Month: April 2016

[Photo Competition] #SpeakUpLandmark


Hello, how’s your life in London, have you guys visited all the landmarks?

Big Ben, London Bridge, The London Eye and Trafalgar square, etc.  Where is your favourite spot to take photos?
Speak Up London’s photo competition #SpeakUpLandmark has now finished, but our students needed to take a photo with our school logo with a London landmark, and they needed to interactive with the landmark – for e.g. eat it, pinch it or anything you can think of.


These are our amazing teachers, Adam with Big Ben and Billie with The Shard.




Are you guys ready for our students’ photos?  They are super cool and full of creativity. They also shared their feelings with us about their picture and Speak Up London English School.


Suu FevzioğLu




Çağlayan Atasoy

At first I didn’t want to join the competition because I knew that I would win!! (Kidding of course) I’m a very humble person. But when I was out and about with a friend of mine, Patricia convinced me to join the competition. So, I agreed and started taking pictures. I know my picture is not the best, but it is not the point. The main thing is that I got involved and it got very competitive and with the help of my Turkish connections, their support and solidarity, I have well and truly WON it!




Ilaria De Cocinis


Bruno Ramos


Supanuch Rojpanyayingyuen

Big Ben is my dream place; Speak Up London is my fantastic school as well. So I took a picture with a logo of my school over there!



Claudia Vieira



Aissa lcaid


Birhan Boris Trz

It is a great contest, thank you very much for everything. The best English school is Speak up London!



Sophie Pletz

I wish I could pick up Big Ben and take it with me to my country, because every time I hear the sound of the bell I have a feeling that I’m in the right place, I’m in London where I feel good. And it’s such a beautiful icon.



Yahya Rabouhat

I just wanted to take a very different picture to the others because I knew that everyone one was going to take a picture with big Ben or The London Eye, so I was thinking about something different like the red double-decker bus for example. It is one of my craziest pictures ever and I’ll never forget when I was in front of the bus. People were watching me and thinking that I’m weird or crazy, but life is too short so I’m enjoying it in many different ways, that’s it.


Photo competition #SpeakUpLandmark album

Check out who get the most LIKE.




A big thank you to our amazing students and their cool pictures, which one is your favourite? Do you guys like this photo competition? All of you that are looking forward to the next competition, we will have different topic for the next one, so keep posted!


You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.





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[Travel in London] Charles Dickens Museum

Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door.  – Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewist

Hello my friends, have you ever been to the Charles Dickens museum or ever read his novels? I spent last weekend visiting the museum and it was amazing and definitely worth it!

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest English novelists from the Victoria era.

Have you ever read his works? There are some well-known ones, such as “Oliver Twist”, “Bleak House”, “A Tale of Two Cities”, “A Christmas Carol”, “David Copperfield”, etc.

Robert William Buss was a Victoria artist, best known for painting “Dickens’s dream”.  This painting is exhibited in the Charles Dickens’s museum. I liked it and I bought a postcard to decorate my room.

Charles Dickens’s museum is on Doughty Street, where he lived. The museum opens Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 5 pm.

Charles Dickens Museum

Have you seen the BBC series “Dickensian”? It gathers some of the most iconic characters from Dickens’s novels, and the background is 19th century London. In the museum, they have the costumes and the screenplay of the series.

BBC – Dickensian

The shadow on the wall appears on each floor and it looks as if it was saying “Follow me!”, as a personal tour guide. When visiting the museum, you’ll get a handbook with a brief introduction to each room in this house. There are four floors and a basement. You can walk around the building, and see the kitchens, living room, reading room, and even Dickens’s bedroom.

First, you can visit the dining room on the ground floor. I found it interesting because you can imagine Charles Dickens sitting by the table having dinner with his friends. The plates with intricate blue patterns are delicate and pretty.  You can see drawings hanging around the room related to Dickens and his novels.

The staff is there to show you around – they’ll even show you the letters with Dickens’s signature; some of them are replicas and some are the authentic work. You can see the changes in Dickens’s fancy signature over time. This is a copy of Dickens’s signature; you can picture Dickens using his quill pen to sign the first edition of his book.

