how to improve everyday english conversation skills

7 Tips to Improve Everyday English Conversation Skills

Your Everyday English Conversation Skills

How to make Effective Progress

Having an everyday conversation in English can be more challenging than learning grammar. But with a few tips and by following some techniques, you can easily make progress. Read our guide for useful tips written by our teachers.

1. Memorise plenty of phrasal verbs

Have you noticed how adding one tiny word (a preposition or particle e.g. to/out/up) to a verb can entirely change its meaning? Phrasal verbs change the meaning of a verb, some have a literal meaning and others create a whole new phrases and meaning!

It’s worth learning phrasal verbs and looking out for them when you are having an English conversation to familiarise yourself. Phrasal verbs might look confusing at first, but when you learn the basics, they’re logical. They’re very common in spoken English, so get a list and start learning them.

For example, ‘up’, and the verb ‘stand’. Stand means to already be in a position on your feet, but when we add the word ‘up’, it suddenly means to move out of your chair and stand. Up can be directional (climb up e.g. ladder), completion (use up all the milk – no milk left), fulfillment (full up- had enough to eat/drink), increase (turn up e.g. the volume). Speaking is by far the best way to learn phrasal verbs naturally in English Conversation.

2. Spice up your speak with idioms and phrases

English conversations have some truly bizarre phrases. You might be confused as to why your friend arrives on your doorstep with an umbrella and announces “it’s raining cats and dogs outside!”. Before you check for any animals falling from the sky, first check that it’s not simply an idiom. Idioms are very common in English conversation and a quick Google search will inform you of the most common ones used.

3. Exaggerate!

A surprising number of learners neglect this in their English conversation and it sometimes does stop them sounding like native speakers. Simply modifiers (e.g. extremely, very, so, really) for adjectives and adverbs with a little bit of emphasis can change a sentence and create more engaging English Conversation. You’ve heard native English conversation, with intonation that creates interest and better interaction. We tend to exaggerate facts (e.g somebody who is pretty will often be described as really pretty) for better English conversation.

4. Somethings are just there for politeness

This often applies mainly to English conversation in Britain, the country stereotyped for unwavering politeness. Saying sorry for any appearance of misunderstanding, and please and thank you for everything whilst queuing will have you looking and speaking like a British person in no time.

Sometimes simple statements are made confusing just for take sake of politeness. This includes the use of indirection questions, using language of speculation and many other grammatical structures to complicate matters.

5. Use common responses

One of the golden rules of small talk is to always respond to statements to show that you are listening, and actively engaged in the conversation. One way to achieve this is by using a list of common responses.

Here’s a list of common responses to get you started:

that’s fantastic!, I’m so pleased for you, I’m glad to hear that, lucky you!, I’m glad to hear that, that’s so true!, have a good time, good luck, Congratulations, Oh no!, I’m always here for you, oh dear!, you’ll be fine, cheer up, I’m sorry to hear that, just do your best, no way!, are you serious? I know right!, I can’t believe it.

6. Use question tags

Another way to engage listeners is to use question tags. Question tags are a common occurrence in English conversation and they have a two main purposes. The first is to verify that information is correct, so to clarify information. For example, ‘You said you are coming back at 8, didn’t you?’. The second is to engage the listener into what you’re saying, for example ‘This restaurant is brilliant, isn’t it?’

Learn more about when and how to use question tags.

7. Practice, practice and practice!

To learn, you need to practice. You can start off by speaking to yourself in the mirror, then move on to recording yourself, and finally, practice with a human! You can find others who are also learning like you, make friends with expats, join a language course, or find a private teacher.

Do you feel more confident to have everyday English conversations? Get in touch if you wish to learn more about English conversation classes.

water sports and activities in Malta

17 Water Sports to Try in Malta and Gozo

Enjoy the sea with a variety of water sports in Malta

Malta is a well-loved holiday destination for people of all ages and travel interests. We could list tons of reasons Malta should be on every travel bucket-list out there. But the main reasons will always be the sea, water sports options and the language in Malta. Due to the climate and clean, clear waters, you can try any kind of water sport imaginable, throughout most of the year.

Here’s a list of water sports to try in Malta

1. Stand-up Paddling

This reminds me of many wonderful adventures with friends or family, when a group of us would take out to sea, a paddle at a time. We would take turns at steering and paddling, which is akin to cycling, exploring the entire bay and stopping in various places to take a dip. Paddleboats are available to rent at many beaches by the hour and make for a memorable group experience.

