• Welcome to the Collective!

    The English Collective is language learning for the next generation – language learning 2.0, if you like. At English Collective, you aren’t a student anymore, you’re a member, which means you decide what classes you want to attend, based on your needs and your preferences. (Learn about the three principles that make English Collective unique.) At the same time, you have constant access to the minds of our experienced teachers – 2650 classroom hours in China, on average, and counting – and access, through the latest technology, to other students. Welcome to your English Collective!
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    Want to become a member of the English Collective? It’s as easy as ABC!

    1. Click here to book free language assessment

    2. Come in and meet one of our teachers to discuss your needs and English level

    3. Welcome to the English Collective!

  • Your Ideas

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Start:
August 7, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
August 7, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn the language you need for talking about stereotypes and giving your own opinions.

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. British people are all gentlemen, Chinese people all know Kung Fu and French people are all romantic. Is this true? Where do we get these ideas from?  Maybe it’s just a stereotype? If you are interested in talking about other countries personal characteristics and customs then this is the lesson for you.

What? In this lesson you will find new ways of describing different nations without sounding rude. You’ll learn about using diplomatic language and making generalisations.  Finally, you will be able to confidently speak to people from overseas without fear of putting your foot in it. Book Now»

Big Brother

Start:
August 7, 2011 10:00 am
End:
August 7, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn to talk about monitoring people, surveillance in public and your privacy.

Who? This class is for Upper-Intermediate members. Last year, China installed over 10 million surveillance cameras in supermarkets, cinemas and classrooms in order to keep us safe. Public buses have CCTV installed to monitor the driver and passengers. Shanghai has a team of 4,000 full time staff to monitor us round-the-clock. But what about your personal privacy? It’s a fine line to judge where this kind of monitoring stops – would you be happy with cameras fitted in a bathroom?  How about computer software to stop you accessing certain sites? Maybe we should go even further – would you rifle through your partner’s belongings if you suspected them of cheating?  If you want to be able to discuss the sensitive issue of personal privacy, then make sure you come to this class.

What? In this class we’ll start off by discussing what kind of things we would be willing to share with an employer – where do we draw the line between disclosing the truth about ourselves? Next, we’ll look at the debate surrounding privacy in the United States, and how monitoring can be used for good as well as more suspect reasons. Finally, we’ll debate where we should draw the line of personal privacy – how far is too far? Book Now»

Leisure And Free Time

Start:
August 6, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
August 6, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn to talk about your hobbies and interest and things that you like and dislike doing.

Who? This class is for Pre-Intermediate members. What do you like to do in your free time? Do you prefer to stay in doors watching TV or being out doors playing tennis? Do you absolutely love cooking or would you prefer someone to cook for you?

What? In this lesson we will learn how to talk about our hobbies and interests, things that we enjoy doing and things that we are not so interested in.  Finally we will practice how to invite people out and confirm the time and place. Book Now»

Time Out!

Start:
August 6, 2011 10:00 am
End:
August 6, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn how to describe the speed of life in the modern workplace, and give advice on how best to spend your working time.

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. Do you feel up against it all the time? Are you always pushed for time? Or are you so laid back you’re nearly horizontal? If you’re interested in talking about how we spend our working time, and how we could always do with squeezing a few more minutes out of the day, then this is the class for you!

What? In this class we’ll break down how you spend your normal working day, and take a look at your time management skills. After this, we’ll compare your time in work to those of the top executives in blue-chip companies. Finally we’ll discuss which are the most effective methods of becoming more productive and how we would spend our well-earned free time – if only we could earn some more of it! Book Now»

We Have to Stop Meeting Like This (2)

Start:
July 31, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 31, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn how to effectively chair and participate in a meeting by controlling the pacing, flow and rhythm of a conversation.

Who? This class is for Upper-Intermediate members. We all take part in discussions every day, but do we always get our point across effectively? In any language, one of the most important skills you can have is expressing yourself with varying degrees of emphasis. Being able to control the tone of a discussion is also important – knowing when and where to interrupt and say something, and when to let someone carry on speaking, is often the difference between adding to a discussion or just being steamrollered. If you want to try and become a more effective participant and chairperson in meetings, then this is the class for you!

