• 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. 


  • 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. 


  • 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. 


  • 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:


  • Doesn't cost the earth#21 - It doesn't cost the earth

    This Norwich drive-through carwash has a slogan which plays on the phrase "to cost the earth". The phrase's idiomatic meaning is 'to be very expensive', but it allows for a play on the word "cost", which can also mean 'have a negative effect on' or 'use up', as in "This project has already cost us lots of time and money", and "the earth" relating to the world, and particularly the environmental wellbeing of the planet. Consequently, the carwash company is simultaneously saying "Our service is inexpensive and environmentally-friendly" - two neat selling points  in a four-word phrase.

    Location: Drayton Road, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

  • Eighty-five students, their accompanying teachers, and their NILE trainers gathered for a cream tea in the cloisters of Norwich Cathedral to round off their two-week course at NILE this month. The students, from Duca degli Abruzzi school in Treviso, Italy had come with funding from the European Community Commission and the Veneto Region, and focused on the areas of Business English, English for Science and English for Human Sciences. Their course combined language development, trips to local industries and educational institutions, project-based field work, and social and cultural excursions including visits to London and Cambridge. In the words of the students:   


  • Never so good?

    The slogan outside this shop selling musical instruments is playing with a phrase from a 1957 speech by Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan. Referring to Britain's postwar economic recovery, what Macmillan actually said was "most of our people have never had it so good". Inevitably, tabloid newspaper headline writers and opposition politicians put this into the second person, and it became "You've never had it so good"!

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