2. Kayaking

Kayaking is an adventure sport of sorts but takes only a little practice to master the hand paddles. Once you are on the go, it’s just awesome. The kayak is small enough to gain entry to smaller spaces and explore cliffs, caves and bays along stretches of coast. A single kayak gives you full independence and offers space to store some goodies so you could make a day of it. Double kayaks create a team experience for the two people sharing a kayak.

3. Windsurfing

Windsurfing is certainly not as easy as it looks, but once the wind is in the sail, the experience of riding the wind on the waves is incomparable to anything else. You may need a few lessons to get the hang of it but, if you are inspired, persist – it’s worth the effort.

4. Kitesurfing

This water sport is probably best suited for the wildly adventurous and those who already have some experience standing on a board on water. Having flown a kite before probably helps too. The wind catches the kite and drags you along the surface of the water, and if you are really expert, you can show off a few acrobatic skills too.

5. Bodyboarding

Okay let’s tone it down a little. Bodyboarding is accessible to anyone, including children. You can purchase a polystyrene foam bodyboard for very little and simply take it with you to the beach and wait for the waves. Lean on the board and catch a wave at the right moment and it will take you all the way to the shore at full speed!

6. Flyboarding

Of all the water sports in Malta, this is one of the most exhilarating solo activities. Beat the laws of gravity with flyboarding, a nifty little jetback that allows you to move through air and water. Get ready for a bit of excitement!

7. Parasailing

For a more gentle experience of wind and water, glide through the air wearing an open parachute while being towed by a motor boat. You’ll finally discover what it feels like to float in the air.

8. Water-skiing

Go back to the days when it was not boards but skis you wore to ride the waves. It’s not as difficult as it looks: apply the skis at a suitable angle against the water as you are being towed by a motor boat and, before you know it, you are skiing on water!

9. Jet-skiing

If you prefer to hold the power, opt for a jetski ride. Akin to riding a motorbike on water, riding a jetski is a high adrenaline adventure sport and not for the faint hearted. One word of warning: this is so much fun that you may just get addicted to indulging in such water sports in Malta!

10. Renting a Speedboat

Extend the power to a boat to share with a group of friends and spend the day riding from beach to beach as you fly above the waves at great speed. There is little as exhilarating as riding the open sea in a high powered speed boat. A licence may be required to rent one, or you could just rent a ride!

11. Chartering a Yacht

Treat yourself to some luxury with a yacht charter, complete with skipper, and gain a taste of the rich man’s life. Yachts of many sizes may be chartered for days or weeks and may turn out quite affordable between a group of friends.

12. Sailing

Nothing beats the silence of sailing through the waves with just the wind whistling through the sails, the constant clank of rope against mast and the whoosh of the waves beneath the hull. Sailing is a unique experience and, if you can’t sail, just go on a sailing trip with your very own skipper.

13. Fishing

Learn English in Malta and take the opportunity to also learn about deep sea fishing during a fishing trip in a local fishing boat. You may head so far out at sea that you may lose sight of land. Then it is just the sea, the sky, you, and the fish. There is nothing quite like an offshore fishing experience.

14. Deep Water Soloing

This one is for those who adore a physical challenge. Deep water soloing is a form of solo rock climbing on sea cliffs, which relies on the presence of water at the base of a climb to cushion against falls. A certain confidence about how to fall in water and climb without a harness is essential.

15. Scuba Diving

Diving in Malta is a big deal! Malta and Gozo are well-established on the the global diving map, and with good reason! There are over seventy dive sites around the island, including wrecks, artificial reefs, underwater caves, tunnels, arches, natural reefs and pools, all teeming with marine life. There are several competent and professional diving centres that serve the first time diver and seasoned diver alike.

16. Snorkelling

For those a little less adventurous but keen to take a look beneath the waves, there is also plenty to discover. A simple mask and air pipe allows you to peek at fantastic rock formations and marine life from a new perspective and gains you entrance into a whole new world.

17. Swimming

And if you want to just unwind and enjoy relaxing time, there is nothing quite as refreshing as a dip in the sea. Swimming ranges from energetic exercise to allowing the water to support your dead weight as you float on its surface (in my books). There is nothing quite as wholesome as the feeling of the water’s embrace and, sometimes, that’s just enough.

Find out more information about water sports in Malta.

Top Englischschule in Malta

How to choose top English language schools in Malta

Looking for Top English Schools in Malta?

Malta is an ideal destination for learning English, with many top English schools.  On the islands, there are over sixty English language schools, each offering a variety of English language courses. Even if you’re already set on Malta, which criteria should you use to make choices regarding a school and English course to match your needs and expectations?

Here’s a checklist to follow to determine which English schools are top quality:

1. The Quality of Tuition

The most important aspect to consider is the quality of tuition you will receive throughout your English language course. This this will affect how much you learn. When looking at the different schools, seek out the following:

  • Ensure that the school has assurance qualified teachers and a valid ELT (English Language Teaching) permit.
  • Check the class capacity – smaller classes guarantee more individual attention.
  • Acquire information on how students are placed into classrooms according to their specific level – beginners and advanced students have different needs.
  • Ensure that the school offers a modern teaching approach and state of the art facilities; these may include interactive whiteboards and online learning assistance.
  • Request assurance that you will be provided with up to date course material from reputable publishing houses and teaching methodologies.

How can you do that?

2. Check for official accreditation, licenses

This is a sure-fast sign of a top English school in Malta.  Always choose accredited schools with both national and international accreditation for better quality assurance. The Maltese authorities take many measures to ensure that schools maintain a standard of quality, that’s why Malta has a good reputation for English schools. So if the school is licensed by the ELT council, Visit Malta, Visit Gozo, and other accreditation providers, it’s a good sign. Also, you may wish to compare the list of international accreditation too. The more they have, the better the school.

3. Accommodation

If you are travelling to Malta specifically to learn English, the quality of your accommodation is an important thing to factor in:

  • Check whether the accommodation options offered by the school are covered by national/international accreditation, to ensure you have a suitable standard of accommodation.
  • Ask for photos and a detailed description of the accommodation options offered by the school.
  • Ask about the maximum number of students per apartment, and per room. Some schools have hostels as their accommodation residence.
  • Look up the address on google maps to see if it’s the same one advertised.Ensure that emergency numbers and help are available in case of emergency.

4. Check the school’s online presence

When you find a school you like, check if they are really as top quality English schools as they say by checking their online channels. Here’s what to look for:

  • The school website – this is the first impression usually. Check if the images look real, or if they are stock images found from google. Real quality schools always have images of their own students and schools.
  • Videos – to ensure that the content is actually of the school, search for videos from the school that would show the building, the staff, etc.
  • Social Media – here you can usually find content from the day-to-day life of the school. The top English schools will have regular images, articles, learning material and pictures of their team.
  • Communication – how long do they take to reply to you? is it an automatic email or a human writing to you? Do they respond to live chat? The attention and personalisation you receive before you book the course is a good indication of what to expect at the school when you are there. Top English schools will have top quality service even before you are studying with them.
  • Testimonials, reviews – if past students were happy enough to write a testimonial, film a video about the school or write an online review, it means they had a positive and memorable experience. These are valuable to assess if the school’s marketing reflects the real experience.

These are indications that the school is professional.

5. Booking your English course in Malta

Once you have found a school and course that are ideal for you, it is important to ensure that you will get what you pay for once you make a booking. Before paying a deposit for your English language course, make sure that you have checked out the following:

  • Book with the school directly – there are a lot of agencies selling English language courses for places they’ve never visited. They sell hundreds of schools in different countries and don’t know the schools well. When booking with a school directly, you can trust that the employee is giving you accurate and updated assistance. You’ll have more attention and they’re quicker to answer your emails too!
  • Ensure that the school is accredited and has public and online presence – this is an indication that you are dealing with professionals.
  • Check out online reviews or ask the school where you can find more information about them online – there is nothing more reliable than the opinions of other students.
  • Always request an official invoice before payment and a receipt upon payment – this is your booking guarantee.
  • Make sure you know your rights – request information regarding cancellation procedures and fees, in case something comes up.
  • Check that you are satisfied with the location of the school and accommodation provided.

Booking with BELS:

The BELS inbox in monitored daily, and you should expect replies within 24 hours. You can ask us anything you want, we’re happy to answer back, discuss on a phone or video call too.

Contact us to offer your available dates and we will take it from there. We can advise you regarding the available English language courses and accommodation options, and help you choose the most suitable course and accommodation for you, with transparency and integrity; it is our duty and our service.

Email us

popular family attractions in malta

12 Family Attractions & Experiences for Tourists in Malta

Visit these tourist attractions in Malta for a memorable holiday

Malta is known for being a family-friendly destination, with plenty to offer for young and old. It’s safe, has a naturally warm climate with plenty of beaches and several tourist attractions and experiences for the whole family. Here are a few places that you can’t miss:

1. Splash and Fun Park

This is the largest waterpark in Malta, complete with waterslides, a variety of swimming pools and more. A perfect way for the kids to spend a day with shrieks of laughter and wide-eyed exhilaration.

