A Goat in Starbucks?!

Starbucks Goat

Do you like Starbucks coffee?  This goat does too.   A few days ago this goat walked into a Starbucks in California.  It didn’t order coffee but it did eat some of a cardboard box.

Look at the picture.  Can you find these items in the photo?

  • baskets
  • coffee
  • chairs
  • boxes
  • door
  • trashcan

What else do you see?

Have you been to Starbucks before?
Do you like Starbucks?  Why or why not?
If you go to Starbucks, what do you like to order?
Is there a Starbucks near your home?  Is it popular?

To learn more about this story, click here.

Get on the bus.

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These people are waiting to ‘get on’ the bus.  This is a tour bus. It has two levels so it is called a ‘double decker’ bus.

Here are questions about the picture:

  • What city are they visiting?
  • What season do you think it is?
  • What places do you think they will visit?
  • If you were going to get on this bus, where would you like to sit?
  • Have you ever been on a tour bus before?  Where were you?  What did you see

Get on / Get off:

English, we ‘get on’ the bus.  We get on the train.  We get on the subway. We get on the plane.  We get on the boat or ferry.  We also get on the swing, on the roller coaster, and on the ferris wheel.

We also get off the bus, train, subway, plane and ferry.  We get off the swing, roller coaster and the ferris wheel.   We also use ‘get off’ to tell someone or something to move.  For example:

  • Get off the bed.   ( I say this to my kids all the time!)
  • Get off the couch.
  • Get off me.  / Get off her. / Get off him.

Have questions?  Send me a comment. Have fun studying English!

 

Happy Spring!

The first day of Spring is on Sunday, March 20th.  This is when the weather gets warmer, flowers start to bloom and we start to spend more time outside.  Look at the picture below. Is this what Spring looks like where you live?

Look at the picture again.
What do you see?  Can you name ten words?

  • I see …….

What colors do you see? Can you name ten colors?

  • I see ……

How does the picture make you feel?

  • It makes me feel …..

 

USEFUL VOCABULARY:
Mountains
Flowers
Lake
Trees
Clouds
Snow

Colors:
Fuchsia
Violet
Yellow
Orange
Pink
Maroon
White
Gray
Green
Blue

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Are you bored or boring?

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I”m so bored.

I’m so boring.

These two sentences may look almost the same but they have very different meanings.  When you say you are bored, you are saying that something is making you feel not excited.  Maybe you are bored because you are watching a bad movie.  Maybe you are bored because you are in a class that doesn’t interest you.   When you say you are boring, you are saying that you are not an exciting person.  Here are some more examples to help you better understand:

1. That class was boring.  I felt bored in that class.

2. Tom is a boring guy.  All he likes to do is play video games.  I am bored with I spend time with him.

The ‘ing’ in boring is talking about the person, place or thing that is making you feel a certain way.

The ‘ed’ in bored is talking about how you feel.

Here are some other adjectives that work in the same way:

excited / exciting – I was excited to go to on the trip.  The trip was very exciting.

annoyed / annoying – My boyfriend annoyed me last night.  He was very annoying.

interested / interesting – Kelly is interested in space travel.   Space travel is interesting to Kelly.

Some more examples:
fascinated / fascinating
tired / tiring
relaxed / relaxing
confused / confusing

Practice Time:

1.  You just saw a 3 hour documentary on insects.  You feel ____________.

2.  Jill just came back from a vacation in Athens, Greece.  She said it was ____________.

3. That math test was so _____________.  I think I answered most of the questions incorrectly.

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How well can you introduce yourself?

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The first step in having a good conversation in English starts with introducing yourself.   It is very important to do this well.  The person you are talking to will determine whether or not you are able to have a conversation in English.  Make a good first impression by reviewing the points below.

  1. Greet the person you are speaking with and say your name.
    • Hi, I’m Jennifer Hoeger.  it’s nice to meet you.
  2. Where are you from?  Why are you where you are?
    • I’m from Laguna Niguel, a town about 1 hour south of Los Angeles.   I’m here on business.
  3. Where do you work / what do you do?
    • I’m a teacher.  I have been teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) for about 12 years now.

TIPS:

* If you have a job that is hard to talk about, you can say what industry you work in.  For example:

  • I work in the IT industry.
  • I’m an engineer.  I work in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • I work in sales.

* When telling about where you are from, you can talk about how close you live to a major city. For example:

  • I live about one hour outside of Tokyo.
  • I live in a smaller city  about three hours from Shanghai.
  • I live right outside of Seoul.
  • I live in a suburb of Boston.

Now it is your turn!

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Is Learning English your New Year’s resolution?

