Task 4-making a decision with your partner

Imagine that you will soon become a student of university of Edinburgh, and you want to live with your partner together. There will be comfortable accommodations provided by the university and also, you can choose to rent a flat. Discuss with your partner on YY voice and then write a short article to justify your choices on your blogs.

Please visit this site to browse the varieties of accommodation provided by the university:


Keep in mind that factors such as the location, facilities, room size and the payment should be considered.




Day 3 task- creating your own video

In this task, you need to record your own videos to introduce the current place where you are living in using the video camera capabilities of your mobile phone.  In your vedios, the description about neighbours, the indoor facilities, location and the convenience of transportation is needed. Also, you need to explain the reason why you decide to live there.

Remember to upload your videos to your blogs and make comments on each others’ works. Try not be shy and behave yourselves!

Day 2 task A-meaningful communication (not finished)

Look at the Useful words below and compare these words to your own words list.

deposit          flat         residence hall       laundry       facility      studio

tenant           tribune         the ground floor        contract      twin room

agent           security deposit       single-ensuite  room          couple room


One proposed conversation

Mark: Hi, are you the House Agent? I saw the vacancy sign outside and I’m looking for an flat.

Agent:  Yes, I am. We have one unit available right now. When are you looking forward to move in ?

Mark: I’d like to move in the first of the month.

Agent: OK, please follow me and let my show you the unit. Each unit gets one parking space in the garage, and there are laundry facilities on the ground floor. The landlord pays for the gas, but the tenant pays for all other utilities. Here’s the unit.

Mark: This is nice. Is this a furnished unit?

Agent: It can be furnished or unfurnished, your choice. Since it’s an end unit, there’s only one common wall.

Mark: This flat is exactly what I am looking for. How much is the rent?

Agent: It’s 450 pounds a month and we require a 12-month lease. To move in, you will need to have the first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit.

Mark:  How much is the security deposit?

Agent: It’s 250 pounds.

Mark: OK, I’ll think it over and get back to you. Thank you very much for your time.

You can also practice the dialogue in this video

Please visit this site and download YY voice in your PC or download it on your mobile phones


The online classroom number on YY voice is XXXXX, please create an account and entered the classroom to practice dialog with a partner.




URL of your blogs

Dear learners

Please comment on this blog with your URL link, so that other students can browse and comment on your blog. Each students need to visit 3 blogs a day and have interactions with others. Remember that this activity will be assessed as  a part of your final grade. : )

Day 1 task B- Exploring the Information (videos)

Instructions: There will be many useful and interesting videos for you to watch  on this page! After finishing a number of reading articles and watching videos, you will need to summarise what you have learned about this topic in your own blog  (about 500-800 words). Please comment on the blog entitled “URL of learners’ blog” and attach your URL of your blog.

  1. This video introduces students’ accommodation in London


2.   Mansion Student Accommodation Overseas Students


3. International student accommodation at IQ Shoreditch, London | Kaplan International College London


Day 1 task A- Exploring the information (articles and websites)

Instructions: There are many BBC news, articles and websites that related to accommodation issues in UK universities listed on this page  for  you to get a wide range of information. You can choose the information that you are interested in . During the reading, you are suggested to mark the new words and expressions.

BBC news 1:

Durham ‘hollowed-out’ by rise in university students

Roger Cornwell, chairman of The City of Durham Trust
Image captionRoger Cornwell, chairman of The City of Durham Trust, said there was a “clash of lifestyles”

Durham City is being “ruined” and “hollowed-out” by a rise in student numbers and new accommodation, a conservation society has said.

The City of Durham Trust said both had increased “quite substantially” in recent years.

Accommodation blocks for about 4,000 students had been built since 2012, it added.

Durham County Council said it was “balancing the needs of a world-class university with those of residents”.

The number of students in the city has risen to 17,500 from 14,300 in 2003-4.

‘Student vibrancy’

Trust chairman Roger Cornwell said it felt the group was “swimming against the tide” and the city emptied when students left during the holidays.

“I think they’re being very optimistic about being able to let all the rooms and the risk is Durham will fill up with places with empty, or half empty, student halls,” he said.

The trust believes further private developments are unnecessary and is pressing the university to build more accommodation on college sites instead.

The university opposed plans for a new student block at The Gate shopping centre saying it was not needed.

Regeneration councillor Neil Foster said students brought “spending power” and “vibrancy” to the city.

“But I do appreciate for the local residents that this can disturb their lives so we’ve got to find a balance of managing those two competing needs,” he said.

Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-35995977

BBC news 2:

Universities ‘struggle with accommodation shortage’

Student room
Image captionUniversities are struggling to cope with the demand for rooms

Universities are struggling to find accommodation for record numbers of new students, according to union leaders.

