• Work-life balance

    The phrase work-life balance became popular in the UK in the 1970s, but the concept  has been around for much longer than you might imagine. Apparently it originated as far back as the mid-1800s, when Labour Day (May Day) was established as a public holiday in Australia, with the labour unions claiming that everyone was entitled to 8 hours' work, 8 hours' rest and 8 hours of recreation - a perfect balance. The sentiment is also expressed in the well-known saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", first recorded in the mid-17th century, but probably going back to Saxon times. The arrows here, pointing in opposite directions, remind us forcefully that work and 'life' should be kept strictly separate.

    Fisher's Lane, Norwich, Norfolk UK

     

  • With many fond farewells and Christmas carols ringing around us, we said goodbye this week to a fantastic group of 23 teachers from Yunnan province in China, who had been studying at NILE for thirteen weeks developing their language proficiency and awareness, critical thinking, communicative methodology, intercultural awareness and practical teaching skills.

     Read more...

  • One of NILE's long-term friends and partner organisations, Kantonschule Wiedikon in Zurich, brought another group this autumn for a tailor-made three-week course combining subject-specific fieldwork with intensive language development and preparation for Cambridge exams.

     

     

     Read more...

  • Teachers from the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Quart de Poblet have just left Norwich after an intensive tailor-made, week-long testing and assessment course with Erasmus+ funding. 

     Read more...

  • Eighty-one students from Liestal School near Basel in Switzerland came to study at NILE for two weeks in October, combining language development sessions focusing on the Cambridge BEC exam with trips to local industries and self-guided research into businesses in Norwich. This research culminated in presentations to other NILE students and staff, host families and members of the business community, demonstrating their English language proficiency and the depth of their research. 

     Read more...

  • Last Friday we said farewell to 24 primary school teachers from Hubei province in China after a three-week course designed to develop their English teaching methodology and personal language proficiency. The group settled quickly into Norwich life, and enjoyed their immersion into the local culture with host families and a series of educational and cultural visits. 

     Read more...

  • Product

    You might think that a product is something that has been manufactured; but the marketization of the service economy since the 1980s has turned all kinds of services (mortgages, insurance policies, bank accounts) – and even Cambridge examinations – into products!

    Location: William H Brown, Bank Plain, Norwich, Norfolk

  • #22 Spoonerism 

    ChishnfipsIt is generally acknowledged in Britain that takeaway food outlets and hairdressers vie for who can use the best (or worst) pun in their names. Where I grew up there was The Chip Monk, The Codfather, and Fryer Tuck's on one side, and Headmasters and A Cut Above on the other. This fish-and-chip shop in Norwich takes a slightly different approach, using a spoonerism for its name. Spoonersims are phrases where the first phonemes in a pair of words are reversed, sometimes intentionally for humour, but often by accident as we tumble over our tongues. They are named after the Reverend Spooner, a college warden at Oxford University in the 19th century, and many more have been attributed to him than can be proven, of which my favourite is "a well-boiled icicle" (well-oiled bicycle). 

    Location: Angel Road, Norwich, Norfolk

  • Teachers of vocational courses from bricklaying to tourism at colleges in Salzburg and Carinthia have just left NILE after an intensive four-day course aimed at developing their language skills and looking at how vocational education works in the UK. Read more...

  • Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming 14 Austrian trainee teachers from the Kirchliche Padagogische Hochschule in Graz on a tailor-made course which combined language development work at NILE with placements in local primary schools across Norwich. In their 10 days with us, the group began with sessions at NILE focusing on language and culture in the UK, and preparation for their school placements. The six days in schools allowed the trainee teachers to follow life in a UK primary school, working alongside the teachers, and leading some sessions themselves. The course participants were enthusiastic about the welcome they received in schools:

     Read more...