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Studying in Malta? Benefits of choosing Malta

Malta. Is it as good as England, Australia or New Zealand in English language teaching?
As a teacher from England I have had first-hand experience with English language
teaching in England. It is difficult to compare the beautiful weather, varied cuisine
and relaxed atmosphere to England. England is great for some things but trust me, the
weather is not one of them. When comparing English language learning you have to
consider several things, the quality of the school, the professionalism of the staff and
the atmosphere. All of these things are important for a productive language learning
experience. Fortunately Malta has all of these things. Now, I am not generalizing,
there are bad schools in both Malta and England, however, Maltalingua for example, is
arguably one of the best schools on the island. The staff actively takes part in the social
activities with students so that students have the opportunity to speak with their teachers
in less formal environments. This improves students’ confidence and allows them to
practise their English communication skills.

Apart from this relaxed atmosphere, what about the teaching in the classroom? If you
compare both English and Maltese schools you will find almost the same standard of
teaching. Now, in England there are some schools that are better than others of course,
and the same is true of Malta. Teachers are trained to the University of Cambridge
CELTA (one of the highest qualifications in the industry) or have the TEFL Certificate.
Not only do you get the same level of teaching in Malta, but the courses are designed by
experienced and well-qualified teaching staff. These staff members also go on activities
with students giving them individual attention. This personalised and friendly atmosphere
helps students learn better and ultimately help them to learn faster. Students want to
speak English; it becomes a pleasure, not a chore.

Communicative teaching is the theme in Malta, and especially at Maltalingua. The
relaxed atmosphere does not mean that the school and the students are relaxed about
learning, the opposite in fact. The relaxing atmosphere helps you learn. Whether you are
studying in the classroom or relaxing in a bar, looking at paintings in Valletta or visiting
one of Malta’s historic museums, English becomes more natural. You gain confidence by
speaking in a friendly community surrounded by other students and a qualified teacher,
helping you every step of the way.

We look forward to welcoming you and we hope to see you soon

This article has been written by James Warwick (EFL Teacher at Maltalingua)

More information about the English Language School Maltalingua:

Maltalingua Ltd.
151, Boxer House Birkirkara Hill
St. Julian’s
Malta
Tel.: (00356) 2742 7570
E-Mail: enquiries@maltalingua.com
Website: www.maltalingua.com

Website in different languages:
www.maltalingua.de
www.maltalingua.es
www.maltalingua.fr
www.maltalingua.it

A study guide for IELTS success

If you are taking your IELTS exam, you need to practise exam-style questions again and again. While there is no shortage of free IELTS practice material and IELTS advice available online, students who learn English in London often comment that they wish to know exactly what areas they should focus on to improve their grades. This brief study guide gives students taking IELTS courses in London just what they need: information on the areas to focus on and the skills to master for IELTS success.

Listening

  • Some of the most common mistakes students make are through lack of concentration. Always read the instructions carefully and do not assume they are exactly the same as other questions you have come across.
  • Take your time so you avoid careless mistakes in the seemingly easy initial questions. Focus on your spelling to avoid needlessly dropping marks. If you are struggling to understand the speaker, try not to panic. Take a couple of deep breaths, relax and try again.
  • Never leave a blank – have an educated guess at an answer and you may just be right.
  • Perhaps the most important skill for the listening section is to the ability to read, write and listen at the same time. Make sure you have practised doing this.

Reading

  • Be careful with your time. Move on from an answer you are struggling with. Do not focus on words you do not know – try to guess their meaning from the context. Avoid re-inventing the wheel by simply copying the answer from the text if it is there, and if only one answer is requested, only give one answer.
  • Read widely from a variety of sources before taking the exam, such as books, newspapers, magazines and academic articles. For many students wishing to learn English London is an ideal base, as there is so much to see and do, with plenty of opportunities to read English everywhere.
  • Always check your spelling and be careful not to confuse singulars with plurals.

Writing

  • Stick to the question. Make sure your paragraphs are clearly divided and deal with one idea at a time. Make sure you are always answering the question directly.
  • Do not answer the question with a model answer you have memorised. This is a recipe for disaster, as you will not be answering exactly what the question asks.
  • Watch the clock and remember Task 2 needs more time and can get you more points. Leave yourself time to check and correct your writing.
  • Avoid repeating yourself. If you have made a point, do not go on to do this again in different words.
  • Develop ways to quickly estimate how many words you have written: for instance, if you fit 10 words on to a line, then 15 lines will contain roughly 150 words.

Speaking

  • Be confident. You are being tested on your ability to communicate effectively and not just your grammatical accuracy. Always ask for clarification if you need it.
  • Rather than learn prepared answers, focus on learning essential vocab and phrases, as the examiner will not always stick to the script.
  • Be expansive. Always give opinions and try to develop your points as much as possible.
  • Practise important phrases and possible responses at home using a voice recorder.

The pervasive footprints of English graduates

You may assume that a degree in English is simply aimed at budding writers, authors and English teachers. However, of those who invest in English courses, many go onto successfully working in a vast range of jobs as well-rounded individuals.

From university professors to journalists, event managers to television presenters, and accountants to television producers – a degree in English offers an enormous range of skills that are applicable to many career choices.

Far from spending three years with your head glued to the inside of a boring book, students learn many valuable lessons, such as: how to read between the lines, analyse text, empathise with others, argue a point succinctly, think independently, and self-express effectively.

Probably one of the most valuable lessons that an English degree can teach you is the ability to successfully communicate through speech and writing, whilst being articulate and tolerant of ambiguity – perfect for any job.