What? In this class, we’ll hold three discussions to practice the chairing skills we learnt in Lesson 1 last week. First, we’ll examine whether genetic profiling in the workplace is a good idea. Secondly, we’ll decide how far is too far when it comes to workplace monitoring of employees by their superiors. Finally, we’ll decide whether or not certain ‘creative’ activities can help us become better managers in a modern business environment. Book Now»

It Costs The Earth

Start:
July 31, 2011 8:00 am
End:
July 31, 2011 5:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn the language you need to talk about your money, finances and spending habits.

Who? This class is for Intermediate Students. What kind of spender would you say you are? Are you someone who splashes out on a good night out? Do you ever hold back if you know that something is going to cost you an arm and a leg? Have you ever been so broke that you can’t make your ends meet that month? Or are you so frugal with money that you would always save for a rainy day? If you love talking about money, then make sure that you book this class.

What? You’ll walk away being able to talk about your own spending habits, and those of the people around you. We’ll also look at different attitudes towards money, and discuss our own opinions on what are the right and wrong ways to think about it. Book Now»

Have A Break

Start:
July 30, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 30, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn to create schedules, make bookings, and check arrangements.

Who? This class is for Pre-Intermediate members. How often do you travel? Where would you like to go if you had the chance?  What do you enjoy about travelling? What don’t you enjoy? Do you ever travel on business?  If you want to be able to talk about travel and improve the skills you need to create schedules, make bookings and check arrangements then make sure you book this class.

What? In this lesson we will practice how to make flight, train and hotel bookings on the phone and in person. We will also practice clarifying travel details made at a ticket office, check in desk, in a taxi and at a hotel.  Finally we will use this opportunity to practice numbers and figures so that we can check the times and dates and ask for the price. Book Now»

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Start:
July 30, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 30, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn to discuss what makes you happy, how you can help make other people happy, and why being a happy person can help make us a healthy person!

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. Mark Twain claimed, “the best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” – would you agree with him? Happiness has a huge influence on the way we feel, and also on our health, but what makes you happy? Do you find happiness in the company of others? Or search for it in the bottom of a beer bottle? However you make yourself happy, if you come to this class we’ll give you the language you need to be happy in English!

What? In this class, we’ll start off by looking at what makes us happy, and what we think might be the happiest time  of a person’s life. Next, we’ll evaluate two people’s working lives and try to determine if they are happy, or if they’re putting a brave face on things – and what we would do to try and cheer them up. Finally, we’ll devise a questionnaire to asses our and other people’s happiness – how do we match up, and what should we do to stay happy! Book Now»

Media Frenzy!

Start:
July 24, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 24, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Jalal Afhim

The media plays an important role in how our society shares information and communicates. But what information does it share, and why? Who is pulling the strings? Let’s have a look at the concepts, vocabulary, and controversies.

Who? This class is for Intermediate students. Are you interested in understanding the role of the media in the game of power between Business, Government, and ‘The People’? Do you want to be able to talk about the controversies, and motives behind the information we read and watch? If the answer is ‘yes!’, then this class is for you.

What? We will examine and discuss the varying (and often conflicting) roles that the media can play. The relationships that media have with different ‘interest groups’ in society will be looked at from different angles, and we’ll look at the ways that media can be used as a tool. We’ll also look at some case studies that have recently been prominent in the news, practice using the language that shows an understanding of the context behind these stories. Book Now»

We Have to Stop Meeting Like This

Start:
July 24, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 24, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn how to effectively chair and participate in a meeting by controlling the pacing, flow and rhythm of a conversation.

Who? This class is for Upper-Intermediate members. We all take part in discussions every day, but do we always get our point across effectively? In any language, one of the most important skills you can have is expressing yourself with varying degrees of emphasis. Being able to control the tone of a discussion is also important – knowing when and where to interrupt and say something, and when to let someone carry on speaking, is often the difference between adding to a discussion or just being steamrollered. If you want to try and become a more effective participant and chairperson in meetings, then this is the class for you!

