Ever thought about being an Au Pair in London? Read what two former Tti students have to say about their experience!

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Have you ever thought of being an Au Pair while studying in London? As you will find out from the stories below, it is truly a unique experience.  Enjoy our Tti Au Pair tales below!

A former Tti student from Hungary, Reka, writes about her inspiring journey and experience in London as an Au Pair. She says it was “life-changing” Find out why below:

Watching the sunset in London from a tiny café, finally understanding (at least the most of it) what they’re talking about on BBC, tasting the real fish and chips,knowing what sophisticated and quirky means , becoming a fun of car boot sales, getting around both London and the rural English countryside, and having the confidence to start to talk to anybody in English – that’s just a tiny bit of everything I’ve got from being abroad as an au-pair.

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Going to England and becoming an au-pair was really much more than a  “nice experience” – looking back, it was totally life changing for me! It opened the whole world for me, in every single meaning. I found it fantastic that I became part of a family (a very nice one!), and even if I couldn’t really speak at the beginning, I immediately felt safe and welcomed by them. I got really close to a sweet little girl who was not just my soul mate but also my best English teacher – I had so much fun with her and I’m incredibly lucky to watch her growing and meet at least once a year!

With the help of my family, I got to know the British culture, from the expression „Make yourself at home” to the Henley Regatta festival or making the perfect Christmas pudding ever. Travelled around the heart of the country, discovered London, and mainly, I could hear and listen to really nice native speakers all the time. I made friends from all over the world, have so many lovely memories – even if is seemed scary first, stepping out of my comfort zone was really the best thing what could happen to me.

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My English knowledge, my experiences from being an au-pair and all the inspiration from England also helped a lot to build my professional career in advertising .

Paola , our Tti Coffee Bar Monitor from Italy, has been an Au Pair since September 2012. Below she tells us a bit about her journey from Italy to London and why she recommends the experience:

I’m Paola and I’m from Italy.
I’ve been working as an au pair since September 2012 and I’ d like to tell you about my beautiful experience. Firstly I’d recommend this kind of job if you want to move abroad and learn a new language. Being an au pair means that you need to take care of the family’s children (working around 25\30 hours per week) and do some house work including washing up, ironing, cooking and tidying up the house.
At the beginning  I was a bit scared of moving to a different country but especially living with a new family. Anyway now I can say that my host family is my second family: the girls for me are like my sisters and I can’t stay more than two weeks without them!!
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Obviously there are pros and cons. You don’t have for example your independence because you live in the same house as your family. On the other hand you have some money every week and you don’ t need to pay the rent bills or food. You know that London is really expensive so this job is perfect for the first experience.
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A very important advantage of living in a family is the safety that it offers. You can ask for advice and quickly learn about how to get around London safely.
Now after these two years I feel so confident in everything and more independent than before!!
To conclude I would advise you to look for a family carefully because sometimes ” all that glitters is not gold” !!
Enjoy and good luck :):)
Thanks Reka and Paola for contributing to our blog this week! 
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Happy Easter from Tti! Here is how we celebrate Easter here at Tti and in the UK!

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Quick EASTER Update!

We all had a fantastic Easter holiday! We thought we’d share some photos from the weekend!!

Check out where Sonia , our Registrar , went to in Galicia! Not bad! 

Playa De Motalvo (Galicia)

Playa De Motalvo (Galicia)

Sian enjoyed a lovely sunny weekend in Wales! Here is where she had lunch one day: 

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Here’s our Principal, Gemma, at Aprons and Hammers restaurant in the Dubai Marina!

Gemma in Dubai!

Gemma enjoying dinner in Dubai 

Hotel Reception in Dubai

Hotel Entrance in Dubai

Mel had a House of Cardathon at home! 🙂 

Our original Easter post can be found below scroll down to read some interesting facts on Easter traditions in England!..

Easter is in the air here at Tti.  We’ve got Easter eggs and pastel decorations dotting every corner of the school!

Happy Easter - Study Lounge

Happy Easter – Tti Study Lounge

Our Tti Easter egg tree!

Our Tti Easter Egg tree!

