Codes – Language Article


We use codes all the time:  Right now your computer is reading and decoding machine code. And you probably use codes, when you’re texting on the phone or the internet, that is using a code. Understanding  that a toddler who says ‘Wink’ is actually asking for a drink of milk  – that is decoding of a sort. We even have dress codes, and the way we dress can tell someone who can read the language a lot. Here in multi-cultural Britain   we can often tell someone’s religion , place of origin or sporting affiliations  by the way they dress – from a a football fan’s tee shirt, to whether a Muslim woman is covered from head to foot, or the brightly dyed cloths of African nationals. In fact, if we see someone these days dressed in a suit and tie, he is likely to be going to a wedding, going to a funeral, or going to try to convert you to his religion, unless he is on business that is. And believe it or not some church minister’s even wear jeans these days  – and not just the young ones.  Dress codes can mean inclusion, whether it is a school uniform or wearing a chef’s tall hat in a professional kitchen. I heard on the radio today about a gang in London who wear just one glove as a sign of membership.

Language Article – Twins


by Margaret Watson

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I recently moved across to the east of the Pennines. Not only do I now have a garden with figs, plums and a whole host of other goodies, but I am meeting lots of new people. Last week I went into the next village as they have a library there. I saw a mother pushing a pram with a pair of tiny twins. Almost immediately behind her were a set of middle aged ladies, also twins and then across the road a pair of school girl twins followed a few minutes later by more babies. A coincidence of course, but it set me thinking. Not all twins are exactly alike. Often they don’t look exactly the same and they may have very different personalities.


Language Article – Active Listening

Active Listening

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Do you ever get frustrated when you realize that the person you’ve been talking to was not really listening at all?

Do others ever complain that you don’t listen?

Don’t be too anxious if the answer to either or both questions is “yes”.

Although we may not be aware of it, many of us have poor listening skills, and strong listening skills are important for everyone, not only for  second language learners. Good communication is essential to forming good relationships with people of all kinds, from family, friends and neighbours to co-workers, bosses and even government officials!

The Play’s the Thing for Improving Your English

by Michael Ugilini

The English language has a rich history within the theatre. From the plays of William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw, to those of Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Lerner and Loewe, among others, the variety is endless. With so many great dramas, comedies, and musicals to choose from there is ample opportunity for anyone to build their English vocabulary through plays and the theatre. On top of the classics are hosts of modern contemporary plays that one can choose from to learn new words and phrases. Plays and theatre are truly enjoyable tools for learning English.