Category: School

Speak Up London statement on Coronavirus

We take the welfare of our students and staff very seriously at Speak Up London. With the developing situation in China, we would like to communicate the precautions we are putting in place to ensure our students and staff are safe.

The risk in the UK is currently classified as low. However, we are aware of the spread of the Coronavirus is escalating and we are monitoring the situation closely. Direct flights from Wuhan in China have now been suspended and advanced monitoring has been added at airports with direct flights from China.

The China Travel Service Association (CTSA) has announced the suspension of business travel, group tours and package trips for the present time.

The UK Government has introduced advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China. A team of public health experts has been established at Heathrow to support anyone travelling in from China who feels unwell.

We are taking extra precautions to ensure our students and staff are safe by raising awareness of the symptoms of the virus and how it is spread. We will be introducing anti-bacterial hand sanitising gel in the school and providing recommended guidance for avoiding exposure to any potential infection.

Please refer to the following government websites for regular updates and further guidance on the situation:

Cambridge First and Advanced

They are internationally recognised exams that certify the level of English you have achieved. Accepted by over 20,000 employers and educational institutions in 130 countries, they give you a chance to secure a place at the university of your choice and can also be required for visas and immigration purposes.

Cambridge First (FCE)

A B2 First qualification proves you have the language skills to live and work independently in an English-speaking country or study on courses taught in English.

A B2 First qualification shows that you can:

  • Communicate effectively face-to-face
  • Follow the news
  • Write clear, detailed English, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different viewpoints
  • Write letters, emails, reports, stories and lots of other types of text

Reasons to choose B2 First:

  • Accepted for entry to foundation/pathway/pre-sessional courses in English-speaking countries.
  • Accepted for entry to undergraduate programmes taught in English in non-English-speaking countries.

Cambridge Advanced (CAE)

More than 8,000 educational institutions, businesses and government departments around the world accept C1 Advanced as proof of high-level achievement in learning English.

Preparing for C1 Advanced helps learners develop the skills to make the most of studying, working and living in English-speaking countries.

C1 Advanced qualification shows that you can:

  • Follow an academic course at the university level
  • Communicate effectively at a managerial and professional level
  • Participate with confidence in workplace meetings or academic tutorials and seminars
  • Express yourself with a high level of fluency

Reasons to choose C1 Advanced:

  • Monthly test dates available
  • Accepted by over 8,000 educational institutions, businesses, and government departments
  • Opens doors to international work and study

Do you have any doubt about FCE or CAE?

Speak to one of our advisors and they will help you choose the most suitable exam for you as well as guide you on how to prepare and succeed in your exam. Send us an email to [email protected] or reach us on social media.

Procrastination: you can fight it

Hello, Speak Up London students. Today’s article is going to help you in any aspect of your life. Indeed, whether you are working, studying, or simply trying to get things done, procrastination is always there, waiting behind the corner. Though, you shouldn’t consider procrastination a synonym for laziness. In fact, in many cases, people who procrastinate are only perfectionists waiting for the best moment to act. Breaking news: perfect moments don’t exist. So, my dear perfectionists here are some tips to help you overcome this overwhelming issue.


  • Let’s start by the first tip, make a list. This particular action will help you be aware of the things you have to do. Don’t let your list overwhelm you! Visualising is the first step towards the completion of your tasks.
  • Now that you have visualised your to do list, prioritise. We suggest you rate each element of your list according to two parameters: urgency and importance.
  • After having rated and divided your list, it’s time to prepare a plan. How much time do you have? Be aware that even though planning can help you get through difficult tasks; sometimes it is really difficult to meet your expectations in terms of time. Therefore, our timeless tip is: set an earlier deadline, in the best case scenario you will gain some time, in the worst case scenario you will still have time to work before your official deadline.
  • The natural thing to do after preparing a plan is to start. There are not tips to help you. Starting a long list of things to do, whether they are study-related, work-related or simply chores is probably the most difficult thing to do. But, the bright side is that once you have found the courage to start, it will get better!
  • One of the ways to make the whole procedure “bearable” is by taking regular breaks. It’ll help you combat fatigue and it is also a little way of rewarding yourself after every piece of work you accomplish.

Procrastination blog post pic

Along with these tips, we would like to point out that there are some very important elements for some people, like the atmosphere around them. Be aware of your individual preferences when you work, and when possible, try to recreate that atmosphere to help you be more productive. For instance some people prefer to listen to music while working, others prefer to work in a particular place, others need to eat snacks. Whatever your preference is, as long as it is healthy, it’ll help you get through your day full of duties more easily. Therefore, our dear Speak Up London friends, good luck with your work and remember that with planning and goodwill you can both fight procrastination and do almost anything! 😉


Maria Chiara Strano



Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration to push us forward. 

