Newsletter January 2013

North Wales Schools’ Games

After the successful experience of July 2012, North Wales Schools' Games will come back .... and they will take place during the week 7th-14th July 2013!

Inspired by London 2012 Olympic Games, Conlan School promotes North Wales Schools' Games, in partnership with Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan.

North Wales Schools' Games represents a unique opportunity to bring sport education and language learning together and create an inspirational event for international students which will encourage more young people to take part in sport and develop language skills.

North Wales Schools' Games include the sports of rounders (typical British game), basketball/dodgeball, football, tag rugby and mini marathon plus an excellent variety of lessons and activities which enable reciprocal knowledge and cultural exchanges.

Please, find more information on and ... get involved!

Please express your interest and fill in the “Get involved! form” as soon as possible.
A deposit of 10% should be sent before 15th March 2013 and the outstanding paid before 1st June 2013.

Residential programmes @ University of Chester - Summer 2013

Conlan organizes high quality language courses at the University of Chester Campus.

Conlan guarantees didactic reliability while paying strong attention to the residential and logistic factors involved.

Groups of students would benefit from this solutions where Conlan would also run every day lessons and the wide choice of activities offered with our experienced staff and guides.
Click here for more information about Residential programmes


Julia Cockroft – the new Centre Manager for Conlan School Chester
Conlan School is very pleased to announce that Julia has taken over the reins of Conlan’s centre in Chester. Julia has a lot of experience in EFL, both teaching and managing, and after many years living in Italy, we are very happy that she has decided to return to the UK to take up this position.

New Year in Cheshire – the First Footer

Bringing in the New Year is an age-old tradition. In Cheshire it was often the responsibility of a visitor. This visitor arrived through the front door carrying a piece of coal, some bread, some money and some greenery. These were all for good luck - the coal to make sure that the house would always be warm, the bread to make sure everyone in the house would have enough food to eat, money so that they would have enough money, and the greenery to make sure that they had a long life.
The visitor would then take a pan of dust or ashes out of the back door of the house, thus signifying the departure of the old year.

Welsh New Year

Blwyddyn newydd dda (or Happy New Year in Welsh)
The Welsh tradition of giving gifts and money on New Year's Day (Calennig) is an ancient custom that survives in modern-day Wales, though nowadays it is now customary to give bread and cheese.
The custom of the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is unique to Wales. What happened on or around New Year's Eve was that a group of friends would dress up in costume with the star attraction being a real horse's head. What distinguishes the Mari Lwyd celebrations from other types of New Year merriment is that the revellers challenge house-holders to a singing contest in Welsh. In a nutshell the Mari Lwyd tradition is a great singing experience with animal head costumes and fun forfeits.

The London Underground

The London Underground rapid transit system is not only the world’s oldest underground rail network, it was also the largest for many years and has still only been surpassed in terms of total length by Beijing and Shanghai. It has 400 kilometres of rail and 270 stations, and carries almost four million passengers per day.
The first line opened on 10th January 1863, so is this month celebrating its 150th anniversary! Happy Birthday to The Tube!

Focus on:
Mrs Linda Tavernor
Abergele Youth Action (AYA)

Since 2001 Linda has been running Abergele Youth Action in the same building, Hesketh House, as Conlan’s centre in Abergele. It is a registered charity committed to raising money by hiring facilities and selling coffee and cakes in order to offer community services. So, on the ground floor of Hesketh House you’ll find Linda in charge of AYA’s project called Itaca… (Information Technology And Coffee And…), designed to help local people, young and old alike, improve their Information Technology skills to increase their chances in the job market. Linda is also committed to making it a community hub where people can meet, chat, and gain support and direction.
Linda is also Chair of Governors for the local High School, Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, and in her spare time enjoys walking her dogs, baking the cakes sold in the café and keeping fit by swimming.

Phrase of the Month: To badger to death

Harass or persecute.
The phrase 'badger to death' alludes to the nocturnal burrowing mammal Meles meles, that is, the badger. At first sight it would seem intuitive that the expression refers to the fate of badgers in badger-baiting, a so-called sport in which badgers were made to fight against dogs and the protagonists tore each other apart. However, those fights weren't as one-sided as we may now suppose. Badgers were chosen for this entertainment as they are extremely tenacious when cornered and have the ability to bite their prey until their teeth meet. This fact has led to the alternative view that 'badgering to death' originally referred to the fate of the dogs and meant 'killed by a badger'.
'Badgering' has been used as a verb to denote persecution for some time. In the 1785 edition of A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue it was described as:
Badger, to confound, perplex, or teaze.
The first record of 'badgered to death' in print doesn't refer directly to badgers, nor to fighting dogs, but is a metaphorical reference to theatrical performers:
It is always worth a manager's while to engage a performer for three years. The first he is a drudge; the second he is a servant of all work; the third badgered to death, and at length dismissed.
Badger baiting was made illegal in the UK in 1835 and instances of it are now rare, but it still does go on and prosecutions are occasionally brought. Despite that decline, the phrase has been given a new lease of life in recent years. Many UK dairy farmers claim that badgers, which are carriers of Bovine TB, are responsible for spreading the disease and killing their cattle. Of course, tabloid newspapers usually report TB outbreaks with the headline 'cows are badgered to death'.