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ESL Newsletter
Sign up for our ESL newsletter to get updates on recently added ESL worksheets, ESL vocabulary lessons or ESL lesson plans.

In our Idiomania section we focus on the idiomatic language from a recent North American media quote, commercial, advertisement or newspaper headline to connect your language learning or teaching with current events.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

English Gateway Newsletter #22

It's time to celebrate all things love - that wonderfully messy emotion universal to us all. Have your students’ hearts pumping excitement with a healthy dose of Valentine’s Day related vocabulary.
Site Updates (Member Content)
New Worksheet
It’s All in Your Heart: Idioms with the Word ‘Heart’ (ESL High-Intermediate)
A hearty number of idioms to engage anyone’s heart and mind.
More Valentine’s Day Resources From the Archive
Online Dating (ESL Advanced)
Happily Ever After (ESL High-Intermediate)
Expressing Affection (ESL High-Intermediate)
Chocolate Foods (ESL High-Intermediate)
Blog Updates
The Dragon: Another Cultural Difference
Food Stereotypes
Happy Learning and Teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:25 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment

Sunday, December 11, 2011

English Gateway Newsletter #21

Make your vocabulary curriculum truly festive by incorporating our seasonal resources into your lesson plans. Best holiday wishes and an enormous thank-you to you, our members, - we wouldn’t be where we’re today without your support.
New Worksheet (Member Content)
I Resolve to... Keep On Learning Phrasal Verbs (ESL High-Intermediate)
Kill two birds with one stone as your students practice phrasal verbs while making New Year resolutions.
Holiday Resources From the Archive
Describing a Process: How to Decorate an X-mas Tree (ESL High-Intermediate)
Shopping Phrasal Verbs (ESL High-Intermediate)
Naughty or Nice? (Based on the Song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”) (ESL Intermediate)
Personality and Gift Giving  (ESL Intermediate)
“Twas the Night Before Christmas” (based on the poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore) (ESL Intermediate)
Blog Updates:
Explore the NORAD Website as Your Class Counts Down to Christmas
English Idioms to Describe Beauty Flaws
The Atypical Nature of Prefix A-
Lack of English Proficiency: A Fundamental Hurdle for Newcomers - this English Gateway article was written for and posted on the fellow ESL website Northern Virginia Dynamic English
A Safe, Healthy and Happy Holiday Season,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 5:54 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Saturday, October 15, 2011

English Gateway Newsletter #20

There’s a difference between knowing a word and using a word - that’s why we believe a significant portion of classroom time should be devoted to explicit vocabulary teaching. Providing ample meaningful opportunities for using new words in a range of contexts and creating conditions that motivate students to engage in discussions are the key to students’ excitement and satisfaction of using English for their own self-expression.
Site Updates (Member Content)
New Worksheets
Cultural Differences: Language Teaching and Learning (ESL Intermediate+)
Language teaching and learning are done differently in various parts of the world. Find out students’ preferable (or familiar) ways to learn and prepare them for new learning situations.
The World’s Newest Countries (ESL High-Intermediate)
The world’s map has changed in the last decades mainly due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Go over the countries that have recently become independent and name the respective languages and nationalities.
Traffic Safety Culture (ESL High-Intermediate)
Discuss factors that influence traffic safety, road users behavior and cultural differences on the road.
Halloween Resources from the Archive:
The Scary Sounds of Halloween (ESL Intermediate)
Fear Idioms (ESL Advanced)
A Run of Bad Luck (ESL Advanced)
Blog Updates
Back-to-School Icebreaker: Where in the World?
A Dog is... An ESL Student’s Best Friend?
Compound Words That End With the Noun “Line”
Thank You - Both Literally and Metaphorically
Happy Learning and Teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:51 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Sunday, June 12, 2011

English Gateway Newsletter #19

The end of the school year is in sight and many of us are more interested in making summer plans rather than lesson plans. Focusing on a topic of interest can help remain engaged and enthused even during the final weeks of school. In the run up to Father’s Day, let’s also honor the father figure in our lives.
Site Updates (Member Content)

