Have you decided to study English in Washington DC this summer? This is such a great way to spend your summer! Not only will you learn a language that will make your life infinitely better, but you will also get to experience one of the most active and fun seasons of the year in the nation’s capital. In today’s blog, we are helping students attending language schools in DC in the summer know how to navigate the squelching summer heat as well as how to have fun.
The IELTS (the International English Language Testing System) examination is the world’s proven English test taken by over 3 million candidates each year. This English language test is used for those hoping to study or work in English-speaking countries. As such, there are two formats for the test: academic (for those hoping to attend an English-speaking university) and general (for those hoping to work in English-dominated careers).
If you live in the United States but do not speak English or if you hope to live and work in the United States, now is the time to learn English and look for a job. Why? Because the U.S. Department of Labor data shows that American job openings exceed job seekers for the first time on record! In April 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed a record 6.7 million available jobs in the United States. If this news excites you, then there are a few steps you can take to make your dream of working in the US become a reality.
Study English in Washington DC
The best thing you can do for your future career in the United States is to enroll in an English class in DC. Not only will you be learning how to communicate using English, but you will be living in a city that ranks in the top ten for best places to find a job in the US. Attending language schools in DC will allow you to immerse yourself in American culture in the nation’s capital.
Take Courses to Master Business English
The Washington language school, inlingua, is the perfect choice for those wanting to learn English for their careers. In addition to their English courses, they also offer a variety of special purpose English courses, such as International Business English, Legal English, Newsroom, and more. These courses are designed to help students learn to communicate using English in real-world situations and professional roles.
Pass the Required English Language Examination
Not all careers will require you to pass a required English language exam, such as the TOEFL or the IELTS, but you may need to for immigration or university purposes. Likewise, some companies and organizations require customized language proficiency exams.
However, even if you are not required to take and pass these types of tests, it is something to consider for your resume. Earning a passing score on these tests shows you are proficient in communicating in English, which is a wonderful skill to add to your resume. Fortunately for students in DC, inlingua is home to the largest IELTS Test Center in the US, making it convenient for those already enrolled in English courses.
Craft a Killer Resume and Cover Letter
Before you even get to the interview, you have to get the employer’s attention. In the US, this is done by crafting a resume and cover letter. Essentially, the resume and cover letter show the employer when he or she should bring you in for an interview. In just two pages or less, you have to show the employer why you should be in the running for the position. Again, this is a great place to list your passing scores on examinations as well as your strengths as a bilingual speaker (a highly desirable skill in job candidates).
Prepare for the Interview
Once your resume has been submitted and you have been contacted for an interview, you may start to feel anxious. This is because the interview tends to be the most overwhelming part of the job hunt – especially for non-native speakers. Since English is not your first language, you may worry about communicating during the interview. However, with your English classes and the following tips, you will feel much more comfortable and confident.
- Review the job description – Before you go in an interview, it is critical to know what position you are interviewing for. Spend time reviewing the job description and thinking of ways you are capable of fitting into this role.
- Research the company – The potential employer will want to see that you not only are familiar with the job but that you are also familiar with the company. Spend time researching the company. As a non-native speaker, it is especially important for you to familiarize yourself with the company vocabulary.
- Understand the difference between Conversational English and Business English – In a job interview, it is important to use English that is appropriate for a business or professional setting. While you may use conversational English for answering questions such as “How are you?” you will want to avoid slang and speak more formally.
- Practice common interview questions – As part of your interview preparation, spend time practicing common interview questions such as “Can you tell me a little about yourself?” Ask a friend or classmate to practice with you.
Show Why You are The Best Person for the Job
If you want to land the job, you have to show the potential employer that you are the best person for the job. It is important to remember that you are likely up against other people competing for the same job, so this is not a time to be shy. Instead, you want to use the following tips to highlight your strengths and help yourself shine:
- Be proud of your accomplishments – While it is good to be humble, it is better to be proud of the things you have accomplished. This is the time when it is appropriate to brag about yourself a little.
