• How to be a good language learner

    How to be a good language learner

    If you think about your learning, come to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes.. You will be successful learner.



  • Your learning style

    Your learning style

    Remember that everyone has their own learning style. So, if you do something different and it works well continue to do it.



  • The importance of reading

    The importance of reading

    Reading is an extremely important skill. It is by reading that you learn much of what you need to know for your different school subjects..



Times are Changing in International Schools

Going back in Time

Turn back the clock twenty years and a visit to an international school may not seem that dissimilar in its appearance to present day. It will not seem too out of place in the suburbs of any major modern city of the world. However, it is fair to say that times have changed.

international school

The glossy prospectuses of fresh-faced children from the expatriate community have been replaced with websites full of colourful images of ethnic groups huddled in labs and classrooms or hanging out together on campus. These images represent the school’s student body and the dramatic demographic shift that is taking place in our international school across the world.

Global English

The main drives for these changes are the global rise of English and the pull of a ‘western’ education close to home. The international school has found a new purpose from its original conception. No longer is it for children of expatriates and diplomats, but for wealthy locals whose children can have the opportunity to compete for places at western universities, and eventually work at multinational companies.

The growth of international schools in the last twenty years has been staggering with an estimated doubling of these schools in the next 10 years. This provides parents with better choices of locations, prices and facilities. However, the demographic shift means the curriculum model delivered twenty years ago can no longer be sustained, as the more dominate group do not have English as their first language.

english language
English Acquisition

The road to acquire English can be a bumpy one, whereas, in contrast for others they only have minimum difficulties with the learning process. For students with limited English, the reality of studying in a language, which they have difficulty operating at both socially and academically, is a daunting prospect.

In our world of instant fixes where we can upgrade with a click or a swipe of the finger, we often seek quick remedies. This is often the case when schools have limited speakers of English by herding them into academies and shelter groups, so within time the belief is that they will emerge as fluent English speakers.

Much to blame for these well-meaning solutions are due to the acquisition of our first language, which is generally achieved without much thought, and with little conscious effort or awareness. These boaster classes serve their purpose of generating the survival English to get around at school, but rarely help with the academic language that is needed to cope successfully in the mainstream classrooms.

The Solution

There is no simple way to solve this problem – in fact there is probably no solution that all international school would completely agree on. This is due to the complexity of language acquisition as well as the factors that affect English language learning in different environments.

In trying to understand the potential success of learning second language acquisition, we must develop successful strategies in our English-medium international schools to better understand the demands of learning English. The answer to the demographic changes, and challenges, that lie ahead have to come from the international schools themselves, particularly as more schools compete for students whose first language is not English.

Categories: International Schools

Birthdays around the world

In this type of reading exercise, you will read a short text and answer a series of questions testing skim-reading skills. For this exercise you will read parts of an article about how birthdays are celebrated around the world.

To be successful in this task, you will be need to:

  • identify and retrieve facts and details
  • understand and select relevant information

Categories: IGCSE_ESL

Celebrations round the world

In this type of reading exercise, you will read a short text and answer a series of questions testing skim-reading skills. For this exercise you will read parts of an article about cleaning teeth.

To be successful in this task, you will be need to:

  • identify and retrieve facts and details
  • understand and select relevant information

Categories: IGCSE_ESL

PET Reading Part 1: Test C

Part 1 tests your understanding of various kinds of short texts: authentic notices and signs, packaging information (for example, instructions on a food package), and communicative messages (notes, emails, cards and postcards). Accompanying the text is one multiple-choice question with three options.

When you attempt a question in this part:

  • you should first read the text carefully and think about the situation in which it would appear. A text is often accompanied by visual information as to its context, for example showing its location, and this may also help you to guess the purpose of the text.
  • After thinking about the general meaning in this way, you should read all three options and compare each one with the text before choosing their answer.
  • As a final check, you should reread both the text and their choice of answer, to decide whether the chosen option is really ‘what the text says’.

PET Reading Part 1: Test B

Part 1 tests your understanding of various kinds of short texts: authentic notices and signs, packaging information (for example, instructions on a food package), and communicative messages (notes, emails, cards and postcards). Accompanying the text is one multiple-choice question with three options.

When you attempt a question in this part:

  • you should first read the text carefully and think about the situation in which it would appear. A text is often accompanied by visual information as to its context, for example showing its location, and this may also help you to guess the purpose of the text.
  • After thinking about the general meaning in this way, you should read all three options and compare each one with the text before choosing their answer.
  • As a final check, you should reread both the text and their choice of answer, to decide whether the chosen option is really ‘what the text says’.

PET Reading Part 1: Test A

Part 1 tests your understanding of various kinds of short texts: authentic notices and signs, packaging information (for example, instructions on a food package), and communicative messages (notes, emails, cards and postcards). Accompanying the text is one multiple-choice question with three options.

When you attempt a question in this part:

  • you should first read the text carefully and think about the situation in which it would appear. A text is often accompanied by visual information as to its context, for example showing its location, and this may also help you to guess the purpose of the text.
  • After thinking about the general meaning in this way, you should read all three options and compare each one with the text before choosing their answer.
  • As a final check, you should reread both the text and their choice of answer, to decide whether the chosen option is really ‘what the text says’.

IGCSE ESL Question 3: Milan University Application Form

In this type of reading exercise, you will read a text and fill in a form testing skim-reading skills. For this exercise you will read information about a student who is applying for a place at a university.

To be successful in this task, you will be need to:

  • identify and retrieve facts and details
  • understand and select relevant information
  • communicate clearly, accurately and appropriately

Categories: IGCSE_ESL

IGCSE ESL Question 2: Cleaning Teeth

In this type of reading exercise, you will read a short text and answer a series of questions testing skim-reading skills. For this exercise you will read parts of an article about cleaning teeth.

To be successful in this task, you will be need to:

  • identify and retrieve facts and details
  • understand and select relevant information

Categories: IGCSE_ESL

Follow us