Easter weekend means a 4-day weekend for the Tti team!  Check-out what our staff have planned:
“I’m off to Dubai this weekend, how exciting!  My suitcase is here in the office with me now!  It’s just a short trip.  We will be there for 3 nights only!  I’m travelling with my fiance and we plan to enjoy the sunshine, eat some yummy food and relax!”.  Gemma Wright, Principal
Camilla, the Director of Studies, has taken a week holiday to go to Portugal with her family.  Sian, our Senior Registrar, is travelling this evening to Wales to stay with her parents for the long weekend.  Her siblings are also joining them.  Bridie, one of the Director’s of the school, is travelling in her camper van for a camping holiday in Ross-on-Wye.
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Lovely Ross-on-Wye, England

Ines , Maria and Mel are having a “staycation” in London! A staycation is when you take a vacation in your city! They are planning to have a lie-in ! :Both are certain that they will eat lots of chocolate 🙂
Maria our intern says…
“In Easter holidays I would like to go out and enjoy of the nature with my friends, visit some nice place outside London and eat a lot chocolate eggs!!” 
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Maria posing with her Easter bunny! 🙂

Where will you be?  What are you doing this break?

Here are some interesting facts about Easter in the UK:

  • Did you know that Britons love chocolate? In world league tables of per capita consumption the UK comes 3rd. 
  • Why is the egg the symbol of Easter ? Well, it is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. 
  • Cadbury EggsThe most famous egg of all? In 1971, the first Cadbury egg went on sale 1971The Bourneville factory can make 1.5 million Creme Eggs every day, 200 million are sold in the UK every year.
  • Briton like getting a head-start on their Easter chocolate!  – Easter eggs for 2014 were on sale in Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Asda on 30thDecember 2013.

What are your Easter traditions ? What kind of food is traditionally served at Easter time in your country? Leave us a message in our comments!

Easter presents for the Staff from our Directors!

Easter presents for the Staff from our Directors!

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend! See you next Tuesday! 🙂

 

Tti Podcast Episode 1 plus Our Special IATEFL report from Teacher Marianne

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On our first episode of the Tti Podcast , Mel interviews Luke Vyner,Tti Teacher & Educational Director at London Language Experience  which creates imaginative and contemporary listening materials. Luke talks about what he enjoys about teaching at Tti, his IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) workshop which took place on April 5th in Harrogate and what his audio tours are all about!

To listen just click below!

 

MARIANNE’S IATEFL REPORT 2014

This month our Teacher and Social Programme Organiser, Marianne, attended the IATEFL conference in Harrogate, an association for  teachers, lecturers, teacher trainers, academic managers, researchers and institutions involved in the English Language Teaching (ELT) .

Here is what she had to say:

At this year’s IATEFL conference , I had the opportunity to meet some amazing EFL teachers and speakers from around the world. I was completely surprised by the sheer magnitude of the event! It was huge! I was so impressed.  There were people at the conference who are currently completing their PHDs and Masters in Linguistics and ELT (English Language Teaching). Everyone had something inspiring to share about how to make our classrooms more dynamic and lessons more interesting!

There were English teachers from as far away as the US, Brazil and Siberia! In the evening , there were networking events and parties sponsored by the British Council, Cambridge, and Macmillian publishers.  It was really fun to talk with teachers and share our teaching tips!

Have you ever seen so many teachers in one place?

Have you ever seen so many teachers in one place?

There were also the ELT “Super Stars” or the plenary speakers at the conference such as Michael McCarthy, Adrian Underhill, Jeremy Harmer , Jim Scrivener , Michael Hoey, Kathleen Graves , Penny Ur and many more who talked about a variety of innovative ideas for the classroom. There were over 500 sessions to choose from including workshops, symposiums, early morning “How to..” talks and more! It was great.

Scott Thornbury and Jeremy Harmer

Some of the highlights for me were…

  • Business Seminars  or BESIG – This was a discussion on the hot new buzzword “ELF” or English as a Lingua Franca. Today businesses want their employees to  communicate clearly and effectively in English with a focus on being able to handle negotiations,presentations, close deals and more. According to the ELF trend, it’s not all about being 100% accurate with your grammar skills! What do you think?
  • Using your “Soft Skills” in the classroom  – This talk was very interesting especially for teaching Business because it emphasized the idea that teachers should try to deepen their knowledge of business topics in order to teach BE courses better. For example, if you have a lesson on “mergers and acquisitions” – read up a bit on it! This will help you become a better Business teacher even if you don’t necessarily have a Business background.
  • Survival Kits for the Digital Jungle – Lots of seminars on this ! Here I learnt about all the different platforms teachers can use both inside the classroom and outside.  Dr. Thomas Strasser talked about all the new technologies we can bring into the classroom . I can’t wait to share them with the staff here at Tti.
  • More Internet in the classroom! – Another talk showed us how to make the most of the internet, tablets and iPhones in the class. So, instead of shying away from them , the speaker suggested using them to create more dynamic lessons. There are also plenty of online platforms and forums we can use to generate discussions on  a specific debate topic even after class for homework. Really exciting stuff!

