The Acadia Center for English Immersion, located in beautiful Camden Maine. New Courses start every week.

Posts Tagged ‘excursions’

Summer English Courses in Maine

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Summer English Courses in MaineThe lilacs are in bloom, the schooners are under sail, and professionals from around the world are coming to Maine for full immersion summer English courses.

Sailing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and swimming, as well as more sedentary activities such as relaxing at an outdoor café table, are all awaiting Acadia Center’s English immersion course students in Camden, Maine, this summer.

Register now for a learning vacation with like-minded professionals who want to improve their everyday English in a total immersion environment!

5 Tips for Making New Vocabulary Stick

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

When you take an English immersion course, you have a great opportunity to expand your vocabulary in English. But how do you make the new words stick in your long-term memory, so that you remember them not just tomorrow, but next week, next month, next year?

Here are 5 tips for making new words part of your permanent English vocabulary:

Be hungry for new words

Learn actively, rather than passively. Learning vocabulary from a list is boring and ineffective. Instead, when someone uses a word in conversation that is new for you, ask her/him to explain it to you. Repeat it aloud a few times and ask for feedback on your pronunciation. Ask how to spell it and write it down in a notebook. When you see a new word in your reading, copy it in your notebook, along with a short definition and the context in which you found the word.

KeepAcadia Center students at a cafe. to the target language

Translating the new word into your native language might help you get a quick understanding of a new word, at least in a general sense, but it actually makes it more difficult to remember the meaning of the new word the next time you hear it or see it, which after all is the main point.

Also, most words, individually and out of context, cannot accurately be translated – change the context, and you often have to change the translation. Abstract words are particularly and notoriously difficult to translate.

Explore the word from many angles

Learning a new word might start with the answer to the question What does it mean?. But there are also the questions How do you pronounce it?, How do you spell it?, and crucially if you really want to make the word your own, How do you use it with other words?

For example, if you use a noun after the verb depend, you have to use the preposition on, as in it depends on the weather  (not depends of – an understandably common mistake for Spanish speakers translating word for word from Spanish to English).

Other ways of looking at a new word that can help you not only use it correctly but make it more memorable include:

Tone – is it formal or informal, pejorative or neutral, current slang or old-fashioned, etc? There is a world  of difference, for example, between the synonyms smell, scent, stink, stench, odor, and perfume.

Word families and word history – the word trust, for example, comes from an Old Norse (Scandinavian) word for strong, can be used as both a verb and a noun, and is part of the same family of words as the adjectives trusting (trusting others), trustworthy (deserving of trust by others), and trusty (reliable and faithful for a long time).

Familiarity – learn the most common way to say something first. If you want to talk about a lot of precipitation in a short amount of time, first learn: It’s raining hard. Then: It’s pouring. Attempts to impress people with fancy-sounding idioms often backfire (bring about the opposite result), as with the cloying cliché It’s raining cats and dogs.

Google word definitions feature a graph that shows the popularity of a word over time: trusty, for example, was more popular in 1800 than it is now, while spin has skyrocketed in popularity since 1950, maybe because of its frequent use in modern political talk to mean a biased interpretation intended to influence public opinion.

Give the word a rich context

Memory works best by association. If the first time you encounter the word upshot (eventual outcome or result) is in an alphabetical list of words with prepositions as prefixes (upbeat, upend, upshot, uptake, upturn), chances are that all of those up-words will blend together and you won’t remember which is which.

Acadia Center English immersion course students at work in the study center at Acadia Center in Camden, Maine.If, instead, the first time you hear upshot is in a story with many twists and turns  that ends with the tagline and the upshot was I got the job, or and the upshot was that there was enough lobster for everyone, the entire context of the story, even the room you were in when you heard the story and the expression of the storyteller when he reached the story’s end – all of these atmospheric details contribute towards making the new word memorable.

For memorability, nothing can rival seeing and experiencing a word in the real world. That’s why excursions during an immersion course are such a great way to learn new vocabulary. Picking wild blueberries is by far the best way to learn the difference between the verb pick and the phrasal verb pick up.

Practice the word

To make a new word not just memorable but unforgettable, you have to start using it, in conversation and in writing, and the sooner and the oftener the better. According to James Gupta, a medical researcher at Leeds University, “We know that the brain preferentially stores information it deems to be important. It strengthens and consolidates memories of things it encounters regularly and frequently. So spaced repetition –revisiting information regularly at set intervals over time – makes a lot of sense.”

