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Newsletter January 2014 Issue 2

Contents 3…….Welcome 4…….The term in pictures

6…….Exam results 8…….Hello from Mark 9…….“A Day in the Life” 10…...Book Reviews 11…...Manchester: The Start of the Western World as We Know It 12…...World Cookbook 17…...What is Skratch My Back? 18…...What is English Beer? 19…...Interviews with our students 22…...Interview with our staff 23…...Interview with a home stay host 24…...Poetry 25…...Quizzes and Games 27…...Write a Short Story Competition 28…...The Short Story 29…...Letters to Excel College 30…...Volunteering Opportunities 31…...Adverts and Special Offers 34…...Answers for Last Term’s Quizzes and Games 36…...This Term

Welcome to Excel College’s January Newsletter. Last term saw a lot of changes. We’d like to say congratulations to Mark, who took over from Kes as Principal of Excel College (see his ‘hello’ on page 8). Both Anna and myself have worked on this issue of our newsletter and I would like to thank Anna for all her hard work and wish her good luck when she takes it over next term. We had some fantastic IELTS and Cambridge exam results last term. Well done to everyone who took an exam, you should all be very proud and wherever your exam result takes you, we wish you the best of luck. To all students, don’t forget to tell us when you’ve taken an exam and we promise to include you in next term’s newsletter. There’s a lot happening in Manchester over the coming months. The one us Brits are looking forward to the most is probably the Manchester Beer and Cider festival in January! With over 300 real ales, 75 traditional ciders & perries, a selection of bottle conditioned ales and some of the best imported beers around, we thought it was worth organising a trip for all students and staff on the 24th January. There is also an article about the history of real ale on page 19. It talks about why beer was first made and how it has grown to be such a huge part if British culture, it’s a very interesting read. Manchester’s canal system is beautiful to look at but why is it there? Read all about it in “Manchester: The start of the western world as we know it”. The author of this article, Mark, runs a company called ‘The Wandering Duck’ which organises trips up and down the Manchester canals. Having a trip on a canal boat is the best way to see the English Countryside, see our adverts for more details. Our World Cookbook is growing every day with recipes from every corner of the globe. In this issue we have some wonderful recipes from traditional British treacle tart to Spanish croquettes. Remember to send us photos when you make any dish from our cookbook for the chance to win £25 worth of Amazon vouchers! Now, we all know that the English language is a strange and wonderful language - full of rules that are always broken, idioms that even native speakers don’t understand and pairs of words called ‘rhyming compounds’. Confused? See this newsletter’s quizzes and see if you can work it out! For those of you keen to see how well you did last term, the answers to last term’s quizzes are on page 35. This term’s competition is a chance for you to practice your writing skills - win Amazon vouchers or English lessons by writing a story using the words on page 28 and find out more about writing a short story in an article on page 29. We hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas and New year and we look forward to another successful term at Excel College. If you have any photos, letters, recipes or suggestions, please email them to

Anna Bartholomew

Samantha Barham

Admissions and Student Services

Marketing and Improvement Manager




Student: Felix Country: Germany Exam: Cambridge Proficiency in English Score: 67% Course: General English and CPE There are many, many reasons why I think Excel College is great. First of all it is central and close to Piccadilly which was good for me because I was coming by train. I also liked the rooms and atmosphere of the college including the reception where you could always go if you needed something with the friendliest staff you could imagine. The teachers were great and their way of teaching never bored me. Most importantly, however, the high level of teaching helped me to improve and in the end, I managed to get my proficiency certificate.

Student: Yue Su Country: China IELTS: 5.5 Course: IELTS Foundation Preparation Listening Reading Writing Speaking 5.0 5.5 4.5 6.0 All the people in the photo are students of Excel College. We live together in accommodation. We always have some drinks in the pub. The reason why I have to take IELTS exam is because my university needs it, so I came to Manchester and study English in Excel College.

Student: Maryam Country: Iraq IELTS 6.0 Course: IELTS Advanced Preparation Listening 6.0

Reading 5.5

Writing 5.0

Speaking 7.0

I would like to thank everybody in Excel College for their effort and I had a good time there.

Student: Mahmoud Country: Libya IELTS 7.0 Course: IELTS Advanced Preparation Listening 7.5

Reading 6.5

Writing 7.0

Speaking 6.5

What a fantastic day it was when I saw my IELTS result online. After struggling, I got the score that I was looking for which was 7.0. I'd like to say thanks a bundle from the bottom of my heart to the teachers and staff at Excel College for being so nice. I cannot thank you enough, as without such a great college, I could never have done it.


Student: Ali Country: Kuwait IELTS: 6.0 Course: General English Upper intermediate and IELTS Foundation Preparation Listening 6.0

Reading 6.5

Writing 6.0

Speaking 5.5

Thank you Excel College, I’m now looking forward to studying at Salford University!

Student: Fernanda Country: Ecuador IELTS: 6.5 Course: General English Advanced and IELTS Advanced Preparation Listening 7.0

Reading 6.5

Writing 5.5

Speaking 6.0

Student: Carlos Country: Spain IELTS: 6.5 Course: IELTS Advanced Preparation Listening 6.5

Reading 7.5

Writing 6.0

Speaking 6.0

A big congratulations to all Excel College students who took Cambridge or IELTS exams last term! If you’re thinking about taking an exam in 2014, why not take advantage of our IELTS and Cambridge practice tests? You can take a full exam in strict exam conditions and a full individual speaking test. This is then followed by feedback and advice on how to improve. For more details on prices and how to book a practice test, have a look the Excel College Website and the Excel College brochure If you need materials to help structure your self-study time, you can borrow one of our exam textbooks from reception. We’ve got lots of IELTS and Cambridge books with tips on how to approach different questions and lots of practice test papers. In addition, if you need any advice on available exam dates and test centres, come to reception and we will do our best to help.


Hi everyone, I hope you’re enjoying life at Excel College and looking forward to lots of success and exciting developments in 2014. For those of you that do not know, Kes got a new job. Although he really enjoyed being the Principal at Excel, he realised that he loved teaching so much he wanted to get back into the classroom. He told me it was because he loves helping students improve their English level, but I suspect it was because Sam, Anna, Lynda and Leo stopped laughing at his jokes! Students are usually very polite and laugh even when they don’t think he is funny. I’m sure all the staff and students would like to join me in wishing Kes every success in his new job and thanking him for all his hard work in helping to make Excel a great place to work and study. The big change for me is that, after having taught at Excel for two and a half years, I have taken over the role of Principal. The first six weeks have been challenging and enjoyable and I want to say a big ‘Thank you’ to everyone for helping me settle in to the new job. As many of you probably don’t know very much about me I thought it would be good to tell you a bit about my background, family and interests. I haven’t always been a teacher. My first career was in finance, working in London for several international banks. I loved working in London and learnt a lot about business, but after several years I came to my senses and realised that Manchester is the best city in the UK – so I moved here with my family. My three children (two daughters and a son) were quite young when we moved so all of them now have Manchester accents, although they can do a very good London accent as well. In fact, my son moved to Canada earlier this year so he will soon be adding a Canadian accent to his collection. When I moved to Manchester, I trained in Information Technology at Salford University for three years and then got a job designing and producing IT systems for Barclays and Accenture (a business consultancy company). I worked in IT for many years and worked on quite a few high profile projects but eventually decided the time was right to change career again. I left Accenture and went back to university to achieve the qualifications I needed to teach English as a Foreign Language. I have taught at several colleges but I’m glad to say that I eventually arrived at Excel College (the best English school in Manchester)! When I’m not at work I love spending time with my family and friends, walking in the countryside or in the hills in the Lake District, listening to live music, watching/playing sport and reading a good book. Eating also comes high on my list of enjoyable activities, especially eating food from other countries, so I’m really excited about some of the recipes in this newsletter. So that’s enough about me for now. I’m looking forward to meeting more of you over the coming weeks and months and hope that your time working with us at Excel will provide some great memories (and photos) and help you to achieve your goals. 8

