Our friends at 'The Barley Mow' in Castle Road in Southsea have been entered into Britain's Best Beer Garden 2016 Competition. one of the top ten pub gardens in the whole of Britain. It's not a large garden, in fact a special little secret many don't know about, but once you step into it you feel like you are in an oasis of calm.
We are backing them, and hope you will vote for them too - the more support the better.
Many people who come to learn English in the UK often say: I’d love to speak like the Queen! She speaks perfect English! But does she actually use the language in the way we imagine she does?
English schools in England certainly don’t have English courses which specifically teach the ‘Queen’s English’. After all, what exactly is the Queen’s English? Many dictionaries define it as the language which is spoken by educated people who live in the South of England. Not surprisingly many people in the North would probably take offence at such a definition! Very few people, well-educated or not, actually use English in this way, even those from an upper-class background whom you might expect to do so. A few observers of the Queen feel that she doesn’t either.
If, however, you did want to use the Queen’s English, then how would you go about it? Listed below are seven effective ways to speak English posher than the Queen does!
1. Try to avoid using slang or jargon and keep the language ‘plain’. This is probably much easier said than done, especially since there is a certain amount of disagreement as to what is ‘correct’ language.
2. Always adhere to punctuation rules when writing. With the advent of social media, the correct usage of punctuation has gone out of the window. Only in more formal documents such as reports and instruction manuals is it being maintained.
3. Respect all grammar rules. There is a certain amount of debate as to whether it is necessary to use exactly the right structures to communicate effectively, but if you want to speak the Queen’s English then you should do so.
4. Use a more formal style of address. This was very true in the past, while as today this way of speaking to people may lead to bemusement as much as anything else.
5. Speak with an ‘old fashioned’ form of pronunciation. The Queen’s English is also associated with the way words are actually said, with a type of southern English accent called ‘Received Pronunciation’. Even here it is felt that the present Queen’s accent does not conform entirely to how she ‘should’ sound. Certainly if you were to watch newsreel footage taken when she first became Queen in 1952, there is a noticeable difference in her accent.
6. Read books written in the 19th century, especially by Charles Dickens (born in Portsmouth). These often have lots of ‘correct English’ in them. However, be careful as even here some characters use decidedly non-Queen’s English.
7. Read a book called ‘The Queen’s English – And How to Use it’ from the Queen’s English society. It will tell you everything you need to know.
If you follow all of the above advice then as they say:
‘You’re gonna speak real good English, like what I do!’
P.S. Please note the last sentence is definitely not the Queen’s English.
A Brief Summary of the Development of the English Language
For people who wish to learn English, the development of the English language is in some ways an untold story. Even for those who speak English as their native tongue, many do not know its origins.
So, where does the language that we use today come from? Like all languages, English has gone through a succession of changes. Much of the basis of the language came about during early medieval times (5th – 11th centuries) with the arrival in Britain of Germanic tribes from what is today Germany and the Netherlands. Their collective language was called Anglo-Saxon or Old English. Examples of Old English words are: I, you, good, name, woman, make, yes, and many others.
The Viking invasions of Britain during this period also led to the inclusion of words from Old Danish and Old Norwegian such as: get, husband, knife, take, want, window and lots of others. In total over 25% of English words are of Germanic or North European origin.
With the arrival of the Normans in 1066 the language began to change with the addition of Norman and Old French words. The period from then till the 15th century saw the population of much of Britain speak what we would call Middle English. Norman and Old French words include: beef, soldier, finance, music, blue, theatre and literally thousands of others. Nearly 30% of English comes from these two languages.
From the 15th century English has continued to evolve into what is now termed Modern English. As a result of the influence of countries which were once part of the British Empire, English has taken on board plenty of words from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The experience of travel on the part of native English speakers and immigration to English-speaking countries from non-native English speakers has resulted in more words coming into the language from the Middle East, Italy, Spain and elsewhere.
Throughout the centuries medical and scientific terminology, and not just in the case of English but also other European languages, has been heavily influenced by both Latin and Greek.
It must also not be forgotten that while there are plenty of similarities between the English that is spoken in the British Isles, North America, South Asia and Australasia, there are some noticeable differences as far as pronunciation, vocabulary, and to a lesser extent grammar, are concerned.
With the advent of new technology and platforms for using the language such as the Internet and social media, as well as an ever-changing and multi-cultural world, English will continue to evolve in the future. It is quite possible that the English that is spoken in a couple of hundred years’ time will be very different from that which is used today.
If you have ever questioned yourself why you are learning English, here are 5 really important reasons why it is a good decision you made ;-)
1. When you go abroad, you can enjoy your foreign holidays more, English is a universal language.
2. Always looks good on your CV, and will strengthen your qualifications! Which in turn will give you more career opportunities!