New Worksheets

Two-Word Prepositions (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students recognize and practice compound prepositions as well as identify prepositional phrases.
Describing Smells (ESL High-Intermediate)
There are lots of different smells but a relative lack of direct language to describe them. Teach or learn vocabulary that describes common smells and talk about the evocative nature of smells.
Dads Matter! (ESL High-Intermediate)
it’s said that anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad. Discuss the qualities that make a great Dad and learn idiomatic expressions related to fatherhood.
Also, from the archive:
Dad-isms - Your Dad’s Favorite Lines (ESL High-Intermediate)
Blog Updates
Pronouncing Foreign Names - No Need to Mangle
Father’s Day Songs for an ESL Class
Fall vs. Fell
Tree Ages and Stages

Happy Summer,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:59 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Saturday, March 19, 2011

English Gateway Newsletter #18

The sap inside the maple trees is flowing and that is a sure sign of spring here in Central Canada. As the new season stirs in the air, we hope to pass the energy and excitement on to your classrooms with our newly added resources.

Site Updates (Member Content)

New Lesson Plan:
Spring Weather - 4 Seasons in One Day (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students learn words and expressions describing unsettled springlike weather. This lesson includes a reading about the challenging weather conditions during Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
More Spring-Related Resources from the Archive
Spring Cleaning - Get Your Place Spick and Span (ESL High-Intermediate)
Practical Joke Devices (ESL High-Intermediate)
Green Resolutions - Earth Day Phrasal Verbs (ESL High-Intermediate)
The Last Laugh (ESL Advanced)
New Worksheets
Consonant Clusters: When /ch/ Sounds as /k/ (ESL Advanced)
Focus on pronunciation and spelling of the common words in which /ch/ sounds as /k/.
Places of Worship (ESL High-Intermediate)
People of all walks of life meet their spiritual and social needs at various places of worship. In addition to practicing new vocabulary, students learn to respect different faith communities.
Expressing Affection (ESL High-Intermediate)
Talk about the ways communicating affection verbally and through body language. Incorporate in a unit about feelings and emotions, body language, parenting or interpersonal communication.
Blog Updates
ESL Student Blog
Amenities, Utilities, Appliances
6 Commonly Confused Noun-Verb Forms
Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist vs. Psychic
ESL Teacher Blog
French Loanwords in English - Common Pronunciation and Spelling Patterns
Chinese New Year - Vocabulary Extensions
Not Just a Number! - An Icebreaker for 2011
Idiomania: Idioms in Songs
Today’s idiom comes from “The Spring Song” sung by Charlie Chaplin’s that perfectly captures the essence of the season. This is also a great tune to practice Present Progressive.
Birds are calling.
Skunks are crawling -
Wagging their tails for love!
Spring is here.
Whales are churning.
Worms are squirming -
Wagging their tails for love!
What is this thing
Of which I sing
That makes us all bewitched?
What is this thing
That comes in spring
That gives us all the itch?
Oh, it’s love, it’s love,
It’s love, love, love, love, love, love, love...
What does the expression in bold mean?
If something gives us the itch, it makes us want to do or have something. In the song, it’s the love that makes everyone want to be active again.
Spring always gives me the itch to clean my house from top to bottom and organize my closet.
These childhood pictures give me the itch to go camping again.
Happy Spring,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:17 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Tuesday, December 07, 2010

English Gateway Newsletter #17

The lead-up to the holidays is always exciting and many of us feel the lightheartedness that comes with the season. Let’s add a little spark to these days with inclusion of holiday lesson plans and acknowledging holiday traditions around the world.
We at English Gateway thank you for another wonderful year with us and hope you enjoy the spirit of the season!
Site Updates (Member Content)
New Worksheets

Describing a Process: How to Decorate an X-mas Tree (ESL High-Intermediate)

Students learn the names of Christmas tree decorations, review time-order signal words and explain the steps of decorating a Christmas tree.

Soft Skills, Hard Skills - Two Parts of the Same Coin (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students define the difference between hard and soft skills and identify these skills in common occupations. This worksheet was part of English Gateway workshop at Hamilton, ON LINC Learner Conference this November.
Taxis of the World (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students learn vocabulary related to using a taxi while sharing personal experiences and cultural knowledge about taxis around the world.
Food Service Jobs (ESL High-Intermediate)
Less common occupational titles related to food service are introduced. Exercises focus on describing work environment of food service personnel and common varieties of food and drinks associated with food service professionals.
From the Archive (Holiday-Related)
Twas the Night Before Christmas (based on the poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore)
Naughty or Nice? (Based on the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town")
Personality and Gift Giving
Recent Blog Updates
Teacher Blog
The New Words of the 2000s and 2010s
English Mad Minutes
Citizenship Test - Can ESL Teachers Play a Role?
Famous Movie Dance Scenes
A New Tool to Assess Canadian English
Student Blog
Laugh At/Laugh With/Laugh About
Words with the Suffix -en
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People
A holiday-related quote by Norman Vincent Peale:
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
What does it mean to ‘wave a magic wand’? To wave a magic wand is to find a fast and easy solution to a problem.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change?
Season’s Greetings,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:27 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Saturday, August 28, 2010

