Bespoke English Language Centre in Gozo, Malta  
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The Maltese Archipelago


The advantage of learning English abroad is to be completely immersed in the language; listening to natives speaking to one another, coping with everyday situations, participating in conversations and negotiations. In addition to the structured course, clients are encouraged to use their English in daily situations that can also occur in a business environment.

WINE APPRECIATION - learn about local and foreign wines.

The history of winemaking dates back in Malta at least some 2000 years to the time of Roman rule. Vines were grown in Medieval times, but it was the Knights of St John who really revived the industry. Over the centuries, the Church too has played a role.In parts of Victoria (Rabat), Gozo, you will hear people mention the Bishop’s wine. Some bars there stock a full-bodied local red from the Bishop’s own vineyards.

The first professional importers started on the Islands in around 1920. But it was not until the early 1970s that an indigenous wine industry began in earnest. Most grapes grown locally until then were indigenous table varieties. In the past decade, there have been initiatives such as ‘Vines for Wines’ which has encouraged many farmers to take up viticulture by giving them training and financial support.

The plan has brought much land into vine production. Near Marsaxlokk, Bumarrad and in some central areas of Malta, you will see small fields turned over the vineyards. Although the demand for local vineyard production outstrips supply, it may not be too many years before more of the Maltese countryside is covered with vineyards. The shortfall in grapes is made up by imported quality grapes from northern Italy and France.

Today, the major wineries have invested heavily in the latest technology and in training. There are some seventy plus experienced vignerons on the Islands. Wines of unique Maltese character are taking hold, and with every year’s harvest there is less reliance on imported grapes.

With Maltese wines ripening quicker than elsewhere in Europe, they have the advantage of arriving on shelves sooner, to the detriment of competition. A few decades more and the industry will be playing an even more significant role in the Islands’ economy. It already acts as a superb ambassador.

DINING OUT - Be assertive and confident in social gatherings and restaurants when ordering and recommending.

Maltese cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Islanders and the many foreigners who made Malta their home over the centuries. This marriage of tastes has given Malta an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking. The influences are too numerous to list, but many popular Maltese specialities are Sicilian or Moorish in origin.

There are many restaurants dedicated to Maltese traditional fare for you to seek out. They range from unpretentious family-run village bars to beautiful old courtyard restaurants where the menu is more extensive. You can eat among the chatter of the village regulars, or dine in an ambience of trailing bougainvillea and jasmine in houses that once belonged to Maltese nobility.

Whichever you choose, the food reflects the Islands’ culinary heritage, another unique aspect of our culture for you to discover.

SAILING - Relax and learn sailing and geographical terminology

For a country steeped in maritime history, the Maltese Archipelago naturally has plenty of facilities for sailing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a young sailor just starting out or an experienced, qualified sailor, the climate and Malta’s location at the centre of the Mediterranean make the Islands an excellent base for a sailing holiday.

The coastline is full of craggy inlets and bays, many wonderfully secluded as they are inaccessible from land. Sailors have the privilege of mooring for a swim and then lunch on board in total solitude.

Groups and experienced sailors may like to charter a yacht for an evening sail or longer trips. You could venture to the Italian islands of Sicily, Pantelleria or the Aeolian Islands.

Whatever your ambitions on the sea, the Islands have a flexible range of sailing options to suit your interests and level of experience.

GOLF – Make friends and influence people.

Malta’s superb climate coupled with a historic backdrop make a round of golf on the course at the Royal Malta Golf Club a special experience. Malta's passion for golf goes back some 120 years. The Club's name refers to the royal patronage the sport has received here over the years. The Duke of Edinburgh played here in the early 1950s while serving with the British navy.

Today’s clubroom and 18-hole course are part of the Marsa Sports Club, not far from Valletta. The course offers the holiday golfer a pleasant test without being too unkind to the novice. Several of the holes are challenging par fives, and take some negotiating. The best time to play is from mid autumn through to spring. Golf is certainly an ideal winter sun activity. There are plans drawn up for a second golf course, near Rabat in central Malta.

WALKING TOURS - Explore the island.

The first rains after the long, hot summer bring the landscape to life with an astonishing variety of wild flowers. From mid November until mid May or so, you’ll find the Islands green and lush. Fields are full of vegetables and waysides are carpeted with fennel, clover, wild iris, myrtle and much more. By late spring, a thousand or more species of plants will be in flower.

Away from the resorts and urban areas of central Malta, there is a surprising amount of countryside, some left almost untouched by the 20th century. Farmers often use traditional labour-intensive methods of yesteryear. Village life still centres on the agricultural and fishing seasons.

Today, as in past times, you will still see old men and women, sometimes with their extended families, working the fields. In the north of Malta, where the ground is barren, and in many parts of Gozo, you’ll come across small flocks of shaggy-coated goats and sheep being herded along the wayside.

Put on walking boots, hire a mountain bike and head out from the village squares on the narrow farmers’ tracks. You’ll find yourself in a timeless landscape, quite alone even in peak season. There is plenty to discover, from ancient farmhouses and wayside chapels to spectacular seascapes.

HISTORY TOURS – Discover the big history of the small island.

According to legend, this was Homer’s isle of Ogygia, where the nymph Calypso held the Greek hero Odysseus her companion for seven years. She promised him immortality if he stayed with her forever. But he was spared this fate, however sweet, when the God Zeus demanded his release.

The myth seems to have deep origins: as long ago as the 3rd century B.C., the Greek scholar Callimachus said the nymph lived here in a cave on the north of the Island. Today though, the Island captivates its visitors more willingly.

Whatever the Greek legend, the Romans did leave their mark. The ancient citadel in Victoria was the site of a Roman temple. Before them, the steep, flat-topped hill was home to various ancient civilisations. The same prehistoric inhabitants as in Malta built Gozo’s megalithic temples.

Gozo has been linked to Malta for millennia, certainly since Neolithic times. The temple of Ggantija on Gozo is similar to those on Malta.The Romans brought Gozo under the same "municipium" as Malta. And the middle ages saw Gozo part of the Universita’ system of self-government allowed under various rulers from Norman times until the arrival of the Knights.

Gozo’s name is the key to its history over the millennia. It was probably called Gwl by the Phoenicians, the name of their particular sailing ships. The Greeks and the Romans translated the name to Gaulos and Gaudos respectively. Aragonese and Castilian rule, many centuries later, saw the Islands called Gozo.

But the local population used the current Maltese name, Ghawdex, pronounced ‘ow-desh’. Resilient as ever to foreign rule, the Gozitans have steadfastly used ‘Rabat’, the Arabic name, for their principal town. The British had named it Victoria in honour of their Queen’s diamond jubilee in 1897.

Life on Gozo was harsh for well over two millennia. The Islands were left exposed to any passing raiders, much more so than Malta with its natural harbours and defences.

Throughout the Middle Ages and into the rule of the Knights, Barbary corsairs and Saracens raided the island at intervals. In 1551, the Saracens carried out a devastating raid, taking almost the entire population away into slavery. The Island never really recovered from this, and remained under populated for centuries.

The arrival of the Knights saw the medieval Citadel refortified. Until 1637, the Gozitan population was required by law to spend their nights within the Citadel for their own safety. Once this restriction was lifted, people migrated out below its walls, creating the prosperous town of Rabat. The villages of today only really started to grow after the Great Siege of 1565 and the end of real threat from the Ottoman Turks.

These activities are not included in the price but can be arranged parallel to your course prior to commencement or on arrival. This is not a comprehensive list but examples of chosen pursuits popular with clients.

Bob Hope (1903-2003)
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