As students arrive for the start of the new term, universities are having to find rooms for increasing numbers of first years.

Anglia Ruskin University has asked local residents to rent out rooms because of “unprecedented demand”.

Falmouth University College has had to put bunk beds into 200 of its bedrooms on campus.

“Moving away from home for the first time can be a difficult time for many students and an unsettled or unsuitable housing situation can add greatly to that stress,” said Ben Whittaker, National Union of Students (NUS) vice-president

Universities faced record numbers of applications this year – and some were given additional places to help relieve the pressure.

Bunk beds

But this has put pressure on accommodation – particularly for first years who are usually given rooms on campus or in halls of residence run by the university.

The NUS has reported shortages at universities including Anglia Ruskin, Sussex, Worcester and Falmouth.

Anglia Ruskin says it has been given an extra 540 places this term – and so far it has still to find accommodation for about 100 people.

“We are currently doing all we can to source additional accommodation both in Cambridge and the surrounding area,” a university spokeswoman said.

At Falmouth University College, bunk beds have been put into a third of the rooms on campus, so that it can provide places for all first years.

The students are being given a 40% discount and a spokeswoman said that the arrangement seemed popular.

The University of Sussex says that about 200 students are on a waiting list for university-managed accommodation.


“The university has several measures in place for helping these students,” said a spokeswoman.

“Many of them are staying with host families, those who live near the university are able to travel to campus until they are housed and we have also helped students find housing in the private sector.”

The University of Aberystwyth says an earlier accommodation shortage has now been resolved.

The NUS said: “Whilst we appreciate the pressures placed on universities at a time when funding is being cut and student numbers are rising, it is unacceptable for them not to ensure there is adequate housing for their students either in university halls or local private accommodation.”

Are you a student going to university? Have there been any accommodation shortages? Are you getting good value for money?

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11419179

BBC news 3:

University of Lincoln uses cabins for student accommodation

A temporary student village has been built at the University of Lincoln to house about 140 first year students.

Portable twin-cabin units have been set up at the Brayford Wharf campus.

The university accommodation team said it had experienced a higher than normal request for student housing, with many last minute requests.

In a statement it said they allocated accommodation on “a first come, first served basis according to when you applied”.

‘Bring the essentials’

In its advice to students the university said: “Please come to the university as planned on Sunday 18 September, but bear in mind that you may be in short-stay accommodation for the first few weeks.

“Just bring the essentials with you on Sunday such as bedding, toiletries, a few cooking utensils etc.”

The students’ union at the university said it sympathised with the position of students who have had difficulty in finding somewhere to live in Lincoln and would do all it could to support and represent their issues.

“At present all the halls accommodation in Lincoln are full but the university is working very hard to ensure that they can accommodate all students who need it on Sunday, albeit that some students will be in temporary accommodation.”

They also say that they “will actively work with the University and community to improve both access to, and quality of, accommodation for Lincoln students in future years”.

Michael Watts, from Nottingham, who will be arriving in Lincoln as a first-year-student and taking a place in the temporary accommodation said: “It’s not really what I expected. I expected to be in normal halls but I suppose the cabins will be OK.

“The fact they have done something about it is really good. I’m really pleased I have got accommodation now even if it is temporary.”

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-14945117

BBC news 4

Warwick students face accommodation shortage

More than 100 students at the University of Warwick have still not found accommodation, less than a week before term starts.

The students’ union said accommodation on campus was so oversubscribed some students had delayed coming for a year.

Welfare officer Leo Boe said some had been told they might have to temporarily live in hotel rooms.

University spokesman Peter Dunn said it was always hard to estimate how many students would need accommodation.

Universities across the country faced record numbers of applications this year – and some were given additional places to help relieve the pressure.

‘More money’

Students are trying to find accommodation before the new term starts on Monday.

Mr Boe said any students who did not find accommodation by 1 October could move into hotel rooms in Coventry until the end of the month at a cost of £100 a week – the price of rent in halls.

He added: “I’ve had parents ringing me up asking me how they get more money for their child.”

Mr Dunn said students were also being helped by being given free accommodation at the university so they could meet other people and search for house shares together.

Dr Dunn added it had been difficult because more undergraduates had been given places than expected.

He said: “Time and time again the kids out there simply excel and get better grades than even we would expect and we have more people coming here.”

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-11424886

BBC news 5

Half of London’s tenants ‘struggle to pay rent’

  • 7 April 2016
  • From the sectionLondon
Housing in central London

More than half of London’s private tenants are struggling to pay their rent, housing charity Shelter has said.