English Gateway Newsletter #16

The excitement of meeting new and returning students, trying your hand at new learning materials and setting new goals definitely lends to the enthusiastic month of September. We hope your transition back into work mode is a smooth one!

Site Updates (Member Content)
New Worksheets
ESL Icebreaker: What’s in a Name? (ESL Intermediate and Up)
Looking for a novel way to ‘break ice’ in your first class? In this worksheet, students share interesting facts about their first names while developing self-identity and building cultural respect along the way.
Verbs With Prefix Un- (ESL High-Intermediate)
Prefix un- means ‘not’ when attached to adjectives, but shows a reverse action when used with verbs. In addition to more common verbs with un- (unzip, unbutton, unpack etc.), this worksheet introduces verbs your students may not have encountered just yet (unveil, unwind, untangle etc.)
Enjoying Outdoors - Favorite Playground Equipment (ESL High-Intermediate)
Monkey bars, a seesaw or a spiral slide... what’s your favorite? Help your students name playground equipment and share their memories associated with playing outdoors. Lots of conversation questions and a word building exercise with suffix -tion (cooperation, coordination, perception etc.).

Please take a moment to fill out our survey. Your answers will help us improve our materials and make them more relevant for your students.

Recent Blog Updates
ESL Teacher Blog

'Teacher, What Page?' - Addressing a Teacher in Class

E-Readers and ESL Reading

Nouns As Adjectives - Common Mistakes by ESL Learners
ESL Student Blog

Lose Vs. Loose

Mushroom Picking - Popular Summer Pastime

Fireworks Sights and Sounds - The Sky Is the Limit
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes
This long but inspirational quote comes from the recent book by Sir Ken Robinson The Element - How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.
“The Element is the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion... the people you’ll meet in these pages...are doing the things they love, and in doing it they feel like the most authentic themselves. They find the time passes differently and that they are more alive, more centered, and more vibrant than at any other times. Being in their own Element takes them beyond the ordinary experiences of enjoyment or happiness. When people are in their Element, they connect with something fundamental to their sense of self-revelation, of defining who they really are and what they are really meant to be doing with their lives...People who are in their Element take a deep delight and pleasure at what they do.”

What does ‘in your element’ mean?

If you are in your element, you feel happy because you’re doing what you love and are also good at it.

Clea, our dance instructor, loves dancing to all of the musical styles. Her energy in class is contagious! Clea is in her element when she’s on the dance floor.

To a Happy and Successful New School Year,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 4:49 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Tuesday, May 04, 2010

English Gateway Newsletter #15

J is for joyful, U is for upbeat, N is for nuptial, E is for exciting and emotional too - that sums up the month of June. It’s also about fathers who definitely deserve to be celebrated! What’s June for you?
Site Updates (Member Content)
New Worksheets
Vacation Idioms (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students guess the meanings of vacation-related idioms based on the way these are used in a conversation or situation.
Thirst Quenchers (ESL High-Intermediate)
As the weather is heating up, how do your students cool off? Talk about popular thirst quenchers and explore other ways of saying ‘drink’.
Related From the Archive: Father’s Day Worksheet
Dad-isms - Your Dad’s Favorite Lines (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students discuss the real meaning of the lines so commonly used by fathers all over the world.
New lesson Plan
Interjections: ...Huh? (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students practice a variety of interjections that express sudden emotions or strong feelings.
ESL Teacher Blog Updates
I Say, You Say - British and American Pronunciation Differences

10 Tips for Managing a Multi-Level ESL Class
ESL Student Blog Updates
A to Z Father's Day Adjectives
Nurse, Nursing, Nursery

Speaking of Royalty

Spring Fever - Do I Need to See a Doctor?

Earmuffs, Earplugs, Earphones

Dye Vs. Die
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes

Upon landing of Atlantis, a NASA shuttle that completed its 32d and final flight in May, Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of Space Operations, commented on the astronauts:
My hat is off to the team. They make it look easy. I can tell you it wasn’t easy, and they deserve a lot of praise and congratulations for what they’ve done.”

