Monday, July 14, 2008

Idiom Ideas

Every language has idioms, or phrases that do not mean exactly what the words mean, and these idioms can make it a little difficult for you to understand what is being said. In English, we have many idioms related to body parts, for example, and I came across (found) a wonderful game to help you practice them. What leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Do you want to get together tomorrow afternoon or play it by ear?

Check out the game at
Concentration is a memory and matching game, and it's lots of fun! These idioms will be old hat (very familiar to you) after you play. Have fun! Please leave a comment to let me know which idiom you liked the most, and why.

Also, check out this site for pictures of some more idioms (by kids, so cute!)

ESL Videos

The website is quite an exciting (overwhelming) resource: videos, podcasts, and games, oh my! You can probably tell that I like American politics and Social Studies in general: here's a great video about Barack Obama, and there are thousands more.

Welcome to my blog

Konnichiwa! Hola! Hello! I haven't had a chance to welcome you to my new blog, where we can explore English and interesting topics together. Enjoy your visit here! (^_^)/

Excellent Podcasts for learning REAL English

There are thousands of ESL podcasts out there to help you learn English. The following Podcasts I've found are great for learning real English in a clear, easy-to-understand, and natural way. Enjoy them and explore yourself!

Podcast title: “Dining at a Restaurant”
Produced by, a group of ESL teachers and professors based in Southern California:

This Podcast was 12 minutes long for a 3 minute conversation using standard (American) English conversation and idioms for a restaurant visit. I especially liked the introduction in slow, clear English, to allow you (English language learners) to prepare for the actual conversation. In addition, at the end of the conversation, the narrator discusses the important vocabulary and idioms so that you can use them correctly. This is real vocabulary you’ll hear in a restaurant. You might know these words but they have a different meaning in a restaurant. (I’ll treat myself; party of two; show you to; a lover of Italian food; big drinkers; get started with; my favorite dish; are a must). The best part of this Podcast is that there is a transcript right there: the words are written and you can follow along.

Podcast title: “Saying Goodbye” also by,

This 9 minute podcast shows us how two people say goodbye to eachother in the US. The words and phrases in the dialogue are very realistic and will help you become a better English speaker and listener. This dialogue is “short and sweet:” it is not too long but it contains many useful phrases. The vocabulary is described in detail after the dialogue, so you can learn how to use it yourself. (I’d better be going; See you later; Might be awhile; run into each other; it’s a shame; catch up; it’s too bad; give her my best; I’d better get going; I’d like that.)

Podcast title: “English Cafe 53” (Discussion about Elections in the United States):

We’ve all been hearing a lot about the presidential election, which is in November. But how does the United States choose a president? Well, this is a 25-minute conversation about the US Election process, including a discussion of primary elections, midterm elections, casting ballots, etc. The narrator describes the election process to you, and introduces (and spells out) important vocabulary. At 25 minutes, the podcast is rather long and might be overwhelming, but don’t stress out. Listen the first time to the description of the process: it’s easy to understand. Later, you can impress your friends with your insider’s knowledge of the election process, too. A current newspaper article would complement this podcast well and would give you some reading practice.