Learn English with ICE TV – YouTube videos

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Learn English with ICE TV

On this page, you can…

1.  Learn English with our free online videos with Jan Ball, Islington Centre for English’s resident expert tutor.

2.  Watch videos about our English school, social programme, courses and much more.

Latest video: English Pronunciation lesson 2: Vowel Sounds!


IELTS or Cambridge FCE/CAE exam? / Get the IELTS score you need with ICE!


ICE English lesson online: 4 – IELTS Exam Advice / Free English lesson online: 3 – Vocabulary


Free English lesson online: 1 – Spelling and Free English lesson online: 2 – Pronunciation


Cours d’anglais à Londres avec notre école / ICE Business English Courses


Why take the Cambridge First Certificate Exam? / Our Experience of the Cambridge FCE


IELTS exam course and Legal English for the ILEC exam evening course videos.


Social Programme pictures at ICE



Our school in different languages:



Films by students for students:



Islington Centre for English:




Welcome to ICE! London’s best value English school.

We are the English language specialists and our popular courses will help you achieve exam success in IELTS, Cambridge First Certificate (FCE), Cambridge Advanced Exam (CAE) & ILEC or simply give you the tools to speak, write, listen and read better in General English. We have many years experience in English language teaching and we know that communication is everything, so, we will get you talking! In each class, we give you the tools to succeed in English in the real world. This includes building your vocabulary, increasing your spoken fluency, improving your reading & writing skills and giving you the grammatical knowledge that is essential for you to take ownership of the language and be able to use it effectively outside the classroom.

For some, the aim is to find success in a better job either in the UK or back home. For others, the goal is to achieve personal fulfillment through mastering a new language. In all cases, we teach the real English that real English speakers use and, for this reason, all our teachers are native speakers; English is their first language.

Why ICE? Well, we believe we have the best combination of the following: flexible, low-priced courses, high quality, great location, maximum class size of 15 in most classes, ALL native speaking teachers and an amazing social program that runs an incredible 6 days-a-week!

Flexibility and Low Prices

If you are in London, on a budget and want to work around your studies (or the other way round, of course) you can enrol part-time and study as little as 5 lessons per week any weekdays you choose. If your job at a funky local Islington cafe is every day except Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons, then ICE is your perfect choice – study when you want, for as long as you want. If you want qualified, native speaking teachers with a maximum class size of 15 students right opposite Angel station in the coolest part of London AND you want to spend only £224 on a course, take 5 lessons per week for 8 weeks in the afternoon. We are popular because we are able to offer great value for money. Many of our courses work out to cost less than an incredible £4 per hour. See price table for full details. We are confident you will not be able to find a school in London both cheaper and nearly as good as the Islington Centre for English.

Location: Islington, Central London (but not the boring, cliched part)

Opposite Angel underground station, we are situated only 12 minute’s walk, or just one stop on London Transport, from Kings Cross St Pancras International station, or just 10 minutes by tube to London’s West end. Only 12 minute’s walk from some great student accommodation in St John’s Street such as Liberty House or Nido in King’s Cross, ICE is not only right in the heart of a really fashionable part of London, but it is convenient to travel here from abroad and live near your English school. If you love music, we recommend a visit to see the O2 music venue, the famous rock pub the Hope & Anchor or the Scala for a gig. For gastronomes on all budgets, Upper Street’s pavement cafes and restaurants of every conceivable nationality cuisine. For the older student, antiques in Camden passage or maybe the picturesque canal that runs beneath Upper Street and appears as if by magic behind the York pub. If it is a part-time job you are looking for, Islington has so many shops that the conscientious English student can easily find employment to support his or her studies.

Class sizes

For most classes, including General English, First Certificate Exam preparation, Cambridge Advanced Preparation & IELTS exam preparation, 15 is the maximum number of students. The majority of your timetable will probably consist of classes like this. Additional Skills Workshops in which students practice 30 minutes of specific Reading, Writing, Listening, Grammar & Conversation skills, then 20 is the maximum size, though a typical class has around 12 students. For Legal English, the maximum is 6 students only and for Business English Evening & Day courses, 8 students.

All Native-speaking English Teachers

You leave Madrid, full of excitement to study English in London. You arrive at your English school ready to spend a few hundred pounds of your hard-earned savings on some lessons. You enrol and eagerly run early into your class ready to really learn that English accent in sharp contrast to your lessons back home… Your disappointment on discovering that your teacher is from Madrid is bitter. Never mind! You can still go to Islington! We believe that students come to the UK to learn English from teachers who heard the language from their parents the day they entered the world.