A Day in the Life Congratulations to Gloria who won First prize in last term’s competition. We had lots of fantastic entries and it really was very hard choosing a winner. Congratulations as well to Thanaphat who came second and Fernanda who came in third place. See all of the entries on the Excel College Website. I was having a pleasant dream… Suddenly, I hear a very familiar ring! It is the break bell?I open my eyes and find myself lying on my bed! Unsurprising! I use my time to lie in a little more! Guilty pleasure, I love to sleep! Five minutes... ten minutes more. Finally I decide to get up! A ray of sunlight enters my room! Through the window, checking how amazing the weather is today, my feeling is that it is going to be a great day. Seeing that is actually mild when is supposed to be cold, my day could be as colourful as the rainbow! My body starts to feel all the energy I need to learn as much as I can and to enjoy the city! I need to feed myself pretty well! Let´s go for a yummy breakfast! I usually have as a cup of hot milk with coffee, chocolate and two scoop of sugar! Life is better when it's sweet! Then a slice of bread with butter and marmite. How bizarre the flavour of this creamy sauce that English people eat is, I like it anyway, so after I have finished my preparation I sit on the sofa of my living room and play with the tv! My favourite program is on! Fantastic! Homes under the hammer! I would like to do this one day, like to go to an auction and fight for my ideal house, after that, within my budget, try to do my best and make up my current house. My walk to the college takes me past Withworth Park, where you normally get picturesque views, then the crowded University and Victorian Church which is impressive. I like the kiosk of fresh fruit you can find in front of the University and also, when it is a sunny day, the one that is next to it with plenty of elderly books! I love to take a glance to the titles. I have a short lunch break and I return at 19:30. After that I have a coffee in Corner House with a friend. At home I use to meet my flat mates. We watch tv together and after dinner I go to my room. It is Skype time! My mother is ready to tell me all the gossip she knows from the neighbourhood and I´m very keen to listen to her. She makes me feel at home for a little while. I read a famous and very elderly book today-The Little prince-.Some would describe it as a classic, but I think it just an amazing story of which everybody could learn a lot about it. So I'm going to bed with a thought from the book. My eye was drawn to one of the quotes: ”It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” It is the time I have wasted for my day that makes my day so important. Let me dream again! 9

Book Reviews Looking for something good to read? Our last competition asked students to write a book review of one of the books in our self study section. Take a look at these competition entries. I, Robot This story is set in a society where humans and robots live and work together. It was written by Russian visionary author Isaac Asimov. You may have heard of the film with the same title as this book. Although the story is different, the idea was based on the book. In the book the existence of robots is ordinary. The laws for robots are not to harm humans and obey humans’ orders. One character, a writer interviews a robotpsychologist, Doctor Susan Calvin, who has been working for many years for a robot manufacturing company named US Robots. Through her story, we hear about stories of six different types of robots. They have a range of models, for example, a nanny robot, which can’t speak and just obeys men, and a robot which is extremely clever and eventually becomes a mayor. This is a readable book and consists of well-compacted stories. Each robot in each story has a unique character. Illustrations will help you to imagine the situations in these stories. I wonder which would be really smarter; humans or robots? Which will control and be controlled in the future? If you are curious to look into a world robots are next to you, I recommend you read this book. You can also borrow the DVD of the film at our school reception. Kayo (EFL Advanced) Extreme Skydiving Summary The book provides an exciting real-life story in print, audio and video. It is about one of the most exciting activities that people enjoy "Skydiving” because they get to fall through the sky at extremely high speeds. This story is set in the UK, in the northern part of England at a drop zone where the world speed skydiving championship competition was held. The story was about one man who wants one thing, to go faster. His name is Mark Calland and his main competitor Marco Wiederkehr, the national champion of Liechtenstein. Mark is experimenting with various methods of increasing his speed. The aim was to reduce air resistance to increase the speed. Mark get benefit from falcon's method in hunting. Also, he made a special suit like a shuttlecock. My Thoughts I think the book is great. I like it and I felt excited because it is a real story, excited sport that is not popular in my country. So, I get a lot of information. It is written in various voices, first, second and third. The book includes experiments, questions for motivation, real pictures and diagrams for illustration. Also, it teaches the reader strategies like scanning. Therefore, I highly recommend it for people who want to learn English language or prepare for IELTS. Zainab (IELTS Advanced Preparation)


The Pelican Brief

Sometimes reading is not a boring activity. Believe me in this point please. If you can´t trust in my advice only take this book and check it yourself. Perhaps it is not the most common way to start a review but is totally suitable in terms of right criticism of this book with exotic title. No soon have you opened the first page and become deeply dived in a story which starts with the murder in strange circumstances of two Supreme Court Magistrates. This fact cause a meddling of a young law-student called Darby Shaw who thinks strongly that there is a too interesting issue to let it forget with a shallow research. Suddenly, the boyfriend of Darby is killed by a car bomb. She doesn´t give up and decide to keep on despite the dangers that threaten her life. Environment, activism, corruption, power, police, bribes and some brave people are waiting for you in this short and stunning adaptation of the homonym book of the well-known John Grisham. What can you do when the clock is reminding you the pass of the time from the bedside table and the sleep doesn’t appear in your bedroom? I´m not sure because I´m not a doctor. However, I must say you that read this book won´t be good idea if tomorrow you have to weak up early! Manuel Martiño (EFL Advanced) Eat, Pray, Love

I would like to write a review of a book which I have read a couple of months ago that really grabbed me untitled Eat pray love. The plot is very easy to follow: the main character, Elizabeth, is a thirty year old American woman who finds her self in a life that she doesn't feel as hers. She blames the boredom of her marriage so she divorces, believing that was her only way out. During her further relationship Liz realizes that the origin of her unhappiness was in her self so she decides to travel. Her first destination is Italy where she makes very good friends and has a splendid time but she still feels unsatisfied so she goes to India to live in a meditation centre to find peace. After nearly a year, when she achieved the meditation skills she desired, Elizabeth decides to go to Bali and visit a medicine man whom will teach her how to reach interior balance. The book is very interesting as it explains the introspective path of a woman that gets caught in one of the biggest problems: monotony. However, the book ends with a love escape between Liz and a Spanish fellow that she meets in Cambodia. In my opinion it is a frivolous way of ending such a profound story about a woman that finds the strength of changing her life but giving a general outlook the book is touching but is also followed by entertaining and funny chapters, in other words, it's worth reading Laura (EFL Proficiency)

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Email, facebook or tweet us and let us know!


