Lisa's week: Holiday season is coming!
As May turns into June, many of you are turning to thoughts of holidays in locations far and near, exotic and familiar, in the mountains or just lying on the beach.
A typical three-week German holiday means time out of the office, away from the regular routine of business English and will also impact your English lessons. Several weeks out of practice can make your first few days back feel hard work as you get back into the routine of speaking, reading and writing English again.
However, there are definitely a few things that you can do to practice your language skills in an easy way while still enjoying time away from the day to day.
- If you’re going somewhere new and you need a guidebook, try getting it in English. Amazon have a full range of paper and e-books available in English and my absolute favourite range of travel books are the “DK Eyewitness” guides which are filled with great photos, drawings and information.
- Many of you will be travelling by plane and this part of the journey is positively filled with English vocabulary if you keep your eyes and ears open! Almost everything at the airport is in two languages and very often, all the announcements on the plane are carried out in two languages too. This type of vocabulary can be really useful when you have to travel abroad for business so try picking up some new words and practicing more everyday ones such as “to take off”, “the runway”, “departures” and “arrivals”.
- Many hotels and resorts have to deal with international travellers and may need to be able to speak English as well as their own language. Rather than communicating with them in German, try having the courage to try using English. It can be easier than you think. Most people find that communicating with another non-native English speaker is much easier than trying to talk to a Brit or an American for example.
- Do you love reading on the beach or next to the pool? Think about taking along an English book, magazine or newspaper and giving that a go for a few minutes every day. If you are new to reading English books, try one that you’ve already read in German so you know the plot and don’t have to fight to understand what is going on in the story. That way you can focus on the language and vocabulary.
- Perhaps you are a culture lover and enjoy visiting museums and historical locations. These places very often present their information in English as well as their own language so you could try reading this information. This information is often short and specific to the item/place/piece of art being presented which can make it easier to understand.
- And of course, there’s also the eponymous Irish bar that can be found in almost every town in the world – or so it seems! I’ve heard that the staff in these bars are often English speakers and we all know that after a Guinness or two, everyone can speak great English!
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg for using English abroad and no doubt I will return to this topic again in the future. Even if you find yourself in a resort where they speak more German than English, there are still ways to slip a little English into your travels here and there! Practising where and when you can will keep it fresh and save time warming back up again in the language when you get back to work. Why not give one or two of these ideas a go?
What is Lisa's week?
"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"
Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday
Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?
Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?
Episode 4: The sound of London
Episode 5: Not just a last resort
Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise
Episode 7: Title talk
Episode 8: The Union Jack
Episode 9: Why Thursday?
Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?
Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!
Episode 13: Up in the Highlands
Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends
Episode 15: Pie in the sky
Episode 16: Through the tunnel
Episode 17: Keep left!
Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise
Episode 19: How do you say that?
Episode 20: Back to School!
Episode 21: Sweet cravings
Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?
Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"
Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)
Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?
Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.
Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!
Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot
Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?
Episode 30: Bless you!
Episode 31: What are you thankful for?
Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?
Episode 33: What's behind the door?
Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!
Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?
Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year
Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?
Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2
Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?
Episode 40: Sweet Valentine
Episode 41: A Reminder
Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!
Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils
Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question
Episode 45: The whole world's going green!
Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs
Episode 47: The joke's on you!
Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!
Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings
Episode 50: We use German words too
Episode 51: Celebrating St George
Episode 52: The perfect start to the day
Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)
Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)
Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)