Burns Night

Scotland's national bard

Every 25th of January Scots from up and down the country celebrate the birth of their popular poet, Robert Burns. Born in the 18th Century, in his relatively short life, Burns captured people's hearts with songs and odes inspired by the ordinary lives of the  Scottish peasants and farmers he grew up with. In recent years, the holiday is marked by a more general nostalgia for all things Scottish. How much do you really know about Scotland?  Take this quiz to find out!

True or False?

1:  On Burns Night, people traditionally eat a dish called "Haggis", a kind of black pudding inside a sheep's stomach.

2:  Edinburgh is Scotland's largest city.

3:  Many famous inventors came from Scotland, including John Logie Baird, the inventor of the television.

4:  Loch Ness is a very popular body of water in Scotland. It's famous for a rare breed of pink dolphin.

5:  William Wallace was a real historical character, portrayed in the Hollywood movie by Clint Eastwood.

Answers: 1: True 2: False (It's Glasgow) 3: True 4: False (It's famous for a monster) 5: False (Mel Gibson plays this role).

Creepy words for Hallooween!

Love it or loathe it, but when the summer is finally over and you start to feel a familiar chill in your bones, it means it's time to dust off your vampire costume and get into the spirit of HALLOWEEN!

Let's take a look at some key expression for the season of the dead:

Feeling creepy? Do zombies and ghouls creep you out? Is your boss a creep?

The verb to creep is one of the lesser known irregular verbs (creep, crept, crept). Its literal meaning is to walk quietly so as not to be noticed. You might find a burlar creeping around your house or you can simply creep up on a friend to scare them.  The verb has given rise to the adjective creepy which just means something scary or disagreeable.   

Another interesting word is to shiver. We often shiver when we are cold (our skin shakes). At this time of year you are more likely to shiver when you feel afraid. You might say that something sends "shivers down your spine." A similar but rarer verb is to shudder. Again, you would shudder (or shake) if you felt fear.

Typically, at Halloween time people love to dress up. Remember that to dress up is not the same as to get dressed! Perhaps you get dressed every morning before going to work but you probably don't dress up! (Dress up = to wear special clothes or a costume).

So, watch out for flying bats, spine-chilling zombies or those annoying trick-or-treaters and go out and join in the horror!

Cono's star group of 2015!

We look back with nostalgia at these high-achievers! (Cono's class of 2015-2016)

Halloween at Language House!

Lara's group celebrate Halloween!

Saint Patrick's Day

What do you know about Saint Patrick? Do our quiz and find out!

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Scotland / Ireland.

Saint Patrick is celebrated in March / June.

Saint Patrick was born and brought up in Wales/ France.

Saint Patrick is said to have expelled all the snakes/ tigers from Ireland.

Now read this text and find out more:

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th every year. It is a hugely popular holiday, not only in Ireland but also in The USA and other countries too. Although Saint Patrick is the Irish patron saint, he was probably born in Wales, where he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. After working as a shepherd for a few years, he managed to escape back to Britain. A strong religious faith, however, made him go back and convert thousands of pagans to Christianity. Many miracles are associated with Patrick, including driving away the last snake from the country (although this seems rather improbable!). Nowadays, Saint Patrick's day is really just a great excuse to meet up with friends, dress up in a green costume and have a few pints of Guinness!
Now try to match these famous Irish people with their descriptions:
1: Pierce Brosnan a. A famous Irish actress, famous in Hollywood.
2: Bono b. One of The USA's most famous presidents.
3: Oscar Wilde c. The lead singer of U2.
4: Saoirse Ronan d. This actor played James Bond.
5: John F. Kennedy e. One of Ireland's most most successful playwrights and novelists.

Answers: 1d, 2c, 3e, 4a, 5b.
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