2. Mediterraneo Marine Park

Just next door to the Splash and Fun Park is the Mediterraneo Marine Park, an entertaining and educational way to meet a variety of marine creatures, reptiles and birds. You can swim with dolphins, see sea lions, exotic birds, reptiles and more.

3. Malta National Aquarium

Relatively new to the Maltese islands is the Malta National Aquarium, which invites the whole family to discover the Mediterranean underwater world in a fun and educational way. Discover what lies beneath Maltese waves while staying dry!

4. Bird Park Malta

More animals and nature to be discovered! At the Bird Park you will also meet antelopes, meerkats, deer, marmosets, snakes and other reptiles, and you can even volunteer to help out!

5. Malta Falconry Centre

Another great option to encounter animals, the Malta Falconry Centre is a wonderful opportunity to meet birds of prey and understand how they are trained.

6. Popeye Village

Popeye Village offers a full day of theme park fun for all the family. Seasonally, the activities will vary. You will have access to the original Popeye film set, the cartoon museum, cinema, live animation shows, silversmith demonstration, mini golf, kids’ play area, splash pool and water games and much more. During the Christmas period you can also enjoy Santa’s Toy Town.

7. The Limestone  Heritage Park and Gardens

The working of stone is a Maltese heritage, and at the Limestone Heritage Park and Gardens you can discover the history and the artisan aspect of sculpting and building. There are also many animals to enjoy at the gardens.

8. Ta’ Qali Crafts Village

Discover Maltese handicrafts and more at the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village. Watch how pottery is made, how glass is blown, how lace is made and the fine art of making silver filigree, among others.

9. Classic Car Museum

A delight for all, young and old, even those who are not particularly passionate about cars. At the Classic Car Museum, you will find a remarkable display of epic automobiles, complete with documentary cinema, a gift shop, and a cafe’.

10. Playmobil Funpark

Discover everything there is to know about one of the most delightful toys available to children since generations. Specific theme oriented zones full of Playmobil toys are available for toddlers and youngsters in the internal area, while outside there is space for water based activities, a good sized sand-pit, a playhouse and life-size Playmobil animals.

11. Esplora Interactive Science Centre

Esplora is a new centre that’s constantly expanding due to its success. Here you can combine an informational educational trip with a recreational family activity. It’s create fun for the whole family and they have a variety of installations and exhibitions for all ages. The main features include include a Planetarium, an Outdoor Adventure Experience, an Activity Centre as well as interactive exhibition halls.

12. Taking English courses

This is a fantastic option to combine an educational family experience with a holiday. During summer, autumn and easter holidays, English schools such as BELS offer family programmes. That means that lessons for parents and children are held in the same building at the same time. At the end of your family holiday, you’ll have plenty of lasting memories as well as English certification to take home with you.

Contact us at [email protected] – we can help organise your courses, accommodation, airport transfers and leisure activities based on your desired budget.

Quels sont les avantages d’étudier dans une école d’anglais certifiée à Malte

Advantages of Studying at Accredited English Schools in Malta

Learning at accredited English schools in Malta

With so many possibilities for English schools, choosing the best one for your study-trip can be difficult. The best way to distinguish between the options is to ensure you choose an accredited English school in Malta.

Why should I study at accredited English schools in Malta?

In the ESL industry there are a number of quality assurance organizations whose job is to guarantee that English language schools in Malta provide a good standard of education in a decent learning environment. The process is based on various inspections and requirements that ensure students can trust accredited English schools in Malta and Gozo. That means that you focus on your studies and have trust in your school. What are the advantages of choosing an accredited English School in Malta and Gozo?

1. Quality of courses and teachers

You can expect a high standard of lessons and course materials from your English school in Malta. That’s especially important for exam preparation courses, business English or English for specific purposes. Additionally, they only hire qualified teachers, usually with years of experience in an ESL classroom. Teachers are regularly observed must attend continuous teacher-training workshops and seminars.

2. Value of certificate

There are plenty of schools who print out certificates of attendance – but are they actually valuable? The value of a certificate is based on the English school’s accreditation. Choosing a school which is both locally and internationally accredited enhances the value of your certificate. Having prestigious and renowned accreditation on your certificate makes it widely accepted for job applications and opens up more options for you.

3. Obtaining a study Visa

Whether or not your VISA application is approved can depend entirely on the type of English school in Malta you chose. The school’s reputation is a highly influential factor in visa applications. The schools that are highly accredited and undergo various licensing screening are more likely to have student visas approved. The reason is that procedures taken by the school are respected by the visa unit.

