A Thought from Odile

Jameson Distillery 2012

I frequently hear our past clients saying how much their stay in Ireland and ACET has changed their life.

Attending a course in ACET is much more than improving your English – it is an experience!

The Experience of living in a different country.

The Experience of having to speak English all the time.

The Experience of discovering and learning about Irish culture, as well as the experience of discovering people and cultures from all over the world. People with interesting backgrounds, interesting jobs, even some with jobs you have never heard of.

English is not all you learn when you come to ACET!

Perhaps if we all get to know more about each other, and each others’ culture, we would have fewer issues in today’s world.

I would love to hear from past clients about your experience in ACET and Cork.


At ACET the Present is Perfect!

The Present Perfect, although it is easy to form, can be the most difficult for students to know when to use. 


Is it a past or a present tense?  Take a look at the construction have/has + past participle.  Have/has refers to the present. We use the Present Perfect when we look at when something happened and how it relates to time.

ImageAsk a native speaker and they would find it difficult to explain the difference between I ate my lunch and I have eaten my lunch. When we speak we make almost instantaneous decisions about which tense to use.

ACET Approach to teaching the Present Perfect: 

The key to using the Present Perfect is to ask this question: What do I want to focus on – the past or the present? Use the Present Perfect when the focus is the connection between the past and the present. I have broken my leg (it is in a plaster). I have eaten my lunch (I am not hungry).

Watch our for signal words like: since, already, just, yet and for – use Present Perfect

If the time expression is connected to unfinished time (today, this week, this year etc) – use Present PerfectImage

Been or Gone – Often causes problems Has/have gone to is used when somebody has gone there and hasn’t returned e.g. Where is Sarah? She has gone to the post office.

Has been to is used when somebody has visited a place at some time in their lives. e.g. I have been to London, but I’ve never been to Rome.

Present Perfect Joke 

A waitress brought me a bowl of strange-looking soup. I asked, “What is this?” “It’s bean soup,” she replied. “I don’t care what it has been,” I replied, “What is it now?”Image

Test Yourself




Ask me your Present Perfect questions!



An ACET Fan – Berta


26/06/2010 I can’t forget this date

My name is Berta I’m a Spanish student, 3 years ago I decided to travel abroad to improve my English.

I chose Cork I don’t know why but since my first day I felt attracted by Ireland.

The first day in the school is so strange, you’re nervous, you don’t know anyone and everything is new but at the end of the morning you feel as if you are at home.

I can remember my first Monday as a great day, after the lessons I went with my classmates for lunch and since then we met every evening to go to the pub. It is amazing the amount of people you can meet there.

After 3 years I’m still in touch with them. It is so easy now a days by Facebook.

I stayed in Cork for only three weeks, it was a pity, but while I was on the coach my mind was saying, it is not good bye, it is see you soon.


My second summer in Cork had just begun.

After the experience of two years ago it was easier, I was like a veteran.

It was amazing this summer, I was two years older than my first time and everything looks different.

I travelled a lot all around this wonderful island full the magical landscapes.

I’ve met so many people it was amazing, some of them are really good friends.

One of those friends is a Japanese boy, who after being in Cork went to Spain to do “Camino de Santiago” a famous Spanish walking route. I met him in Burgos, it was so exciting. Can you imagine meeting a Japanese boy in Cork who few months later goes to your country and visits you? It’s incredible!


You are going to think that I’m weird, but I’m not, I’m only in love with Cork and Ireland.

This time I’m also in ACET but I’m not studying. I applied for an administrative internship and they chose me.

Trust me that this time is better than the other two, it is different because it is winter and it is not full of students which sometimes is better because everything is more quiet.

Guess what? I met last week my Japanese friend again in Cork before going back to Japan!

I love meeting people from all over the world, learning about their cultures, trying their food…coming here brings you that.

See you in Cork guys!

Berta Ruiz de Miguel 🙂

If you have any questions, just ask me here!

ACET’s Top Tips for Better Spelling

Good afternoon! My name is Laura, I am the Director of Studies at ACET and I will be discussing various English topics. It would be great to hear from you with any questions, comments or suggestions!

Don’t be embarassed embarrassed by your spelling


Let’s take a few minutes to think about ways to deal with the challenges of English spelling.

Here at ACET, we were discussing tips to help with spelling issues. One teacher remembered being at school and having difficulty with the word address (one d or two? one s or two?). Her teacher told her ‘you must remember to add the proper address for your letter to arrive safe and sound’.  This tip really helped her to remember the correct spelling.

More recently my own daughter had problems with the word tomorrow.  To help her I told her ‘you must really remember’.

ACET teachers give clients tips to help with spelling more difficult words, such as:

  • sincerely – since I rely on honesty
  • separate – it’s dangerous to be separated from your parachute
  • succeed – with 2 ‘c’s and 2 ‘e’s you will succeed


Spelling difficulties are caused by these main problems:

  • consonant doubling  –  no reliable rule for deciding whether or not to double a consonant in words with similar sounds : e.g. habit, rabbit; metal, kettle.
  • unpredictable spellings for the  EE-sound (deep,  leap, peoplehereweird,); the long O sound (stroll, bowl, toe, though) and the OO sounds (do, food, flew, blue, through)

Can you think of other tricky spellings?

The Key to Success in Spelling with ACET:

  • It is important to remember that the spelling of a word is not an accurate guide to how it is pronounced.
  • Don’t rely on spell check on your computer.
  • Use a good monolingual dictionary
  • Use memory devices e.g. to spell stationery – think of envelopes
  • Keep a record of words you regularly misspell
  • Take care of homonyms (they’re, their and there)

Have you got any good spelling tips?  How about some memory devices that have helped you?

Online Spelling

Some people argue that accurate spelling is not so important today.

Do you agree? We would be very interested in your comments and ideas!