Manchester: The Start of the Western World As We Know It I’m sure your mother is always telling you that “things were different when she was young”. She would be right. Even 10 years ago there was no such thing as an iphone. But let’s go back further than that. I mean, what about before factories, before we had any industry at all. How did we get here? Well, before the industrial revolution, everything we had was made using “The Domestic System”. To put it simply, back in the 1750’s people either worked the land, or produced goods by hand in their homes. Back then, goods could only be produced in very small quantities. With a growing population, Britain needed to find ways to produce goods quicker The Motorola DynaTAC, 1983: The first commercial cellphone, and in much larger quantities. At this time the roads were terrible. It would take two priced at US$3,995! weeks to travel from the top to the bottom of the UK. Horses could only carry 2 tons of cargo, and if goods were to be produced quicker, then we needed a better solution for the transportation of raw materials. In 1760 the Duke of Bridgewater owned coal mines in Worsley (now part of Greater Manchester). Coal was an important raw material. The Duke sold his coal throughout the North West to fuel steam engines. He had recently taken a trip to France where he had seen the Canal Du Midi. He decided it would be a good idea to build a canal from his coal mines at Worsley in to Manchester (at Castlefield Basin). His project was a huge success. The Bridgewater canal was the first major canal in the country. Now 30 tons of coal could be transported into Manchester by 1 horse, instead of 2 tons by road. The price of coal halved overnight. Following this success, an entire national canal system was to be built over the next 100 A horsedrawn canal boat carrying cargo (taken around 1900) years, transforming the speed at which large quantities of raw material could be transported. Of course, there were many ingredients that allowed for the industrial revolution to start in Manchester, followed closely by Birmingham. However, many people acknowledge that without the canals this would never have happened when and where it took place. There are now 2200 miles of canals and rivers, most of which connect with one another, throughout England. You can still travel from Manchester to London by canal boat. Today road and rail have taken over from the canals. These methods of transport are, of course, far quicker than the canal system. However, behind the fast pace of today’s modern world, the canals are being used by more boats than ever before. They are now used almost exclusively for leisure. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, pubs, and a wealth of outdoor activities, they are now a haven from which to escape our modern fast pace of life. How ironic therefore that the canals which have helped build today’s industrialised world, now offer an escape from that very same world they created.

Mark Bratt Wandering Duck The Canal Boat Experience 12

World Cookbook Hundreds of students come through our doors from countries all over the world and we love to learn about different cultures; their celebrations, holidays and, of course, their food. English recipes take ideas from many different countries thanks to our diverse and ever-changing culture and we want to create a cookbook that celebrates the food of our students and our staff. Please send your recipes and photos to and join the discussion on twitter #Excelcooking


Zereshk Polo

by Farnaz

This is a fantastic Persian dish, very colour full and with loads of different flavours. It is one of my favourites to cook as there is lots to do.

Ingredients Rice (about 50g/person) Chicken drumsticks (thighs or breast can also be used) Grated carrot Almonds and pistachios cut into thin slices Orange peel sliced Dried barberries Saffron Salt Tomato puree Saffron Black pepper Butter Sugar Olive oil Fried onion for decorating

Method First, cook rice with a little salt and olive oil. Chop the onion very small and fry in olive oil. Add the chicken, stir, then add two glasses of water Stir in salt, pepper, tomato puree and saffron. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 45. Make sure it doesn’t dry out. Chop the orange and the nuts so that they are the same size (see the picture) then soak them in boiling water. After two minutes, change the boiling water for new boiling water and soak again for two minutes. Do this three times. Drain the orange and nuts and then fry with carrot and butter and sugar for three minutes. Wash the barberries and fry with a little bit of sugar and butter. Pour saffron in a small cup then pour boiling water (three tablespoons) in the cup. After five minutes mix with rice, then decorate same as the picture. Finally, you should sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on your dish.

Hi there, I’m Chef Derek from Barburrito and this is a recipe for our famous guacamole. This is great as a dip for crisps and vegetables, use in a burger or in fajitas and tacos. When made, you can keep in the fridge for 3 days - just make sure you cover it or it will go brown!


Serrano ham and chicken croquettes with salad by Gloria Nothing is ever wasted in the Spanish kitchen, and nothing proves this better than croquetas. Different types of croquettes, filled with ham, chicken or even cheese are served in every bar or restaurant in Spain. The one with ham is known as ‘la reina de las croquettes’ (the queen of the croquettes). Prepare the mixture in advance, then just a few minutes frying is all it takes for a delicious light meal of hot crisp croquettes served with sharp, crunchy tuna salad. Serve while they are still hot.

Ingredients For the croquettes: (Makes about 24) 90g/3½oz butter 50g/2oz thinly sliced Spanish air-dried ham, roughly chopped 110g/4oz flour, plus 75g/3oz extra for coating 500ml/18floz full-fat milk 75g/3oz cooked chicken breast meat 1 tsp salt 1 medium egg, hard-boiled, peeled and finely chopped 2 free-range eggs, beaten 200g/7oz fresh white breadcrumbs, made from crust-less, day-old bread left out overnight vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the salad: 1 head of crunchy lettuce, such as Little Gem, 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges or sliced 4 spring onions thinly sliced 8 spears canned or jarred asparagus, drained 1 x 200g/7oz can or jar of tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt, to taste 2 free-range eggs, hard-boiled, quartered

Method  For the croquettes, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the ham and leave to

cook gently for a minute or two to soften.

 Stir in 110g/4oz of the flour and cook for one minute, then very gradually stir in the milk, a little at a time,

beating well so that the mixture becomes silky smooth.

 Bring to the boil, and leave to cook gently, whisking constantly, for five minutes.  Stir in the chicken and one teaspoon of salt, or to taste, then stir in the hard-boiled egg.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least six hours until firm.  When you are ready to make the croquettes, lightly flour the palms of your hands and for each croquette

shape 1½ tablespoons of the chilled mixture into a ball, and shape.

 Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile wash and prepare the lettuce and spread the leaves over four medium-sized plates.  Arrange the tomatoes, onion and asparagus on top and scatter the flaked tuna over the centre of each


 Whisk the red wine vinegar and olive oil together with the salt to taste and drizzle over the salads.  Garnish with the hard-boiled eggs and green olives.  Heat some oil for deep-frying to 190C/375F  Put the remaining 75g/3oz flour, egg and breadcrumbs into

three separate bowls.