What? In this class, we’ll identify the key features of a good chairperson in a meeting, and examine some of the language that can help us to become more effective in this kind of role. Next, we’ll look at some of the common problems during discussions between native speakers and those using a second language, and what we can do to try and avoid these pitfalls. Finally, we’ll hold a discussion to put these skills into practice! Book Now»

This Is Just Not On

Start:
July 23, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 23, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn the language you need to make and deal with complaints in a professional manner.

What? This class is for Intermediate members. Do you have to deal with angry customers at work all the time? Do you have to handle extremely difficult customers and not sure what’s the best way to deal with them?  Or are you the person who’s always making the complaints? If you want to be able to deal with complaints better and improve your customer service skills at work, then make sure you come to this class.

What? In this lesson we will practice some useful phrases for dealing and making complaints in a professional manner face to face or on the telephone.  We will be focusing on identifying the problem, showing empathy, apologizing, correcting and explaining and putting things right for the customer.  Finally we will look at the different situations of why people might make a complaint and use this opportunity to practice the language we learnt in real life situation.

Book Now»

Where’s the Train Station

Start:
July 23, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 23, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn how to ask for and give directions, and even more importantly learn how to follow them correctly!

Who? This class is for pre-intermediate students. Are you always getting lost? Or do you have an excellent sense of direction? Do you know your way around the city? Or do you always find yourself at a crossroads with no idea which way to turn? If so, this is the class for you!

What? You’ll learn how to ask for and give directions, as well as the polite way to interrupt someone on the street and ask for their help. You’ll learn some useful vocabulary for telling your left from your right, and up from down. You’ll look at the differences between going past something, going along something, and going down something. Finally, you’ll use your own knowledge of Shanghai to recommend somewhere to eat and something fun to do – as well as detailed instructions on how to get there! Book Now»

Telling A Fib

Start:
July 17, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 17, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Image and video hosting by TinyPicLearn the language you need about lying and how to prepare yourself to make an excuse convincingly.

Who? This class is for Intermediate Students. Do you have a habit of telling fibs about other people and enjoy spreading malicious gossip at work? Have you ever been the victim of malicious gossip and had rumors spread about you? Are you neither of these, and instead you’re the nice one who tells a white lie in order to make people feel better about themselves? Whichever type of personality you have, if you’re interested in spotting liers and talking about the repercussions, then this is the class for you!

What? In this lesson we will try and find out the reason why people like to tell porkies and through this we will try and spot why people are lying as being able to read someone is a great tool to have at your disposal. Finally we look at how to make excuses for ourselves in order to get out of something and make sure it sounds convincing! Book Now»

Only On One Condition

Start:
July 17, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 17, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Image and video hosting by TinyPicLearn the basic language of negotiation and reaching agreement.

Who? This class is for Upper-Intermediate members. We all negotiate every day of our lives. From who does the washing up and how much we pay for our vegetables, to the terms and conditions of a contract and the salary we receive when we start a new job. Are you a tough negotiator? Or a pushover? If you want to practice your negotiating skills (in English!) then this is the class for you!

What? We’ll start off by looking at  the simple day-to-day negotiations we go through and how best we can deal with them. Next, we’ll take a look at the impact of being direct and how being careful with our language can make us sound much more persuasive, and learn some of the specific language for negotiations by completing a puzzle. Finally, we’ll put this into practice and work through some negotiations to see who can drive a hard bargain. Book Now»

I Feel Terrible

Start:
July 16, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 16, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Image and video hosting by TinyPicLearn the language you need to talk about your health and to communicate to a doctor when you’re at the hospital or at the chemist buying medicine.

Who? This class is for Pre- Intermediate members. I don’t think I feel really well today, my nose is all runny and blocked up, I’ve got a sore throat and a serious bad cough. I think i’ve caught the flu.   If you were ill, would you know what to say? If not then this is the lesson for you.

What? In this lesson we’ll learn how to describe the basic symptoms of an illness and the other things that can go wrong with different parts of your body. We’ll also look at the language of asking  and giving information, and finding out problems. Finally we’ll practise using this language by role-playing doctors and patients in lots of different situations! Book Now»

Online Affairs

Start:
July 16, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 16, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn the language of online dating, cheating and flirting!

