Sharing culture is a huge part of how we help you fall in love with a second language – and as Christmas remains an important cultural event in the British calendar, despite the increasingly secular population (52%), we want to share it with our international community.
The ‘festive season’ is composed of public and private elements.
Sharing the public parts is easy enough: we bring our English learners to community events. This blog is a thought piece on how to share more personal and private celebrations – authentically.
Read on to learn how this language school uses Scottish culture to help you learn English at this time of year.
Sharing our lives, passions and culture happens so organically in our English immersion holidays it surprises me every year when at Christmas time, this get tricky.
It can be a real cringe fest when companies & corporations ‘do’ Christmas, especially if they use it as a time to sell (see our lesson plan on this theme).
Turn on the TV and Christmastime seems to be a festival of emotional manipulation.
As an alternative, independent English language school, we have the freedom to mark this time of year however we like: including doing nothing at all (a better option than getting it wrong).
Our questions needed to be, how can we empower our L2 speakers at this time of year? What parts of Christmas does it feel right to share?
Non-Corporate = No Bullshit
As coaches, you need to put faith and trust in us for language learning, so it is important to be sincere and real in all situations.
As a language school (a business), we have to work out how this translates into sharing Christmas experiences positively, in alignment with our values.
Without the ‘ick’.
Without the bullshit.
For us, Christmas is an important annual opportunity to celebrate friendships with current and former students and bring people together.
And just like our English immersion holidays, this means finding interesting ways to share special, seasonal and regional foods and rich cultural experiences. (Experiences that will unlock loving English for you).
We are also aware that a few of our close community are displaced people, in Scotland not through choice, and separated from close family.
Even without such extreme life changes, Christmas can make people feel alone.
We knew that any celebrations we host or share must be about giving and sharing: not just our culture but our support, and friendship.
Instead of mimicking a traditional Christmas, we chose to CREATE a unique celebration of the many things we have to be grateful for, including the mutual support we have in our community (and cheese).
What a ‘Hue & Cry’
Fortune intervened when the Scottish 80s pop band Hue & Cry announced they would be playing Strathearn Art Space.
I’ve been a Hue & Cry fan since I was about 13 ( I was even in their fan club!). They were going to play the venue right next to our language school?
It was a unique chance to share not just beautiful music with the folks who have helped us most this year, but part of me too.
The concert was superb.
Hue & Cry are now 40! (the band, not the brothers). They played old favourites and a couple of new (brilliant!) electronic songs.
More so, Pat Kane told funny, irreverent stories about writing the songs (and about Scottish culture in general).
This concert was a real complement to how we share artists’ and makers’ stories through our English immersion holidays and English courses.
A Full Evening Celebration
First, a few of us began the evening sharing raclette cheese at the language hub.
Then more Blue Noun friends joined us for the concert (there was a dance takeover!)
Lastly, a few of the more hardy souls ended the evening on a high with cocktails at the local Square Bar.
Sharing the Tree
As well as this party, we have other Christmas-themed events to take part in.
Decorating the Blue Noun Christmas tree takes the whole family – and help from any friends who wish to join in.
This year we had Annalisa from Italy and Vasyl from Ukraine.
(You can find a video English lesson about it here.)
In case you are wondering how our language school celebrated Christmas last year, it was very different!
Amongst other things, last Christmas we hosted a ‘pot luck’ celebration on January 7th (Orthodox Christmas) for all our Ukrainian friends.
Giving the Gift of English
This December, we also have giveaways running all month.
For example, Sketchbook (our online English course for artists and designers) is available for 4 recent graduates at half price.
In addition, we have created free lesson plans for ESL teachers, and are offering a seasonal discount across our courses.
As a business, we hope to strike the right balance between giving and selling.
Our services are life-changing.
- We are proud of how we help people’s careers by transforming how they feel about English.
- Equally, we are proud of the ways learning with us benefits the local community, including artists, makers (and Ukrainians).
Our giveaways get English help to people who couldn’t otherwise access it.
There’s no emotional manipulation – just an offer that our services could be a door-opening Christmas gift.
Discover our discounts and ways we help your English this Christmas.
Thank You, Friends!
Our Christmas events are a sincere way of sharing culture and celebrating and rewarding the people who are helping to turn our small, non-corporate language school into a dynamic learning hub.
It is our true hope that as we grow our English coaching business, your skills are supported and developed too.
Love English in 2024
Culture-Led English Immersion Holidays in Scotland
When you choose to improve your English through our culture-led immersion holidays, you’ll soon discover that you are welcomed into our big eclectic hub/family.
Mixing social events with English learning gives authentic (and joyful) English experiences, which equal deep English skills.
Relax, deep English skills are yours whenever you need them (even if you acquired them putting up a Christmas tree!).
Read more about our Alternative Ways of Learning English.