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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

English Gateway Newsletter #7

Whether for you these early February days are just the beginning of the new year or the first harbingers of spring, we hope you’re truly enjoying the season. We’re back into the swing of things with the new exciting materials!
In this issue:
New Exercises This Month:
School Collocations
Car Parts Collocations
Practice word partnerships in two new exercises added to the Day to Day section. Copy the words onto the index cards, arrange them in matching pairs or play a memory game for better retention.
New Worksheets This Month:
Chocolate Foods (High-Intermediate)
Bring an element of the North American culture  into your Valentine’s Day class. Talk about popular chocolate-based foods and engage your students in a follow-up discussion.
First Aid Kit - Are You Prepared? (Advanced)
Emergency situations are stressful - there is no time to look for unfamiliar words or ask questions. This worksheet is meant to raise awareness of the importance to have a first aid kit on hand at all times and familiarize students with its contents.
Ages and Stages (High-Intermediate)
Teach words, phrases and idioms related to age and aging. Remember to finish on a positive note (You’re as young as you feel!) if you teach older adults.
Blog Updates
ESL Student Blog
Icicle Watching, Anyone?
Inauguration Day - Key Words
Conscious or Conscientious?
ESL Teacher Blog

Valentine’s Day Activities - Are Your Students Comfortable Talking About Love?
Turn Your Holiday Cards Into A great Teaching Resource
Come-Back-After-Holidays Icebreaker
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People
In his inauguration speech Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, said:

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America”.
What do the phrases in bold mean?
Pick yourself up literally means to stand up after a fall. In the quote ‘pick ourselves up” is used figuratively, meaning that we have to try and recover after the economic fall that we ‘re experiencing these days.

Is the expression ‘pick himself up’ used literally or figuratively in the following examples?
a) The athlete picked himself up despite the strong pain in the knee and kept on running.
b) Peter has been an alcohol addict for years. He then picked himself up, quit drinking and found a decent job.

(a) literally (b) figuratively
Dust off is a phrasal verb. It means to use something (again) after it hasn’t been used for some time. I can refer to objects and human possessions, but also knowledge or skills. Here is an example:
As soon as the gas prices went up, I dusted off my old bike and rode it everyday to the university campus.

Lee wants to  take part in a homestay program in Osaka, Japan. She plans to dust off her Japanese to communicate with her host family better.
Happy Learning and Teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 5:54 PM
Monday, October 29, 2012 AT 7:31 AM
Amir said:
Interesting blog. I share many of your interests, eexcrienpes, and ambitions.As the cliche goes, what gets measured, gets taught. I'm afraid that in adult education we tilt toward teaching fill in the blank grammar, short reading assignments, and so-called life skills as measured on standardized tests. Sometimes, the better programs will also include listening tests - but often at a relatively low level. What's missing? Perhaps the most critical life skill - the ability to hold a serious, in-depth conversation in English. The citizenship exam at least makes a minimal effort in this direction; the vast majority of adult education programs have too little time, too little money, and perhaps too imagination to assess the speaking and conversation skills of students.Meanwhile, conversation clubs and private tutors often fill the gap. That's fine, but I wish more students also had a chance to take conversation classes, public speaking classes, or at least interview skill classes.Good luck with your blog.

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