- Don’t rush your answers – As a non-native speaker, it is important to pause before answering. Pausing gives you time to think of the best way to respond, and it gives you time to think about the right way to communicate the idea in English.
- Show your strengths as a bilingual speaker – Don’t shy away from being a bilingual speaker. This is a great strength! Use it to your advantage.
Yes, it is Possible to Find Work as an Immigrant in the US
If you have read this far and don’t think these tips will help you find a job as a non-native speaker or immigrant in the US, you are wrong. According to Career Builder, “One-third of employers plan to hire immigrant workers.” Plus, “Immigrant workers looking for employment can expect to find opportunities across multiple industries, with information technology housing the largest percentage of employers who plan to hire them.”
Think you are ready to find work in the US?
Stephen M. Ross, an American sports team owner, says, “Sports is the common denominator in the world that brings everyone together. If there’s any one place in the world where there is equality, it is probably sports.” Sports bring people together across cultures regardless of language barriers. However, when it comes to understanding how to communicate using sports language or sports idioms varies greatly from one culture to the next.
Are you preparing to study English in Washington DC? This is a fantastic choice! Not only will you be immersed in the language and the culture, but you will also get to live in one of the most exciting places in the US! However, along with being one of the most exciting places in the US to live, DC also ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the US.
When it comes to learning English, practice makes perfect. The more you study (or practice) English, the better you will be at communicating using it. For those students attending language schools in Washington DC, the summer weather makes studying more enjoyable. In May, the average temperature in DC is 76 degrees Fahrenheit. From June-August, the temperature rises about ten degrees with highs in the mid-to-high eighties.
If English is not your first language and you wish to attend an American university, then you need to plan to take the TOEFL iBT. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an exam that measures an individual’s ability to use English, specifically at the university level. As such, the TOEFL iBT is the English-language test most preferred by universities in the United States, France, Germany, and by graduate programs in Canada.
Learning English is an excellent way to improve your life. However, if you begin your English learning process with dread and a belief that it is impossible, it will make you miserable. Too many people start and stop learning English right away because they think it is too difficult. Typically, this is because people are focusing on textbooks and grammar rules.
Are you taking an English class in DC and looking for ways to boost your language learning outside of the classroom? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are talking about how popular TED Talks are exceptional supplemental learning tools for language learners.
If you have never watched a TED Talk, you may be wondering what makes them so special. TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design,” which began as a conference for leaders in 1984. During this conference, leaders listened to powerful speeches on various topics in multiple languages.
Beginning in 2006, these inspirational TED Talks have become available for free on the official TED website. Currently, there are over 3000 TED Talks available to watch on the website – the videos have been watched over one billion times. Today, it is easier than ever for students attending language schools in DC to participate in global learning via TED Talks.
TED Talks as Tools for Learning English
While everyone can gain something from viewing a TED Talk, there are several reasons why language learners will benefit. For example, students who are taking English courses in Washington DC are typically preparing to take an English exam or a future in an English-speaking career field. In order to communicate in English fluently, one must be able to listen, speak, read, and write in English.
By viewing TED Talks, students can practice these necessary language skills. As they watch the videos, they are strengthening their English listening skills. As they use subtitles or print out transcripts, they are working on the English reading skills. For those heading to an English test center to take the TOEFL or the IELTS, viewing TED Talks is a study tool.
A few tips for those who plan to use TED Talks as supplemental language learning tools:
- Print out transcripts to use after you view the video.
- Do not rely too heavily on subtitles.
- Pay attention to tone and body language.
- Write down new vocabulary.
- Find opportunities to talk about what you learned from the TED Talk.
10 TED Talks That Will Make Everyone Want to Learn Another Language
We’ve compiled a list of ten of the most popular TED Talks for language learners. We encourage you to listen to them using the language learning techniques you have been practicing in your classes.
