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English accent

So what’s with the accent? In the English language, I mean

When talking about the English Language people often specify: “I speak British English.” or “I speak American English.

How many kinds of English Languages are there really?

Many times people declare they speak some kind of English or another? Does that really exist? Is it more a specification of the accent someone has along with minor differences in vocabulary?

Certainly there are differences between “American and British English”. They are so minor that you can feel safe in knowing that when traveling and using any kind of CORRECT English you will be understood.

English Language Learners strive to learn a second language as well as possible. Some are good at mimicking and copying accents. Some learners may be exposed to American teachers while others to Canadian, British or even Russian teachers teaching English. Does that make one better than the other? As long as the English you are learning and using is correct the accent should be the least of worries.

How can you sound American or British or Australian for that matter, when you are neither? Is it possible to have true and delightful conversations with English speakers from around the world? YES! SEDA College strives to provide quality education in the English Language no matter where you are from or where you are going. SEDA provides a complete emersion program filled with extracurricular activities as well as with meaningful experiences.

These provide students the opportunity to practice their English all day everyday. It is not a matter of learning English to pass a test. It is a matter of learning English for life. The skill of being able to communicate in another language especially English will give you a great edge in may situations.

The point of the matter is not the accent but your ability to communicate and transmit what you desire to.

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How to learn English by reading online

A convinced reading addict, Daniel Martins told SEDA News how his passion for the written word is helping him improve his English skills fast and learn English by reading online.

 Learn English by reading online

By Netania Gomes

When did you start being passionate about reading?
When I was a kid my mum used to subscribe to comic books and she received them regularly by post. She says this was to give me something to get entertained with and also give her a break from my mischief.  From there I got into more complex books and so on.

Do you see reading as an important tool for learning English? Why?
Reading as a routine helps you develop the knowledge in various subjects, so why not to include it in your daily routine as a homework? When you are still in the Beginner level it can be hard to build this routine, but if you are patient and persistent you will see it will get easier and easier for you to read English regularly and a lot.

What are some the tips you can give to students who have just started learning English?
First of all, change the language of your “virtual life”. This may seem complicated, but actually it is very simple. Every student uses countless websites and online services such as email, Facebook, Instagram and of course, nowadays everyone uses a mobile phone, a computer, a tablet and so on. So why don’t you change the language of all of this into English? It’s a simple change because you probably know how to use all these services without even reading the words on the screen, but at the same time this change will help you become more familiar with English words.

Do you know of any good websites for learning English that students should visit?
There are two websites I really like practicing my reading with: News in Levels (www.newsinlevels.com) and ESL Fast (www.eslfast.com).

The first one is really interesting because you can read the same story in three different levels of English – from Beginner to Advanced. While the second one will give you 365 short stories – four or five paragraphs long – about different subjects. 

What else do you do that can help students?

I would also advise you to migrate all your daily readings to English. Every day I read a considerable amount of articles about IT and technology as it is something that I am really into, so what I do is gather this information from websites in English instead of checking out sites in my own language.

So if you like reading about a specific subject like travel, sports, economics, health or fashion for example, try to get your reading material from an English source, don’t read in your native language.

Reading in English is a lot easier when you genuinely like the subject you are reading about! I also use the Feedly app to organise my daily reading materials, so I set this app to show only the websites in English, that way I’ll be forced to read them before opening anything else.

What about books in English?

This is easy: start with books for kids and don’t be afraid to read books for teenagers as well. I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars and I have no shame in admit it! The important point here is to start with books that have a comfortable vocabulary level and increase the difficulty level gradually. There is nothing magical about this, it will work in exactly the same way it did when you learned how reading in your native language.

Thank you for the tips Daniel!

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Why is it important to certify your level of English?

We know that English is one of the languages most requested by companies, so one of the main reasons to choose these certifications is that you can improve your Curriculum Vitae and make you excel to others with this accreditation of international validity. Government offices, companies and educational institutions recognize these certificates as proof of the language mastery of students.

