Mr. Ben’s Level 11 class did something different last week. They gathered at a student’s home and prepared a traditional Angolan meal. This allowed the students to learn more about each other’s background, culture, and cuisine, and to build a strong class community. It also allowed people from all around the world the opportunity to speak English together.
We strongly believe at CCB that students and teachers should see each other as human beings, to respect one another, and to learn from one another. When this happens, students feel more relaxed and comfortable in the class, and they are willing to use their English more and not be worried about making mistakes. It is also fun!
Here is the recipe video they created, and pictures of the fun time they had.
Not every state in the U.S. has its own official song. However, Georgia has an official State Song, and that song has an incredible history.
In 1930, Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics) created a song about Hoagy’s sister. Her name was “Georgia.” (Let’s not forget that before the state of Georgia, the word “Georgia” was commonly used as a woman’s name. It is a feminine form of the name “George.”) The name of the song was “Georgia on my Mind.”
In other words, Stuart Gorrell was in LOVE with Georgia Carmichael and wrote a song about how he was always thinking about her.
However, it was another man – a musical genius and legend named Ray Charles – who made the song very famous in 1960 when he recorded it. Ray Charles was born in the state of Georgia and many people actually thought he wrote the song. As a result, there has been a common belief that the song is about the STATE of Georgia, not a person named Georgia Carmichael.
For many years, Ray Charles did not perform concerts in Georgia because of the racial discrimination there. However, things improved enough that by 1979, Ray Charles began performing there again, and even sang the song “Georgia on my Mind” before the members of the Georgia General Assembly (the main legislative/governmental body in the state).
Shortly after, the General Assembly voted to make “Georgia on my Mind” the state song of Georgia. It is a beautiful song and we hope you will listen to it! Here is the original video of Ray Charles singing it to the General Assembly.
As part of their extensive unit on “Animal Intelligence,” Level 7 took a trip to Zoo Atlanta. Looks like they had some fun! We hope you can join our school and visit great places in and around Atlanta too!
The month of July is just around the corner and things are only going to get hotter here in Atlanta! Here are a couple English idioms (expressions) which relate to the July heat (and also refer to the winter cold, which is the opposite).
“A cold day in July”
A cold day in July is almost impossible in the United States, especially if you live in the southern states. This idiom is used when we think something is pretty much impossible.
“It’ll be a cold day in July before my boss gives me the raise I want!”
“Christmas in July”
As you may know, many Americans celebrate Christmas and buy many gifts for their friends and family. But sometimes you might get many gifts at another time, for example your birthday. If you get many gifts or money at another time of the year, you might say “it was like Christmas in July.” Yes, you can say this even when it isn’t exactly July!
Since the 1960s, computers have been able to store and analyze increasingly large amounts of data. Today, we can take all the words found in books, newspapers, magazines, and more, and store them in a database. What’s more, we can also do this with spoken language (although the process of converting it to text and storing it is more difficult).
Large collections of language, used for studying and analyzing the language, are called corpora. One collection is called a corpus. A good corpus which can give us reliable information about a language needs to be based on millions of words. The largest American corpus today consists of over 520 million words (http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/). In Britain, several exist containing over a billion words!
Most corpora of American (and British) English say the same thing: the most common word in English is the.
So it is not surprising: If we ask “What is the most common word in English?” we will see the word the in the question itself!!
What are some other very frequent words? And, be, of, to, a/an, in, have, that, I, are just some of the most common words which we are sure you already know!
We didn’t write these, but we totally agree. A great resource! If you have questions about English – grammar, slang, idioms, etc., please let us know. We are happy to help.
Want to have a basic understanding of the history of English without taking a full course on the subject?
In under 15 minutes this E-Lecture by Professor Handke gives an excellent overview of the most important cultural and linguistic aspects that affected the development of the English language through time. This includes examples spoken in the original pronunciation of each period.