Language Cafes, Clubs, and Resources

While the EFL Chat Club is the most obvious place to come and practice your new and blossoming English skills in a friendly environment, Glasgow has many welcoming places for you to try out your new conversational skills. Below is a brief list of places and clubs you can try if you fancy working on your communication skills outside of the common room!

The GUU hosts a friendly meet-up every Friday for the International Society (iSoc). The event takes place in the GUU Reading Room from 15:00 – 18:00 and provides free tea, coffee and biscuits (obviously inferior to those provided by EFL but still delicious). The event is for all international students at the university – not just Postgraduates so offers the opportunity to engage with people of all ages and cultures. The Language Cafe Team usually organises different activities, games and quizzes based on the different nationalities present so is a fun and informal place to make friends and work on your skills. In general iSoc is a great society to join as they organise weekly events and trips across Scotland.

The SRC hosts the Conversational English Project where students can meet for a 1-on-1 meeting with a volunteer tutor for an hour every week . These tutors are students at the University themselves and do not hold the same qualifications as your EFL tutors – they are here to help you with your confidence and enthusiasm while learning your new language! If you’d like to apply for a tutor just click the image below which will take you to the information page:

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The Language Hub Glasgow also provides the opportunity to meet with local people and other international students to practice your communication skills and work on that confidence! Lots of people from across Glasgow come here to learn new languages and work on their skills – perhaps you can help a new student learn your language!?

If daytime slots don’t work for your schedule then never fear, the Language Within project hosts a social English workshop from 20:00 – 21:30 every Tuesday and is run by CELTA qualified tutors.

The Glasgow Women’s Library also offers English language classes of 2 different levels – beginners classes are on Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 12pm and the Pre-intermediate at the same time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Women’s Library is a fantastic place which seeks to support and encourage education with Women in the local community and in addition to language classes offers general support and advice.

The Tron Church in the City Centre offers free English classes from 7pm – 9pm every Monday and is organised by a group of church patrons and qualified teachers. The Church also welcomes students to attend their weekly bible study for those of you wanting to practice your skills or even just learn more about Christianity. The Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church also offers English language classes offering you the chance to learn English through the Bible (if that’s up your alley) meetings are again on Monday nights 7:30 pm – 9pm.

The final resource for your blossoming English language skills is mylanguageexchange.com this database and online forum allows you to meet with other EFL students in the area for face-to-face chats or work on your written conversational skills through penpals and text chat. You can even sign up to teach other students your own mother tongue!

If you know of any other resources, cafes or clubs, please do let us know so we can tell all of our other bright and vibrant students!

Alex

Glaswegian for Beginners

Now that you have been in Glasgow for a while, you may be getting used to our local dialect. Sometimes tourists may get frustrated and say ‘they don’t speak English in Glasgow!’ And they’re right – we don’t! Glaswegian is a unique, rich, often very funny dialect which has been used for a long time and continues to develop with new words and phrases. So, if you’re confused by people saying ‘how’ when they mean ‘why,’ or you’re not entirely sure what a ‘brass neck’ is, here is a short guide to some of our local slang. It’s probably not a good idea to use any of the following words or expressions in your IELTS tests…

Now that you have been in Glasgow for a while, you might be getting used to our local dialect. Sometimes tourists may get frustrated and say ‘they don’t speak English in Glasgow!’ And they’re right – we don’t! Glaswegian is a unique, rich, often very funny dialect which has been used for a long time and continues to develop with new words and phrases. So, if you’re confused by people saying ‘how’ when they mean ‘why,’ or you’re not entirely sure what a ‘windae’ is, here is a short guide to some of our local slang. It’s probably not a good idea to use any of the following words or expressions in your IELTS tests…

A

Aboot: About

Lots of ‘ou’ or ‘ow’ sounds are pronounced as ‘oo’ in Glaswegian, such as ‘noo’ (now) and ‘oor’ (our or hour).

oot

Public transport in Scotland

Ah’m ur: I am or Ah’m urny: I am not

These strange-looking phrases translate literally as ‘I am are’ and ‘I am are not.’ Nobody is quite sure where they originated from!

Aw: all

Awfy: awfully or very

Nothing to do with anything being awful, ‘awfy’ is used for emphasis in the same way as ‘very’ e.g. ‘These sweeties are awfy good!’

Awrite: alright

Often used as a greeting, instead of ‘hello.’

Aye (pronounced like ‘eye’): Yes

Aye right: I don’t believe you (similar to the English ‘yeah, right.’)

B

Baltic: very cold

This refers to the Baltic region (which is known for its cold temperatures!). As you can imagine, this word is used regularly to describe Glasgow’s weather.

The West End on a Baltic day.

Big man: this can be used to address male friends in general, but often someone who is taller or older than you.

For example: “Awrite big man?”

Bilin’ (pronounced ‘bylin’): boiling or very hot

For example, ‘bilin’ is often used to describe hot weather (yes, we do occasionally have hot weather in Glasgow!).

Bold yin: someone who is, unsurprisingly, bold or a bit cheeky

Brass neck: to have a brass neck means to be bold or cheeky.

For example: ‘See that pre-sessional student who said he was going to bake a cake for me instead of submitting his essay – he’s got a brass neck!’

Braw: very good

For example, ‘this university is braw!’

C

Clatty: dirty or messy

For example, ‘It’s awfy rainy oot there, my shoes are aw clatty!’

Clatty boots!

Cannae: cannot

Couldnae: could not

D

Da: father (or ‘faither’ if you want to be more formal)

Dear old Da…

Daftie: a silly person. This is usually used quite affectionately, not with genuine scorn or anger.

Dae: do

For example, ‘I tried to climb Scotland’s highest mountain at the weekend, but I couldnae dae it!’

Didnae: did not

Doesnae: does not

Dreich: used to describe rainy, cold weather

For example: ‘It’s an awfy dreich day!’

E

Efter: after

This can be applied to any term which includes the word ‘after.’ So you have ‘efternoon’ and ‘efterwards,’ for example.

Emdy: anybody

F

Fitba (pronounced ‘fitbaw’): football

fitba

Fitba: Scotland’s national passion!

G

Gallus: used to describe a person who is confident and/or cheeky.

Gallus pub on Dumbarton Road

Giein’ it laldy: being very enthusiastic

For example: ‘I went to a ceilidh (Scottish dance party) with the pre-sessional students and they were giein’ it laldy!’

Gies peace: Please be quiet or leave me alone (literally, give us peace)

Glesga: Glasgow

Gonnae no dae that: Please don’t do that

H

Heid (pronounced ‘heed’): head

If you have children who attend school in Glasgow, the headmaster or headmistress may be referred to as ‘the heidie’ (pronounced ‘heedie’). This pronunciation is also used for words like bread (‘breid’) and dead (‘deid’).

How to draw a heid…

How no? : why not?

Nobody is very sure how we Glaswegians came to say ‘how’ instead of ‘why’ sometimes. ‘No’ is used as a shortened version of ‘not’ e.g. ‘he’s no very happy!’

Here you! : I want to get your attention!

I

Intae: into

Isnae: isn’t

J

Jeely: Jam (literally, ‘jelly’

For example, ‘I’m so hungry, I’d love a wee jeely piece right now!’

A jeely piece

L

Lassie: girl

M

Maw: Mother (or ‘mither’ if you want to be more formal)

Your maw’s cooking is always the best!

N

Nae borra: it’s no trouble (literally, no bother)

Naw: No

O

Oot: out

P

Piece: sandwich

Usually used as ‘piece and…’, for example: ‘I love a wee piece and cheese!’

Pure: used for emphasis, like ‘very.’

For example: ‘That was pure funny!’ ‘Pure dead brilliant’ is a phrase which is sometimes used to describe something which is very good. Glasgow Prestwick Airport formerly used it as their slogan!

R

Rerr: special (literally, ‘rare’)

For example: that pie was a rerr treat!

A rerr treat!

Riddy: Embarrassing situation. This derives from the word ‘rid,’ meaning ‘red,’ as your face goes red when something embarrassing happens!

For example: I just tried to pay for my coffee with chocolate coins – it was a pure riddy!

S

Scunnered: annoyed or fed up with something or someone.

Swally: a drink.

This noun can be used in two ways: ‘gies a swally’ means ‘may I have a sip of your drink?’ whereas ‘swally’ can also refer to the drink itself, usually alcohol. Someone who is drunk can be described as ‘swallied.’

Swatch: to have a swatch of something is to take a look at it. For example, ‘gies a swatch o’ your holiday photos!’

Stoater: something which is very good

T

Tae: to

The day: today

We also say ‘the now,’ when we just mean ‘now.’

Toon, the: Glasgow City Centre (literally, ‘the town’)

Very few Glaswegians refer to the City Centre – most will say ‘let’s go intae the toon!’

Shopping in the toon

W

Wee: small

Perhaps the most widely used word in Scotland. We use it all the time!

Wee Shetland ponies!

Wee man: used to address a male who is significantly younger than you, like a younger brother or cousin. Some people, such as Jenny’s mother, address almost everyone as ‘wee man,’ regardless of age or gender. This is quite strange.

Weegie: a Glaswegian

Wumman: woman

Y

Ya dancer: this is an expression of joy, to be used if something good happens.

For example: ‘I got all 6.5s in my IELTS test – ya dancer!’

Ya dancer!!