascinating to discover the range of countries our students hail from, and the diverse variety of languages they already speak. Perhaps most importantly, it was a reminder that regardless of age, regardless of cultural differences and regardless of nationality, what we all have in common is that we’re all here, in the Stirling area, learning (or teaching) English.

Through language learning, we’re able to make friends, make connections, and above all, understand each other a whole lot better. That’s what we aim to achieve at the Stirling School of English.

We’ll be celebrating the European Day of Languages (or el Día Europeo de las Lenguas, Ziua Europeană a Limbilor, Euroopa keeltepäeva, etc) on 26 September next year. We’re already looking forward to it – why not join us?

Kevin (volunteer tutor)

Visitors from Poland

On Monday 17th September we were very fortunate to have a group of visitors from the European Youth Centre in Warsaw, Poland. They were travelling around Scotland for about a week and soaking in the culture.

 

 

Our students listened attentively to their wonderful presentation about Poland.

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Everyone particularly enjoyed the amazing talk about kilts and ladies’ dresses by our tutors Margaret and Richard.

 

 

At break time, the school was buzzing with conversations about traditions in various countries as we had some tea and coffee with shortbread and tablet prepared by our volunteers: Yvonne, Maggie and Trisha.

 

 

After the break, our guests joined our conversation classes and found out more about Scotland and the countries represented by our students.

Before heading to Edinburgh, everyone gave our students and tutors a bar of chocolate or a packet of sweets which we have been eating at break times until now!

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On Wednesday evening, Margaret with her husband and some friends provided wonderful entertainment for our visitors- a ceilidh (pronounced as ‘kay-lee’ ). Ceilidh is a Gaelic word meaning gathering or party involving folk music, dancing and some performances. Our patient tutors helped the enthusiastic and full of beans students nail some Scottish dance moves and enjoyed watching the students dance a traditional Polish dance ‘’Polonaise’’.

The evening finished with the perfect rendition of Auld Lang Syne sung in Polish.

 

 

Thank you for visiting us and for the gifts! We hope to see you again!

Get your dancing shoes, friends and family and join us at St. Andrew’s Celebration on 27th November (Tues) at 6:15 pm at the Albert Halls in Stirling. There will be some traditional Scottish food and Margaret and Hugh will teach you those moves 🙂

New term

EVENING CLASSES ON TUESDAY 18th SEPTEMBER IN WALLACE HIGH ARE CANCELLED DUE TO PARENTS’ EVENING.

Our morning classes (Mon, Tues, Wed) start on 28th August (Tues) at 10am-12:30pm in the Rock Centre and the evening classes (Tues, Thurs) start on 4th September at 6pm-8:30pm in Wallace High and we would love to see you there. We do continuous erolment so you can join us anytime!

Do you need to improve your grammar, writing skills, social English, pronunciation? Perhaps you work in a hotel, restaurant or hospital and need more specialised English? The Stirling School of English tries to be as flexible as possible to meet students’ needs.

Our aim is to see our students improve their English skills and to create a community where foreign students feel accepted and ‘at home’. Coming to a foreign country, not knowing anybody and not speaking the language well can be daunting. The Stirling School of English is a place where students can meet other students, young children can be left safely in the creche, and friendships are formed. All cultures are valued and accepted.

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We have some new additions this term that will help you both understand native speakers and speak clearly:

– pronunciation workshops once a month in the morning classes

– pronunciation course on Tues evening (please check our website and facebook page for more details): Tuesdays 7:30-8:30pm

I you have any suggestions about the courses, class times or anything else that comes to your mind, please let us know.

While we are not a traditional commercial school, we do represent an excellent low cost opportunity for those willing to improve their English skills. Our classes are free, however you need to pay the registration fee- for the whole term it is only £50. You can attend as many classes as you wish.

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#LanguageSchool #Stirling #LowCostEnglishClasses #academicenglish #businessEnglish #pronunciation #citizenshipCourse #studyEnglish #Conversations #Scotland  #internationalCommunity #volunteers #speakEnglish #confidence

 

Summer School 2018: week 4

It is quite a bittersweet feeling knowing that this is the last week of our summer school. We’ve had such an amazing experience with our students and tutors and we are so grateful to the students for joining up and for their attentiveness and dedication to learning English. I can safely say that I and our tutors have been absolutely delighted to be able to get to know each individual student and that we have thoroughly enjoyed teaching these last four weeks.

