Outline of Year 1 – 6 English Reading Skills

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http://hagsoc.org.au/?a=azithromycin-500-mg-cost-in-Australia Oxford OwlIs your child entering school in the UK, where they will be taught in English?

go to site If English is not your first language, it can be really hard to understand what schools in the UK need your child to be able to do. ‘Literacy’ means ‘ability to read’ and it is a key skill in English.

zithromax 250mg cost Canada The Oxford Owl website provides a really useful and short guide to the key terms and requirements surrounding literacy. Firstly, children ‘learn to read’ (the skills of reading). After that, they ‘read to learn’ (read to understanding information).

buy zithromax for humans Have a look at this page on the Oxford Owl website to understand more about:

  • Statutory requirements for teaching reading
  • Assessing progress
  • Different ways to teach and practise reading


Why are Japanese women still bewitched by the Brontes?

Charlotte Bronte

A portrait 
of Charlotte Bronte by J. H. Thompson, held at the Bronte Parsonage Museum | PUBLIC DOMAIN

I found this interesting article from The Japan Times: Why are Japanese women still bewitched by the Brontes?

I have always loved the Brontes, and their hometown of Haworth, in the scenic Yorkshire Moors, is near where my mother lives.

I recommend reading their books to my students of English. Unfortunately, the books are difficult read for non-native readers of English. So why not try an easy reader?

Oxford Bookworms offer (Amazon.co.uk links):

The Bronte Story (Level 3 – pre-intermediate)

Wuthering Heights (Level 5 – upper-intermediate)

Jane Eyre (Level 6 -advanced)

Or, try ‘The Classic Bronte BBC Collection’ adaptations of the novels? A 5 DVD box-set is only about £6! You can see the beautiful countryside which might inspire you to visit the wonderful country of Yorkshire!

British Pronunciation and Accents

Dialect coach Andrew Jack does ‘A tour of the British Isles in accents’. It’s a really interesting, quick overview of how very different the accents in the UK can be.

The most accepted and sought-after accent is know as RP, or ‘Received Pronunciation’. Traditionally, this accent has been referred to as ‘The Queen’s English’ or ‘BBC English’. These days, however, it seems the accent has softened, become less a marker of the upper social classes, and it is essentially just a standard Southern English accent.

Many students like to learn a clear, standard British accent by using a pronunciation book. These come with CDs so you can practice and get familiar with the sounds whilst you are doing something else, like washing the dishes!

If you wish learn standard British accent, we recommend ‘Tree or Three’ for elementary level (Amazon links below)
Tree or Three? Student’s Book and Audio CD: An Elementary Pronunciation Course

‘Ship or Sheep’ for intermediate level
Ship or Sheep? Book and Audio CD Pack: An Intermediate Pronunciation Course

or ‘Get Rid of Your Accent’ for upper intermediate / advanced Level
Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual

What is Easter all about?

Happy Easter from IsshoniLondon.co.uk!

Happy Easter from IsshoniLondon.co.uk!

Easter is very early in 2016! Luckily, the daffodils are out and it feels like spring is coming soon.

Easter is a time in England when we all eat too much chocolate, too many hot cross buns and have a lovely lamb roast.

This year, my son is almost 3 years old, and he will enjoy looking for Easter eggs (hollow chocolate wrapped in foil) in an ‘Easter Egg Hunt’. I think I will tell him that the ‘Easter Bunny’ left the eggs (a German tradition).

What else do you know about Easter? This website, ‘Project Britain’ has lots of interesting information about Easter traditions. Read all about it here! http://projectbritain.com/easter.html

Open Culture – Free content to improve your English

openculture logo‘Open Culture: The best free cultural & educational media on the web’
Audio Books
Online Courses
Certificate Courses/MOOCs

This fascinating site is sure to be of interest to adult learners of English language.

Check out Open Culture’s list of ‘Free content to improve your English’ here: http://www.openculture.com/free_english_lessons. Many of the links are free iTunes feed, where you can hear authentic English in podcasts – download and listen at any time!

I really liked the Peter Sellers (British comedian, 1925-1980) demonstration of British accents- gives a good overview!

Peter Sellers Gives a Quick Demonstration of British Accents

Peter Sellers Reads The Beatles’ “She Loves You” in 4 Different Accents: Dr. Strangelove, Cockney, Irish & Upper Crust

Mothering Sunday & Simnel Cakes

Mary Berry's Simnel Cake - The 11 Marzipan Balls Represent Jesus's 12 Apostles - Minus Judas!

Mary Berry’s Simnel Cake – The 11 Marzipan Balls Represent Jesus’s 12 Apostles – Minus Judas!

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Mothering Sunday is also sometimes know as ‘Simnel Sunday’ because of the tradition of baking Simnel cakes. Simnel cakes are like traditional Christmas cakes, but lighter, and were not eaten on Mothering Sunday because of the rules of Lent, but saved until Easter.

Click here for Mary Berry’s Simnel Cake Recipe!

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The date of Mother’s Day varies from year to year. In 2016, Easter will be earlier than usual. Because of that, Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day) will also be earlier, as it is always the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Upcoming Mother’s Day dates: 6th March 2016 / 26th March 2017 / 11th March 2018 / 31st March 2019


Answering a Negative Question in English

https://sociorocketnewsen.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/screen-shot-2016-01-22-at-11-23-18.png?w=580&h=343In Japanese, we agree if the speaker’s statement is correct. In English, we confirm the negative content of the statement. It can be quite confusing! I found a funny article explaining this ‘quirk’ here on Rocket News: ‘When “yes” means “no”.’

can you buy antibiotics without a doctor prescription UK A: あら!牛乳ない!買いに行かなきゃ。
Ara! Gyuunyuu nai! Kai ni ikanakya.
Ah, there’s no milk! I’d better go and buy some.

http://bsquared-consulting.com/?a=low-price-cipro-online B: 牛乳ないって?
Gyuunyuu nai tte?
We don’t have any milk?

source A: うん。

*in English, we would say no. ‘No, we don’t have any.’ NOT ‘Yes, you are right, we don’t have any.’

‘Stephen Fry welcomes you to Heathrow’ video!

Stephen Fry is a popular English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist. He is also the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI. Here, he gives his advice in a video shown at Heathrow airport. What do you think about it?

ribenaI like the part about everyone cheering in the pub if you break a glass. When I worked in a pub during university, I once dropped a full bottle of Ribena blackcurrant drink – it broke and made a terrible mess. But everyone clapped and shouted, so I felt a bit better!

By the way, Ribena is traditional British drink, produced since 1938, that I was surprised to hear was bought by Japanese company Suntory in 2013!

Do you like Paddington?

Paddington BearThe Paddington Bear film will finally be released in Japan on January 16th, 2016. It is a year after the film was released in the UK. This article in The Japan Times says that Winnie-the-Pooh (Pooh-san!) has been much more popular in Japan than Paddington. I think that is definitely true. But I love Paddington.

Teddy bear aficionado Satomi Terakawa says “I get the feeling that people who like Paddington are people who speak excellent English and have been to London.” Maybe so, but the Britain in the film is designed for adults and children anywhere to enjoy!

What do you think? Do you like Paddington? If yes, there is a wonderful shop in Paddington Station, London, for you to visit – of course, it’s the ‘Paddington Bear Shop’! http://www.thisispaddington.com/article/paddington-bear-shop