 Dip the croquettes into the flour, then the beaten egg and then

the breadcrumbs. Lower them into the hot oil and cook for not quite two minutes until crisp and lightly golden-brown. You can tell when they are done because as they cook they begin to make a different noise in the fryer.  Lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside on plenty of kitchen paper to drain briefly. Serve while they are still hot.  To serve, pile the hot croquettes straight onto a plate with a spoonful of salad alongside. Enjoy :) 15

Treacle Tart

by Charlotte

This is a recipe my Grandma taught me how to make and it is a family favourite. My Grandma was always very good at making pastry but I’m not so I usually buy it readymade! You can either make one big tart or lots of little tarts. I prefer to make one big one and me and my friends just grab a spoon each and eat it!

Method Ingredients

 First make the pastry. In a food processor,

For the Pastry 90g unsalted butter 110g icing sugar 2 small egg yolks 150g plain flour For the tart: 225g golden syrup 50g dark treacle 220g double cream 75g oats or fresh white breadcrumbs (I prefer oats!) 2 eggs, beaten 1tbsp lemon juice

mixer or by hand, cream the butter and icing sugar together until they are light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks, mix well then fold in the flour.  Press the dough into a ball and refrigerate it for an hour or so.  On a floured table, roll out the pastry to about 2cm thick.  Then grease and line 4 x 6-7cm individual tart cases (you could use foil disposable tart cases or make a large one).  Leave to rest in the fridge for one hour.  Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC/320F/Gas mark 3.  Meanwhile mix the golden syrup, treacle, double cream, oatmeal and beaten eggs together then stir in the lemon juice.  Fill the flan ring and bake for 40-50 minutes then leave to cool.  Serve warm with some good, extra thick or clotted cream, custard or ice-cream.

Chicken and Galangal Soup

by Na

This is a traditional Thai soup that is nice and spicy and has lots of flavour. If you do not have palm sugar, any sugar is ok. I like my food very spicy so I use 3 birds eye chillies but you can add less if you like. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, put the ingredients in a bag and squash gently with a spoon of the back of a knife.

Ingredients 1/2 pint chicken stock 1 400g tin coconut milk 1 tbsp. palm sugar 2 stalks lemon grass 3 shallots 2 coriander roots 3 birds eye chillies 10 slices galangal 5 kaffir lime leaves 8 oyster mushrooms 2 chicken fillets, chopped 3 tbsp. fish sauce 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1tsp dried chilli 1 tbsp. coriander leaves

Method     

Fry onions in oil or butter until soft. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock and salt and pepper and bring to the boil slowly. Bruise the lemon grass, coriander roots and chillies in a pestle and mortar. Add this to the stock. Add the galangal and live leave and simmer for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, chicken and fish sauce then crumble in the dried chilli. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.


What is SkratchMyBack? It is difficult these days to find websites that look secure and trustworthy for posting jobs. What makes SkratchMyBack different is that the users can create a profile with a photo of themselves along with information about their skills and location. This is what we believe will encourage people to join our network. You can check a person has the appropriate skills, rating and feedback review before responding.

If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours… SkratchMyBack is a new social enterprise started by two experienced entrepreneurs. The aim is to create a network to ‘help people help people’ with favours / jobs based in Manchester.

For SkratchMyBack to work it has to feel fair. So we are using points to reward people who help you. Essentially you need points to get help - so if you use all yours up you’ll need to earn some more by helping someone else. Steve Taylor, one of the founders of SkratchMyBack, describes how they thought up the idea. ‘I was in my local pub and was listening to the regulars chat about the small jobs they needed doing. They were swapping favours and offering to help each other out. I immediately began to think how could we make this work in a wider arena and the internet seemed to be the ideal vehicle for spreading the idea.’

We believe that SkratchMyBack will thrive in local communities, so why not try and get all your friends, family and neighbours signed up? You can register for free at We appreciate all feedback on what we can do to improve our Skratch network at, and don’t forget to follow/like us on twitter/facebook @skratchskratch /SkratchMyBack

People like to help each other but it’s sometimes hard to know who needs what type of help and what help others can offer. This is where SkratchMyBack comes in. We’ve harnessed the power of the digital world and social media to build a free service that connects those needing help with those offering it. All you have to do is sign up and let people know how you might be able to help, or what help you need. Other people do the same and we can build a community where we connect people – just like in your local pub, library or café. Whilst you may not be able to do anything specific for the person who helps you, you can help someone else within the community, so everyone benefits. SkratchMyBack is designed for people to help each other for free so the jobs will tend to be small ones needing only a few hours of someone’s time. It’s currently in beta testing and we're keen to get people’s feedback on what they like and don't like, so we can keep improving. 17

Selina Can you match the words from the article to the definitions? Regulars Favour Founder To swap Ideal To sign up Keen Fair

Someone who establishes a business or organisation (n) Perfect or the best possible (adj) To be given something and to give something else instead (v) To register (v) Excited and enthusiastic about doing something (adj) A kind action that you do for someone (n) Treating someone in a way that is right or reasonable, or treating a group of people equally (adj) People who often go to the same event or place (usually a pub) (n)

What is English Beer? In January, the National Beer & Cider Festival is coming to Manchester. But what is English beer? I don’t mean American Beer (lager), German Bier (lager), Italian Birra (lager), Spanish Cerveza (lager) French Biere (lager) I mean British Beer, also called `Ale’, good proper ale made in the same way as it has been for years on this island. Across the world records tell us that beer has been brewed for over 3500 years since the first harvesting of cereals began. Beer was used to honour the dead in Ancient Egypt, in China and there are records of brewers selling their ale in Babylon.

The use of natural ingredients earned beer its reputation as ‘liquid bread’. It is very high in nutrition and was a staple in the diet of every man, woman and child. Many farm workers were even paid in ale; Batemans Brewery in Lincolnshire has records that say, "On Fair Day, which was held twice a year, the farmers would come to Salem House to pay for the beer their workers had consumed over the previous six months. Once payment had been made, we would invite the farmers into our kitchen for a massive feast. This tradition continued until 1930”. Real ale is still very popular

today. It is believed that there are over 1000 breweries in the UK and these between them are regularly producing over 5500 ales.

In the middle ages in Britain, that is during the period ranging from 500AD to 1400AD brewing of beer was usually carried out by the women, these women were called `brewsters’, and almost every other house in a community brewed and served its own beer. These were effectively the first taverns or pubs and each developed its beer to their own taste. Many also offered rooms to travellers becoming known as inns and thus the fame of different brews of beer travelled across the country. One of the main reasons for this number of brewsters is that the water was not particularly safe to drink and throughout history beer or ale has often been consumed as a healthier alternative to water. The process of brewing killed a great deal of the harmful bacteria in the water. In previous centuries, up until the 1800s, after the first brew was created, another batch of water was added to the same mix and a further brew taken and then a further batch of water add and a further quantity of ale brewed. As more water was added to the mixture, the alcohol content lessened until the final brew was of very low alcoholic strength. Even children were allowed to drink this final brew – called ‘small beer’. Breakfast for youngsters was often bread and small beer—safer and tastier than a glass of water! 18

The Oyster Bar—one of the oldest pubs in Manchester

Brewsters still pride themselves on the fine ingredients and processes used to create their brews. It is the mix of barley from different parts of the country, different flavours of hops, local water with its own unique taste and the individual brewer’s yeast recipe which creates the vast array of flavours, smells and strengths of the brews of beer around Britain. It is easy to see that British real ale is an incredibly diverse product. The many different styles of real ale vary from malty, lightly-hopped milds to dark and bitter stouts and porters. It is worth trying the wide range of flavours available: you can get chocolatey stouts or light floral golden ales, ales with or without a frothy head, cloudy or clear ales, fruity or nutty ales. Just like wine, beers have their own unique characteristics depending on where and how they were made. Tasting beer can be as complex as tasting wine too. Just forget about spitting it out!