Social program, 6 days a week

The London English school experience is not just about studying in a classroom. At ICE, we believe that making life-long friends and having an amazing time is not an optional extra! Whether it be a London pub quiz, an Islington treasure hunt to find famous Islington residents like Tony Blair or Charlie Chaplin, A Jack the Ripper tour of the East End, a huge club night at Pacha or a cultural program tour on a Sunday to Oxford, ICE has your social calendar all ready to go. By the way, we don’t force you to go ;)

A Quick Word or Two about our Origins

ICE was started in 2004 by Tim Shoben (English teacher and musician) as a small, family English language school in Islington with one lovely student called Hiroko. Today, although we have grown considerably, we retain the same heart of a small school in which every student is known by our administration staff and our teachers. Though he doesn’t teach much these days, Tim can generally be found walking around talking to students when they are supposed to be in class and occasionally can be heard playing his guitar in his office when he should really be working.

Come and study with US!! Come and study with ICE!! We hope to see you soon.

Aflatoxin Found in Infant Formula in S China

Local authorities in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province detect excessive amounts of aflatoxin in five formula products that were produced between July and December last year by Ava Dairy Co., Ltd. (Ava Dairy) based in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan province, on July 20, 2012. [Photo: Tencent.news.com]

Authorities in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong province, said Sunday that they have discovered mildew contamination in some infant formula products during an ongoing dairy safety overhaul.

Excessive amounts of aflatoxin were detected in five formula products that were produced between July and December last year in central China’s Hunan province, according to a statement issued by the municipal industry and commerce department.

Four of the products were produced by Ava Dairy Co., Ltd. (Ava Dairy) based in Hunan’s capital of Changsha, while the fifth was produced by Hunan Ava Dairy Holdings Co., Ltd., the parent company of Ava Dairy, the statement said.

The department has ordered retailers to suspend sales of the products pending further investigation.

Food safety authorities in Changsha city on Sunday launched a comprehensive investigation of the companies following the news in Guangzhou.

Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus that commonly grows on grain and peanuts. High levels of the toxin have been shown to lead to cancer in animal tests.

Bangkok Taxi drivers get crash course in English

Taxi drivers get crash course in English

Classes held to prepare them for start of Asean Economic Community

The Asean Economic Community’s arrival in 2015 will concern business people of all sizes, from major corporation heads down to individual taxi drivers.

Around 1,000 taxi drivers participated in the second Taxi Thai, Hua Jai Inter English training programme, organised by Traffic Radio Society FM 99.5.

The changes that the AEC will bring, including a common business language of English, are being recognised by some drivers, who are making the necessary adjustments.

Wiset Bangwiset, a 38-year-old taxi driver, admits that in the past he would often refuse to stop for foreigners because he could speak only Thai and he was nervous about communicating with them.

Now, with the AEC less than three years away, he recognises the importance of foreign customs and the likelihood that the number of foreign passengers will increase.

He decided to attend a customer service and English-language training course and now always opens his door to foreigners so that he may increase his confidence in dealing with them.

“Previously, I could say only ‘yes’, no’ and ‘OK’ in English,” said Mr Wiset, who has driven a cab for 13 years.

Now, he can engage in basic English conversations and has learned key phrases for his profession such as “it takes about one hour to get there”, “it is faster to take the expressway but the toll fee is your expense”, and “do you have smaller bills?”.

Mr Wiset and around 1,000 of his fellow cabbies participated in the second Taxi Thai, Hua Jai Inter training programme, organised by Traffic Radio Society FM 99.5 MHz. Launched last year, the one-day programme teaches its participants English, customer service, tourist attraction information and general motoring knowledge such as car maintenance and safe driving practice.

This year’s course was held last week in Bangkok.

Mr Wiset said being a taxi driver in Bangkok is one of the occupations which would most frequently deal with foreigners, so cabbies should at least equip themselves with the ability to understand clearly where their passengers want to go. “After the AEC is established in the next three years, we taxi drivers will of course have more foreign clients,” he said.

Suwanachat Promchart, who has driven a taxi since he was 19, said good English ability is appreciated by foreigners and helps prevent possible problems such as dropping passengers at the wrong place.

“We are also taught to keep in mind that we are driving the taxi to make a living, not to stir up trouble,” said the 35-year-old.