The learning curve of an English course lies not only with what you explicitly learn through reading, absorbing and remembering, but with learning different and new ways of questioning and perceiving the world around you. You will be able to project the approaches learnt towards analysing literature onto many other aspects of your life and work.

Throughout history literature has shaped culture, influenced discourse and given insight into otherwise unfamiliar times and historical events. To hold a depth of knowledge about the influence of literature and how it has shaped the world we live in today is a very valuable asset to both yourself and future employers.

Reading a book is a rich experience that offers the reader the opportunity to empathise with characters far-removed from every day life. It’s a unique opportunity to become fully immersed in another way of thinking, perceiving and understanding. Therefore, you can only imagine what is waiting to be gained from spending three years reading, analysing and interpreting various texts, voices and accounts.

StudyUp – take your study notes online!

Have you heard of StudyUp.com? Neither had we until this past week. It turns out this cool new study tool allows you to store your study notes online. The site operates a lot like Facebook by allowing you to find school buddies and network with people taking similar classes. Even better, there are no fees just like Facebook; so none of this “Upgrade to a Gold Account” mumbo jumbo. Signing up to StudyUp is about as easy as it gets; just 3 basic fields and you are off to the races!

The add notes feature is super easy to use, allowing you to type your notes directly in for practice leading up to tests and exams, or cut and paste from existing note pages you may already have in electronic format. What happens next is the really interesting part.

As you add more notes to the system, StudyUp begins to find correlations between your pages of notes, and begins building a neat Wikipedia style database of your notes, automatically building hyperlinks within the body of your notes linking to other relevant pages. You can also easily search your notes by subject, course, school year, professor and more.

You can follow your study buddies as they add new notes using the StudyUp Home Base. Another neat feature is the ability to share only certain subjects or school years with certain people. So your math buddy does not get to see your science notes if you choose to set it up that way.

There is also a study tips section for helpful hints posted by other students and teachers that are members. What StudyUp really does is keep a free online history of all the courses & classes you have ever taken. Never again worry about digging up last year’s notes to help you solve a current problem. StudyUp keeps it all organized and online for free. Access your notes from anywhere from any device. We give these guys 2 thumbs up!

6 essential tips for effective writing

The power of the written word should not be underestimated. Clear, effective writing requires both practice and attention to detail. Here are some tips writers use to make sure they meet the needs of their readers.

1. Read before writing

Any writer would do well to bear in mind the words of Esko Valtaoja: “You are what you read”. Before putting pen to paper, it is important to be comfortable with various styles and writing conventions. This may be obvious for fiction writers, but extends to all writing tasks. Whether composing a short and snappy memo, a formal business letter, or a copy of your favourite recipe, you should first become familiar with the recurring features of similar texts. Identify which style works best for your purposes and use elements of this style in your own writing.

2. Sentence structure

There are three main sentence varieties: simple, compound and complex. Simple sentences contain one independent clause – they contain a subject and a verb and express a complete thought. For example:

[I speak English].

Compound sentences combine two independent clauses with a co-ordinator. For example:

[I speak English] and [my parents speak German].

Complex sentences are composed of one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses (clauses that do not form complete grammatical sentences). For example:

[When talking with friends], [I speak English].

3. Vary your tone

For most writing tasks the most effective writing style makes use of simple, compound and complex sentences. Varying sentence length makes the text more interesting for the reader. Always write with the audience in mind. Younger readers, for example, generally respond better to simpler vocabulary and shorter sentences. Persuasive texts often require short, simple sentences. These grab the attention of the audience, before longer sentence structures elaborate on the subject matter.

4. Get to the point

Shorter sentences work best at the start of a text. These inform the reader of the tone and subject matter. In fields such as journalism the reader is unlikely to read the entire text and instead often merely skims the introductory paragraph. In such cases writing must be concise. Avoid obscure vocabulary and lengthy sentences, favouring plain English instead.

5. Proofread and edit

After writing the text, read over it numerous times to check for grammatical errors. Reading aloud will allow you to gauge the fluency of the text. If a word, phrase or sentence does not add to the information or impact of the writing, remove it.

6. Learn to love language

Effective writing requires a critical approach and a genuine interest in language. Of course, writing is a broad term used to cover many contexts, each needing distinctive knowledge and skill. London is the ideal place to improve your knowledge through learning and hone your skills through practice. Specific courses in business or academic English, for example, are available at language schools such as St Georges International. In addition, for both German and French lessons London is home to a thriving community of language schools. Writers are often drawn to foreign tongues, and learning another language encourages a critical approach to language structure, style and vocabulary. Linguistic awareness, alongside a willingness to improve, is important in becoming an effective writer.

Study Tips for Online Classes

In today’s busy world many people have chosen to continue their education via online programs and degrees. These classes allow you the freedom to study at your own time and at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Online classes is a great way for anyone to earn a degree who may be unable to otherwise find the time to go back to school.

Because you are not in a classroom and are in the comfort of your home or other area, it is important to remember that you are still attending school, and if you plan to graduate, must treat it that way. Learning a few basic skills can help you master going back to school with an online program.

The first thing you must remember is to go to class! Missing one or two classes can quickly put you behind in your work. You must log in and complete your work to stay current. Since there is no teacher, you must be sure to read all of your work and materials, and if you need help, ask for it. Faculty is available online to help day or night.

You must also remember to devout an area to your studies, free of noises and other distractions. You must maintain the distraction free area for the entire time you are working, and, if possible, have the area for school work only. Keep your area clean and neat, and all of your papers and textbooks organized and together.

Earning a degree online can help you achieve the career that you have always wanted. Using these study skills will help you do your best and become successful at your new profession.