Vanessa Barham

Interviews with our students We asked some of our students about Manchester, England and why they are here. Our students come to study for many different reasons and each of them have different reasons for liking (or disliking!) the UK. Let us know what you think on Twitter #excelstudents First Name: Romina Age: 28 Nationality: French Course studying at Excel College: IELTS Foundation Preparation How long have you been in England? 3 Months Why did you choose Manchester? Because my partner has a job here. Where's your favourite place to go in Manchester? MOSI – The Museum of Science and Industry. What places have you visited in the UK? Wales, Edinburgh, London and Liverpool. What's your favourite thing about the UK? The people are very polite. What's the worst thing about the UK? The weather! What's your favourite British food? Fish and Chips Why are you studying English? To pass the IELTS Exam. What do you think is the best thing to do to improve your English? It is important to learn other languages. Why did you choose Excel College? I think it is good.

First Name: Maria Chiara Age: 26 Nationality: Italian Course studying at Excel College: IELTS Advanced Preparation How long have you been in England? 1 year, 8 Months Why did you choose Manchester? Because my uncle has lived in Greater Manchester (Bolton) since 1995. Where's your favourite place to go in Manchester? The Lowry and MOSI– The Museum of Science and Industry. What places have you visited in the UK? Liverpool, York, Chester, Blackpool, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, London, Sheffield and Edinburgh. What's your favourite thing about the UK? The organisation and efficiency in public offices and the people’s tolerance of immigrants. This is me What's the worst thing about the UK? The unpredictable weather. What's your favourite British food? Roast beef. Why are you studying English? Because I would love to enrol on a Masters degree course in English and also because I want to be able to communicate everywhere in the world. What do you think is the best thing to do to improve your English? To live in an environment where people speak English, listen to the radio and read as much as you can. Why did you choose Excel College? Excel College was suggested as one of the best English Schools in Manchester. 19

First Name: Ji Young Age: 27 Nationality: South Korean Course studying at Excel College: General English, Pre-intermediate How long have you been in England? 2 Months. Why did you choose Manchester? Manchester is a University town. So many young people live in Manchester but it is a quieter city than London. Where's your favourite place to go in Manchester? The city centre and the library. What places have you visited in the UK? None yet! What's your favourite thing about the UK? The gothic buildings. What's the worst thing about the UK? Some streets are very dirty and lots of people smoke in the street. What's your favourite British food? Roast Chicken and boiled vegetables. Why are you studying English? I want to go to university in the UK so I need to study English. What do you think is the best thing to do to improve your English? Lots of writing. Why did you choose Excel College? Excel College have an IELTS course (I need IELTS) and it is cheaper than some other colleges.

First Name: Carlos Age: 30 Nationality: Spanish Course studying at Excel College: IELTS Advanced and Upper Intermediate General English How long have you been in England? I arrived in Manchester on 30th September so I have been living here for three months. Why did you choose Manchester? Some friends recommend me to come to Manchester. Also, I thought it would be cheaper than cities such as London or Bristol. Where's your favourite place to go in Manchester? I love going to Oyster Bar or Footage Bar to have a beer. Moreover, I like to walk around the Christmas markets in Albert Square. What places have you visited in the UK? I have visited Chester, York and Liverpool. I am going to visit Edinburgh and London at Christmas. What's your favourite thing about the UK? The language, of course. I love the music culture and urban culture as well. What's the worst thing about the UK? Perhaps the prices of specific things such as transport or food is a problem for me. They are usually more expensive than in Spain. What's your favourite British food? Roast potatoes, potato pie and British sandwiches. Why are you studying English? I want to get a good score in my IELTS test or, at least, I have to achieve an advanced level in the short term. What do you think is the best thing to do to improve your English? Well, I think if you want to improve your level, you should watch movies in English (sometimes with subtitles). Also, I think that reading some English articles from the BBC or The Guardian is useful as well. Why did you choose Excel College? Excel College has good prices in comparison with other schools. Also, they have specific courses to prepare IELTS test, so for me this was an advantage.


First Name: Anna Age: 24 Nationality: Russian Course studying at Excel College: Advanced General English How long have you been in England? 3 months. Why did you choose Manchester? My boyfriend lives here. Where's your favourite place to go in Manchester? A part of the Manchester University (building on Princess Street). This is the view from my window. What places have you visited in the UK? London, Liverpool, Sheffield, York and Chatsworth. What's your favourite thing about the UK? Amazing music on the radio. What's the worst thing about the UK? Too much people in a street (especially in London). What's your favourite British food? Fish and chips (with curry sauce). Why are you studying English? To have opportunity to study in Manchester University. What do you think is the best thing to do to improve your English? Speaking with native speakers, listening to BBC radio and watching English films with subtitles (or without). Why did you choose Excel College? Because statistically it is one of the best colleges in Manchester.

First Name: Maya Age: 34 Nationality: Bulgarian Course studying at Excel College: Upper Intermediate General English How long have you been in England? 2 years. Why did you choose Manchester? My husband chose Manchester! He was invited to work here. Where's your favourite place to go in Manchester? The Trafford Centre or the Arndale Centre. What places have you visited in the UK? Edinburgh, York, Birmingham, the Peak District and the Lake District. What's your favourite thing about the UK? Traditional pubs. What's the worst thing about the UK? The weather. What's your favourite British food? I’m not sure. Muffins? Why are you studying English? I’m studying English to improve my speaking skills so that I can find a good job. What do you think is the best thing to do to improve your English? Practise lots and meet native speakers. Why did you choose Excel College? The price and the place.


Interview with our Staff Every term we will be interviewing a different member of staff and finding out what they did before they came here, what they do in their spare time and finding the most amusing picture we can find of them! This term we have interviewed one of our teachers, Mike. Let us know what you think on Twitter #excelstaff Name: Mike Eastick Job title: English Language Teacher Favourite food: Thai food Favourite drink: Beer Favourite place: Goodison Park (The home of Everton FC) Special skills: Cooking and drinking! Why did you become a Tefl teacher? So that I could work and travel at the same time. Tell us about your first ever teaching job. I worked weekends at an expensive language school in a Bangkok suburb. I taught mostly young lads and private students. In what countries have you taught? Thailand and the UK. What is your best teaching memory? Teaching the kids in a Thai school. One lesson, I re-enacted the scene from Titanic with Jack and Rose when they’re on the prow of the ship. I did the dialogue, played Celine Dion and built a mock Titanic on the desk. The kids loved it! It went down a storm. What's your worst teaching memory? Turning up at the wrong company for a private contract in Bangkok! Where's your favourite place in the UK and why? The Lake District for the amazing scenery and the good walks. What do you enjoy most about teaching? You have to engage with the students– it’s stimulating and not at all like an office job. You can talk about anything and it’s still learning!

