Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to be Happier Learning English

This is not a video about how to be happier while you are learning English. It's a video about how to be happier in general. And you're learning English now, so if you are happier in general, you will have a more positive attitude learning English. This attitude will affect not only your language learning, but also your whole life. 

Take this experiment. Follow the steps of the instructor on the video. It may just help you feel happier. Language is life! Connect your language to what you love about life and you will feel great learning English. You may even love learning English!

Here are seven expressions that you can learn from this video:

1. Here's the deal. We often say this as an introduction when we want to explain something important to someone without wasting time.

2. We take things for granted. This is an idiom that means we stop being thankful for the good things we receive in life. For example, clean air, running water, electricity, and so on.

3. So they (the things that we take for granted) stop psyching us up. If they "stop psyching us up," it means we are no longer excited about them.

4. Don't take my word for it. This means that it's not only my opinion. Let me tell you about an expert who agrees with this opinion.

5. It seemed to kick-start our brains. This means that our brains suddenly started working faster and better.

6. Let's recap. This is a common expression meaning "let's review what we learned."

7. To get that "happy" ball rolling... To "get the ball rolling" means this is the way to start something. To get the happy ball rolling means the way to start feeling happy is to do the following.

I hope this information has been helpful to you! Happy English learning! See you in the classroom!

Professor Dave 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Learning English from Interviews

Learning English from interviews can be interesting, especially if you are a fan of the "interviewee" (the person being interviewed), or if the content is something you have a passion for. 

In this pair of interviews, Katherine Schwartzenegger talks about her new children’s book Maverick and Me. She has a passion for animal rescue. This led her to get a rescue dog and write her new book.

Here is a list of vocabulary that can help you understand the videos better. Although the speaking is fast, try to listen for these words and phrases.

1.      Pet adoption – (noun phrase) the process of purchasing a pet and making it your own
2.      Rescue dog – (noun phrase) These dogs that are adopted from a pet shelter rather than from a pet store or breeder. These dogs are usually stray dogs or unwanted dogs that may not live long if they don’t find a home soon. Therefore, the term means they are “rescued” from the pet shelter and get to have a family.
3.      A local rescue (rescue shelter) – the place where rescue dogs can be adopted
4.      To have a love for fostering – to “foster” means to care for a child or a pet as a parent would for his or her own child
5.      Randomly walking down the street – to walk down the street without any goal in mind, just enjoying the walk or window-shopping
6.      We turned her garage into a kennel. – A “kennel” is a home for dogs with beds and food and toys to play with
7.      To develop a close bond with him or her – This phrase means to have a close and intimate personal relationship with someone. You could develop a close bond with children, pets, or adults.

Speaking Activity Option
With a classmate, roleplay an interview with an author. 
Classmate 1 is the interviewer asking questions. 
Classmate 2 is the author who has written a book about something you feel passionate about. 
Follow these question ideas.

1. What is the book about?
2. Why do you have a passion for this?
3. Why do you want to share this passion with the world?