5 Techniques to Speak Any Language by Sid Efromovich – A positive speaker who speaks seven languages (a hyperpolyglot), Sid shares his tips for language learning. He will make you believe it is possible and give you practical tips.
Breaking the Language Barrier by Tim Doner – One of the most popular TED Talks about language learning, this video includes a teen hyperpolyglot. He discusses his language learning journey and the various obstacles he has overcome.
Go Ahead, Make Up New Words by Erin McKean – This is a short video that shows language learners how to have fun with language by sharing six different ways to make new words in English.
How Language Transformed Humanity by Mark Pagel – This 20-minute video is delivered by a biologist. In his speech, Mark Pagel explains how language evolved as society grew. With tons of insight into the history of language and culture, you will walk away from the video feeling more knowledgeable.
Metaphorically Speaking by James Geary – If you have ever been confused by a metaphor, this video is a must-watch. As language learners not only have to master a new vocabulary, they must also learn how to understand literary elements like the metaphor in this new language.
One Simple Method to Learn Any Language by Scott Young & Vat Jaiswal – This is another motivational TED Talk for anyone hoping to learn another language. This particular video focuses on what they claim is their one simple solution – no speaking English.
Rapid Language Hacking by Benny Lewis – This highly motivational speaker will inspire you to overcome challenges to learn a new language. After struggling with English and even receiving speech therapy, Benny overcame his language learning hurdles and now writes a popular blog under the same title as the video.
The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain by Mia Nacamulli – If you need to remember why you are studying another language, this video will remind you of all the benefits. In this video, the speaker highlights the benefits of language learning for your brain beyond simply making travel easier.
The Linguist Genius of Babies by Patricia Kuhl – Using brain scans and science, Patricia Kuhl explains how babies pick up one language over another. Through listening and cueing in the sounds they need to know, babies learn the language.
Why I Keep Speaking Up, Even When People Mock My Accent by Safwat Saleem – This inspiring TED Talk will have you believing in the power of your dreams. The speaker grew up with a stutter; then as an adult, he was hurt when online commenters started making fun of his Pakistani accent. His story of overcoming his struggles and accepting his accent will leave a lasting impression.
Plus, You Can Even Find TED Talk Playlists for Language Learners
In addition to TED Talks that specifically address language learning, you can also boost your learning by viewing TED Talks on topics that are of interest to you. Some TED Talks are humorous; others are inspirational. Find TED Talks with content you will enjoy viewing.
Plus, you can also follow language learning TED Talk playlists that include videos that are useful to language learners. These playlists often include TED Talks covering a variety of topics that are engaging, as well as TED Talks with speakers that are easy to understand.
Here are two playlists to help you get started:
You can also search by the topic “language” to find several related TED Talks.
If you are taking English courses in Washington DC during the spring, you are in for a treat. Spring in DC is beautiful. Everything comes back to life and the flowers bloom. Most recognizably, the cherry blossoms trees along the National Mall blossom, which is celebrated for four weeks each spring.
The History of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
In 1912, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted America with 3,000 cherry blossom trees to represent the bonds between the two countries. As cherry blossoms are Japan’s national flower, this gift represented friendship. In 1915, America sent a gift of flowering Dogwood trees to Japan. Then, in 1934, the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held. It continues to be one of the most popular annual events in Washington DC.
Cool Facts About the National Cherry Blossom Festival
- Japan originally sent cherry blossom trees in 1910, but the trees were infested with disease and bugs.
- Many first ladies have planted cherry blossom trees.
- There are two species of cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin in DC – the Yoshino variety and another species, the Kwanzan.
- More than 1.5 million people visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
- People often try to visit the festival at peak bloom time, which varies from year to year. Peak bloom refers to when 70 percent of the cherry blossom trees have bloomed around the Tidal Basin.
- Peak bloom occurs on April 4th on average.
- Cherry blossoms are known as “Sakura” in Japanese.