This was taken at the party my pre-intermediate class had at the end of term– the students brought in food from their own country and it was delicious!

The Manchester Beer and Cider festival January 2013, students and staff both went, it was a great evening out. I’m very much looking forward to the next one in January 2014! 22

Interview With a Homestay Host This term we interviewed Roxanne. Roxanne has worked with us for over a year now, and we only ever hear good things from our students. We thought we’d like to find our more about how she is finding hosting international students and we thought you would too! Who do you live with? I live with my husband Lurenza and two daughters Aleshanee (3 years old) and Anoushka (9 months old). How long have you been hosting students? We have been hosting since June 2012. What is the best thing about hosting? We love meeting new people and making new friends, many students we have hosted have kept in touch and sometimes come and visit. What is the worst thing about hosting? I wouldn’t say it’s the worst, but the language barrier for some students can be a problem. We want to make sure they are comfortable in our home, it can be hard for both us and the students when communicating but we have a lot of patience and time to listen to them. What food do you like to cook? As my husband is Jamaican, we eat a lot of Jamaican food, chicken, rice and peas, pumpkin soup, fried dumplings and chicken, curried goat and rice. We also eat a lot of pasta and vegetables, pizza ( mainly at the weekends as a treat). I don’t think there have been any complaints to date! The main chef is my husband. We cater to every diet, Halal, vegetarian etc. What is the best thing about where you live? We are close to everything, supermarket, cinema, restaurant, parks, library, bakery, newsagents, internet café. It is also a nice neighbourhood, everyone is very friendly and helpful. What is your favourite thing to do in Manchester? I enjoy going to church, St Clements in Openshaw, and also I love shopping with my friends and exploring different parts of Manchester. What is the most interesting thing you have learnt from hosting? We have learnt a lot about different cultures and beliefs, we have adapted to different cultures and also cooked foods from the student’s country. They have been very impressed with this! What is your favourite hosting memory? We had a student from Spain called Alicia, who attended Berlitz college. She stayed for one month last summer, we are now like sisters and we skype regularly and message on whatsapp. She came to stay with us back in July for 3 weeks. Yeliz from Excel was with us at the time. We had a great 3 weeks. We visited Blackpool together, we also went to the Caribbean carnival and made the most of the girlie company. We had a great summer and it helped me return to work after maternity leave and finished off my summer nicely. I would also like to add, every student has been great and understanding with our children. Aleshanee remembers all the names and for a 3 year old, that is great!


Poetry Being able to write poetry in a language other than your native language is an extremely impressive skill. It requires you to not only understand the meaning of words but to think of words as sounds that have meaning. Not all poetry has to rhyme, in fact most modern poetry doesn’t, but there has to be a rhythm, a music to the words.

If the weather is bad, I always stay in bed but if the weather is good, I always go out for food. So if I eat out I don't go to the take away I eat in a restaurant and let the time lapse away. Sleeping and eating is sure not enough now i will do some sophisticated stuff. Let's got to the museum and pretend to be smart and look at some pictures of colour and art.

These poems all contain the words weather, museum, food, colour and restaurant and I think they are all extremely creative. Remember to send your poems and stories to :


Perfect art In the museum of the wandering lives The vivid colour of your gleaming eyes still survives The glinting memories of a blooming spring Beat the dark of this wrecked heart Under the weather, though reluctant to sink Breathing the sweetest aroma of your perfect art Our rendezvous at your idyllic restaurant When our gazes exchanged a passionate glow You were the food of my soul The enlightening nectar that taught me the art of the blind love

Luis Fernando

Living in Manchester In Manchester no matter the weather we can enjoy the museum together eat good food in the city centre or fish and chips in a cheaper restaurant. Whatever, learning of the brightest colour is at Excel college forever! Fernanda 24

Quizzes and Games Pub Quiz The National Beer Festival is coming to Manchester in January. So how much do you know about pubs and beer? 1. Which of Manchester’s pubs claims to have the smallest bar in Europe? A Peveril of the Peak B Circus Tavern C Oyster Bar

2. What is the closest pub to Excel College? A The Bulls Head B Moon Under Water C The Paramount

3. In the Middle Ages people drank more beer than water. Why? A They only worked until 13.00 and went to the pub every afternoon. B It was safer—the alcohol in beer killed any diseases in the water C It tasted better.

4. Which of these is not a type of beer? A Stout B Lager C Porker

5. Beer is one of the three most popular drinks in the world. What are the other two? A Tea and water. B Water and coffee. C Coffee and wine.

Itsy-Bitsy Higgledy-Piggledy Rhyming Compounds English has lots of rhyming compounds: words of two rhyming parts. Can you put these examples of rhyming compounds into the following sentences? Namby-pamby (adj) Hoity-toity (adj) Argy-bargy (n) Lovey-dovey (adj) Fuddy-duddy (adj) Higgledy-piggledy (adj) Hotchpotch (n) 1. The house was a complete mess. Everything was ………………….. and in the wrong place. 2. “Don’t be so …………………..! Go and swim in the sea! It isn’t that cold!” 3. There was some ………………….. in the kebab shop late on Saturday night. One man started arguing with another and they nearly ended up in a fight. 4. His clothes are so ………………….. And his hairstyle is really old-fashioned too. 5. Lucy and her boyfriend are always holding hands and kissing in public. They’re a really ………………….. couple. 6. She’s very ………………….. She only shops in the most expensive department stores and thinks she’s more important than everyone else. 7. The city was very multi-cultural. It was a ………………….. of different languages and religions. 25

Winter Crossword


Down 1. A winter mountain sport 2. You wear them to keep your hands warm 5. You wear it around your neck 7. The colour of your nose in winter! 8. White stuff that falls from the sky

Across 1. A sport you can do on 3 Across 3. Frozen water 4. Tree with green spiky leaves and red berries 6. 25th December

2 4


Mnhesacetr Anagrams Can you decode these anagrams? They’re all places in and around Manchester.










How many of them have you visited? ANSWERS Pub Quiz. 1B. 2A. 3B. 4C. 5A. Rhyming Compounds. 1. Higgledypiggledy. 2. Namby-pamby. 3. Argy-bargy. 4. Fuddy-duddy. 5. Loveydovey. 6. Hoity-toity. 7. Hotchpotch. Landmarks. 1. Manchester town hall. 2. Salford Quays. 3. Afflecks in Northern Quarter. 4. Manchester Art Gallery. Crossword. Down: 1. Skiing. 2. Gloves. 5. Scarf. 7. Red. 8. Snow. Across: 1. Skating. 3. Ice. 4. Holly. 6. Christmas. 9. Cold. Anagrams. 1. Fallowfield. 2. Salford. 3. Rusholme. 4. Stockport. 5. Didsbury. 6. Northern Quarter. 7. Castlefield. 8. Altrincham.