3. You will be able to understand British and American TV and films, hundreds of hours of entertainment ;-)
4. It’s fun, learning English in the UK is like being in a great big cultural melting pot.
5. Not only will you be able to understand more TV and films, you will also be able to follow the news, current affairs, books, magazines etc, there is so much in English, a whole new world awaits you.
Can you think of anymore? Add them in the comments section below.
We have spoken to our students, we have spoken to our teachers, then we spoke to the Directors! Now we hear from the Principal himself - Andrew Edwards, why the Portsmouth English language school: LSI Portsmouth is such a special place to study particularly if you want to learn English in the South of England. Not only is LSI Portsmouth one of the best language schools in Hampshire, it is one of the best language schools in the UK, we were voted joint number one by the EL Gazette, the most popular industry standard magazine.
LSI Portsmouth's Brand New Self-catering Student House -
right next to school!
We are really happy to be about to launch our brand new
self-catering student house, St Michael’s, which will become available for our
students in just a few weeks.
As you can see from the photos below, the house has been
beautifully redecorated and furnished and everything in it is brand new.
We know it’s going to be a lovely place for our students to
live in and it will have a live-in House Manager to keep things well organised
for them too. There will be twelve study bedrooms for students, all of which
have their own private shower and washbasin, plus there will be two bedrooms
with full en suite bathrooms and there are five communal shared toilets in the
house. There is a large kitchen/dining area with 2 large fridge-freezers, 2
washing machines, 2 tumble dryers, 2 sinks, 2 cookers, a large dining table and
sofa and a 50-inch smart TV. Also there is a storage room. The house will have free WiFi and the house is exclusively for LSI Portsmouth students.
Better than this, it will be ideal for those students who -
how shall we put it? – are very keen sleepers and don’t like to walk far to get
school. Yes, we do know you are out there! The house is right behind the school
and literally 50 metres or 1 minute’s walk from the front entrance, a really
great plus point for those students who like to be independent, cook for
themselves, but live in a nice mixed, multi-national environment with other LSI
students from all over the world really near their school.
‘Four years ago, we didn’t have any year-round independent
self-catering accommodation to offer our students at all, just homestay and
summer university residences,’ says Andrew, our Principal, ‘then we took on two
lovely student houses, both great places and very popular with our students,
but about 20 minutes’ walk from school. The next phase of our development of
offering independent self-catering accommodation to our students, more and more
of whom are preferring this independent way of living with other students, is
to have houses which are much nearer to school. This house couldn’t be closer,
as it is literally in the next building to school! For our extra sleepy
students, they can roll out of bed and be in school in 1 minute - if they move
fast!’ he says. ‘Early next year, we will be getting an even larger
self-catering residence just 200 metres from school, which will really be great
for our students and give us even more rooms right near school. We want to keep
our students happy and give them the best options and we think these two houses
will be great for them!’
Please contact the school for more information or to check
availability as the house will be very popular, we are sure!
We have published a couple more of our 'Every day English Online Tutorials, that reach the English other places don't ;-) We now also have 'How to Tie a Tie' with one of our best dressed men - the Vice Principal and How to Replace an Inner Tube with Dave one of the most practical teachers on our staff. If you haven't already seen 'How to Make a Cup of Coffee', 'How to Do a Smokey Eye' make sure you go and havea look here
Recently our summer 2016 Pre-Sessional students completed their 'Project 1' and gave their first formal
presentations. Above you can see some examples of their fantastic work (not all were available on the day to photograph). Despite some nervousness, the students did really well and everyone was
very proud of their work. The standard of their presentations was outstanding. They now have just 6 weeks of their course
left until they finish their Pre-Sessional course and start their exciting adventure at the University of
Everyday English from LSI Portsmouth - Tutorials in English for Everyday Activities
We are so excited to launch our new series of video lessons! Everyday English with subtitles.
As teachers (and also language learners) we know that there is a lot of language you need in everyday life that is not necessarily taught in a course book or at school. The type of language that no-one really thinks about, it might not be grammatically correct but it is used in normal everyday life.
Our wonderful LSI Portsmouth teachers and friends have made a selection of little videos showing everyday activities. All these videos have subtitles and the tape script in the video description, so you can see the language used. Some of them also have downloadable PDFs with further language explanations. We will be publishing them weekly for the next few weeks.
Massive thanks to Alan, Catherine and Rosie for these first two videos.
As a little side note, most of these videos are perfect for IELTS task one processes, so if you are teaching or studying IELTS, do have a look at the language, it could be really useful for you.