- The “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World” is actually Macon, Georgia.
- The cherry blossom trees may only flower for one week, which is one reason why this special time of year is celebrated in DC.
Basic Information for the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival
For students attending language schools in Washington DC, here is the basic information you need to know about this year’s festival.
- It will take place from March 20th – April 14th, 2019.
- The cherry blossom trees are located all around the Tidal Basin.
- The closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station. Then, it is just a short walk to the Tidal Basin.
- There are several events as part of the festival, most of which are free.
- Visit the National Park System’s website for the official peak bloom prediction.
- It is against the law to pick the cherry blossoms, so admire them, snap some pictures, but leave them alone!
Tips for Washington Language School Students Visiting the Festival
When you plan to visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival, there are several things you can do to make the experience enjoyable and memorable. First, plan to do a lot of walking. Avoid driving at all costs. Since the festival brings so many tourists to town, expect the streets to be much more crowded than usual. Make use of the Metro system or Capital Bikeshare. Wear comfortable shoes! You can also enjoy the festival by paddle boat in the Tidal Basin. This is a fun way to enjoy the spring weather and see the beautiful blooms.
With a large number of visitors to the area for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, try to avoid the busiest times. Typically, the cherry blossom areas are less crowded early in the morning or in the evening.
If you are living abroad to study English, then you should act like the tourist that you are. Take tons of pictures and share them with friends and family. Try to visit the festival as close to peak bloom as possible. Follow NPS’s bloom watch for an idea of when this will occur.
If you follow these tips, we are sure you will find the perfect time and location to take as many Instagram-worthy shots as possible.
Can’t-Miss Cherry Blossom Events for Students Attending Language Schools in DC
In addition to the National Cherry Blossom Festival signature events, there are over 150 daily performances including musicians, entertainments, and sports competitions. The National Park Service hosts events at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. Also, during the week of peak bloom, they host events daily. Keeping this in mind, here are some of the can’t miss events:
Opening Ceremony – The National Cherry Blossom Opening Ceremony will be held on March 23rd at Warner Theatre. This year’s ceremony will include the cast members of “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” The Super Live and violinist Ikuko Kawai. While the event is free, you must reserve your tickets.
Blossom Kite Festival – One of the most loved events of the festival is the Blossom Kite Festival, which will take place on March 30th on the Washington Monument grounds. You can fly your own kite or simply marvel at professional kite-flyers and stunt kite-flyers.
Petalpalooza – Head to The Wharf on April 6th for a day-long extravaganza (between the hours of 12:00 pm and 8:30 pm). Petalpalooza includes games, activities, a beer garden, art installations, and concludes with an amazing firework show.
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade presented by Events DC – The most popular event of the festival is the annual parade, which signifies the conclusion of the weeks-long festival. This year’s parade will take place on April 13th. The 10-block parade includes giant helium balloons and musical performances.
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival – This street festival taking place on Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd to 7th Streets NW on April 13th is the largest Japanese street festival in the US. You can sample food, see art, and enjoy live performances. More than 80 groups will be represented.
Before We Go
This is just one of the many fun things inlingua students get to enjoy as they study a new language in DC. Our students get to immerse themselves in American culture and experience all the excitement of living in the nation’s capital. Spring is a great time to visit DC and see the cherry blossoms bloom – it is an even better time to study a new language.
If you are like most students attending language schools in Washington DC, then you are glued to your cell phone (or mobile device). So why not make the most of your mobile device by finding ways for it to help you learn a new language?
Today’s students are familiar with mobile devices, which means there is not a steep learning curve when it comes to using this technology for language learning. As Hayo Reinders explains, “learners are used to working with them, often more so than with computers.” Not only are they familiar with mobile devices, but many students “prefer to use mobile phones for many activities, from emailing to reading books.”
Therefore, it makes sense to use mobile devices to learn a new language. However, while there is an abundance of language learning apps, there are far more ways to use a mobile device for mobile learning.