By attending IATEFL you feel updated on the industry and what the new trends are in the ELT world. You meet lots of like-minded professionals and you can make new friends! I would highly recommend the experience to any EFL professional.

Click on the video below to check out an interview our teacher Luke Vyner did at IATEFL this year!

 

 

For information on IATEFL please visit http://www.iatefl.org

For more information on London Language Experience please visit – http://www.londonlanguageexperience.com

Missed out on the conference this year ? Catch up on the talks and join the conversation here:

Harrogate Online 2014

Big thanks to Marianne & Luke for their contribution to our blog post this week!

The Purposeful Day – Video Footage of 1950s London

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Our Director, Bridie, wanted you to check out this really neat and jazzy video of shots of London in the 1950s. This film was a collaboration between Michael McDonough Jones, Gordon Vowles, David Kilpatrick, David Arnott , David Revelle and Ron Keefe.

Travel back in time with images from London’s past .

Do you know what some of these words mean from the video?

creeking (adj.)
sticky (adj.)
chipper (adj.)
crisp (adj.)

Have you ever been to Berkeley Square, New Bond Street or any of the other London spots mentioned in the video?

Let us know what you think of the video in the comments section below!!

Museum Week at Tti ! Our Staff tells us about their favourite museums in London!

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Here at Tti , we do love our culture and in honour of Museum Week here in the UK , our staff have put together a list of some of our favourite places to peruse great art, creepy exhibitions and ancient treasures!

1. Victoria & Albert Museum (South Kensington) 

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Our Sales girl , Mel,  adores the Victoria and Albert museum. In her spare time , she works as the Creative Director for East London Radio , a community radio station based in Hackney. This February , they were invited to set up a pop up radio booth inside the V&A ! Here she is in action in her favourite museum!mel in action

 

 

 

 

 

2. British Museum (Russel Square):

Intermeidate Classes Treasue Hunt Class in British Museum 190713

Our teacher John says…

I love getting lost in the British museum, even though I’ve been there over 50 times! It’s my favourite museum in London because it contains so many stories of the human condition. It is the most concise history of the world ever collected. But it also reveals the history one culture’s dominance over the rest; the conquests, sacrifices, journeys and tragedies. From Egypt to Australia, every room and every object informs us that the human story is long, rich and has many lessons to tell us today. We should learn from them.

3. Hunterian Museum – Inside the Royal College of Surgeons (Holborn Station) 

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Our teacher Sam loves the Hunterian Museum! This museum explores the history of surgery with lots of strange things in jars! There is a giant skeleton and different animals on display!  It’s free to enter and you can find the Sir John Soane’s Museum across the way and it is inside the Royal College of Surgeons so it’s not a big tourist hot spot! Find out more here – http://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums/hunterian

Sam took his class out to explore this London secret spot this week !

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4.Tate Modern (St. Paul’s Station) 

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Our teacher and Social Programme Coordinator, Marianne , says that The Tate Modern is one of her favourites because she is a big fan of all the contemporary and modern art. She also loves the book shop and the view you get from the 4th floor cafe! It is a must if you are in London and not to be missed! In the summertime, there are also concerts and events on the front lawn so it is a great way to be near the Thames and to get your fix of culture!

5. Natural History Museum (South Kensington Station)

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 The Natural History Museum is a sight to behold! Our DOS, Camilla, says she loves this museum for all the pre-historic horses you can find and the dinosaurs of course! The museum has a great cafe and is beautiful just to see the golden arches and grand staircase.  We took a trip there this week for our Social Programme and the best part is it’s free!

Flamenco Festival in London – Sara Baras “La Pepa” Written by Maria Jesus Privado

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Our former student turned Intern, Maria , writes about her experience at the Flamenco Festival here in London . Maria, Sonia (our Registrar) and some of our other former Tti students went to Sadler’s Wells in Islington to check out the 11th season of flamenco dance and music! Here are some of her thoughts on the show and its meaning !