New-Year_s-Wishes

It is the beginning of the new year and many people like to make New Year’s resolutions. So, what is a New Year’s resolution?  It is a promise we make to ourselves to improve something in our lives.   Here are ten of the most common resolutions:

  1. lose weight
  2. quit smoking
  3. get out of debt and save money
  4. get in shape
  5. eat healthy food
  6. drink less alcohol
  7. volunteer
  8. get a better job
  9. spend more time with family
  10. learn a new language

So, what are your new Year’s resolutions?  If improving your English is one of them, here are 3 tips to help get you started:

  • STUDY ENGLISH EVERY DAY.  Whether you study for one hour or ten minutes, make learning English part of your everyday life.
  • LEARN AT LEAST ONE NEW WORD A DAY. Sign up for a ‘word of the day email’ and try to use that new word throughout the day in speaking and/or in writing.
  • WRITE DOWN NEW EXPRESSIONS YOU HEAR. Keep a list of these new expressions on your smart phone (if you have an iPhone you can use the ‘notes’ app). Learn the meaning of these expressions and ask your English teacher or English-speaking friend how to use these expressions in conversation.  Lastly, start using them:)
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A Sky Full of Stars

Music can be a fun way to learn English.  Today I would like to share with you the song, “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay.  Watch the video below.  While listening to the song, see how much of the song you can understand.   

Link to the Youtube Video of ‘Sky Full of Stars’

Now that you have watched the video, Here are the lyrics (words) to the song.  Listen to the video again while reading the lyrics below:

(Be)cause you’re a sky, cause you’re a sky full of stars
I’m going to give you my heart
(Be)cause you’re a sky, cause you’re a sky full of stars
And (be)cause you light up the path

I don’t care, go on and tear me apart
I don’t care if you do
(Be)cause in a sky, cause in a sky full of stars
I think I saw you

(Be)cause you’re a sky, cause you’re a sky full of stars
I want to die in your arms, arms
(Be)cause you get lighter the more it gets dark
I’m going to give you my heart

And I don’t care, go on and tear me apart
I don’t care if you do
(Be)cause in a sky, cause in a sky full of stars
I think I see you

Because you’re a sky, you’re a sky full of stars
Such a heavenly view
Such a heavenly view

Expressions:
Try and rewrite the expressions below using your own words. 

  • I’m going to give you my heart.
  • You light up the path.
  • I don’t care.   Tear me apart.
  • I want to die in your arms.
  • Such a heavenly view

Discussion:

  1. Who do you think this song is written for?
  2. If the song is written for a wife or girlfriend, do you think they are still a couple?  Why?
  3. Does he want to continue a relationship with this person?  
  4. Do you think the video fits the song?  Why?
  5. Where do you think the video was made?   Why?

Further Study:

This song was written by Chris Martin while he and his wife, the famous actress, Gwyneth Paltrow were having marital problems.   There were rumors that they were both cheating.  They are now separated and no longer living together.   Do you think think this song is written about Gwyneth Paltrow or possibly another woman? How do you think Gwyneth Paltrow may feel about this song?

Vocabulary:

1. When you cheat on someone you _________________________.
2. To spread rumors means to ______________________________.
3. Marital is the advective form of the word ___________________.
4. When you are separated from your husband or wife it means ____________________.   

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SHARKS!

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Did you know the movie, “Jaws” was released in theaters almost forty years ago!  In honor of the great film, here is a great photo and short article about the interesting creature.   

STAKING OUT  THE GREAT WHITE SHARK

After reading the article, here are some activities you can try:

1.  Describe the picture.  What is happening?  What verb would you use to describe what the shark is doing?   

2. The article discusses the need to “repair the animal’s reputation”.  What does the author mean by this statement?

3.  Muller says that waiting for a shark to appear is an “intense experience”.  What do you think he means?

4. Muller has a book ‘coming out’ in 2015.  What does this mean?

Interesting Vocabulary:

  • premiere (noun)
  • diligently (adverb)
  • capture (verb)
  • decoy (noun) 
  • prey (noun)

See if you can use these words in sentences.   

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Hello English Learners!

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Hi everyone and welcome.  My name is Jennifer and  my blog is about learning English.  Here I will share ideas on how to improve your English communication skills.  The most important thing to remember is that learning English should be fun.  If you are dreading your next English class, you may need to consider learning in a new way.   Also, know your English goals.

  • Do you want to be able to have a conversation with a native English speaker?
  • Do you want to be able to watch American television shows without using subtitles?
  • Will better English ability help you at your job?
  • Do you need an 800 on your TOEIC exam?
  • Do you want to sound like a native-English speaker?

No matter what your goals are, I look forward to helping you get better at using English.    You can learn more about me by clicking here.

 

Thanks,
Jennifer

 

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