Entries by admin

The Best Restaurant in the World

As Performance in English heads north to Yorkshire and to facilities being hired at the impressive Hawkhills conference centre, and close to the beautiful historic cities of York, Ripon, and the world-famous Spa town of Harrogate, our thoughts turn to food and the great culinary traditions – so little appreciated outside these small islands – of […]

Manage your words well

Using English well in an international context is as important for native speakers of the language as it is for non-native students and other international users of English. Whether this is because English happens to be the lingua franca of the organisation, company, corporation or community, or because those involved in any meeting have chosen […]

U or non-U

English as spoken in Britain is a confusing thing at times. U and non-U English usage (the “U” standing for “upper class”, and “non-U” representing the aspiring middle classes) was a curious debate that began in the 1950s. During this debate, it was shown that the upper classes in Britain tended at times to use words that […]

Let’s get physical

The environment matters The environment matters It’s important to get a sense of real involvement and hands-on connection in what we do. People begin by accessing the questions of time and space relating to when they do things and where they do them. At PIE we use many techniques, some of them borrowed from voice training and […]

Accents and register

How to be a Brit The Hungarian journalist and BBC reporter, George (György) Mikes – pronounced / ɱ ‘i: ke ʃ  / – commented wryly in his book “How To Be An Alien” (1946), a classic of “British humour”, when – as a foreigner in England – he realised the importance of having a “suitable” […]

Walk the talk

“You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk?” Introducing “embodied language skills“ As far back as we can trace, notions of proper conduct have been shaped by individuals, rather than by committees. Their starting point has been behaviour – often at mealtimes or during the public “stroll” – which has been seen […]

You never listen!

“You never listen!” How often a frustrated teenager might say that, and, in business too, how often people might be thinking this, but they do not say it – and barriers are building up, unseen? How do we “get” people to listen? Are we “really listening“?   A child might have listened a hundred times to […]