Some more amazing facts about Edinburgh

We like trees! There are more trees per head of population in Edinburgh than in any other city in the United Kingdom.

The city has two nicknames. One is “Auld Reekie,” which came about due to the smog and smells of the old city. Please don’t worry though – the city is not like that nowadays! The other is “The Athens of the North,” which started to be used to describe Edinburgh in the 1800s and was considered to reflect the city’s architecture and cultural achievements.

The number of people in the city can quadruple (increase four times) during the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival. In 2014, it is estimated that 2 million people attended the Festival and Fringe!

Glasgow and Global Schools’ of English – our first sister school arrangement in Russia

Following our recent establishment of a sister school arrangement for France, Glasgow School of English and Global School of English Edinburgh are pleased to announce we have now established another bilateral agreement, with Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Russia to work together to give students and staff of the Faculty the opportunity of studying English in Scotland.

The Scottish schools are offering a sister school relationship to be developed with the Faculty. Our new sister school arrangement will provide the following to each of the institutions:

  • The Faculty will send to Glasgow /Edinburgh a group of students each year.
  • The Scottish schools will provide a prize each year to be offered to senior students of the Faculty.
  • The prize will be a two-week course of English, including accommodation, transfers, teaching materials and sight seeing.
  • The Faculty will provide an award ceremony each year where the prize(s) will be awarded to its students by a Scottish school representative.
  • The Faculty will provide opportunities to promote the Scottish schools and what they offer, to students and staff of the Faculty..
  • As the relationship matures, teacher exchange will be considered and developed for the mutual benefit of both parties to the agreement.

Andrew Lennox, President of the Scottish Schools stated “ I have for many years tried to establish this type of arrangement with overseas schools and I am delighted that Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, has recognised the mutual benefits of such a cooperation.  We look forward to welcoming their students.

Glasgow and Global Schools’ first Sister School arrangement

We are delighted to announce that Glasgow School of English and Global School of English Edinburgh have established a Bilateral Agreement with Ecole Diagonale School in Paris to work together to give students and staff of the French school the opportunity of studying English in Scotland.  Pictured here are Filip Zafirovski from Ecole Diagonale and Andrew Lennox, President of Glasgow and Global Schools.

The Scottish schools are offering a sister school relationship to be developed with Ecole Diagonale.

  • The sister school arrangement will provide the following to each of the institutions:
  • Ecole Diagonale will send to Glasgow /Edinburgh a group of students each year.
  • The Scottish schools will provide a prize each year to be offered to senior students of Ecole Diagonale.
  • The prize will be a two week course of English including accommodation, transfers, teaching materials and sightseeing.
  • Ecole Diagonale will provide an award ceremony each year where the prize(s) will be awarded to its students by a Scottish schools’ representative.
  • Ecole Diagonale will provide opportunities to promote the Scottish schools and what they offer, to students and staff of the French school.

As the relationship matures, teacher exchange will be considered and developed for mutual benefit to both parties of the agreement.

Andrew Lennox, President of the Scottish Schools stated “ I have for many years tried to establish this type of arrangement with overseas schools and I am delighted that Ecole Diagonale has recognised the mutual benefits of such a co-operation. We look forward to welcoming their students.

Interesting things about Edinburgh

As well as being an ancient city, Edinburgh is home to lots of fascinating places, people and things. We’d like to tell you about some of these, beginning with what is probably the only penguin in the world that has been knighted (given the rank “Sir”) by a king.

This penguin lives at Edinburgh Zoo. The zoo is a really interesting place and well worth a visit while you are staying in Edinburgh. Their penguin enclosure is amazing, with a huge glass wall where you can see the penguins swimming under the water.

One of these penguins is the Colonel-in-chief and mascot of the Norwegian Royal Guard. When he was knighted in 2008, he was also given the name Sir Nils Olav. After the ceremony when he was knighted he then “inspected” the guard of soldiers who attended the ceremony. When the Norwegian Royal Guard soldiers visit Edinburgh, as they sometimes do for the Edinburgh International Festival, they always pay Sir Nils a visit!