4. Student satisfaction

In order to get accredited, the schools usually have to have an effective feedback system in place that ensures any complaints are dealt with as required. When you choose an accredited school, you know that you’re in good hands.

5. Scholarship recognition

If you are applying for an English course using a scholarship such as Erasmus, Bildungsurlaub, or EU schemes, it is vital to ensure that the school you are using is highly accredited. Schools which are not up to standard will not pass the screening process required to providing funding for such scholarships.

BELS Accreditation

BELS Schools are accredited by the following organisations: IALC, FELTOM, ALTO, Bindungsurlaub, Arbitur. The schools are licensed by the ELT Council, Malta Tourism Authority.

For information on the types of courses offered at BELS English schools in Malta and Gozo, contact us at [email protected].

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how to successfully learn English online

How to Learn English Online: 8 Tips for Success

Follow our Guide for Tips on how to Learn English Online

Prepared by Industry Experts!

Although you might want to learn English, sometimes you can’t commit to physically being present in a classroom, and that’s understandable. That doesn’t mean that you have to put off your dream of learning English – you could always try to learn English online! The following ideas are useful alongside a language course in a school, and even if you only want to learn English.

1. Set a goal, creating a study-plan

The task of learning a new language might seem momentous and overwhelming, especially when you’re doing this on your own. Having a strategy and plan is essential to have a clear sense of direction and break down the larger aim into smaller, more achievable tasks. Apart from ensuring success, this is give you ways to track your progress and keep up a good pace.

One of the best ways to do this is using SMART goals to create a structured strategy for your online English learning goals.  Smart goals refer to having specific, measurable, ambitions, realistic and time-bound goals.

For example, if your aim is to ‘improve your English online’, it’s vague and difficult to achieve. Using SMART goals would mean having a goal like ‘moving up one level of English in 12 weeks’.

Want to use this method? Find out your current level of English here.

2. Follow online guides from reputable English sources

The internet is full of content you can leverage to learn English online. Many established schools and English-learning platforms regularly post contents related to how to learn English online, that have useful tips directly from the teachers.  Look for these articles and use the tips provided together with your aims, to help create SMART goals for each specific aim (for example, like improving your vocabulary, learning grammar online, or developing your listening skills).

3. Language apps

Another way to learn English online with online application. Make use of all the practical apps to help you learn English online. The first step to learn English online is to download a good dictionary app – find one that lets you save new words, and has a “word of the day”. You could also find an interactive phonemic chart to help you with pronunciation. Apps like Memrise help you find the right way to remember words, Doulingo lets you practice grammar and vocabulary through addictive games, which is great.

4. Reading lifestyle articles or news

Nowadays people are doing most of their reading online. One way to increase your exposure to English is to follow news and lifestyle websites in English. Reading lifestyle articles on popular blogs or magazine websites is a good way to learn casual, natural language.You’ll read and learn about a variety of topics, elevate your reading skills and acquire new vocabulary in an effortless way.

5.  Watch movies and audio-books

One of the easiest ways to learn English online is by watching movies in English or TV shows. Another less common way to learn English is by using audiobooks from YouTube to accompany an English book you might be reading. That way you can listen to how the words are said, and the natural flow of the sentence. When learning English way, it’s important to have language tasks and activities related to the content – you won’t just learn by watching and listening online.

6. Keep in touch with international friends

Back in the pre-internet days people used pen-friends to practice new languages. It’s a custom that’s alien to people in today’s age, but the concept behind it still holds ground. If you have any international connections, write to them in English to practice your writing skills.

7. Follow relevant You-tube channels

Learning English alone can be a solitary experience. Using Youtube allows you to get something similar to a classroom experience. There’s an endless collection of videos explaining grammar, teaching new vocabulary, exemplifying conversations and anything else you can dream of needing to do in English.

8. Register for Online English Lessons

Finally, you can learn English online with a certified teacher, for the extra push. Having live sessions with a teacher offer benefits such as having correction, focusing on accuracy issues you cannot notice on your own, and being exposed to weakness and how to overcome them. Also, when taking lessons with an official school, you can obtain a certification to prove your level of English – this is useful for job applications, getting promoted, entering universities etc.

It’s essential to make sure the language teacher or school you choose is experienced and well-established. When trying to learn English online, a quick google search for English lessons online will result in tens of pages. Unfortunately there are a lot of scam website that claim to offer lessons by professional teachers. Choosing the right English lessons online can make all the difference in your progress and value of the certification.

