• Drinks Not Drunks

    A polite way of warning customers who have already had too much to drink that they won’t be served.

    The notice works because serve is one of those interpersonal verbs that can take both a direct object and an indirect one, though the drunks probably won’t be clear-headed enough to get the point!

    Location: Louis Deli, Upper St Giles Street, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

    Louis' deli in Norwich

  • ifs and butts

    Since the introduction of the smoking ban in all public buildings wall-mounted ashtrays have become a familiar piece of ‘street furniture’ all over the UK.

    The idiom 'No ifs or buts' is used to forestall excuses or objections (which might begin with If or But). The homophone butts (i.e. cigarette ends) might work well here to encourage smokers to use the ashtray, but the local taxi firm who have sponsored it have confused the message by using it to attract potential customers.

    Location: exterior of The Hog in Armour pub, Charing Cross, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

    Linguistic Landscapes - a pub in Norwich

  • -ish

    Looks as though the new owners of this shop realised that the grand re-opening was going to take longer than they had first thought.

    Originally a suffix used with times (five-ish) and colours (greyish), -ish can now be applied to almost any adjective to make its meaning more approximate. 

    Ish has also become an independent word used to indicate doubt or uncertainty:

    – Did you enjoy the movie?

    – Mmm…ish

    Location: St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

    Linguistic Landscapes - ish - shopfront

  • One activity that our visiting teachers always seem to love is the NILE Cultural Exchange. This is a NILE-wide discussion activity which really gets teachers talking to each other and sharing ideas from their context. See some pictures here from last week’s activity and read Johanna Stirling's why, what and how?Read more...

  • Go camping!

    Which leisure activities collocate with the verb ‘go’? This camping superstore lists a few!

    Location: GO Outdoors, Heigham Street Industrial Estate, Norwich, UK

  • Functional phone language

    Helpful telephone company provides payphone users with some example phrases at Norwich railway station.

    Location: Railway Station, Norwich, UK


  • Welcome to the NILE Linguistic Landscape blog!

    In this blog we’ll be sharing examples of interesting language in use on the streets of Norwich, along with commentaries on why we find it interesting and how this relates to awareness-raising in ELT. Read on!Read more...

  • English language had always fascinated me throughout my childhood and I had the opportunity to help my friends at school and college to learn English. This had not only helped me to learn more but also to gain confidence in teaching.

    Although I did my graduation in Computer Applications, my love for ELT made me take up ELT as my career. I took my Masters in English at EFL University (Distance Education), Hyderabad, India, which I am still pursuing while teaching English full-time. Read more...

    0 comments | 11 June 2014 | Courses | Karandeep Nishanimath
  • How did you get started and how long have you been involved in ELT?

    Just over 25 years ago, I was offered a job in Japan for a year teaching English. I was graduating in Environmental Science from Stirling University way before the world was thinking about going green, so there were very few decent jobs available in the field. I thought I was going to be a year or two in Japan, but fate had other things planned for me....Read more...

    0 comments | 13 May 2014 | | The NILE Team
  • Russell Stannard is one of NILE's Associate Trainers and an innovator in the use of technology in language teaching.

    He has won a number of awards and given presentations all over the world. We met up with Russell recently to find out a little bit more about him.Read more...

    1 comment | 05 March 2014 | Courses | Hanna K Furre