Sara Baras to me is one of the best flamenco dancers and watching her perform is always a pleasure.  Flamenco for us, or at least for me, is not just a musical style, it is an art that touches your heart with feeling strength and passion!

When I found out she was going to perform in London.  I told my friends to go see the show together and it was very exciting to see her outside of Spain !In London , she is a real star! 

Her show is called “The Pepa” and is full of magic and charm.  It commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Spanish constitution (promulgated in Cadiz 1810 to 1812) . In the performance of the play Sara Baras is accompanied by a group of wonderful dancers and the show was decorated with the beauty of Andalusia and the importance to create a unique constitution in the world, hope and freedom! Image

La Pepa is defined by Sara Baras as a feeling , an attitude , a way of feeling , a way of being , a character…something we carry inside , something that brings the sea and La Pepa is the voice of the village in the form of women and freedom!

Maria has been an enthusiastic student and intern at Tti for more than 2 years! Check out what she has to say about her experience at Tti in this video we took of her last year!

‘I can resist anything but temptation’ – O. Wilde – A Creative Writing Post by Bruno Teixeira

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Creative Writing from Brazilian Student, Bruno Teixeira

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Inspired by Matt’s Creative Writing Workshop.

(Matt is a teacher at Tti who recently graduated with a Masters in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths University .)

A couple of weeks ago, I ran a creative writing workshop as part of the Tti social program. It was quite well attended, with 14 students turning up to flex their creative muscles. The exercise was to draw a map of a familiar journey, adding adjectives, feelings and colours after I gave prompts. Students swapped their maps and then interviewed each other to understand the journey fully. They then had to find a quiet space in the school and write each other’s journeys beginning with the word ‘I.’

 I love this exercise since, as well as developing their writing, it’s a good way for students to make friends with each other and do lots of talking. A week later, Tti teacher Marianne handed me a story written by one of her students. She had given them the task of using a quote from Oscar Wilde to start and end a story. Below is the result:

‘I can resist anything but temptation.’ When I first read it on the internet I felt such identification with this quote that I made it my MSN phrase. It stayed there until I identified myself even more with another one. But it doesn’t matter right now. What does matter right now is the choice I am about to make and, by the quote I started with, you can tell it will be the wrong one.

In this case the wrong choice – or temptation – has a name: Millena. She is as sinuous as her name suggests and twice as clever. Millena is the kind of woman who only dates rich guys whose fortune was made in shady businesses that probably involved cards and broken knee-caps. However, every so often she makes an exception and dates a ‘not-that-promising’ artist. This, of course, wouldn’t be a problem if such kind of guys (the ones who are rich and break knee-caps) knew how to cope with rejection and the ‘not-that-promising-artist’ wasn’t me.

From Millena herself I heard that Batter (her former boyfriend) would like to have a small talk with me. As Batter was no exception in Millena’s book, I sent my dignity for a walk and panicked. Right in front of her. Before I started to cry, she told me her plan, handed me a gun, gave me the key, made me a promise; and here I am. In Blatter’s flat, pointing a gun at the front door.

I’ve made a promise. Just two shots and I can stay with Millena for the rest of my life – or as long as my hormones last (whichever comes first). All I need to do in order to get the money and the girl is to shoot Batter in the chest, two times. I who have never fought anyone, Batter who has broken dozens of knee-caps. I start to shake… I remember which quote has replaced the one about temptation on my MSN…

Then I put the gun in my back pocket and leave before Batter arrives. I’ll leave town never to come back again. But first, I’ll stop at my house and tell a perplexed Millena through Facebook that I’ve just recovered my imagination. Meanwhile, in my status, a last quote:

‘Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.’

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Theatre Review of Thriller

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This review is written by Sandra Huesser.  Sandra is currently studying General English at Tti School of English, Upper Intermediate level.   Organised through our Social Programme, Sandra saw Thriller The Musical in the West End.  Here is her review of the show:

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Thriller

I didn’t have any expectations for the musical Thriller because I am a big fan of MJ .  I have 25 CDs and a few DVDs at home. When the musical started , a little boy imitated Michael when he was young and on stage with his brothers. He had the same voice as Michael when he was a young boy.  It was amazing!

The only thing I didn’t like in this musical was that the double of Jacko didn’t sing at all! Someone in the backstage was singing for him and he just moved his lips.  But it’s worth seeing it because the music and the singers were fantastic: really good moves and the entire audience was in such a good mood!  Everyone was singing and dancing as well!