What does ‘my hat is off’ mean?

This idiom is used to show admiration or respect for someone who has done something impressive. Variations of this idiom are ‘take my hat off to someone’ or ‘tip your hat off to someone’:

I take my hat off to the war veterans who risked their lives fighting for our freedom.

Happy Learning and Teaching,

English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:15 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Tuesday, March 23, 2010

English Gateway Newsletter #14

Spring is here and so is our newsletter with the great resources to celebrate the season!

New Lesson Plan
The Last Laugh (ESL Advanced)
Share a laugh with your students in a lesson dedicated to April Fool’s. Enjoy a story chock-full of idiomatic expressions, vocabulary exercises and good-natured humour.
The plot: Ed loved playing jokes on his family and friends and would often pull a prank on his wife Mildred. But when Ed comes back from his fishing trip, he gets a taste of his own medicine.
New Worksheets (Member Content)
April Fool’s Day ESL Worksheets: Practical Joke Devices (High-Intermediate)
Familiarize students with common North American practical joke devices. Whether they consider them amusing, silly or embarrassing, encourage to support their view.
Green Resolutions: Earth Day Phrasal Verbs (High-Intermediate)
Students include phrasal verbs in their resolutions to go greener.
Spring-Related Resources from the Archive
Environment Collocations
Describing Nature Collocations

Spring Cleaning - Get Your Place Spick and Span
Blog Updates
ESL Student Blog
Unusual Winter Olympic Sports - Curling
Economic or Economical?
Affix Para- in Paralympics and Other Related Words
ESL Teacher Blog
Teaching Irregular Verbs Lexical Approach Style
When a Day Has 23 Hours
Idiomania: Idioms in Recent Media Quotes
This is what WestJet (Canadian airline) CEO Sean Durfy has recently said after his surprise decision to quit the job:

“You run out of steam after a while. Especially at a company like WestJet. It is an amazing place, but the airline space and the airline sector is exhausting.”

What does ‘run out of steam’ mean?

If someone runs out of steam, they have no more energy or enthusiasm left.

He tried to chase the car on his bike but ran out of steam pedaling uphill.

Happy Learning and Teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:01 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Sunday, February 07, 2010

English Gateway Newsletter #13

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s also one of the busiest and most special on the calendar. From the opening of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games to Chinese New Year and to Valentine’s Day, there’s certainly no shortage of events and celebrations to look forward to.
Membership Content Additions
Valentines’s Day Lesson Plan:
Happily Ever After (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students summarize popular fairytales and talk about the reasons people keep reading and watching their childhood favorites over and over again.
New Worksheets:
Olympic Dominoes (ESL Intermediate)
Practice Olympic collocations to celebrate the 2010 Olympic Winter Games that kick off on February 12.
Comfort Foods (ESL Intermediate)
Not only is food essential, it’s also a source of comfort. Familiarize your students with popular North American comfort foods, often consumed to satisfy psychological needs of being stressed, anxious, frustrated etc. or as a reminder  of happy childhood moments.
Collocations With ‘Give’ (ESL Intermediate)
This high-frequency verb (‘give’) collocates with a large number of words. The worksheet practices the most common combinations with less obvious meanings of ‘give’.
Recent Blog Updates
Teacher Blog
Collocations and “Find Someone Who...” in the Olympic Spirit

Collocations As Carriers of Culture in ESL Classrooms
Student Blog
Hear Vs. Listen

Weather-Related Small Talk
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes From Movies
This quote comes from Avatar, the new movie directed by James Cameron, that has made history by setting a worldwide box-office record.

This is what Jake Sully, a Marine infantryman, says to the Tree of Souls:
“I may just be talking to a tree, but if you can hear me I need to give you a heads up”. What does ‘give a heads-up’ mean?
If someone gives somebody a heads-up, s/he gives a warning message or an advance notice of a situation that will require attention.
Going over the sample interview questions will give you a heads up on what to expect at your real interview.
Happy learning and teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 5:15 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Tuesday, December 01, 2009

