English with Afternoon Tea
26 February 2009

Take a plateful of tiny sandwiches, some delicious cakes and a pot of tea, and you have a great English tradition. And you also have a fantastic way of learning English the fun way.

English plus Afternoon Tea has become a really popular option since it was introduced at Cicero International (www.cicero.co.uk) a few years ago.

"We all howled with laughter when it was suggested, but it is a really successful course," says Carrie Reay, academic director of the Kent-based language centre.

"And it appeals to students of all ages - the oldest lady was in her 60s, but the youngest was 20."

The afternoon course includes a lecture on the history of afternoon tea and a trip to a traditional tea-room, as well as a hands-on session learning how to make some delicious English cakes. Oddly, the course has so far appealed mostly to students from Japan, which of course has its own famous tea ceremony.

Though the afternoon tea option is really just for fun, another of the Cicero leisure courses is appealing to both enthusiasts and professionals: English plus Flower Arranging.

"Some of the ladies who come have flower arranging as a hobby and some are florists. They are mostly from Japan and want to learn Western techniques - and since we have one tutor who is traditional and another who does very modern arrangements we can give them the full range," says Carrie.

She stresses that although the course can be tailored to the requirements of individuals or groups, it does not lead to a qualification, but adds: "It is lovely to hear some of the conversations going on with the flower arranging teachers. They strike up a real rapport - and it adds another dimension to coming to England and learning English."

Flower arranging 01 


Interview by Susan Young

Do you know of a language school or student with an interesting story to tell? Contact susan@englishuk.com


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