“I feel bad when I hear that some taxi drivers take advantage of foreign passengers, such as taking a longer route than necessary to bump up the fare. That makes us look bad and could lead to a decrease in passengers,” he said.

One former driver who was educated to Mathayom 6 level and had no English ability took it upon herself to learn the language.

Julie Sawangarun, who is now a tour guide, said she drove a taxi for 10 years and based herself at Don Mueang airport, where she was often frustrated by her inability to communicate with foreign passengers.

“That inspired me to attend all free English classes for taxi drivers held by whatever organisations, and I learned by myself for almost 10 years,” she said.

“Now, I am proud to say that I can speak English.”

She said that cab drivers who cannot speak English are at a disadvantage and could lose customers.

“I don’t want to hear any more about foreigners saying they want to go to the Grand Palace, and the taxi driver drives them to the Bangkok Palace Hotel,” said the 56-year-old.

Having gained the benefit of English herself, Ms Julia helps other cabbies by giving them free lessons informally upon request.

Pol Lt Gen Trairat Amatayakul, chief executive officer of Traffic Radio Society FM 99.5 MHz, said the training aimed to improve and upgrade the country’s taxi service quality to cater to the rapid growth of tourism in Bangkok and the formation of AEC in 2015.

However, he said it was only a small step as just 1,000 drivers attended the course and there are as many as 100,000 cabbies in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces.

Many of them could also benefit from some English instruction, he sai

A speaking plan for IELTS

A speaking plan for IELTS

This is a guest post from Ben Worthington of ielts podcast. In it you will find a download in which he talks you through some key expressions that can help you prepare your speaking.  You might particularly note

  • Ben’s  emphasis on the need to personalise the language
  • that this form of language has a particular use – use it, but in context
  • how different language items can be appropriate to different parts of the test

Get the speaking plan

Speaking plan – IELTS podcast (21)

Check out his latest podcast

This week Ben was speaking to Pete Travis of Splendid Speaking and I strongly suggest you check out what Pete has to say – not just about part 2 speaking, but about language learning too. He is a man worth listening to.

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Read more: A speaking plan for IELTS | Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog http://www.dcielts.com/ielts-speaking/a-speaking-plan-for-ielts/#ixzz21OgVdR6B 
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

Legislation banning the display of cigarettes at retail outlets has taken effect

Legislation banning the display of cigarettes at retail outlets has taken effect and shopkeepers who fail to comply face a fine of up to $10,000.

From Monday, retailers must keep all tobacco products out of public view.

Anti-tobacco campaigners are hailing the ban as a victory, saying research has shown the colourful stands of cigarettes appeal to children and people trying to quit.

But the Retailers Association says it’s concerned that the requirement to keep cigarettes under the counter or locked away in cabinets could, in fact, create a security risk for retailers.

It says it could present an opening for opportunist thieves to steal items when shop staff are busy getting cigarette packets from a locked-away area.

The Ministry of Health says it is committed to making New Zealand smoke free by 2025.


The ban will be policed by enforcement officers working on behalf of the country’s district health boards.

Australia Legalizes Traditional Chinese Medicine

Australia Legalizes Traditional Chinese Medicine
   2012-07-19 20:50:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: liuranran

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has said that as of July 1, acupuncturists and Chinese herbal medicine practitioners must be registered under the national registration and accreditation scheme with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA).

A screenshot of the official website of Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) [Photo: Agencies]

Five thousand Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinics are reportedly in Australia now. They serve about 2.8 million people every year and 80 percent of the patients are native English speakers.

“Some of the traditional Chinese medicines, such as acupuncture, massage and other treatments can cure a number of diseases that can’t be done by western medicine, especially some chronic diseases,” claimed an unidentified surgeon from Westmead Hospital in Sydney.

“This initiative by the Australian government not only legalizes Chinese medicine, but also raises the social status of Chinese medical practitioners.” Deng Li, Australian correspondent from CRI said. “Chinese medicine now enjoys a high degree of social recognition in Australia.”

However some of famous Chinese medicine doctors in Australia are without BA, MA or PhD degrees and complain about the requirements for governmental registration such as a high educational level and English proficiency.