Do you recognise these Manchester landmarks?


Short Story Competition Write a story using these words

explore, tail, darkness, boat, sunshine And win an English course for you or a friend! 1st Prize £50 Amazon Voucher OR 15 hours of English Lessons

2nd Prize £25 Amazon Voucher OR 9 hours of English Lessons 3rd Prize £15 Amazon Voucher OR 6 hours of English Lessons Maximum 500 words Closing date is the 14th March 2014 Terms and Conditions 

All entries must be in English and must be suitable for all audiences.

Any entries that arrive after 23:59BST 14/03/2014 will not be counted

If you win, you will be asked to confirm whether you would like English lessons or Amazon Vouchers. You will not be able to change your decision once you have confirmed.

If your visa is refused, you will not receive a cash alternative, however we will be happy to keep your hours for a future course and advise you on how to improve your visa application.

If you use the English hours as part of a longer course and your visa is refused, you will receive a refund for the part of the course you have paid for as per the terms and conditions on our application form. Alternatively, we will be happy to keep your hours for a future course and advise you on how to improve your visa application.

English hours apply to group classes in the morning, afternoon or evening and cannot be swapped for one-to-one lessons or practice tests.

Amazon vouchers will be emailed and no cash alternative will be given.

Results will be emailed and posted on social media sites on the 27/03/2014

The judge’s decisions are final and no debate will be entered into.

Please email all entries to


The Short Story (although you know the story is finished and you can get up, make a cup of tea and have a biscuit) you’re left thinking and asking questions about it for the rest of the evening!

This term’s competition is to write a short story. The short story is a completely different genre to the novel, it’s like trying to compare a Land Rover to a Lotus; although they are both cars, they were designed to do different jobs.

Writing a short story When writing short stories, authors focus on their unique use of language. “It was very cold”, although not wrong, is not enough. “It was so cold the grass snapped under her feet as she walked” is a much clearer image. Word choice is also important. Because short stories are just thatshort, there is no point using 10 words to describe something, when one will do. For example “he ran for the door as quickly as he could” could be “he bolted for the door”. This is where a thesaurus comes in handy!

Discovering the short story Before I went to university, I had never read any short stories. I always preferred novels; novels that weighed my bag down and strengthened my wrists when I read them. Long books meant I could spend my summer lounging on my sofa, completely absorbed by the world the author created only to reach the final page and realise that I should perhaps do some washing up and have a shower! In my Creative Writing class at university, we were given a reading list that was full of authors I’d perhaps heard of, but ignored because they wrote these short stories that, in my mind could never hold a candle to the ‘J.R.R. Tolkiens’ and ‘John Fowles’ of the world.

Don’t try to cover years, months or, in some cases, even weeks of a character’s life, as, unless not much happens during that time, you won’t have room to talk about it. It’s best to pinpoint a moment in a character’s life and focus on that. Reading short stories. You wouldn’t know how to speak if you didn’t listen, so how would you know how to write if you didn’t read? The great thing about short stories is that you can easily read one a day without it taking up a lot of your time. The difficulty with reading short stories is, unfortunately, the complexity of the language and how they play with word order- it can sometimes be confusing. There are a couple of collections for EFL students but you really have to search for them!. Have a go though and I promise you will find stories that you will remember for the rest of your life.

The first collection I read was by an author called Vladimir Nabakov, a Russian-born author probably most famous for writing Lolita. I read ‘The Dragon’, about a young dragon who wakes up after a long sleep following the death of his mother. A very sad and beautiful story and one that, despite only being a few pages long, left me so full of emotion that I could not cope with reading anything else that evening. And that’s the thing about short stories; somehow they manage to pack so much into so little space that, Authors  Alice Munroe  Vladimir Nabokov  Edgar Allan Poe  Terry Pratchett  Guy de Maupassant

 Claire Massey  Bernie McGill,  John Burnside  Ian Fleming

 Anton Daudet


Collections  “The Best British Short Story Collection”  “The American Short Story”  “An Anthology of Stories From Five Continents”  “The World’s Greatest Short Stories”  “Great American Stories: An ESL / EFL Reader: Book 1”


Letters to Excel College We receive lots of lovely emails and letters from our students and are proud of how many good things they have to say about our staff and their experience at the college itself. Here are a couple of our favourites from last term.

Hi Excel College, How are you doing? I hope all the staff and students at Excel College are well. I'm writing today to let you know that I tried one of the recipes in your first newsletter. I tried Kes' Cheese Puffs recipe because it looked simple. I made a half quantity of the recipe. As he mentioned, they are not healthy! But cheesy, easy and yummy! I think they are good with beer!

Hi Excel College, We wanted to tell you about our volunteering activity at Etihad Stadium (the home of Manchester City Football Club), we've been working there for two months now, it's really useful for us to put our English skills into practice . Normally we work before “kick off”, making the stadium tidy and neat. We've been helping them with the pre-match ceremony including holding the giant flags, lifting and moving them and we try to help them to create a great welcome for MCFC. We've been living and studying here for six months. We are from Venezuela which is located in South America. Every day has been a new experience for us. The UK has stunning places that are really interesting to find out more about, beautiful scenery and unpredictable weather conditions. Normally when we talk with our friends and colleagues from Venezuela and other countries as well, the first aspect which we recommend them is to bring to the UK a big umbrella. Trust me it'll be really useful here. Both of us are professionals in different fields, Engineering and Health Science, so we need to improve our spoken English, so we will be able to start a Master's at The University of Manchester. So we’ll keep working hard and take advantage of each moment in The UK.

Send us your letters for a chance to win: £25 in Amazon Vouchers Every term we will choose one letter to be our star letter. That person will win a £25 Amazon voucher. See here for terms and conditions Email 29

Volunteering opportunities Volunteering is a great way to practice your language skills and meet people who live in the Manchester area. These are just some of the charities we are working with at the moment. If you are interested in volunteering, come and see us in reception or email for more information. The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) TCV is an environmental charity which works to improve green spaces in and around Manchester. Every Wednesday and Thursday (9.30 – 16.00), TCV picks up volunteers from Manchester city centre and takes them to work on conservation projects. Activities include cleaning ponds, building fences, planting trees and much more. Volunteers need to wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty but can borrow boots, gloves and tools from TCV.

Booth Centre – Help for Homeless People The Booth Centre is a day centre for homeless people which works to reduce the number of people living and sleeping on the streets.

Northmoor Community Association Northmoor Community Association run a local community centre which includes a laundrette, a café and an IT suite. The centre provides ESOL classes, healthy living classes and help with applying for jobs for local residents and a homework help club for children.

They are looking for volunteers for a variety of roles: they want people who can support sports, IT and creative activities at the centre, provide translation services, support people who are searching for a job and serve soup and food in the centre’s café. In addition, they need volunteers to sit and chat to new visitors.

They are looking for volunteers to help out at the café, in the launderette, with general administration and / or with various classes.

Full training is given for volunteers and there are various induction days throughout the year.