A statue with a traffic cone on its head!

Although Global School is based in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, many of our students take a trip to Glasgow, fifty miles to the west.

Edinburgh, as you’ll see when you come here, is an ancient, historic city, with lots of statues. Glasgow is another very old city and it has quite a few statues in its public squares and other places too. However, while most people in Edinburgh probably don’t know who all the statutes in the city represent, in Glasgow just about everyone knows the statue of the Duke of Wellington (the famous British soldier, politician and Prime Minister) seated on his horse, in Royal Exchange Square.

The statue of the Duke is in front of the Gallery of Modern Art. When you come to study at Global School of English, if you go to Glasgow you will have the opportunity to go to see the modern art in this Gallery and when you do make sure you have a look at this statue.

The reason why everyone in Glasgow knows this statue is because it has, for many years, had a traffic cone on the head of the Duke. Originally put there as a joke, it’s now regarded as an essential part of the statue and if it’s ever removed then it’s soon replaced.

A few years ago, the Council (local government) decided that they would raise the plinth (the block on which the statue sits) a few feet so that no-one would be able to get the cone back on the Duke’s head. The Glaswegians were not pleased and the Council changed its mind. However, as this video shows, it’s not easy to get the cone up there!

“Going to the pictures”

Whether it’s Star Wars, James Bond or a romantic love story, everyone loves a good film. While you have to have a reasonable level of English to watch most of them, there is no doubt that “going to the pictures” (as we say in Scotland) is a good way to improve your English.

We know that many of our students like going to the movies and there are lots to choose from in Edinburgh. The main ones are listed below, with a link to each website so you can see what films are being shown.

Cineworld, Fountain Park, close to the city centre.

Vue, also close to the city centre, in Leith Street.

The Dominion, in Morningside, also close to the city centre.

Cameo is just on the edge of the city centre.

The Odeon, Edinburgh, is in Lothian Road, just a few minutes walk from Princes Street (the main street in Edinburgh city centre.

Edinburgh Filmhouse is also in Lothian Road.

There are other cinemas too, so if you like films then you’ll be spoiled for choice when you come to study with Global School of English in Edinburgh.

 

 

Наш первый визит в Шотландию (Our first visit to Scotland)

Visiting a new country for the first time is always an exciting experience. For us, as two English language academics from Novosibirsk in Russia, it was particularly interesting as we were in Scotland to meet Andrew Lennox, the President of three schools of English, based in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

We arrived in Glasgow on 28th of January and stayed there for nearly a week, with various excursions to Edinburgh and other Scottish cities and also had time to travel around the beautiful countryside (it really is a very beautiful place). During our time in the city we were really taken by the warm welcome we received: everyone is very friendly and helpful.

On the 29th, we went with Andrew to Stirling University, to see the purpose-built campus (see picture below) where Hamilton School of English holds its summer programme for young learners.

Close by Stirling University is the Wallace Monument, an impressive tower that celebrates William Wallace, the Scottish patriot who led the war of independence in the 13th century (he is the central figure in the movie Braveheart). We climbed the steps and from the top (see next photo) there is an amazing view of the surrounding countryside, including Stirling Castle (in the background on the lower ridge behind Andrew), which is also well worth a visit.

The next day we visited Glasgow School of English and then on the 31st we went to Edinburgh to view Global School of English (see next photo) where we met Duncan Fitzhowie, the Director of Studies.

We were able to spend some time in a class in each School and were very impressed by the classrooms and the quality of teaching on offer. In both cities we went on “hop-on/off” tourist busses, which gave us a good idea of the range of buildings, museums, parks and other sites that are available for students to enjoy.

Finally, on our last day in Scotland we went to Oban, north of Glasgow on the west coast and also visited Loch Lomond and the countryside around it. It really is very scenic and it’s no surprise that Scotland was last year voted the most beautiful country in the world.