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. Online dating has become a hugely popular activity amongst lots of different groups of people – including those who probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place! Married men (and sometimes women) frequently have fantasies about cheating on their spouses, and the internet has become their playground – but does it really count as cheating?  If you’re interested in this most modern of issues, then this is the class for you!

What? In this class we’ll try and establish the exact boundaries when fantasy steps over the line into full-blown cheating. Next, we’ll investigate the case of a woman who started to suspect that her husband was being economical with the truth when he said he was just catching up on his paperwork while sitting at his computer until late at night. Finally, we’ll find out what happens when a spurned partner confronts their partner about their online indiscretions! Book Now»

I Need Help!

Start:
July 10, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 10, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn to give advice on difficult situations and make suggestions to solve other people’s problems.

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. When it comes to giving advice are you the one who everyone turns to?  Or are you a good listener who likes to take the back seat? Do you know people who always try and butt in to other people’s business all the time? If you want to practice giving and receiving advice then make sure you book this class.

What? In this lesson you will practice how to give and receive advice in different kinds of situations. Next we’ll decide what kind of advice would be the best to solve someone else’s problems and also learn the language to introduce a problem and express your feelings.  Finally we will discuss a variety of difficult situations that the typical family comes across in real life, for example major family decisions, work, career, marriage and raising kids. Book Now»

Compensation Culture

Start:
July 10, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 10, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn to discuss issues relating to compensation, suing third parties and recommending action and apportioning blame.

Who? This class is for Upper-Intermediate members. A recently coined phrase has become more and more popular in the UK in recent years. It started from an advert showing a woman tripping over a small hole in the road and hurting herself, a man picking up a box that was too heavy for him and injuring his back, and another person falling off a ladder in work before breaking their leg. The advert was promoting a legal firm and their new ‘no win, no fee’ service to sue individuals and companies who could be deemed to be at fault in causing injury to another party. The phrase in question? “Where there’s blame, there’s a claim.” Do you agree? Where should we draw the line between personal responsibility and 3rd party fault? If you want to be able to discuss this issue which is becoming more and more relevant to life in China, then this is the class for you!

What? In this class, we’ll start off by looking at the situation of a woman who successfully sued a famous fast-food chain after burning herself on a cup of coffee, and also  the man who sued an RV manufacturer after they didn’t make their manual unambiguous. Next, we’ll look at some of the specific language related to suing, countersuing and settlements. Finally, we’ll take the place of the judges in some realistic situations and try to determine exactly who is to blame for a series of unfortunate events and what compensation (if any) is appropriate to each party. Book Now»

I’m planning to…

Start:
July 9, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 9, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn to talk about your intensions and wishes and practice using going to, planning to, would like to, and would prefer to correctly.

Who? This class is for Pre- Intermediate members. What will you do if I gave you 1 Dollar? “I think I will…” What will you do if I gave you 100 Dollars? “I’m pretty sure I’ll…” What would you do if I gave you 1 million Dollars? “Without a doubt I would…” If you want to practice your future tenses and know when to use will and would accurately in a sentence then make sure you book this lesson about first and second conditionals.

What? In this lesson we will practice focusing on how to use going to, planning to, would like to and would prefer to correctly.  We will also look at the pronouncing contractions of will, I am and I would.  Finally we’ll plan out a dream holiday, including where we would like to go, things to expect and stuff that we’ll plan to do on this holiday. Book Now»

Make Your Mind Up Time

Start:
July 9, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 9, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn the language of decision-making and how to discuss the pros and cons of different options.

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, then being able to decide”. So said Napoleon Bonaparte – someone who managed to use his decision-making skills to take him to the very top. Being able to decide on something after weighing up the advantages and disadvantages is an important skill both in and outside of the workplace. While we can’t make you ‘dilly-dally’ less than normal, English Collective can give you the language you need to be able to decide on the right course of action!

What? In this class, we’ll start off by looking at our reaction to a variety of situations – and what it says about us as a decision-maker. Next, we’ll look at a selection of the most common idioms related to decision-making, and also how we can create a very simple process for dealing with decisions we have to make. Finally, we’ll work together on a new project which requires us to discuss the pros and cons of various options before making our final decision. Book Now»

Pulling Together

Start:
July 3, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 3, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Jalal Afhim

When a team works well together in a business,wonderful things can happen. However, all too often that is not the case. There are so many things that can go wrong. Learn about what it takes to make a great team here!