We studied various topics, including the past perfect and a selection of idioms that are often used in English. In addition, we also spent some time going over listening exercises, as well as looking at a practical use of the second conditional when giving advice to people. In the pronunciation class, the students learnt how pronouns and verbs are pronounced in fast speech and practised different ways of saying the letter ”o” in various words.

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The children’s programme focused on technology, however, Fiona and her team also made sure the little ones got plenty of time to play in nature and do creative activities.

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On Wednesday, our final excursion took place in Dunblane, where we visited the Cathedral which had fallen into disrepair during the Reformation, having been later restored to what would have been its original design. We also visited the library founded by Robert Leighton, who accepted the role of bishop, in order to reconcile the Catholic and Protestant communities living in Dunblane at the time. The library is recorded as being the oldest in the entire country, with a wide selection of books from all sorts of countries across the world.

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We paid a visit to the museum as well, where we learned much of the local history, and rounded our day off with a rest just on the riverside.

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On Friday, each of our tutors and the creche coordintor was given a card and gift for all their hard work and dedication, the children sang some rhymes and songs they have learnt with Fiona and our students each brought a wide selection of food and drink from their own countries. There was so much to choose from, and we spent the rest of the afternoon talking, playing games and enjoying each other’s company. I think it goes without saying that the summer school was a success, and I wish all of our tutors and students all the best for the rest of the summer.

Our morning classes begin on 28th August at 10am at the Rock Centre and the evening classes start on 4th September at 6pm and Wallace High School.

Looking forward to see you there!

Ilona

Volunteer Manager

#SummerSchool #Stirling #StirlingSchoolOfEnglish #StudyEnglish #Dunblane #goodbyes #Scotland #WhatsOnStirling #InternationalCommunity #EnglishClasses #volunteer #DunblaneMuseum #LeightonLibrary #DunblaneCathedral

Summer School 2018: week 3

These past three weeks have flown by so quickly. Our theme for this week has included topics such as film and television, as well as the arts in general. In addition, we have also discussed various grammatical structures; including the use of the past simple tense, the second conditional, the difference between adjectives and adverbs, and phrasal verbs. We have also looked at various practical ways in which these tenses can be used, such as in writing a review and in discussion, which provided the students with opportunities to use different ways of expressing their opinions. In the pronunciation class, we have learnt the difference between long /i:/ (as in leave) and short /I/ (as in live) and practised making these sounds in games and while reading short dialogues.

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The children enjoyed having plenty of art and craft activities and decorating cupcakes.

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Our students have been hard at work and at play. This week’s excursion was a trip to Callendar House and the Kelpies in Falkirk, where they were able to walk into one of the sets of the famous TV series, ‘Outlander.’ The Georgian kitchens were used in the filming of series too. Though normally closed on a Wednesday, we were fortunate enough to have a member of staff provide us with a detailed background of the house and how the apparatus of the kitchen worked.

There were also various exhibits on display in the house, such as a history of Falkirk, dating back to the Roman era and the Jacobite Rebellion. We were also provided with a detailed exhibit of the town’s industry, including the Carron Iron Works, as well as the history of the local football team.

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Afterwards, we decided to have a nice cruise on the pond in some of the pedal boats provided. Finally, our day was rounded off with a trip to the Kelpies, where we were able to take a wander and enjoy each other’s company, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather in the meantime.

We were saddened to hear that this was the last week for two of our students; Kei-Wei and Katine. It was an absolute delight to have them both with us, and we are so pleased with the progress that has been made by the two of them. We wish them all the very best for the future and we hope that our final week will be a memorable one.

You can still join us in week 4!

#summerschool #Stirling #whatsonstirling #CallendarHouse #StudyEnglish #funinthesun #communication #internationalStudents #StirligSchoolOfEnglish #speakEnglish #EnglishCourses #volunteer #workhardplayhard #Scotland #StilringArcade