The research by Shelter and YouGov also found almost half of families have had to borrow money to cover the costs.

One in three tenants have fallen into debt in the last year in an effort to meet monthly payments, Shelter found.

Government figures show rents have risen by 19% in London in the last five years. The average rent for a two-bed flat is now more than £1,600 a month.

The average Londoner spends almost 60% of their income on rent.

Shelter says the next mayor of London should commit to using their powers to get London building 50,000 homes a year, prioritising new homes that are affordable for Londoners on low and average incomes.

‘Spiralling into debt’

The charity also wants to see five-year tenancies with rent rises limited to inflation rates.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said private renters “deserve better”.

“Tens of thousands of people are either being pushed out of the city, or are spiralling into debt just to be able to keep a roof over their heads – borrowing money from family or going into the red on credit cards,” he said.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said efforts are being made to improve the rental market.

The spokesman said: “Despite very limited powers, the mayor has led the way in driving efforts to improve the private rental market through the London Rental Standard, which is the first city-wide effort to co-ordinate and promote training and accreditation amongst landlords and letting agents.”

line break
Jay TurnerImage copyrightJay Turner
Image captionJay Turner says her rent has just increased to £1,600 a month

Private tenant Jay Turner is about to move out of the three-bedroom flat she shares with her three children in Mitcham, south London, because the landlord is selling up.

He recently increased the monthly rent from £1,350 to £1,600 because, he told her, “everyone else is, and I’d be stupid not to.”

Ms Turner was in the process of setting up her own business. She said she was not yet eligible to claim housing benefit again. She and the children will stay with her father.

She would like to see a rent cap, like one introduced in Berlin, pointing out money the government spends on housing benefit goes straight to private landlords.

“Housing benefit is capped but rent isn’t,” she said.


Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-35977445


 Here are some useful websites for students to find an appropriate place to live in UK:



The below information is provided by some  users of this websites

Student – Callum O’hare, 29/01/2014
Hi we wanted to thank you for a great site which found us the 5th person to share a house in Selly Oak Birmingham for our second year. We tried other sites but yours was the only site that we found any response from. So thank you very much. Callum and the boys .
Landlord – Emma Bowden, 17/01/2014
Just a quick note to congratulate and thank you on your great advertising service. Out of all of the student accommodation advertising websites this is the best. I like the fact that the owner/landlord receives an email and text with all of the students full details. May I say it works! and works well.We have filled all of houses for this year thanks to your website keep up the great work and I will be using you again come this time next year.
Letting Agent – Rob Hunter CEO The London Student Group, 14/05/2013
Just a quick email to say what an amazing start to the 2013 season we had! We have been completely overwhelmed with enquiries and our block viewings have attracted so much attention that on one occasion the police were called! We could not run our business without AFS, which is and has always been the most important part of our engagement strategy with students. The vast majority of our enquiries come from AFS, and we receive outstanding value for money from our advertising spend with you. As the UKLAP Landlord Of The Year For Student Housing 2012 and 2013, we aim to provide an outstanding unique bespoke service to our students, which is exactly what the team at AFS have supplied to us over the last 10 years. Thanks for all your help in contributing to our continued success. We would be lost without you!

2. http://www.unite-students.com/


3. http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/accomodation.php







The introduction of the ESP

Hello everyone!

This is a series of blog-mediated online ESP (English for specific purses) course targeting at Chinese college English learners who are studying or living in UK, with the aim of improving learners’ communicative and problem-solving competence. I guess  most of you may already have received your offers from your ideal universities and achieved a satisfactory English proficiency level demanded by the concerning institutions. However, passing the IELTS test does not mean that you can manage their studying and living in a country where people have different lifestyles. Therefore, you need to acquire different situation-based knowledge and learn how to communicate effectively in these situations.

The First topic that has been presented on this blog is centered around the topic of accommodation in the UK, which is a very common situation that every overseas student may encounter. There will be other situation-based topics presented to the you according to your preferences by analysing the data of the questionnaires attached in this site.

The assessment of this course will include the completion of required tasks (collecting information, writing or videos) on your blogs (20%), weekly reflective journal (10%), comments on others’ blogs (10%) and the summative assessment (60%).

Now you are welcomed to reply to the questions below since I want to collect your suggestions for this online course. You can make comments on this page or send it to my Email: zhuyifanchina92@163.com. If you have any problems or suggestions, don’t me shy and email me !

Pre-project questionnaire

  1. Have you ever used blogs to learn a language? What do you know about blogs?
  2. What kind of information do you want to post on your blog?
  3. What kind of role do you think the blog play in the L2 class?