May 16th, 2013
One of the greatest and boldest ideas in London in the twentieth century was the work of actor and director Sam Wannamaker. He decided to recreate the original 16th century theatre in which William Shakespeare’s plays were originally presented.
We knew where the theatre was; by the river bank in Southwark (between London Bridge andWestminster) as there were plenty of maps in those days. We knew what it was
called; it was The Globe Theatre. We knew what it looked like as there were afew drawings and printed pictures of it.
Theatres were quite different then. Most of the audience stood up in the middle of the theatre in front of the stage. The expensive tickets were for seats at the back at various levels . The first floor would be the most expensive. Also, there was no roof over the whole theatre so the poor people standing up would get wet in the rain. The audience could be expected to get very involved in the play, they would boo the villains, cheer the heroes and shout their approval or disapproval of the play or the actors. It was more like going to a football
Theatres were not popular with the extreme Christians in the government and they were frequently raided and closed down by the army. Some puritans thought that the plays promoted low morals, aggression, sexual promiscuity and criticism of the government. Of course, all the plays did really was describe life and people as they actually were.
Sam Wanamaker’s grand idea to reconstruct and open the Globe theatre to the public was a huge risk. Would people really want to stand up and watch plays? Would they buy
tickets with a chance they could get wet or cold? ( this is London remember) The answer to these questions was a loud ‘yes’. The Globe theatre is now in its 3rd decade of
operation and it’s difficult to get a ticket. Shakespeare is more popular than ever and, thanks to the Globe theatre, there is always a Shakespeare play to see in London.
I’ve just booked 2 tickets at the Globe to see ‘The Tempest’, Shakespeare’s last play and one of my favourites, but it wasn’t easy. It’s standing room only.
Robin, Assistant Director of Studies
May 15th, 2013
Most of you have probably tried to consider all necessary expenses in London prior to your arrival in the UK. However, you may find yourselves in a situation where you need to pay another higher amount of money while you are staying in London. Perhaps it is for something that you couldn’t foresee when having planned your expenses beforehand.
* You might want to extend your course at UIC and study a bit longer
* You would like to book accommodation with us so that you can stay in London for a bit longer
* You have a lost your purse or your bag got stolen which contained all your bank and credit cards or a lot of cash
If you have a bank account here, there is always the possibility of transferring money from your home country (sent by your family or a friend) into your UK bank account. Please bear in mind, your bank might charge you extra fees for international banking and it might take 3-7 working days until you receive the money.
Western Union Money Transfer
For those of you who are only studying here for a few weeks and haven’t got a bank account, there is another way to receive money from home.
You can use Western Union in order to move money from home to different countries worldwide. By phoning Western Union (please visit www.westernunion.com to find the right customer service number for you country) money can be sent within minutes or the next day to you. A given bank card will be charged and the money will then be ready for collection at any local agent in the UK. You only need to show the receipt number of the transfer (which you will be given after the transfer has been successful) to the agent and they will cash the money for you.
To find the closest location to your house, you can visit http://locations.westernunion.com
Closest local Western Union agent to UIC:
107 Great Portland Street, London W1W 6QG
Tel: +44 800 833833
Open Monday–Saturday 9 am – 6pm, Sunday closed
184-188/400 Oxford Street, London, W1D 1NP
Tel: +44 08458 727627
Open Monday –Sunday 8am – 8pm
If you have any questions, please ask in Reception.
May 10th, 2013
There’s a lot going on at UIC and in London!
To keep up to date and make sure you don’t miss anything:
* Follow us on Facebook : see photos from recent social events and keep in touch with your classmates, old and new
* Tweet us on Twitter : follow news about learning English and things to see and do in London
* Check out our YouTube channel : we have a great new animation, which we’re sure you’ll love!
* Login to your E-Learning account : have you seen the news page and the events calendar?
* Keep reading these blog posts : we’ll be bringing a new look to the blog soon – be the first to see it!!
May 3rd, 2013
One well-known course book writer once said that ‘what students really want is to have better conversations in English’. And of course that’s quite true. The wish to use English in various kinds of conversation is by far the most common reason for our students to come to our school. What this really means is that they need to develop fluency and a wider range of expressions.
One of the great advantages for you if you study in a class that you find relatively easy is that you will be able to speak with confidence. Confidence is one of the most important aspects in learning a language effectively. Confidence will give you the ability to communicate things which you didn’t think you could say. You may make mistakes but that’s what your teacher is for. If you think you will be able to do a speaking task quite easily, you will be able to push yourself to say more, try different ways of saying things. This is how you develop the range of your communication.
It actually helps you to work with students who are not quite as good as you. It’s quite common to hear people say that if you want to know something really well, teach it to someone else. Try this yourself, tell your friend about something you need to learn well. You’ll find it makes a lot more sense to you. It’s the same with language; one of the best things you can do is help a fellow student about, for example, the past perfect or the difference between 2 or 3 words. It’s much less likely that you will forget it again after you do this.
English teachers talk about the idea of ‘comprehensible input’. This means that the language they use should be at the level of the class or slightly above. You won’t know all the language your teacher uses but you will understand everything she says. In a class which is high for you, you will be constantly struggling to follow exactly what’s happening and feel tense and under pressure. This is no way to learn to communicate. It’s better to be comfortable with the language used around you. Each time you hear a familiar pattern of speech and fully understand a sentence, you internalise a bit more deeply that speech pattern (that way of saying something).
All teachers know (or at least they should know) that students, without sufficient review, will probably forget 80% of what they tried to learn in one week. We can help this situation with constant practice, homework and review activities in class. However, it will still help to limit the number of new bits of language you try to learn in a week. There really is no point in trying hard to learn something and then forgetting it. What a waste of time! The best way to limit the new language items to a reasonable number is to stay in a class where you are familiar with most of the language you need to use.
April 30th, 2013
London is a big city and it can be difficult at first to ‘find your feet’ and know where you need to go to set yourself up with the essentials you need.
Luckily, UIC school is very central and you can find almost everything you need within a 5 minute walk. Here are some tips:
Give a passport photo to Reception to get a UIC student card it offers discounts in various shops and cafes, cinemas and attractions
Mr Craftsman’s Workshop
50 Great Portland Street
London W1W 7ND
Pens & Notebooks
You’ll need something to write with during your UIC classes. Ryman sells everything you could ever need for this!
14-16 Great Portland Street
London W1W 8QW
If you didn’t bring one with you, you’ll need to buy one so that you can use all your electrical equipment in the UK
302 Regent Street
London W1B 3AS
(Boots also has a Pharmacy if you need to buy any medicines)
Mobile SIM Card
There are many mobile phone shops in nearby Oxford Street so you can quickly get your phone working in the UK without paying expensive calls charges. We recommend you visit several shops to find the best deal for you.
407 Oxford Street
London W1C 2PA
368 Oxford Street
London W1C 1JW
339-405 Oxford Street
London W1C 2BU
There are two well-known UK supermarkets close to the school
29-35 Mortimer Street
London W1T 3JG
10-16 Goodge Street
London W1T 2QB
Postage & Packing
You may want to send a postcard or two to your family, or buy some packing boxes to send some presents
54 – 56 Great Portland Street
London W1W 7NE
72 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 7QW
(The Post Office can get very busy so this is a good alternative which offers all the same postage services)
April 29th, 2013
* Congratulations to Jihyun Hwang who is the winner of this month’s UIC Photo Competition! *
The subject this month was London parks.
Jihuyn wins a FREE London attraction ticket. Watch this space for details of May’s competition coming soon!