This is the kitchen in the basement where they prepare and cook food and where they get the water for the whole house.  You can see that they make their own butter and pies as well.

Look, there is a cute hedgehog!

In the early days, they used to feed small animals in the kitchen.  Another interesting fact is that they used black iron bars to heat their rooms.

There is also a scullery, where they did the laundry and boiled the water, and they have a nice wine cellar in the basement.

This is the traditional costume women wore in the Victoria era; most of them wore hats.

This is my favourite room in the house – Dickens’s reading room. It’s one of the biggest rooms in the house with lovely sunshine coming in through the window; you can see his writing desk and reading table.

If you want to find out more about Dickens’s former residence and his life, you can visit the museum. After visiting the museum, I really want to read his novels again.

You might have read Oliver Twist before. This novel reflects the society in the 19th century London, and the gap between the rich and the poor. In some ways, the story transmits that there is no one who is really good or bad. It makes us cherish our life more and be grateful for the things we have.

Another well-known story by Dickens is “A Christmas Carol”, you guys might have read it before; I read it when I was a child.  To put it briefly, the story wants to say that there are things that money can’t buy, people need to be kind-hearted, benevolent and concerned about people around them to be really happy.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. – A Tale of Two Cities

Dickens was good at writing about social phenomena and used a lot of irony in his writing. He described the aspects of the lower classes and how they saw the world.  Moreover, he created world’s best-known characters in his works; it’s easy for us to identify ourselves with his characters.

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its light are stronger in the contrast.

Charles Dickens

[British vs. American English] Jumper vs. Sweater

Do you know the difference between British and American English?

We compare British and American English every week for our #Speak Up London Channel. There are things with the same meaning but different words between British and American English; it’s interesting to learn those words as you need to know the difference to be understood. Have you ever said the right word but the person you were talking to had no idea what you were talking about? It might be your accent or the words that are different between British and American English.

1. Aubergine vs. Eggplant

I learned American English before I came to the UK, so I learned that eggplant is a purple vegetable, but when I came to England, people couldn’t understand what eggplant was. When I said “eggplant” to my friends, they looked confused. I figured out that people call this vegetable “aubergine” in England.

It’s pronounced: /ˈəʊbəʒiːn/

Runner bean vs. String bean  

This vegetable is sometimes served with a Sunday roast. It also has different names in the UK and the States.

It’s pronounced: /rʌnə ‘bi:n/

2. Jacket Potato vs. Baked potato

Jacket potato is a traditional British dish, often served with cheese and baked beans. Have you ever tried it? It’s one of my favourite lunches. People say “baked potato” in American English, not “jacket potato”.

It’s pronounced: /ˈdʒakɪt pəˈteɪtəʊ/

Courgette vs. Zucchini

This green vegetable is called courgette or zucchini.

The British word has been borrowed from French and is hard to pronounce: /kʊəˈʒɛt/

3. Bill vs. Check

You must have heard “Waiter! Check please!” in American movies. A British person is more likely to say: “May I have the bill, please?” when they’re ready to pay. On the other hand, when you order coffee or take away food, the clerk will ask you if you want to keep your receipt or not.

“Receipt” if hard to pronounce: /rɪˈsiːt/  

Holiday vs. Vacation

In the UK, people will say “holiday”, for example, bank holiday and Easter holiday. It means ‘a day off work’.  On the other hand, in American English, people go on ‘vacation’ when they head to the beach or mountains.

4. Jumper vs. Sweater

In winter, we wear jumpers in the UK while in America, they wear sweaters. For example, in the UK people say “Christmas jumper”, but not Christmas sweater.

A sweater can be tricky to pronounce: /ˈswɛtə/

Toilet/Loo vs. Restroom

In the UK, London for example, we can find a “toilet” or “loo” in public places, not a “restroom”.  In American spoken English, the word bathroom for boys is “John”, and for girls “Jane”. In the UK, we go to the “Ladies” and “Gents” instead.  A more formal word for a toilet is “lavatory”.

“Loo” is quite easy to pronounce: /luː/