International Society – Rocketworld The International Society run a programme where international students go into schools for a day to teach primary and secondary students about their countries. The activities are very interactive and a great opportunity for international students to practice their English and get some experience working with children.

Can you volunteer? All EU students are allowed to volunteer. If you need a visa to study in the UK, you need to check your visa for information on what work you can and cannot do.

Already volunteering? Tell us about it. Write an article about your organisation or what you do there on a typical day and send to 30

PINK 10 Reflexology “your feet are in good hands” PINK 10 REFLEXOLOGIST 20% discount for Excel College students and staff. ONLY £16.00 per treatment. Ring Lynda for an appointment on 07909700199 Based in Salford M6

Do you have an IELTS or Cambridge (FCE, CAE or CPE) exam soon? Why not take our E-Support writing practice tests

 Email feedback on every test taken  Comments and advice for improvement E-Support Options 1x Full Test Script £15 3x Full Test Scripts £40 5x Full Test Scripts £60

Evening Classes Mondays and Wednesdays 6pm– 9pm  General English– Higher and Lower levels  IELTS Preparation– Advanced level One week, 6 hours only £50! English proficiency classes CPE Preparation Our CPE course is designed to help you develop your language skills in interesting and stimulating ways. This will include the use of multimedia, role-plays and discussions as well as covering all the vocabulary and grammar needed to pass the Cambridge Proficiency Exam.

Just email or see our Excel College brochure for more information If you’re looking to meet new people in Manchester, join Meet Up! You can find lots of different groups in the city who host regular activities, with something for every interest: hiking, reading, international exchange, dancing and cycling to name a few! You can also keep up-to-date with Excel College social activities by joining our Meet Up group—


Want to see your advert here? Prices start from just £30 for 1/4 page.

Email for more details

Friday 7.30pm

Tuesday 7.30pm

John Eddlestone Centre Main Street Billinge Wigan

Ryu Do Karate & Fitness Academy Landgate Lane Ind Est Ashton In Makerfield Wigan

Aikido (Way of Spirit and Harmony) is a Japanese martial art unlike any other. Rather than relying on strength and power, Aikido relies on technique , timing and using an attackers aggression against them. Through the use of throws, joint locks and strikes, you will learn something that is much more than a regular fighting art— Aikido is a “Budo” (Way) dedicated to improving the well being of all.

     

No Physical strength Required –Suitable for all Promotes and improves fitness and flexibility Improves self defence skills and Promotes self confidence Weapons classes available (Sword / Staff / Knife) No prior experience required – Affiliated to Aikido Headquarters, Hombu, Japan

All Are Welcome. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch! For More Information Speak to Matt on 07754 765 739 Or Email

Film Club  Watch films in English with

English subtitles  A new film every week  Bring your friends  All films shown on the projector

See our Events calendar for details 32

Address: 27 Withy Grove, Manchester, M4 2BS | Tel: 0161 385 8080 | Mob: 07889723075


Last term’s answers A full breakfast always has sausage, bacon and eggs, but what other ingredients can you have in a fryup? English A traditional full English breakfast includes bacon, poached or fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast with butter, sausages and baked beans, usually served with a mug of tea. Sometimes, you also have black pudding and fried mash potato. Scottish A Scottish ‘fry-up’ has bacon, sausages, egg, black pudding, sliced sausage and tattie scones. It also includes fried or grilled tomato and/or mushrooms and occasionally haggis, white pudding, fruit pudding or oatcakes. Irish The same starting points- bacon rashers, sausages, fried eggs, toast and fried tomato but with the addition of white pudding, black pudding and brown soda bread or potato farl. Sautéed mushrooms are also sometimes included, as well as baked beans and, even more occasionally, liver. What is ‘The Curry Mile’ The name given to the part of Wilmslow Road that is home to over 70 south Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants. Where is it? Rusholme

Neeps and Tatties are traditionally served with Haggis on Burns night. What do we call neeps and tatties in English? Tatties = potatoes Neeps = Swede or turnip Traditionally you boil the neeps and the tatties in water until soft and then mash together with butter, cream, salt and pepper. What county is Manchester in? Greater Manchester.

Thanks to


Guess the idioms in Kes’ head… A few months ago I was walking down the street when I bumped into an old friend. We used to be close friends, but we had a falling out. a few years ago and we haven’t seen eye to eye since. Anyway, we started chatting and I could see he was upset about something, so I suggested going for a coffee. Very soon we were having a real heart to heart and I found out what was wrong. In a nutshell, he was having serious money problems, which was creating such problems at home that he thought his marriage was on the rocks. The main problem was that he had quit his well-paid job as a lawyer and become a teacher. So he used to have money to burn but now was struggling to make ends meet. He was also finding teaching quite stressful, but couldn’t face the idea of going back to his old company with his tail between his legs. To be honest I don’t think anything I said was very useful, but it made me glad I wasn’t in his shoes, and at least it felt like we had put our argument behind us and could make a fresh start to our friendship.


What’s happening this term? Happy New Year and welcome back to Excel College! Here are just some of the exciting things that will be happening in the spring term. Excel College has a brand new website! The website will make it easier for present, past and prospective students to find out about Excel College, our courses, accommodation and social activities. It’s online now so have a look and tell us what you think. We are welcoming two new teachers to the Excel College team—Loretta and Phil. Both Loretta and Phil have recently returned to the UK from teaching overseas (Loretta in the Philippines and Phil in Vietnam) and we’re looking forward to introducing them to all the friendly people at Excel College. Manchester will be as busy as ever. The National Beer & Cider Festival and the Spanish & Latin American Film Festival are coming to the city. We will also be celebrating Chinese New Year, St Patrick’s Day, Pancake Day and Easter. (Look out for the Excel College Easter Egg Decorating Competition at the end of term.) We will be going on more trips to famous Manchester sights including the Football Museum and the Manchester Museum. We will also be going on a bowling trip and for afternoon tea as well as enjoying the usual Film Club, Wii Club and 5-a-side football matches.

We want to get more past and present students involved in writing for the newsletter this term. Put your writing skills to the test! Want to review a book, film or restaurant? Love or hate something about Manchester? Want to give a big thank you to your favourite teacher? We’d love to hear from you. Email your stories, poems, Send any submissions to

To all students returning to Excel College after the holidays or starting classes for the first time, we hope you have a fun-filled and successful spring term!

photos, recipes, exam results and news articles to for a chance to appear in next term’s newsletter

Student Cards now available at Excel College For only £10! The ISIC card is an internationally recognised student card giving you over 40,000 discounts in the UK and overseas as well as access to exclusive discounted student airfares when booking flights through STA Travel. These cards usually cost £12 but are available to Excel College students studying 6 or more weeks for only £10! You can either order it when you book your course or when you arrive in the UK to start saving money. See, email or come to reception for more information


Excel college newsletter issue 2  

Excel College's January Newsletter. Full of interesting articles, interviews with our students , staff and hosts PLUS the chance to win an E...

Excel college newsletter issue 2  

Excel College's January Newsletter. Full of interesting articles, interviews with our students , staff and hosts PLUS the chance to win an E...