USING FLASHCARDS FOR VOCABULARY ACQUISITION

Do you need to learn new words in English, maybe for a test (like TOEFL, GRE, GMAT) or because you just want to improve your vocabulary?

One effective way is to self-study using flashcards as a starting point. (Eventually you want to try writing these words in sentences and even use them in real life.)

What is great about flashcards is that you can decide what information you want. It could simply be a word (on side 1) and a simple definition (on side 2), either in English and/or your native language. Often, pictures work better than definitions. Look at Google Images to give you ideas. Other types of info you may want to include are: pronunciation; part of speech (e.g. verb, noun, adjective, etc,); synonyms & antonyms; example sentences; and more.

Try starting with ten new words. Look at the word and the information several times for a few days. Then look at the definition. Can you guess the word? Or try looking at the word and see if you can provide the definition. Constantly review old words and keep adding new ones.

Again, you can do this alone, or even with a partner who can motivate you, help you, or correct you.

Want more advice from us? Just ask!!

HAVING TROUBLE FALLING ASLEEP BEFORE A TEST (LIKE TOEFL)?

There is a well-known breathing technique called the 4-7-8 method.

Using this breathing method can help you fall asleep the night before a big test (like TOEFL) or other stressful things.

This method can also help you relax before giving a presentation or speaking English (if speaking English makes you nervous).

It’s easy:

1.) Breathe in for four (4) seconds through your nose.

2.) Hold it for seven (7) seconds.

3.) Exhale strongly for eight (8) seconds.

Here is a demonstration and more about it by the famous healthy living doctor from the U.S., Dr. Andrew Weil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRPh_GaiL8s

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.

“‘TIS THE SEASON”: CHRISTMAS IDIOMS JUST IN TIME!

The following list contains numerous English idioms and expressions relating to Christmas and holiday traditions. Some of them are specifically used during the holidays and some can be used any time. More info below!

Bah! Humbug!
= first used by Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, this is sometimes said by people who aren’t fans of Christmas when confronted with holiday well-wishers.

I’m tired of all these Christmas carolers singing at my door! Bah humbug I say!!

Christmas comes but once a year = used as an excuse for over indulgence, whether on food or on gifts, on the basis that it doesn’t happen often. 

Go ahead and have another plate of food! Christmas comes but once a year.

Deck the halls
 = decking (or decorating) one’s hall with branches from a holly tree is an old tradition; the popular carol of the same name began as a Welsh tune dating back to the 16th century

Christmas is in five days and we haven’t put up any decorations yet! It’s time to deck the halls!

It’s the thought that counts = it’s the kindness behind an act that matters, however imperfect or insignificant it may be.(Expression can be used any time of year)

Lit up like a Christmas tree = nothing to do with decorations but used to describe an intense military attack on enemy positions (Expression not actually used for Christmas)

The more the merrier = the more people or things there are, the better a given situation will be (Expression used any time of year)

There’s no time like the present = a reminder that there are things in our lives we can do and accomplish RIGHT NOW with a little hard work (Expression used any time of year)

‘Tis the season to be jolly 
= taken from a Christmas carol, this phrase serves as a reminder to put on a happy face over the festive period (‘Tis is an old method of contracting it and is, but is rarely used these days) (Expression used near and around Christmas time)

Trim the tree
 = nothing to do with cutting, this is an old reference to decorating a pine tree with ornaments, lights and other glittery bits (Expression used during Christmas time)

White Christmas = when it snows at Christmas time (something which happens sometimes in Atlanta but not often)