Looking for online English lessons? Here’s how, and why to learn English online with BELS

1.  BELS is a legit English school in Malta and Gozo

…with plenty of accreditation and over 20 years of experience. While impostor websites can buy stock photos for bogus testimonials, they can’t fake accreditation and licences. With BELS you can rest assured that you’ll be assigned a qualified teacher for your individual online English lessons. During your first English lesson online your teacher will conduct a needs analysis and plan a course accordingly. Whether you need help preparing for a job interview, collage assignment or just want to talk to someone, our teachers will plan lessons just for you.

2. Access to a variety of quality resources

As part of your online courses with BELS, your teacher will plan lessons using a variety of books and resources from esteemed publications in our library. This allows teachers to personalise lessons to maximise the learning outcome. Rather than just buying one book and being limited to the content of that one book, you will benefit from having the best parts of each book for your needs. For online lessons, teachers scan book pages and send students a soft-copy. The same system is used to provide more content for home work and self-study.

3. Internationally certified courses

At the end of your online courses with us, we will provide a certificate of attendance which includes all of our accreditation and licenses. This is an internationally recognised and esteemed certificate.

4. Opportunity to travel to Malta and Gozo to for an immersive learning experience

If you ever wish to take an English-learning study-trip, you can join our school in Malta to continue your course with your online teacher.

To learn more, write to us at [email protected].

a list of things to do in kercem in gozo

Exploring the Town of Kercem in Gozo

Looking for Things to do in Gozo? Add these to your Bucket List!

If you’re looking for a place to unwind in nature while staying in Gozo, Kerċem is the place for you.  Gozo in general is the more laid-back, more traditional and natural part of Malta.

Located just south-west of Victoria, Gozo’s capital, Kerċem is a small village of less than 2,000 people set in one of the most picturesque parts of Gozo, between Lunzjata Valley and three green hills, and stretching as far as Xlendi cliffs.

Kerċem offers easy access to some of Gozo’s best country walks and cycling, and plenty of things to do within walking distance or a short bus ride. Local cultural activities include the village festa, held in July, and a popular, traditional fair, held in April-May near the pond at L-Għadira ta’ Sarraflu.

These are just some of our favourite things to do in Kerċem and around:

1. Relish in nature at Lunzjata Valley, Kerċem

This lush valley in Kerċem is one of the most picturesque in Gozo. It is one of the few places on the island that has a continuous supply of water for the surrounding agriculture, while aqueducts line the valley where you can enjoy a walk to the sound of trickling water.

2. Explore Għar Ilma and Il-Mixta caves, Kerċem

Two significant caves lie on the outskirts of Santa Lucija, a nearby hamlet where the inhabitants resist urbanisation. Għar Ilma was a valuable source of water for the entire area. Il-Mixta cave is known to have been inhabited by troglodytes, and is not to be confused with Tal-Mixta, a cave which overlooks the reddish sands of Ramla Bay.

3. Embrace history at the Citadel and Victoria

The capital Victoria, locally known as ir-Rabat, lies outside the old city fortress known as the Citadel. Explore the Citadel’s rich history and enjoy stunning views of the whole island. Head out to explore Victoria’s meandering streets. Visit the market. Browse the shops selling traditional Maltese handicrafts. Enjoy the cafés. Walk around Villa Rundle Gardens. Just relish the unique slower-paced atmosphere of Gozo’s capital.

4. Get in the picture at Xlendi Bay, Munxar

Restaurants and small hotels line the shore, where sand gives way to clear water and colourful fishing boats harboured in the safety of the rocky cove. A short walk, either way of the beach, leads you to further curiosities to explore in one Gozo’s most picturesque spots.

5. Marvel at the coast at Ras il-Wardija, San Lawrenz

The western cliffs overlooking Xlendi and along Ras il-Wardija offer some of the most stunning coastal views imaginable. At Ras il-Wardija, one will stumble upon a Punic Sanctuary (3000 BC). This perfect sunset spot has a view of sheer cliffs dropping thirty metres into the sea and Dwejra in the distance.

6. Get curious about rocks at Dwejra, San Lawrenz

Dwejra stands out for its geological features. It was home to the Azure Window, a majestic natural rock formation; the Blue Hole and Coral Cave, top dive sites in the world; the Fungus Rock, where a unique medicinal fungus grew and nowhere else; while the perfect roundness of the Inland Sea, and of Dwejra Bay on the other side, is a result of whirlpools of torrential waters during the Ice Age.