Throughout our stay we were very well looked after and had some lovely meals (see photo above!), with Andrew and a few of his colleagues. We took away an impression of a very safe and secure place where our students would feel at home and where they will be able to improve their English to a high standard.

Ekaterina Kostina,
Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages,
PhD, professor of the English Language Chair,
Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University.

St Valentine comes to Scotland

Although obviously a Christian Saint, St Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many non-Christian countries around the world and tonight many couples will have romantic dinners and quite a few people will propose marriage to their partner.

However, did you know that the actual St Valentine’s relics (bones/mortal remains) are – probably – in Glasgow? Glasgow is only about 50 minutes away from Edinburgh by train and it is a very big city with a lot of things to see, including the box containing St Valentine!

Saint Valentine was an early Christian martyr (someone who is killed for his or her faith) from northern Italy. A French family is said to have given his bones to the Franciscan monks who had established a church in Cumberland Street in Glasgow in 1868.

Now we have to be honest and say that churches in Terni, near Rome, and in Dublin also claim to hold the remains of Saint Valentine, and it’s also said that the bones were divided between the three locations.

Most people in Scotland had no idea about St Valentine’s remains and it was only when the Franciscans moved with the relics to the Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in Ballater Street in 1999 that the existence of the Saint’s remains became well known. Nowadays, anyone can go and see the small wooden casket in which St Valentine’s remains are kept. If you want to know more about this, or to go and see them, you can find out more at this link.

What do (French) students think of Global School of English?

It’s very important to language schools like ours to make sure that every aspect of our service – the teaching, naturally, but also accommodation, food, course materials, etc. – is of a very high standard.

We do surveys every three months, but we don’t have many opportunities to get feedback from a number of individuals sent from the same partner agency such as Nacel our partner in France, so when we received a report from the Nacel agency we were interested to see what they said.

They marked us against a number of different categories: rooms, comfort, food, the course, the teaching methods, the course materials and organisation plus the information provided by the School. We were scored out of a maximum of five for each category and the results were as follows:

  • Accommodation – 4.64
  • Room – 4.55
  • Comfort – 5.00
  • Food – 4.91
  • Course – 4.73
  • Method – 4.91
  • Materials – 4.55
  • Organisation – 4.73
  • Information – 4.64

In addition, some of the individual comments were particularly pleasing. Some representative comments from the students are shown below:

“A big thank you to my host family who were really great.”

“My host family gave me an extremely friendly welcome and the organisation of the school and the family was perfect. It was difficult to leave.”

“I had a good stay.”

“everything runs perfectly well.”

Finally, Aurélie Boudon from Nacel told us in an email, “The mark is really excellent, congratulations!!  Please thank all your team!! Very good job regarding homestays too!”

Duncan Fitzhowie, Director of Studies, Global School of English

Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are fun because they difficult to say and you often get the words and letters all mixed up! However, they are a good way to improve your pronunciation. Often they are hard to say because they feature alliteration, which just means using a lot of words together that have the same letter or sound at the beginning of each word, such as in the tongue-twister “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.”

Tongue twisters exist in many different languages. Here are some examples.

Maltese

Toni tagħna tani tina talli tajtu tuta tajba
Our Tony gave a fig because I gave him a good berry.

Japanese

豚は豚の歌を歌う。
Buta wa buta no uta o utau.
The pig sings the pig’s song.

Croatian

Hrvoje sa Hvara hrani hrčka
Hrvoje from Hvar island is feeding a hamster

Latin

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiarii?
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

This last one, in Latin, is also a tongue twister in English. Here are a few more in English.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! 

Seven slick slimey snakes slowly sliding southward.

What noise annoys an oyster most?
A noisy noise annoys an oyster most.
 

And finally, our favourite, and, we believe, the most difficult. Try saying this three times, quickly!

“The Leith Police dismisseth us.”