Who? This class is for Upper-Intermediate members. Most of us work in a team of some kind. You may have experienced the difficulty of poor teamwork, and seen how it impacts results. You may also have been in a team that works well together, and seen how this has positive effects in many different places. If you want to learn about the current thinking of how teams interact, this lesson is for you.

What? We will look at Patrick Lencionis theory of the 5 dysfunctions of a team, and learn the language that allows us to discuss these team dynamics. We will examine what factors managers and team members need to be aware of, and how they affect the effectiveness of a team. Book Now»

Working Lunch

Start:
July 3, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 3, 2011 12:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn the language you need when you go for dinner with colleagues and customers – whether you’re the host or the guest.

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. We all need to eat – and living in China we have access to some of the world’s tastiest and most delicious foods! But are you comfortable describing dishes to foreign customers? How about finding out about a colleague’s preferences in terms of taste and flavour? What about asking whether a client has any special dietary requirements such as allergies, religious beliefs, and other things they may want to avoid? If you love food – and know how important it is to make a good impression when entertaining colleagues and clients – then make sure you come to this class. We’ll make sure you’ll leave class ready for lunch!

What? In this class we’ll start off by looking at our own attitudes to a working lunch, and how we can recommend restaurants which might be suitable for other people. Next, we’ll learn how to describe a selection of foods, and some common things a host or guest should say during a meal. Finally, we’ll create a menu of our favourite dishes – and some things we know people would love to avoid – and practise recommending and suggesting dishes in a realistic setting. Book Now»

We Need To Invest In Education!

Start:
July 2, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
July 2, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn to talk about different education systems and the best ways to improve it.

Who? This Class is for Intermediate members. The most important responsibility of educators is to prepare students for a job. Do you agree? It should be the educator’s job to provide students with the skills they need to be successful at work? What’s your opinion? To what extent do you think that the most important role for an educator is to help build students confidence and make sure they are ready to live a happy life? If you want to talk about different education systems then make sure you book this class.

What? In this lesson we will look at the pros and cons of the Chinese education system and compare it with the west.  We will also work together and discuss different ways we can improve the standard of education and talk about what the repercussions would be. Book Now»

Your Number’s Up

Start:
July 2, 2011 10:00 am
End:
July 2, 2011 12:00 pm
Teacher: Sean Dickinson

Learn to talk about different types of numbers, measurements and statistics.

Who? This class is for Pre-Intermediate members. Everybody has to deal with numbers every day of their lives, but many people just don’t know how to clearly talk about them in English. This can cause big problems because we all need to read phone numbers, find out prices, and describe different types of numbers. If you need to practise speaking about numbers before you make a very expensive mistake, then this is the class for you!

What? In this lesson, we will start by practising giving simple numbers such as telephone numbers, basic figures and measurements. At the same time, we’ll ask our classmates to repeat them and double check them in a polite and professional way. Next, we’ll move on to more difficult but very common figures. Finally, we’ll create a test for others to see how much they remember! Book Now»

Always Coca Cola

Start:
June 26, 2011 1:00 pm
End:
June 26, 2011 3:00 pm
School: Jingan
Teacher: Selina Fu

Learn the language you need about advertising and to make sure you don’t get ripped off next time you go shopping!

Who? This class is for Intermediate members. Some people think that advertising provides a valuable service by informing consumers about products. Would you agree? On the other hand some people feel that advertising has a negative effect on society by encouraging people to buy things that don’t really need. What do you think? People say that advertising is a great way to raise prices. Is this true? If you want to be able to give your opinions and discuss the finer points of advertising then make sure you come to this lesson.

What? In this lesson we will focus on discussing what makes an effective advertisement by reviewing a selection of pictures, slogans and endorsements. We will also look at the methodology of how advertising campaigns are implemented, for example using huge billboards and direct marketing – and analyze the different types of language these methods use to get their messages across. Finally we will use this opportunity to learn how to sell a product in terms of their it’s features and its unique selling points. Book Now»

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