A Chinese herbal pharmacy. Chinese herbs have been used for centuries. Among the earliest literature are lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by the manuscript “Recipes for 52 Ailments”, found in the Mawangdui tombs which were sealed in 168 BC. [Photo: Agencies]

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The English Question English

The English Question English

“The real problem for the foreign learner (of English) lies in knowing which word will suit a particular subject, situation or audience… English syntax, or the rules for forming sentences, is very complex…. Again and again the rules  are apparently broken in a way that baffles the foreign learner… it is of no consolation to him that even native speakers sometimes differ on correct usage, spoken or written… Lack of subject –verb concord, spelling errors and confusion of tenses are among the many avoidable mistakes they make in their writing and speech… English is not an easy language to learn. It needs constant practice. But its study can be very rewarding. No matter how nationalistic we try to be, we in West Africa would not be acting wisely if we ignored English. Not only is it a tool of knowledge but it is an international passport to intellectual society,” I.K. Gyasi: ‘A Textbook of English’.

Ever since Ghana was colonized by Britain and effectively administered by her in the early 19th Century, the language ‘English’ has lived with us in Ghana- to the extent that it has become the official language now. Thus, we in Ghana cannot help but be interested in whatever happens to the language in the mother –country. Willy-nilly (that is, willingly or unwillingly), we in Ghana have either adopted or drawn on many systems, including the educational and legal systems of the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is making moves to improve English grammar in schools as relayed in the Daily Graphic of July 11, 2012 from the U.K. ‘Telegraph’ of July 4, 2012; “All primary schools will be tested on the proper use of apostrophes and the difference between nouns, verbs and adjectives under a government plan to raise literacy levels in the U.K”.

Also to be tested is the children’s grasp of vocabulary, spelling, grammar and punctuation, according to the Department for Education.

Previously, the fundamental rules of English Language were neglected to the extent that “many pupils are now struggling to structure essays and other written work correctly.” This has provoked very great concern among educationists, scholars and ordinary folk in the United Kingdom.

It is expected that the new exam would help students to recognize the difference between formal and non-standard English, resulting from the students’ over reliance on ‘text- speak’ in their written work.

What is ‘text-speak’? ‘Gal’ for ‘girl’; ‘4’ for ‘for’; ‘u’ for ‘you’; ‘News ex-u unreceived’ for  ‘ I have not heard from you’.

According to the new plan, the examination “will also focus on the grammatical functions of words including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, propositions and conjunctions”.

Students are expected to be “taught to proofread their work for spelling and punctuations errors, omissions and repetitions”. The students will also be expected to use “fluent, joined and legible handwriting and will be taught to use punctuation marks correctly, with a focus on full stops, question marks, commas, inverted commas and apostrophes”.

According to the release, “Children in England (previously) took ‘Sats’ tests in reading, writing and mathematics. But the Government scrapped the exam in writing composition last year because of concerns over inconsistent marking and fears among young children who struggled to come up with creative prose under formal test conditions.

A specification document drawn up by the Standards and Testing Agency says the students “will be assessed using a series of ‘short-answer questions’ to cover the different grammatical functions of words and use of complex sentences including clauses, phrases and connectives”.

The agency is again considering various methods aimed at assessing handwriting, expecting the students to “write legibly in both joined and printed styles with increasing fluency and speed”. The students will also “use different forms of writing including print-style words for labelling diagrams and clear, neat, joined-up writing for presenting work”.

A specification document drawn up by the Standards and Testing Agency says the students “will be assessed using a series of ‘short-answer questions’ to cover the different grammatical functions of words and the use of complex sentences including clauses, phrases and connectives”. The agency is again considering various methods aimed at assessing handwriting, expecting the students to “write legibly in both joined and printed styles with increasing fluency and speed”.

The Department’s spokesman noted: “Too little attention has been given to spelling, punctuation and grammar in exams over the past decade. All (students) should be able to communicate and write effectively which is why we will assess their progress in these areas”.

This is the English questioning their English. Are there any lessons for Ghana’s educational system as far as English teaching and learning are concerned? In an address by Mr. Harry Sawyerr, Minister of Education, delivered by Professor De Heer Amissah in June, 1996 at a conference by the Ghana English Studies Association, he noted: “Unfortunately, it seems that some of our students are not quite as confident in English as we would wish. Not long ago, we had occasion to lament the woeful performance of the senior secondary school candidates in English. Before that, we were hearing frequent complaints of falling standards of English n the country generally. Perhaps, this is why several of you have chosen to present papers on such topics as error patterns in the essays of Senior Secondary School students, or university students’ knowledge of grammar”.


By Africanus Owusu-Ansah