Mobile learning means students can learn a new language anywhere at any time. Today, let’s explore the various ways students who take English courses in Washington DC can benefit for mobile learning.
Numerous Studies Suggest Mobile Devices are a Great Language Learning Tool
Study after study has found a positive correlation between mobile devices and language learning. For instance, in Using Mobile Phones in Learning English: The Case of Jordan, researchers found that English language learning students report high usage for using mobile phones to learn English. Additionally, students reported having positive attitudes toward learning this way.
In Using Mobile Apps To Facilitate English Learning For College Students In China, researchers found the mobile “learning approach is effective and helpful for college students to improve English by using their mobile devices, as well as undergraduates are willing to use apps to learn English with self-regulated learning approach instead of traditional learning approach.”
Several other studies report similar findings. Ultimately, various studies suggest that students enjoy using their mobile devices, which makes it a great tool for supplemental language learning. For instance, while the best way to learn a language is to take courses, such as by attending one of the language schools in DC, students can also benefit from using their mobile devices to reinforce skills.
The Various Ways a Mobile Device Can Be Used in Language Learning
As many of the unique features of mobile devices for language learning is overlooked, we are providing students with a broad overview of the various ways a mobile device can be used to supplement what you are learning in your English class in DC.
Multiple Language Learning Apps Available
There are countless language learning apps available for mobile devices. These apps range from game-based learning apps to language courses. Apps such as Duolingo and Memrise. You can see our favorite language learning apps in 12 Games and Apps to Supplement Language Learning.
Mobile devices feature mobile messaging tools like text messaging. Mobile messaging is an excellent way to develop your English reading and writing skills as mobile messaging requires the user to communicate via the written word. Additionally, mobile messaging is a great way for students to learn how to use informal English.
A major perk for language learning is social networking via sites and apps such as Facebook and Instagram. Language learners can connect with other language learners and native speakers globally. Plus, these social networks have other communication tools such as direct messaging and closed groups.
Speaking Via Phone or Video
As mobile devices have become more common for searching the web, we tend to forget they are phones designed for users to speak to one another. As a language learner, speaking in the language is critical. You can practice speaking to others via the phone or by using video chat tools such as Skype or Apple’s Facetime.
Today’s mobile devices also allow users to download reading materials directly to their devices. Whether you opt to read a book or a newspaper in English, you can use your phone to practice reading in English. Another tip for using your phone to practice reading – change your phone’s language settings.
Mobile devices come equipped with translation tools, such as Google translate and dictionary apps. While you do not want to rely on these tools for language learning, they are helpful when you are in need. For example, students who travel abroad to study English in Washington DC will find this mobile device tool helpful at the beginning of their studies.
Most mobile devices include a voice recorder feature. If the device does not have this feature, you can download a voice recorder app. This tool is helpful for language learners as they can record conversations and listen back to learn pronunciation.
Creative types are using their mobile devices to create content. For example, you can use your device to create videos, record music, or design graphics. All of these creative tasks can also be used to help you learn new vocabulary.
Use Photos for Visual Learning
Visual learners can make use of their phone’s camera. By taking photos of objects and words, students are creating a visual language dictionary. For example, photos of street signs or restaurant menus will help give language learners something to refer to as they study.
Mobile devices also include note-taking tools. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word, you can take a note. Then, share the note with your language trainer and classmates at your next class. This is a great way to keep a running dictionary of new words.
Blogging and Microblogging
Students learning languages abroad can also blog directly from their mobile devices. In addition to full blogs via apps such as Blogger, language learners may enjoy trying to communicate via micro-blogging through Twitter. They can update those back home, as well connect with others.
One of the most popular ways to use a mobile device is to use it to view videos. There are countless videos you can watch for free on sites such as YouTube, as well as streaming sites like Netflix. Watching videos is a fun way to practice your English listening skills.
Are you already using your mobile device to learn a language? Boost your learning by taking an English class!