Tag Archives: EFL

Normal service will resume shortly

This is going to be the last blog post for a while.

However, that doesn’t mean OISE Bristol is changing and you can read all about our courses for 2014 here (and 2013 if you wish to study this winter).

Also, please remember you can always contact the school if you have any questions or suggestions for future blog topics. We would love to hear from you. Plus, if you want to challenge yourself and test your English, you can try one of our quizzes.

Check back regularly to see any new developments and click on the picture below to listen to a song in English. Some see it as optimistic and others as pessimistic – doesn’t that sum people up quite well?

See you soon!


(photo credit the BBC test card)

The Persuaders

Would you describe yourself as persuasive? Do you find it easy to get other people to agree with your point of view or follow a particular course of action?

Why are some people better at this than others and is it a skill you can learn?

Can you become a ‘persuader’?

Click on the image below to read more about a simple, yet effective technique – BYAF.


Your To Do List

Do you have a ‘to do’ list? Do the things get done?

Does compiling the list form part of your end of day routine?

We’ve discussed these things before with ranging views on the importance of list making.

Click on the image below to read about David Allen’s GTD system which some people believe can really help busy people be more productive (and less stressed).

After you have read the article, try to answer these questions:

Why do you have 43 folders?

What is the Zeigarnik Effect?

What does GTD stand for?

Do you think you could adopt this system? Could it work for you?


What’s in a name?

Why have you got your name? Do you like it?

Does it have any particular meaning in your language?

Click here to read an article from the BBC and try to answer these questions -

Why was the name Berlin allowed following an appeal?

How many female names can you choose from in Iceland?

What does Akuma mean in Japanese?

Feel free to click on the image below for a  music related video.


Linguistic rock’ n’ roll

Basic, relatively easy to learn and popular – that’s English for you.

A recent article from Die Welt appeared on Worldcrunch and if you click on the image below you can read it (in English).

What is meant by the elasticity of the language?

Can you explain what ‘antifragile’ means?

What have Mickey Mouse and Snoop Dogg got in common?

Rock n Roll

A balancing act

I’m off on holiday from today until Monday the 18th of this month.

Do you manage to achieve a proper balance between your professional and personal life? Or do you work/study so hard that you don’t have time for family and friends?

Click on this link to answer a quiz about this – Work Life Balance Quiz.

Knowing you have done a good job is really important, but please remember to find time to keep the balance.

Click on the image below to watch one of my favourite TED talks from Nigel Marsh and I will be back soon.


Clever Kids

Young people can be incredibly creative and possess the ability to ‘think outside the box’.  I remember reading about a group of adults and a group of children being asked to think of different ways to use a paperclip. The adults came up with a respectable number of suggestions, but the children’s list went on and on. The adults had imagined the traditional paperclip, but the children did more than that….

A paperclip 10 metres high, another made of chocolate, one that can record sound and so on. Nobody had said the paperclip had to be traditional and only the adults made that assumption.

It is that freedom of thought, that new way of looking at things that enables young people to come up with fresh and innovative ideas. Click on the image below to read about how one company is providing the connection between big business problems and young mind solutions.

Mind Sumo

Dare to Share?

When you go away on holiday what happens to your home? Does it simply remain empty that week? Have you ever considered renting it out?

And then there’s your car sitting outside unused… and your bike – perhaps someone could use these while you are away for a small fee.

The ‘share economy’ is a growth area and will face various teething problems, but many people are predicting this will be huge. I already know people using Airbnb as a way to find quality holiday accommodation around the world and the opportunities are everywhere.

Imagine just the alumni of all the OISE centres making their properties available to each other when they are on holiday – how many different countries could you visit and have somewhere to stay?  Click on the image below to read more about this and consider if you could ever participate.


Earworms in the Man Cave

Thankfully, this is not a euphemism, but in fact two of the buzz words of 2012. It links back to a recent post  about trendy phrases from 2012.

Those phrases seemed largely to be Americanisms and these words are being touted in a similar fashion. However, the difference this time, at least from my perspective, is that I have heard of most of them.

In fact, some of them seem very familiar and with origins going back further than just 2012. Could it be they are only new words in the New World, but here they have had a longer life?

Click on the image below to read more and let me know what you think. Did you use of any these words in 2011 or even earlier?


Mass Market Individualisation

The way we learn and the way we teach is changing.

Current examples include Coursera and TED Ed, but there are a whole host of options emerging that will change the way future generations are educated.

I was taught in almost exactly the same way as my father and even my grandfather to a large degree, but with technology I think the changes will be far more frequent and far more radical.

Click on the image below to read an article about this and try to answer these questions -

How many views has Aaron Reedy’s TED-Ed video had on YouTube?

What does MOOC stand for?

What is the 2 Sigma Problem?

Mass Individuals We are all individuals…

Brian: Please, please, please listen! I’ve got one or two things to say.
The Crowd: Tell us! Tell us both of them!
Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t NEED to follow ME, You don’t NEED to follow ANYBODY! You’ve got to think for your selves! You’re ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We’re all individuals!
Brian: You’re all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Man in crowd: I’m not…
The Crowd: Shhhh!