FAQs 1: More about Linguetic's Wild English summer school
Is Summer School mainly for scientists?
No, Summer School is for everybody. We use "citizen science" projects to teach English. However marine biologists and other scientists are very welcome, and we can include lessons specifically for them. For example, speaking and writing using scientific vocabulary. That includes writing articles for scientific journals. Articles proof-read by Nicholas have appeared in half a dozen peer-reviewed international journals.
Can my children come too?
Your children are very welcome to accompany you to Summer School, but (for now) they can't come unaccompanied until they're 18.
If they want to study English with us, the tuition fee is the same for everybody.
How many lessons are there per week?
There are lessons every day from Monday to Friday:
• 2 hours per day of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
• 3 hours per day of English communication using practical skills and citizen science.
How big are the classes?
The maximum student-teacher ratio is 8 students to 1 teacher.
Where do Summer School students stay?
We recommend that you stay with a host family, because we think it's best for your English. You will have your own bedroom(s), and you will have breakfast and your evening meal as part of the host family. We can find you a host family.
Other alternatives include staying in a hotel, or in a B&B (bed and breakfast), or in self-catering accommodation. If you prefer to make independent arrangements, we can give you a list of local contacts.
Do people in Scotland speak standard English?
The short answer is "yes".
That's why I chose it for Linguetic's summer school. I'm not from Scotland. People on the west coast of Scotland have a mild, attractive accent.
You want to ask me about Glasgow and Gaelic? OK! There are many parts of the east and south of Scotland where people speak dialects that are famous for being hard to understand, especially Glasgow ("Glesca"). However, we're in the west, where the accent is fine. Scottish Gaelic is a completely separate language. However, only 1% of Scots prefer to speak Gaelic (source: Census Scotland 2011). There are more people in Scotland who prefer to speak Hindi or Polish. In parts of the Outer Hebrides more than 50% of the population prefers to speak Gaelic, but everybody can speak standard English too.
You've probably already heard a lot of Scottish accents, because there are plenty of them in Hollywood, including those of Ewan McGregor (The Island), Gerard Butler (Beowulf and Grendel), James McAvoy (X-Men) and, of course, Sean Connery (who was the star of seven James Bond films between 1962 and 1983). Oh yes, and Shrek, too.
†Many host families in London and south-east England have a very strong regional accent in which "South London" becomes "Saaf Lundin".
How do we do marine research?
We work mainly in the "intertidal zone" at low tide, on foot.
However, everybody on the west coast of Scotland has at least one boat. Nicholas has a personal fleet of everything from 2 metre kayaks to a 9 metre gig. He spends a lot of time on the water, and you are welcome to join him for photography or just for fun.
Summer School: Is it very physical?
Our "field days" (days on the beach, days by rivers) are not very physical, but participants should be able to walk 4 kilometres, including some rough and steep ground.
Summer School: Do I need any special equipment?
If you want to spend the whole time in shirt, shorts and Teva sandals, that's fine! However, this is what we recommend for total comfort in all weather conditions.
(1) A waterproof coat/jacket. Personally, I prefer either "waxed cotton" jackets, or cheap breathable jackets from Regatta and Trespass. Gore-Tex jackets are nice, but if you wear Gore-Tex you can't really relax about barnacles and beach barbecues.
(2) A 35-litre rucksack for your sandwiches, drink, notebook, jacket and sunscreen. A cheap urban rucksack is often better than a technical mountaineering one. Technical rucksacks are strong but they're quite heavy.
(3) Waterproof boots - see below.
Summer School: What shoes or boots do you recommend?
Leather boots and shoes don't like salt water. This is what we recommend:
(1) Hiking shoes for dry days. Lightweight shoes from Salomon, Scarpa, Regatta, Trespass, The North Face, Merrell, Hi-Tec, etc. Hi-Tec's hiking shoes are very good and often half the price of the others.
(2) Wellington boots for wet days. We strongly recommend tall, high-quality rubber boots that are really comfortable for walking. Ideally that means expensive boots made of vulcanised natural rubber, not cheap boots made of polyurethane or PVC (vinyl). Natural rubber boots are made by Aigle, Le Chameau, Barbour, Muckboot, Nokian, Hunter, etc. They will cost 75-100 euros, but they are durable (hmm... we're not so sure about Hunter). You don't need "iso" boots with thermal insulation.
Travel to Summer School: How do I get there?
Courses start and finish on a Saturday. You arrange your travel to Glasgow International Airport, and we take you from there to the Summer School.
You can fly direct to Glasgow Airport (GLA, sometimes called Glasgow International Airport) from many European airports, plus Antalya and Dubai.
Alternatively, you can fly via one of the London airports. There are more than 200 domestic flights from London to Glasgow per week.
Linguetic provides a minibus taxi to take you from Glasgow Airport to the Summer School. It will collect you from the airport on a Saturday afternoon, and take you back to the airport on a Saturday morning. It takes about 3 hours, depending on ferries. It's a magnificent journey. Lochs, sea, mountains, eagles...
NOTE: If you prefer to travel to Glasgow by train, there's a train from London to Glasgow every 40 minutes. To go to the airport, get off the train at Paisley Gilmour Street railway station (PA1 1BS). This is 2.3 kilometres from the airport (PA3 2SW) and you can take a taxi or a McGill's number 757 bus. Alternatively, get off the train at Glasgow Central train station (G1 3SL) and take the airport shuttle bus. This is called the Glasgow Airport Express (First Group number 500). The easiest place to catch the bus is at the Buchanan Street bus station.