+44 (0)2920 344805

Celtic English Academy Blog

Marta's tips to pass your Cambridge Exam!

Posted by Elodie Mallet on 04-Apr-2019 10:38:00


Our fantastic Assistant Operations manager, Marta, originally from Spain passed her FCE (First) years ago.

She also obtained her CAE (Advanced) and then her CPE (Proficiency).

Marta wants to share with your her tips and advice to be well prepared to pass this Cambridge exam.



Reading and Use of English:

"For this part of the exam, I would recommend practising sample/past papers as much as possible. The more you practise the less you will worry about what you have to do, and you will be able to focus more on your answers. Past papers (from real exams) will also give you a good idea of what kind of words or texts you can expect to see in your exam."


"Make sure you are familiar with the structure of all the different types of text that may come up in the exam (essay, email, article, review…). I would also suggest underlining what you are asked to do in the exercise as a reminder (e.g. “use all the notes provided” or “give your own opinion”), because the examiners will check that you have covered everything."


"My top tip for the listening test is to never switch off! The meaning of a whole sentence can change with just one word or after the next sentence, so listen carefully to the full recording."


"On the day of the exam, don’t be afraid of saying “Can you repeat, please?” if you didn’t understand or hear the question, or “Let me think/I never thought about this question before” if you need a few seconds to come up with an answer. We all do this in real life, and it is better than staying silent! Also, whenever you learn a new word or expression that you find particularly interesting and that may impress the examiner, write it down and try to use it in the exam if you can."


Read More

Topics: Study English

Lena - for the love of books!

Posted by April Pugh on 14-Feb-2019 08:00:00


My name is Lena, I am from Germany and I will be working as an intern at Celtic English Academy for the next six weeks. My first blog post is about a very special day – February 14th.

I am sure everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is celebrated on this day. Though originally a Christian feast day, nowadays it is widely known as a celebration of love. On this day, many people all over the world give gifts to their loved ones; especially to boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands or wives. But there is more to this date: February 14th also marks the annual International Book Giving Day.

The International Book Giving Day was first celebrated in the UK but has since spread to many countries all around the world. Its aim is to provide access to books for children in need, and to install a lifelong love of reading in these children. Therefore, many people either give books as gifts to their own children, donate books to children’s libraries, schools and charities or leave books in places where they’ll be found.

I asked some of the staff at Celtic about a book character they love and why they think this book would be a nice gift. So maybe this year you can combine Valentine’s Day and International Book Giving Day and give a book to someone you love on February 14th.


Here are some recommendations:

April's choiceMy favourite character is Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series. He is not what you first suspect, and he keeps you guessing – you never really know whether he is good or evil. And he never gives up on his true love!

Why is the Harry Potter series a good gift? The books appeal to people of all ages and nationalities. They are magical and they are full of life-lessons.


Alex's choice - The character I love best is Arya Stark from the Game of Thrones series. After seeing her father die, she pretends to be a boy and wants to take revenge on all her enemies. You can see her development towards a warrior-figure throughout the series!

Why is the Game of Thrones series a good gift? It features very many great and diverse characters and offers you a whole new universe to explore. It is rich of both fantastic elements and a lot of political intrigue.


Helen's choice - I first read Alice in Wonderland when I was 7 years old, and Alice has been my favourite character ever since. She is adventurous and just adapts to the strange new world she is confronted with. I wanted to be like her and most of all I admired her bravery. And I really enjoy imagining her world!

Why is Alice in Wonderland a good gift? The book is timeless and could have been written any time. The story is exciting, visually psychedelic, funny and charming. Alice in Wonderland is a template for children’s books and the original edition is beautifully illustrated (if you can, try and get the illustrated book!). It is also forward-thinking because Alice as a girl did not have any limits, although the book was written at a time when women weren’t supposed to go on adventures.


Last but not least, here is my opinion: My favourite book character is Bob. Bob is not a man, as you might think, but a ginger tom cat. In the memoir A Street Cat Named Bob, formerly homeless author James Bowen tells the story of how he changed his life for the better with Bob’s help. Bob is funny, cute, independently-minded and compassionate – and he is real and lives in London!

Why is A Street Cat Named Bob a good gift? Bob’s story touches your heart and makes you think differently about homeless people because you get to see their side of the story. The friendship between man and cat is remarkable and the book is funny and easy to understand.


So, I hope I've inspired you to get reading and maybe give your loved one a book this year. Let me know in the comments who your favourite characters are. 


Images from: https://jakubmaslowski.artstation.com/projects/dV9bJ




Read More

Topics: Study English

IELTS - what to expect and how best to prepare for success!

Posted by April Pugh on 06-Dec-2018 15:15:18

The exam tests all four main communication skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Take a look at our helpful table which provides an overview of each part of the exam and some of the rules. 

Read More

Topics: Study English

Verb patterns: Using Infinitive or Gerund

Posted by April Pugh on 22-Nov-2018 13:13:34

Verb patterns in English can be confusing. There are some instances when the verb is in the infinitive form, and others when the verb is in the gerund. Here are some guidelines to help you understand when to use each one. 

Read More

Topics: Study English

English Phrasal Verbs

Posted by April Pugh on 27-Oct-2018 13:19:20

Understanding English Phrasal Verbs can be difficult. Don’t worry, this is something that many students struggle with. Here are some examples which explain the meanings and show how you can use them. By reading this post your English vocabulary will soon take off!

Read More

Topics: Study English, Vocabulary

Football vocabulary and idioms

Posted by Edyta Kadula on 17-Jun-2018 09:00:00

With the World Cup 2018 in full swing, why not brush up on your ‘football’ vocabularyCheck our new Study Tip lesson and learn new verbs, phrases and words.

Read More

Topics: Study English

English Plus Football Programme

Posted by Edyta Kadula on 10-May-2018 11:27:00

What a fantastic Bank Holiday weekend! Not only did we have glorious sunny weather here in Cardiff over the full 3 days, Cardiff City Football Club also achieved promotion to the Premier League!

Read More

Topics: Study English

How the English language changed thanks to Shakespeare?

Posted by Mila on 10-May-2018 08:36:00

Last month, the UK celebrated National Shakespeare Day. William Shakespeare died on the 23rd of April, 1616 at the age of 52. He is considered to be the greatest British writer of all time and he is the most quoted author in the English-speaking world.

Read More

Topics: Study English

Your First Day at Celtic English Academy 

Posted by Edyta Kadula on 05-Feb-2018 09:00:00

The decision to study English abroad is a major one. We are here to support you from the moment you enrol to the day you return home. When you join Celtic, you join a big family – friendly and welcoming. Your first day will be an induction day to help you settle in and we can answer any questions that you may have.

Read More

Topics: Study English

Adverbs of Frequency – English Grammar

Posted by Edyta Kadula on 14-Jan-2018 09:46:00

There are many times in an English conversation when you need to say how often you do something. For example, if you were asked the question,How often do you study English?, “Do you often travel abroad?”.

Read More

Topics: Study English

Hello, we are Celtic English Academy

We teach English today, so you can start your tomorrow.

We are a friendly and welcoming English language centre in the heart of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. We have been providing English language courses for over 10 years.

Whether you are looking to improve your English for your career, to go to university or simply to be able to communicate more effectively in our global world of today, we can help you meet your goals.

On the Celtic blog, you can find information from staff, teachers and students about:

  • Things to do in Cardiff
  • Social activities
  • Information about accommodation
  • Studying at Celtic
  • Latest news and more!

We hope you enjoy the read!

Follow us on Instagram

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts