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Google - innovation, disruption and still making the world a better place

In just 12 years two people have revolutionised the world and how we search for information. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University as students where they started to develope a search engine, the original name was ‘BackRub’, but in September,1998 they incorporated Google, a name that has now crept into the English language. Why Google? Well, apparently it originated from a misspelling of the word "googol" the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. So, what is Google? The company’s stated aims are "to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" and most people wouldn’t disagree with this. Read More →

IELTS celebrates 20 years

In November, 2009 IELTS celebrated its 20th anniversary worldwide. Since IELTS’ start in 1989 over six million candidates have taken the test, and it is now one of the most trusted and recognised language tests in the world. More than 6,000 educational institutions, government agencies and professional organisations recognize IELTS scores as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true to life ability to communicate in English. In 2008, 1,200,000 tests were held in nearly 500 test centers in 126 countries. That’s one test every 30 seconds somewhere in the world. In China, the total number of candidates exceeded 260,000. Read More →

Looking back at 2009

Well 2010 is here, so it’s an opportunity for iPass to look back at 2009 and consider what kind of year it was. Was it the best of years or the worst of years? Will it be remembered or forgotten? Judge for yourself. Have a look at iPass’s choice of memorable events and people for 2009 that made up the year. From Barack Obama to Susan Boyle, the global economic recession to Swine flu - what’s your choice? Let us know. Read More →

Choices – The Beatles: we love you, yeah, yeah, yeah?

So, it’s a bit more than twenty years ago that Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play. Which band? The Beatles of course! On an auspicious day to many – 09/09/09 – the entire Beatles catalogue of records was reissued; remastered and digitalised. Does this really matter to you if you are a teenager or in your early twenties today? Read More →

New Blog Competition! Win €50!

Our new Autumn competition is all about your favourite quotations. If you have a particular quote, famous or otherwise, that you like to remember or recite, then please share it with us. My own personal favourite comes from the C19th English playwright, Oscar Wilde, who wrote in Lady Windermere's Fan, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." We are looking for the most witty and wise quotation, which can be in any language, but please note that an English translation must be supplied in order to be eligible for the competition. The iPass Team will judge all the entries after the closing date - 30th November 2009 - and the winner will receive €50! Runners up will receive a copy of the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations and an iPass Key membership. Read More →

A meatier read this summer!

My choice of holiday novels this summer was a far cry from the standard light-hearted page-turners that would usually satisfy my leisurely reading by the pool. In fact, the two books I chose for my recent camping trip to the Pyrenees, both sharing themes of wartime despair, human tragedy and unmentionable cruelty, could not have been more different. However, with just enough measure of comedy, hope and human spirit combined with an equal dose of masterful storytelling I found these novels to be utterly mesmerizing and completely unputdownable! Read More →

Choices – to be or not to be, that is the question

For any actor there is probably only one part to aspire to in their theatrical career. To play Hamlet can define you as an actor and ensure your legacy is forever talked and written about for generations to come. Of course, it helps if you are famous to start with! Recently I saw Jude Law on stage in London in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy and was impressed. Read More →

Choices – a moving experience?

‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ so said Dr Johnson, the creator of the first English Dictionary in the 18th century. I’ve been thinking about his observation quite a lot recently. Why? I recently bought a house in the country. So, I’m leaving the dirt and the grime behind me and trading it in for some clean living and a rural idyll. Read More →

Choices - Little food for thought

For most families with young children its reasonably simple to feed them; nothing too complicated or sophisticated. Children have to be introduced to food or it’s far too easy for them to say ‘I don’t like that’ without even tasting it. Often our childhood prejudices we carry with us long into adulthood – mine is asparagus! So, what shall we feed the children? Well, for many it seems a diet of junk food is the answer. Read More →

Choices – Barack: could he have done better?

Recently it was Barack Obama’s 100th day in office. Certainly a milestone for him, and also for us. We all waited for him to be elected and then to see what kind of President he would be. What's the verdict? Could he have done better? Read More →

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My story with the IELTS began three years ago. I needed an overall band of 7 with no sub score below 7 in order to proceed with my future plans. I had the IELTS 9 times and on every attempt I got the same disappointing score of 6.

In all the tests I had, I was able to only achieve 5.5 in writing and 6 in the speaking. However, after I started a regular speaking and writing courses with Nigel and Jenny, my oldest dream has been fulfilled. I liked the speaking tests conducted with Nigel and Jenny as they were simulating the real speaking interviews. In addition, the immediate feedback has greatly helped me to avoid my mistakes in the future tests.

The correction of my essays was really accurate and concise, with only 10 essays with Jenny and Nigel, my writing skills have been refined and developed. Eventually, no more IELTS tests after this moment. I was able to attain the following score: Listening: 8, Reading: 7.5, Writing: 7.5, Speaking: 7, Overall score: 7.5

Again thank you Jenny and Nigel.

- Hashem, Jordan

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