Tag Archives: Jon Crocker

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)

Going Native

We are not all digital natives, but we need to at least understand them. A handwritten letter received in the post may still be a welcome surprise, but the reality is most people are online.

The online world provides a Smörgåsbord of choice and the digital native expects an experience. Not just cold hard facts or company speak. They want to be intrigued, engaged and valued.

Click on the image below to read an interesting article about this.

Going native

Wake up and smell the coffee

Are you a full-blooded flat white or perhaps a little cortado?

How do you drink your coffee (if you drink it at all) and does that say anything about your personality?

Where would you place yourself on the chart below (from the excellent Mashable site)? Then click on it for a song.



Becoming great requires time and effort

I am always interested to read new articles about how to deliver engaging presentations. There are still too many occasions when we all have to sit through life-sapping talks given by people who have either spent too little time planning, or given too little thought to their audience.

Good presenters learn their craft, put in the time to become experts, plus continue to learn and improve. Some of the best ways to do this are to accept advice and watch other speakers.With the availability online now of TED Talks, for example, there is no excuse for not knowing what a good talk looks, sounds and feels like.

Click on the image below for some more top tips and think about which ones you use already and which ones you could start to work with.

Time and Effort


Is this ‘icon’ wrong?

For many people gaming is a big part of their lives. It might be playing tennis on Wii, completing a level of Candy Crush or a having a quick go at Angry Birds while waiting for the bus.

The games are world-famous, with millions of users (and millions of pounds invested into their development and marketing).

Grand Theft Auto is one such example and opinion over it is split. It is an extremely violent, frequently sexist game where the main activities are criminal. However, it is also recognised as being incredibly well made, with amazing graphics, great music and, like it or not, huge appeal.

Click on the image below to read a BBC article and try to answer these questions.

1. What is Lifeinvader?

2. How many copies of GTA have been sold since 1997?

3. Which country banned it (but has lifted the ban)?

4. Should these games be allowed or are they genuinely ‘bad’ for society?

5. Why is Elvis Presley mentioned?


Accents in English

When you speak in your own language, what judgements can people make about you?

Could they guess the same things when you are talking in English?

Will they be able to tell your social class perhaps or your level of education? Could they accurately predict where you are from or your approximate age?

How distinctive are the dialects and accents where you live?

Click on the image below to access a fascinating website that hosts an amazing audio collection of people from around the world speaking in English. Is your country represented?


We x, so you can y

If you are in business, what do you do?

Now imagine you are with a potential customer. How would you explain this in a  way that interests them?

Remember nobody really cares what you do. They care what you can do for them.

Click on the image below for an article that may help you to develop your ‘value story’.


1 in 24

October 19 will see a photographic blitz of Bristol with 1000 photographers given the opportunity and one hour out of the twenty-four available to take the best picture of Bristol.

What time of day do you think will be the perfect time to snap the winning photo? What about the weather – would that influence your choice of shot?

If you know Bristol, where would you go to take your winning picture? And what about your city, what would you take a photograph of to show the world?

Click on the picture below to learn more about 24 hours in Bristol (and enter if you like).


The future of driving?

How many more cars can our roads take? I wrote about one alternative a little while ago, but that was a concept vehicle.

What are some of the practical options available to us right now? One possibility, although not everywhere yet, is the idea of a car club. This works on the basis that you don’t personally own a car, but one is available when needed. This means you don’t have to find the money to purchase a car outright and the ongoing finances involved in maintaining it. Instead you pay a monthly fee to have access to vehicles as and when required.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages you can think of with this idea?

Click on the image below to read about Zipcar and see if it might be for you.

Car Clubs



Not for the first time, and I doubt for the last, I am talking about Generation Y.

The generation that I don’t belong to, but will work alongside and one that every business needs to be aware of. This is a generation  that will soon start to take control (if it hasn’t already).

I read an interesting article not so long ago about some of the ways they will change the world of work and several of them I think we can see even now.

For example, the blurred work-life balance I believe is already  part of many lives, with the easy access to e-mails and the mobile nature of tablets, smartphones and social media.

Click on the image below to read about the six different points and see what you think. Which ones are already happening and which do you think are unrealistic?

How would being employed in a ‘ROWE’ environment alter the way you work do you think?

Y at work