Keep a list of the words you are trying to learn, and return frequently to them, especially the ones that seem hardest to remember. Repetition is the key. Ask native speakers for more examples of how to use a new word in context. Try using it yourself, and make adjustments in how you use the word based on feedback from native speakers.

Be on the lookout for new words. Avoid translation. Investigate the word. Make it memorable through context. Practice and put it to use right away. And the upshot will be that you will have added many new words to your vocabulary.

English Immersion: Perspective France

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

“Acadia is the right place for successful immersion, and Camden a nice and friendly place to visit. That’s why I went there four times!” Jean-Marc, a small business owner in organic products, talks about his Acadia Center experience from his home office in Paris, France.

New Premium English Course

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Acadia Center English immersion students from Brazil and France.Only have a short time – 1 or 2 weeks – for an English immersion course? Want to maximize learning with individual attention all day 6 days per week? Want a mix of classroom lessons and real-life practice, exploring our friendly community and practicing your English conversational skills with a teacher by your side?

Register now for a premium private English immersion course, ideal for executives and other professionals who need to maximize their English learning in a total immersion setting.

English Immersion in Maine: Perspective Mexico

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Many executives and professionals from Mexico and Latin America have found Maine, with its friendly people and distance from any Spanish-speaking populations, to be the perfect place to study English in a total immersion environment.

In this video, Rosario, an accountant from Mexico, talks about her experience in a 3-week intensive English immersion course at Acadia Center.

English Immersion in Maine: Perspective Québec

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Old Orchard Beach – for many, many generations of French speakers from the province of Québec, those three foreign-sounding words have meant sun, surf, sand, fried food, and fun family holidays on the beautiful coast of Maine. Beginning as long ago as 1842, even before there was a train connection between Maine and points south like Boston and New York, the Grand Trunk Railway was bringing summer visitors from Montréal to Maine’s beaches.

Today Old Orchard Beach is as popular as ever with visitors from all over Québec, and French speakers are also starting to discover a small English language institute further up the coast that combines uniquAcadia Center English immersion students from Quebec and Italy.e English language immersion courses with the kind of outdoors fun Québecers have long associated with Maine.

Only five hours by car from Québec City or Trois-Rivières and six hours from Montréal, Acadia Center’s home town of Camden is closer than Toronto for most Québecers.

The beaches are more rugged and rocky north of Portland, Maine, but our students from Québec love the beauty and friendly hospitality of this part of Maine’s Atlantic coast.

Acadia Center English student from Montreal on excursion at Maiden Cliff in Camden, Maine, USA.Click on the video at the top of this post to watch a video interview with Marc-André, a health and safety management consultant and author from Trois-Rivières, Québec, who explains how Acadia Center helped him learn the everyday conversation and business communication skills he needs for his work.

Lobstering in Maine

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Acadia Center English student holding a Maine lobster on the Lively Lady tour in Camden.A trip to Maine is not complete without a freshly steamed lobster dinner. And one of the many ways that Acadia Center for English Immersion students get to know more about life in our small town community on Maine’s rocky coast is by learning about lobsters and lobster fishing.

One popular excursion is to the museum at Marshall Point in Port Clyde and the Port Clyde lobster buoy exhibit at Marshall Point Lighthouse museum.lighthouse made famous by Tom Hanks in the film Forest Gump.

In summer, students also take a cruise on the M/V Lively Lady out of our home port of Camden, and see what it’s like to haul a lobster trap.

Not the way to eat a lobster...Check out the current issue of The Maine Thing Quarterly for an in-depth look at lobstering today, including an interview with a lobster fisherman.

 

Summertime in Maine

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Warmer temperatures, ice cream cones, and cruising windjammers are all in evidence in our corner of New England as Acadia Center’s English immersion season gets underway.

Acadia Center students on excursion in Belfast, Maine.

Summer Immersion Courses Begin May 4

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Acadia Center student visiting local farm to pick raspberries and pumpkins!The time is right to join us in Camden, Maine, for an English immersion course that will help you reach your English learning goals while enjoying the company of other motivated professionals and executives from around the world.English immersion course students at work in the main classroom.

Learning is Fun!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Acadia Center students overlooking lake and mountains of Camden, Maine.The small size of our school and the dedication of our teachers make an English immersion course at English students in group class.Acadia Center in Camden, Maine, a memorable learning experience.

Register now for summer 2015!