7. Indulge in creativity at Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village, Għarb

Visit the crafts village in the nearby village of Għarb, where you can learn about how traditional handicrafts are made. Take home some original, hand-made, local souvenirs: pottery, Gozo lace, blown glass and leather items are available.

8. Immerse yourself in tradition at The Folklore Museum, Għarb

The folklore museum in the village square of Għarb displays the trades and crafts formerly prevalent in the Maltese islands, with tools and equipment exhibited together as workshops.

9. Witness miracles at Ta’ Pinu Church, Għarb

The Basilica of Ta’ Pinu stands on the spot where, in 1883, a local woman reputedly heard the voice of the Virgin. This church is a special pilgrimage place for locals who come to ask for a boon, and inside are many objects to remind of the miracles that happened after such prayer.

10. Go back in time at L-Għajn tal-Ħasselin, Fontana

L-Għajn tal-Ħasselin is literally “the washers’ spring.” The 16th century arched communal wash-house is made of stone, and offered people shelter from the elements during this mundane chore. Wash houses like this were commonly built near springs.

11. Connect with the elements at Wied l-Għasri, Żebbuġ

Enjoy a walk through this beautiful valley that winds its way between Żebbuġ and Ġordan Hill, which is famous for its lighthouse. At the little inlet wedged between impressive cliffs, you can also swim, snorkel and dive in underwater caves.

12. Learn English at BELS Gozo

Kercem is also the home to our lovely BELS Gozo school. You can develop your English and meet new people in a traditional farmhouse that has been converted into a modern school for adults.

Are you looking for things to do in Gozo? Write to us at [email protected] to learn about our courses and start planning your trip.

 

students during business English lessons with BELS Malta

5 Ways to Further your Career with Business English Lessons

How Business English Lessons can Improve your Performance

For anyone working in an international environment being fluent in English is a necessary and sought after skill. If your role requires travel, managing an online presence, dealing with suppliers, partners or clients from around the globe, you are likely to use English for a multitude of purposes throughout your day-to-day.

In many cases, this is considered in the hiring stages, and people aiming for such roles start focusing on developing their English at the early stages of their education and career. Thus, having an advantage over other applicants and being able to perform their tasks and communicate easily.

While becoming fluent in English is necessary, it’s important to also develop your language skills in relation to business and your specific area of work.  This is where the importance of business English lessons comes in.

Why are Business English lessons important?

Essentially, the same way that other skills critical for your role keep on evolving, so must your English skills. While general English courses and obtaining a high level of English will help you get ahead – it’s not enough. Your business English communication skills need to be on par with your native language, whether it’s for functional language such as debating, sharing opinions, delivering presentations, and even when it comes to industry terms.

Business English lessons target these areas, that will fill the gap between being fluent in English and being fluent in English for work.

Here are 5 ways you can achieve this with business English courses:

1. Sharing ideas with international business people

Business English group courses bring together professionals from various backgrounds and industries to share ideas, contribute to discussions, and develop their skills together. Apart from being academically rewarding, business English lessons provide a great atmosphere for networking and opening up to new perspectives.

At BELS, our business English group courses are delivered in a communicative approach to encourage student participation. The course content is planned using relevant case-studies and practical business scenarios aimed to replicate a real-world business environment. Courses are delivered using a combination of coursebooks and digital media.

2. Having personalised course content in individual business lessons

In addition to group courses, which deal with general business topics and situations, individual lessons can address your specific challenges at work. During your first lesson, your teacher will conduct a needs analysis to get to know more about you, your business English needs, and your area of business. After that, a learning plan that meets your aims will be designed. This will include material that is relevant to you, and together with your teacher, you can work on practical content that can easily be implemented for your daily tasks at work.

3. Combing Business English group courses & individual lessons

A combination of our Business English group courses and individual lessons can help you develop your skills all-round. During group courses you will cover general business topics, language and grammar while practicing in group or pair-work. The classroom atmosphere allows students to develop their language skills while collaborating with others, also practicing social skills. Individual lessons complement the group-courses and allow students to take it to the next level by fine-tuning their skills to their individual role in the workplace. They can also help you prepare for any upcoming meeting, presentation, or job interview.

4. Obtaining an Internationally recognised certificate

At the end of your courses, you’ll receive a BELS certificate of attendance as well as personal progress form detailing your achievements on the course. Our certificates have a number of local and international accreditation – this will be a great addition to your resume and application.

5. Having an opportunity to continue lessons from home

With online lessons, it’s also possible to continue lessons with your BELS teacher after your study-holiday has come to an end. The time won’t be an issue, as the lessons will be scheduled according to your needs. Apart from learning the business English essentials, the nature of the online lessons could also teach business students the etiquette of online conferences and meetings.