#SpeakUpLondonBlog #SpeakUpLondon

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013 file photo, American actor Leonardo DiCaprio poses for a portrait, in New York. The United Nations has named Leonardo DiCaprio a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, calling DiCaprio “a credible voice in the environmental movement.” He also invited the actor to the upcoming UN Climate Summit planned for September 23. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)



Language is an amazing form of communication. Especially when you are multilingual or bilingual. This skill helps you communicate better with people when you’re in foreign lands. With language, you can connect with the culture even better and understand it without getting lost in translation.

With all of the fun and excitement that comes from learning a new language, there are times when it can be strenuous and hard, especially when trying to remember certain words and phrases.

So, the team here at Speak Up London, thought it best to show you people that you can aspire to. We will be introducing you to 7 Inspirational Multilingual people.

You can and will learn the language you’re set on learning, and these inspirational people are proof of this. Don’t give up, when you’re so close to reaching your goal.




1.) Leonardo DiCaprio

Languages: English and German


Leonardo DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles to an Italian/German father and a German mother. Leonardo often visited his maternal grandmother in Germany, where he was able to learn and practice his German.




2.) Johnny Depp

Languages: English and French


Johnny Depp was born and raised in was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. Depp is of mostly English ancestry, with some ancestors from elsewhere in Europe. He is descended from a French Huguenot immigrant, Pierre Dieppe.




3.) Natalie Portman

Languages: English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese, German, Sign Language.

Natalie was born in Jerusalem to an Israeli father and American mother. She grew up speaking Hebrew and English, but also knows conversational French, Japanese, German, and Spanish.



4.) Raden Mas Panji Sosrokartono

Languages: 24 languages and 10 Indonesian tribal languages.

Sosrokartono is considered the most genius man in Indonesia, beside President Habibie. He mastered 24 languages and 10 Indonesian tribal languages. After the first world war ended, he became head of translator for League of Nations.




5.) Dikembe Mutombo

Languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Tshiluba, Swahili, Lingala, and two other central African languages.

Mutombo is a former NBA player and is able to speak English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Tshiluba, Swahili, Lingala, and two other central African languages.




6.) Timothy Doner

Languages: English, French, Hausa, Wolof, Russian, German, Yiddish, Hebrew, Arabic, Pashto, Persian, Mandarin, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Dutch, Xhosa, Kiswahili, Hindi, Ojibwe, Kinyarwanda, and Creole.

Timothy was only 17 years old when he was featured in the New York Times for his ability to speak over twenty languages to various levels,




7.) Elizabeth I

Languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Latin, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish and Irish.


Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, who was executed two and a half years after Elizabeth’s birth.




We hope that you get some inspiration from these people, and that their linguistic skills push you further to learn a new language.





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#SpeakUpLondon #MannequinChallenge




The Internet is a great place to explore; communities are formed, friends are made and crazy challenges are created. In the wave of new internet fads, Speak Up London thought it best to hop on board and take part in the Mannequin Challenge.

Speak Up London is filled with over 400 students and 50 staff members, so as you can imagine, this would be an enormous task. We couldn’t wait to conquer the Mannequin Challenge.


11 of our morning English classes (9am- 12pm), took time out of their day to participate in this quirky challenge. Imagine not moving for minutes on end; it was definitely interesting and funny to see.


Each floor was posed in different positions and presented different situations. The first floor presented people paused in time whilst playing clapping games. Another situation showed people about to jump out of the window, throwing plants at each other, and even balancing plants on their heads.


One of the best parts of our Mannequin Challenge would be the marriage proposal taking place in a classroom. As well as a proposal, there were people sleeping on the ground and other students were watching youtube videos on their phones.


The Speak Up London team would like to give a big thank you to the students, teachers and team members that participated in this challenge. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.


Speak Up London enjoyed seeing everyone’s Mannequin Challenge videos. We love seeing the creative minds of people around the world and, to be honest, we believe that Speak Up London holds the crown for the greatest Mannequin Challenge ever!





There is no need for us to explain any further. Why not click on the video and take a look at the full extended version of Speak Up London’s Mannequin Challenge.







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Yes it’s true!

Find out how singing Karaoke can better your Language skills.






A few months ago, we had a Karaoke competition here at Speak Up London. We encouraged our students to sing and memorise a song in class, whichever class sang the best would win boxes of pizza. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Although it was fun for our students to sing and win pizza, what they didn’t know was that we were secretly improving their English language skills… yes it’s true! We will prove it.

Music is something that everyone listens to; we enjoy the lyrics and the rhythm, of songs. When we really enjoy a song, we may even sing a-long to it, and embarrass ourselves by doing Karaoke. No matter how bad we may sound, we enjoy the feeling that music gives us.

However, what if I was to tell you that singing Karaoke is very helpful when learning a language. Would you believe me?  Well, it’s true! Remembering the lyrics to a song helps you remember the words of that song. It also helps in terms of constructing sentences properly and pronunciation.




When you learn a new language, you are not only learning new words and sentences, you will also learn about the culture. Karaoke will make you fall in love with a culture.

Learning the lyrics of a song helps you expand your vocabulary. Songs aren’t always very formal, so it is a good way for you to learn slang words that are commonly used in the language you are learning.

