Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top mobile apps for English students in London

There are so many mobile apps out there to help make life easier, but what about students coming to London to learn English, are there any apps that can help you settle in to your new city to make the transition just that bit easier?

This article lists some of the best apps out there for international students in London.

Dictionary and slang apps
If English isn’t your first language and you have never visited London before, there are going to be words and phrases that you might not understand.  Slang words commonly used by Londoners might not have been taught when you were learning English.

Slang apps such as this one will help you translate common slang words into their proper English meaning.  There are also plenty of dictionary apps that will translate words and phrases you are unsure about.

Public Transport apps
One of the great things about London is how extensive the public transport is.  If you are planning a journey, apps can be really useful if you need to know how to get to a certain place but don’t know how.  Tube maps apps will tell you what tube station you need to get on and where you need to change to get to your destination.  Bus map apps will do the same job. The Transport for London journey planner can also help you find how to get from one place in London to another place in the city.

Discount apps
The National Union of Students has an app that tells you about discounts that are currently available for students.  This can be really useful because when you first move to London you will probably find you need to buy lots of things, use this to get discounts on lots of items that are essential for students.

Study aid apps
You can now study easily anywhere you want with the help of apps that let you create revision notes on your phone.  Whether you are sitting on a London bus or tube you will be able to look at your notes and get some last minute studying done before a big exam.  Even the most dedicated English students need a rest from studying though, so it’s always a good idea not to study too hard!

Explore London
London is a huge city and deserves to be explored.  There are lots of apps that will help guide you around the city, whether you are thinking of doing it by foot, public transport or bicycle.  Some apps can take you on historic tours of London, some will guide you on tours of where movies were filmed, others will take you to some of the best shops.

If you’re studying in London you will want to make the most of everything the city has to offer so why not use as many apps as you can to get the most out the city.

Official city guide
London has an official app for visitors to the city.  It’s a great starting point if you are new to London and will help you get your bearings but also help you find interesting things to do.  Take a look at the walking routes it suggests which will help you discover certain parts of the city and give you a feel for what London is really like.

London can be quite a daunting city when you first arrive, but by using some or all of these apps you will hopefully find that you will settle in much better and discover things about London that you might not otherwise have done.

Can you think of any other useful apps for English students in London or anywhere else? Let us know in the comments section!

This blog post was written on behalf of Twin English Centres by Patrick Martin. Patrick works for Clarendon, a serviced apartments provider in London.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

5 activities for learning English in London fast!

London is an amazing place to live and learn English. But did you know that as well as going to a language school, there are lots of activities for EFL students in London to help improve your English faster, and many of them are free! Here is our top 5 list of things you can do in London to speed up your English learning.

1. Read a newspaper

The London Evening Standard is one of the oldest newspapers in the UK, and since October 2009 it has been available for free outside train and tube stations. Reading the Standard will help you keep up to date with the latest events in London and learn common words and phrases that British people use regularly.

2. Join a language exchange group

There are several groups in London for people who want to meet up and practise speaking English to each other. Some groups involve native English speakers who will also want to practise speaking to you in your native language to help them learn, others are 100% made up of English learners like you. A great list of London language exchange groups is available here http://language-exchange.meetup.com/cities/gb/17/london/

3. Visit the Museum of London

The Museum of London has worksheets for English students to help them practise using the words they will learn visiting the exhibitions in the museum. You can find worksheets about the different parts of the museum here. The museum is also one of the best ways to learn about life in London since the city was born in 43 AD!

4. Get socialising

A lot of English schools in London have social programmes to help their English students meet new people and practise their English on them while having lots of fun at the same time. We think the Twin social programme is the best one in London! Why not visit our website or our Facebook page to find out the details of what's happening this week?

5. Join a library

Each London borough has public libraries which anyone working, living or studying in the borough can join and borrow books for free. Public libraries in London have lots of books suitable for English students whatever their IELTS level, so you are sure to find a book to read that can help you improve your English. For Twin students, the closest libraries are in the borough of Lewisham, and you can find out more information about how to join the libraries in Lewisham here.

Can you think of any other activities or things to do in London that can help you learn English? Let us know in the comments section!