It is also important at a personal level that you set a goal, prepare yourself and strive to achieve the best results in the test that you decide to submit. The certificate will be a trophy for you!

CAMBRIDGE EXAMS

Cambridge qualifications are for life. This institution has a great trajectory and worldwide reference in the language teaching evaluates diverse aspects like Reading and Use of English where the student tests their reading comprehension and their knowledge of language. The writing section takes into account the number of words that are requested in the indications, listening tests your ability to understand the information given in recordings and speaking is the oral part of the exam where you will be tested in your ability to communicate in English.
You do not need to go to the UK to do these exams, there are 2000 authorized centers in 135 countries around the world. But the evaluation is done in Cambridge directly as well as the issuance of the corresponding certificates

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

There is an extensive list of certifications you can choose from, ranging from the Key Performance Test (KET) which is a qualification that tests your skills to communicate in simple situations. Preliminary English Test (PET) will serve to certify an intermediate level of English. First Certificate in English (FCE) one of the most recognized certificates, is a qualification that proves that you are able to take classes that are taught in English or work in an English speaking country, upper intermediate level. Certificate in Advance English (CAE) C1 that verifies higher level language skills. Also Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2) CPE, is the most advanced certificate and denotes that you have reached the highest level in English.

CAMBRIDGE AND BRITISH COUNCIL

IELTS, the most popular exam to certify the level of English for higher education and work purposes (this certificate lasts for two years). Whether for academic or work purposes these exams prove your true knowledge. There are many online sites that offer materials to prepare you, each test is different, the recommendation is to study the structure and timings of the one you choose to ensure your results are the best! Do you know which one you would like to try? Try your English!

Via SEDA Blog

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Learning English at SEDA College

5 bad habits to drop when learning English

Here at SEDA, when our students are learning English our main concern is that our students always use a simple and efficient way. But to make it possible students need to drop some habits which are very common as we have found.

LEARNING ONLY IN THE CLASSROOM

Think of your English classes as just a learning guide suited to your current level. The development of communication skills is gradual, however, you will not progress if you limit your learning to the time spent inside the classroom.

“If out of 24 hours in a day, you devote only three to learning the language, the process will be very slow,” says SEDA’s Tiago Mascarenhas. “The contact with the language must be constant and intense”.

So try to use your time abroad to the max – speak as much you can, listen to English radio, watch TV programmes in English and read books in the language.

COMMUNICATING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

We find that many exchange students spend more time communicating in their native tongue than in English. While holding a conversation in English can be difficult at first, to continue communicating in your native language will slow down learning.

SEDA’s Academic Director Sibeal Turraoin, explains why: “Every time you speak in your own language, it makes it more difficult for your brain to switch back to English and recall what has been learned. I am bilingual myself, and I know from experience how much it slows down the learning process. The more you immerse yourself in the language, the faster and easier will you progress”.

NOT BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

When studying abroad, it is common for students with different language abilities to be in the same class or even live together. Some people have a natural ability to speak very well, but have trouble with writing, or vice versa.

“It is important that students do not feel intimidated by colleagues and never stop believing in their ability to learn,” said Sibeal Turraion. “Self-confidence is essential for learning. Do not be afraid to make mistakes”.

NOT BEING OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES

Being away from home and friends often makes students stick to people from their own country and seek environments where they feel comfortably surrounded by their own culture. But this can be a problem for the learning a new language.

Getting new experiences and making new friends are the two great advantages of studying abroad. All students should try and make friends with people of other nationalities, get to know new places, taste exotic dishes of the various world cuisines. Do not be afraid to step out of the familiar!

THINKING THAT LEARNING WILL HAPPEN BY ITSELF

Time alone cannot teach one a language. There are people who live for years in a foreign country, yet only manage to communicate with difficulty. The only way to learn a language is by making mistakes, but you also need to work in order to correct them.

We must attend classes, study at home and readjust all our daily activities for the language that we came here to learn. So watch TV in English, listen to music in English, read Irish news – in English, switch your social media and even your phone settings to English. “When you are completely surrounded by the language, you are learning even in your dreams,” adds Tiago.

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