Singing can actually help you reduce your foreign-sounding accent. For example, if your favourite singer has a London accent when they sing, it is something that you will imitate and copy as you sing.





Your pronunciation will change to match the singer’s own and you will understand the ways in which the rhythm of a sentence is supposed to flow.

Linguistic research from the University of Edinburgh found that adults, who sang karaoke from a different language whilst learning, were twice as good at speaking it later.

It is believed that by listening to the words of a song, and by singing them to yourself, the technique takes advantage of the strong links between music and memory.

Therefore, you will remember all of the words to a song that has been in your head for a long time.

So, you see! Karaoke is good for you, so sing, even if you’re terrible at it.




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Canary Wharf Ice Skating Rink


Speak Up London Recommends suggests cool places and events to attend in London. So grab a friend and your bag.

There is fun to be had out there!


Tickets: £9.95 for one hour and includes skate hire.

Location: Located in the centre of Canary Wharf

Goodness me, where did the year go? It is already time to prepare for Christmas, and to be honest… we couldn’t be happier here at Speak Up London!

Can you believe that the Christmas season is already here? Yes, we know that it is only November, but we can’t help it if we are excited. Living in London, there is a high possibility that it won’t snow. So, why not pretend by Ice Skating?

Canary Wharf is one of the sleekest and coolest places to be in London. Add Christmas festivities to this beautiful location, and you’ve got something magical.

On 4th November the Canary Wharf Ice Skating Rink will be open to all! Grab a friend or two, put on something warm (don’t forget your gloves), and get skating! Music will be playing, so be careful not to fall over when your favourite song comes on. Even if you do fall over, laugh and ask your friend to lift you up.

‘LuminoCity’ is the theme this year, which means… lights, lights, lights! There will be over 8,000 LED lights shining underneath the ice and on the trees.

There will be a bar serving drinks of all kinds and there is no need to be worried about snacks either, as festive snacks will be served.

If you’re tired of skating on the ice and want to rest your feet, you can sit down at the outdoor viewing terrace which also has heaters, no need to worry about the cold.

Here at Speak Up London, we love to see our students experiencing the vibrancy and fun that London has to offer.

Whenever you see a Speak Up London Recommends Blog post, and you do end up going to the place we have suggested, take pictures of yourself there. Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #SULRecommends. If your picture is cool, we may even repost it.

Have a blast Speak Up London peeps.



Cultures all over the world are filled with different foods that we have never tasted before, clothes we have never worn before, and stories that we have never heard before.

But, have you ever thought about the urban legends that fill different cultures and the scary creatures that fill people with fear? Well, here is a list of the scariest stories of different cultures from around the world. Right on time for Halloween right?

1.) The Slender man | Origin: USA and The Internet

The Slender man is a thin and silent stalker who is commonly known for stalking and abducting children. He is extremely thin and tall, with a blank face.

He stalks his victims at first, and whilst you are sleeping he will kidnap you. He will ask you a random question and if you get the answer right, he will break both of your arms and legs.

But, if you get the answer wrong, he will pull your heart out of your body.

2.) El Viejo del Saco | Origin: Chile, Cuba, Mexico

This story is based on a true crime that occurred in the village of Gador, Spain in 1910. The crime was committed by a man named Francisco Ortega who had tuberculosis. He was very sick and went to seek help from a healer.

The healer said he would be healed if he drinks the blood of a young child and uses the blood as a body-rub to rub on his chest. Francisco kidnapped a 7-year-old boy, placed him in a cloth sack, and eventually drank his blood.

The legend of El Viejo del Saco comes from this dark true story. El Viejo del Saco kidnaps misbehaving children and eats them.

3.) The Banshee | Origin: Ireland

The banshee is said to be a bad omen and a sign of someone’s death. When a person hears the loud screeching of a banshee, shortly after, they will die a horrible death.

Legends of the banshee seem to have originated in Ireland.

The banshee is also often said to be seen before a tragic death. Banshees are sometimes depicted as ugly old hags. They can sometimes transform themselves into a beautiful young woman.

4.) The Weeping Woman | Origin: South America

The tale begins with a woman named Maria who drowns her children in a river as revenge to her unfaithful husband.

Filled with sadness about what she had done, she ends her own life.  Maria was not allowed to enter heaven because her children were not with her.

Some legends say that The Weeping Woman will kidnap other boys and girls who resemble her own children and will kill them.

She appears by the lakes and rivers screaming the words, “Oh my children!” Anyone who hears her saying these words will die soon after.

5.) The Tokoloshi
Origin: South Africa

The Tokoloshi is a zombie of short stature. These Zombies can be created by removing the eyes and tongue out of a dead person. Life is breathed into the zombie with a special white powder.

They live in the houses of witches and are known for stealing milk from cows and bringing harm to people whenever its master asks. They are usually small, brown and hairy.

We hope that these Halloween stories haven’t scared you all too much. Have a great Halloween guys, and retell these stories to your friends and family, to frighten them.