 Have you seen a musical lately in London and want to write about it? Get in touch! Send us an email at info@ttischool.com 

Thanks Sandra!

Interview with Former Tti Student, Begonia Romero about life in London after Tti and The Language & Cultural Exchange at The Sheephaven Bay in Camden

Hi there! This is Bego. I came to London to improve my English with a view to staying here for a couple of months and here I am after more than 2 years!

I studied Advertising and PR in Spain, and English is vital in this industry. When I first arrive in London my English wasn’t good at all, but I found a job as a bartender. Then my English improved and with it my career opportunities. I started organizing events in the pub where I work and doing some internships to get experience in Marketing.

I enjoy every second in this city. There’s a big range of cultural and social activities. Places like Meet up or Couchsurfing are great sources to find them. You never stop meeting people.

 Tti : What was one of your fondest memories of your time at Tti ?

I have a lot of good memories from my time at Tti because I met really good friends over there. One of the best  was the Halloween party which was really good fun and I won a prize for my fancy dress! You can see some pictures here

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Tti : Why have you decided to stay in good old Londontown?

London is such an amazing city! I absolutely fell in love with it during my first few days. It’s a vibrant city with a lot of opportunities and social activities to join. It’s impossible to get bored here!  As it’s said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. I couldn’t agree more

 Tti :What was something about English culture that took a long time for a Spanish girl to get used to?

Parties! The schedules here are very different from our schedules in Spain. In my country we usually go out at the same time as the average pub closes here! But you just have to get use to it and start partying earlier. It has its benefits as well (especially the next day!)

 Tti :How did the Language and Cultural Exchange get started at the Sheephaven Bay , a lovely Irish pub in Camden?

I had the idea of organizing the group because when I first arrive to London I started attending some other groups and I think they are a great way to practice languages with native speakers and to meet new people, especially when you are new in the city.

I studied events organization and working in the Sheephaven Bay I saw a good chance to create a group for practicing languages and to have social activities. The Sheephaven is a great place for these kinds of events. We have a room reserved just for us, plus the beer garden, which is lovely during the summer!

Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sheephaven-language-exchange/242392669221439?fref=t

 Tti :What other events do you have going on at the Sheephaven?

We have a pub quiz every Monday, live Irish music on Fridays and then parties every now and then. We also show every major sport live. The Sheephaven is a must-see place for Saint Patrick’s Day

 Tti :Have you learnt any Irish expressions working in this Irish pub? Could you teach us some ? 🙂

Yeah, it took me long time to understand them! The most common ones are “What’s the crack?”, “What’s the story?”, “Yous” as the plural of you or “A pint of stout” instead of a pint Guinness

 Tti :What are your goals or objectives now for the future?

I always have so many plans in mind. My dream is to open my own pub in Camden. I know it’s difficult but… who knows?! I think everything is possible with patience and effort

You can join the Language and Cultural Exchange every Monday ! Check the Social Programme Calendar and board for more details! 

Huge thanks to Bego for taking the time to write this post for us! Are you a Tti Alumni and have a story to share? Please get in touch at info@ttischool.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Our Favourite Olympic Moments!!

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This week, Tti students and staff joined together on the comfty couches to enjoy some international snacks and the figure skating on the big screen TV in the study lounge!

While students enjoyed the triple axels, Mel interviewed the students on their favourite Olympic moments in history.

Luke (a Tti teacher and a great singer!) said he really enjoyed watching the boxing live at the Olympics in London in 2012! He watched about 10 matches!!

Thibault from France said the skiing was his most preferred sport to watch while most of the students said they loved the opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics!! 🙂 Especially the Queen and Daniel Craig’s cameos!

Deborah said she ‘ll always remember Marie-José Pérec who  is now a retired, French track and field sprinter who specialised in the 200 and 400 meters.

While our Italian Giacomo loved Steve Bradbury’s speed skating skills , our Koreans were thrilled that Yuna Kim made it to first place for figure skating!!

Shazleen loves shot-putting and actually played it at school!! Elena loved the 2004 Athens’ Opening ceremony as it reminds her of summertime.

Our Japanese student, Chisato, loves swimming and Justine loved the lady who won the Judo gold medal!! (I cant’ remember her name!)

Leo , our Brazilian , loves bobsledding!

We’d love to hear from our former students what their favourite Olympic memories are ! Get in touch !

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