ACADEMIC WORDS YOU NEED TO KNOW (TOEFL, COLLEGE, SAT, etc.)

How can you know which words are the most important in a language? One way linguists find this out is by taking large samples of language and storing that in a computer database. They can run tests and analyses on the data, such as finding the most common and least common words in a language. This is called corpus linguistics.

More recently, some researchers have looked at written and spoken academic language to find the most common words used at the college level. This list is called the Academic Word List, or AWL. If you are preparing for college in the U.S. or some type of college entrance test (including the TOEFL), these words are essential to learn.

There are many websites that use the AWL and provide exercises to learn these words. Here are just a couple examples that you may find helpful:

http://www.uefap.com/vocab/select/awl.htm

http://www.englishvocabularyexercises.com/AWL/

How Will You Ring In The New Year?

Happy New Year!!!

We’ve been teaching a lot of idioms & expressions that go with the wintertime.

Now we’re ready for the New Year, and that means new expressions and phrases for you to learn!

Here are some phrases & idioms relating to the New Year holiday. Want to learn more? Come visit our school.

EXPRESSION: Ring in the New Year To celebrate the beginning of the new year at midnight on December 31.

“We are planning a big party to ring in the new year.”

“How did you ring in the new year?”

10 USEFUL PHRASES
1. New Year’s Eve
the evening of the 31st of December

– What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?
– I’m going to a party with my husband.

2. New Year’s Day
the 1st of January

– I’m going to see the NHL Winter Classic (ice-hockey match) on New Year’s Day.

3. Make a resolution/ resolve to do something
make a firm decision to do something

– Are you going to make a New Year’s resolution?
– I’ve already made one. I’ve resolved to learn a hundred new words every week.

4. Fireworks
a display of coloured explosives and smoke for amusement

– The fireworks begin as the clock strikes midnight.

5. Toast
raising your glass to drink together with a group of people to honour someone or wish them happiness, good luck/health

– Let’s drink a toast! Happy New Year, everybody!

6. Raise one’s glasses
drink a toast

– Let’s raise our glasses to a Happy New Year!

7. Superstition
an irrational belief based on faith in magic or chance

– It brings good luck if a dark haired person is the first one to enter your household on New Year’s Day. (this custom is called ’First-Footing’ in Scotland)
– That’s just some old superstition. I don’t believe in it.

8. Turn over a new leaf
start again in a better/different way

– I’ll turn over a new leaf and start being nicer to people next year.

9. Punch
a drink of mixed fruit juices often spiced with wine or other alcohol, prepared in large bowls

– Who’s going to make the punch for tonight’s party?

10. Wish
express hope concerning the future

– I wish you a very Happy New Year.