Why choose BELS?

With many years of experience in teaching Business English, at BELS we can offer you a programme which is designed to develop business English language proficiency and business English communication skills, depending on your field of work. Our Business English programme will be tailored to your needs, using a blended learning approach which means that in addition to using highly recognised business English books, our programme combines digital media with traditional classroom methods.

Contact our team members on [email protected] to find out more.

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learn how to listen better with tips on esl listening skills

How to Improve English Listening Skills

Learning English? Here’s how to Improve your Listening Skills

Proven Tips Written by our in-house Experts!

Working on English listening skills is the most common problem-area for English learners – it’s not something you can just learn. Often times, students might have a high level of grammar and writing skills, but when it comes to English listening skills or speaking skills it’s a whole new story. The first thing to remember is that improving English listening skills is difficult for most students- if you’re feeling emotionally overwhelmed, you’re not alone. And there are also things you can do to improve the situation. Read our tips below and use them to create study plan that’s suitable for you.

1. Develop your conversation and functional language skills

The first step to improve your listening skills is to make sure that you have the necessary vocabulary to follow, or participate in conversations. If the language is not familiar, your challenge with listening may be due to a lack of vocabulary or familiarity with the language. The best way to improve this is by looking for books, videos, articles or courses which focus on improving language fluency and functional language. Functional language refers to areas of English that are used to perform a specific functions in different day-to-day situations. This could include anything like introducing yourself, speaking about the weather, ordering in a restaurant, giving opinions, making suggestions, explaining rules, complaining etc.

2. Listen to audio lessons or audio books

This tasks involves passive listening, and is ideal as one of the first steps when learning English. Doing this will help you understand the sounds of the language better, and therefore improve your listening skills. You will understand the difference between how the phrases are written and how they are pronounced. Apart from that, you can practice repeating the language to make sure that you can also produce the language accurately. This is a vital step before being able to move on to more challenging tasks.

3. Practice active English listening skills

Passive listening refers to listening mainly for exposure to the language, but involves no action on your part. As mentioned in point two above, this is useful to gain familiarity with the language. Once step one and two are done, it’s time to move onto active listening, which is when the real learning occurs. Active listening refers to when you are fully concentrated on what is being said.  So to improve your English listening skills in this way, give yourself a task to do while you watch the movie (make a list of common phrases or topic-words).

How can that be done? Here are some examples:

  • If you studied adjectives, listen to songs in English and write down all the adjectives you can here.
  • If you’re studying past tense verbs, do the same with songs or movies.
  • If you’re learning English related to law, study some useful phrases and watch some law TV shows and make a list of all phrases. To be more effective this can be segregated for different areas, for example, in internal meetings, in discussions with clients, in court.

4. Practice with people of your level

Reach out to other people in your situation, who are also learning and studying and practice together. It’s completely fine if you make mistakes, that’s the first step in learning. Even if your friend is the same level, this is still useful for you because you are practicing saying the phrases and reacting to responses. It will increase your fluency, confidence and quickness with English listening skills.

5. Overhear an English conversation

After you have studied and learnt some phrases in a controlled environment, like in English classes and through the steps mentioned above, it’s time to listen to a real conversation. This way, you can try to notice how the things you learnt in your studies take place in real life. Trying to follow a real conversation between native speakers is the best challenge to improve your English listening skills.

If you live in an English speaking country, take an afternoon stroll and try to look for an English conversation. When you start to hear English, slow down and listen, and put your English listening skills to a real test by trying to figure out the topic discussed. It won’t be easy, but it’s practical, and fun.

Don’t live in an English speaking country? Join expat events!

6. Be interactive

Rather than just listening to someone’s conversation, take it a step further and join it. Try to find conversation groups that are purposely organised by English learners to develop English listening skills. When you’re talking to people, you listen more carefully, and you think about how you’re going to reply. Put yourself in situations where you have to practice all the phrases and functional language you’ve learnt. Find a job or hobby that pushes you to use your English listening skills on a daily basis, like interacting with shop assistants, a receptionists, or in restaurants.

Can’t do this in your country? Travel to a country where you must speak English.

7. Practice English skills with native speakers

Practicing with real native speakers will boost your English listening skills and improve your rhythm and stress when speaking. The best way to improve your English listening skills is to practice having social conversations with a native English teacher a few times a week. This would also help take your language to the next level.

Want to learn more? Have a look at this article about how to improve your English vocabulary.