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Bilingualism and Autism

Posted on by Elizabeth Lake in Languages around the world, Uncategorized Leave a comment

Recent Canadian research has shown that bilingual children with autism can more easily switch between tasks than those who only speak one language. Children between the ages of 6 and 9 in Montreal were asked to sort objects on a screen in different ways, and found that bilingual autistic children “performed significantly better” in the more complex part of the test. Further research is being carried out now with younger children.


Online tuition

Posted on by Elizabeth Lake in Tuition, Uncategorized Leave a comment

It is now possible to receive online tuition thanks to a new programme I am using called Electa.  I have already had some lessons with students who live further away and those who can’t get here for whatever reason.  It is good to have this option for occasions such as bad weather disruption, car problems or other incidents which would otherwise mean a cancelled lesson.  The programme is very versatile and can allow you to continue your French, Spanish, Italian, German or English lessons providing you have a computer, a microphone and headphones.  I am looking forward to using this method with new students and am excited about the possibilities this offers.


Fun fact of the day

Posted on by Elizabeth Lake in Languages around the world, Uncategorized Leave a comment

A Welsh MP threatened to fast to death in 1980 if Welsh was not accorded reasonable rights.  In Wales now, all public bodies are required to offer bilingual services, including communication with the public by letter, telephone, email and websites.  More and more private institutions are adopting a similar approach, even when not required to by law.  Bilingual signage is now virtually universal.


Coffee in Italy

Posted on by Elizabeth Lake in Uncategorized Leave a comment

How many cups of coffee have you already drunk so far today while you have been at work?  It seems coffee is becoming more and more popular in our country, yet it is also a drink that is enjoyed in many countries, with its many variations!

Maybe the English have been better known for offering someone a cup of tea, nevertheless the rise of coffee shops on the high street is an indication of shifting habits.  It amuses me when I ask for an ‘espresso’ in this country I am often told “you realise that is a little coffee and it is very strong?” Read more


Twelfth night

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Children in Italy will have woken up to the sight of sweets in a shoe – the Befana came during the night!  This is in addition to the Christmas presents they will have received on the 25th December, lucky children!  Over in Spain, on the other hand, children will have received presents from the three kings, following a night of celebrations in the towns, with processions, music and much more.  In France, people will be busy baking a special type of cake (called a ‘galette’) containing a figure, which when found, allows the recipient to ‘be a king’ for the day.  Many different countries have their own way of celebrating the end of the Christmas season.  It is interesting to research these different customs and their origins.  Throughout the year each country will celebrate different events for different reasons.  Watch this space to learn more as the year goes on…


Unspoilt Umbria

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Another beautiful region in Italy is Umbria.  Its green countryside is to be admired as you drive through medieval towns on the hilltops, where you can take in the art and architecture.  Todi is but one example, also Orvieto and Spoleto, not forgetting the beautiful Perugia.

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Romantic Rome

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How beautiful you are Rome, in the evenings…..so sang Venditti (Quanto sei bella Roma, quand’è sera….) and he wasn’t wrong!  The capital city is charming by day and delightful by night.  Nothing can prepare you for the sight of the Trevi Fountain in the evenings!  For me, it is the most beautiful sight I have ever experienced anywhere!

There are many beautiful monuments – the white one dedicated to the king Vittorio Emmanuele is particularly beautiful – why not go on a tourist bus and get on and off wherever you want to?  That way you will not miss the must-see places, like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps… Read more


Beautiful Bologna

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The capital of Emilia Romagna, this beautiful city is well worth a visit.  It is a gastronomic delight – walk past the markets and shops of the cobblestoned Quadrilatero quarter and admire the many cured meats, cheeses and other foodstuffs on display.

Many of these are Bolognese inventions – mortadella sausage, tortellini pasta, ragú sauce…Why not enjoy them also in a local trattoria?  Enjoy a coffee in Piazza Maggiore whilst admiring the fountain of Neptune.

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Italy’s Lake District

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Many famous people throughout the centuries have fallen under the spell of the beautiful, mirror-still waters of Lake Como.  This beautiful lake at the foot of the Alps is worth a visit – Bellagio is one of the prettiest towns in this area, though the villages nestled on nearby shores are close contenders.

The snow-capped peaks looming above and the arcaded streets hint of Switzerland, but the lake’s legendary gardens are sublimely Italian.

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Amazing Amalfi Adventures

Posted on by Elizabeth Lake in Uncategorized Leave a comment

This area of the coast has been popular with British holiday-makers for many years.  Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Praiano, many other cliff-hugging towns are a favourite holiday destination.

Here you can enjoy a scenic bus or car ride along the narrow, curving, occasionally vertigo-inducing ribbon of roadway that follows the coast from Sorrento to Salerno.

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