English Gateway Newsletter #12

There are many wonderful reasons to celebrate and recognize the last month of the year. We thank everyone who has helped us grow and improve throughout this marvelous year and send our best wishes for a festive and jolly holiday season!
Site Update:
Join English Gateway workshop "From Intermediate to Advanced - Taking Vocabulary Skills to the Next Level" at TESL Ontario Conference in Toronto, Ontario, December 10-12, 2009!
Membership Content Additions:
New Worksheet: Describing Clothes Collocations (ESL High-Intermediate)
Students learn to describe articles of clothing based on style, length, pattern and other characteristics.
New Worksheet: Canadian-isms (ESL Low-Intermediate)
Students practice vocabulary peculiar to Canadian English.
New Lesson Plan: "Twas the Night Before Christmas" (ESL Intermediate)
This lesson is based on the poem by Clement Clarke Moore. Students talk about Christmas traditions and image of Santa Claus as perceived through the poem. Rhyming patterns of the poem are also explored.

More holiday-related worksheets:

Naughty or Nice? (Based on the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town") ESL Intermediate

Students learn about Santa Claus as personified in folklore and give examples of naughty or nice behaviour.

Personality and Gift Giving (ESL High-Intermediate)

Students think of gifts that match various personality traits.

Recent Blog Updates
Teacher Blog
Using Corpus in Advanced ESL Classes
What Are Language Chunks?
Follow Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Torch Relay and Learn Canadian Geography
Student Blog
Raise vs. Rise
Idiomania: Idioms in the Language of Advertising
Apple has recently advertised their special shopping event as the following:
TGI Friday.
Especially this Friday.
What does TGI Friday mean?
This expression means Thank Goodness It’s Friday (also abbreviated TGIF). It’s used among people who are happy their workweek (Monday to Friday) is finished and weekend is coming up. For example:
What a tough week it has been, TGIF!
Happy learning and teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 5:00 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Wednesday, October 21, 2009

English Gateway Newsletter #11

The school year is in full swing and there has been a lot of activity here at English Gateway. Whether a student or teacher of intermediate to advanced levels, we hope you find the best value vocabulary lessons, worksheets and lesson plans in our regularly updated resources.

Site Updates:
English Gateway has gone membership based. Downloading ESL worksheets, ESL lesson plans and ESL vocabulary lessons is now available for members only. Read more about our membership.

Limited Time Offer Until October 31st, 2009!

Use 25OFF coupon code to get a 25% discount on any type of membership purchase.

Join English Gateway workshops at 2009 SPEAQ Convention in Montreal, Quebec, November 12-14, 2009 or TESL Ontario Conference in Toronto, Ontario, December 10-12, 2009.
New Worksheet:
The Scary Sounds of Halloween (ESL Intermediate)
Name the sounds typically associated with Halloween. Describe sounds of a haunted house traditionally visited on Halloween.
New Lesson Plans:
Leaving a Voicemail Message (ESL Intermediate)
Discuss what makes a good and not so good voicemail message. Edit sample messages and create your own.
Subway Announcements (ESL High-Intermediate)
Help your students feel less frustrated the next time they hear an inaudible announcement on the subway. Go over common scripts and scenarios encountered on public transit premises.
Traffic Report (ESL Advanced)
Check your students’ comprehension of a typical traffic report. Focus on collocations, synonyms and words that function as different parts of speech. (Names of streets and intersections in this report come from the city of Toronto, Canada - a special treat for Canadian teachers).
Super-Duper - Talking About Fashion, based on the song "Putting on the Ritz"  (ESL Advanced)
Discuss the fashion trends of the Western culture in the 20th century. Introduce vocabulary related to fashion and name well-known American fashion icons.
Recent Blog Updates
Teacher Blog
Fall Foliage Lexical Activities
A or An - Phonetics Over Spelling
Student Blog
Thanksgiving Traditions - Wishing Upon A Wishbone
Custom or Customs?
Idiomania: Idioms in the Language of Advertising
Macintosh (or Mac), a popular Apple computer, has recently been advertised as the following:
It has the best operating system and then some.
What does ‘and then some’ means?
This expression means “considerably more in addition”.
For example:
The store offers dozens of ice-cream flavors and then some.
That trip was my lifelong dream and then some!

Happy learning and teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 4:18 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Sunday, June 14, 2009

English Gateway Newsletter #10

What are you up to this summer? Whether you look forward to a well-deserved vacation, long-awaited graduation party or just a rewarding gardening season, we hope you enjoy the season to its fullest!
In this issue:
New Exercises:
Wedding Idioms
June is the most popular wedding month. Can you describe a wedding you’ve been to using these idioms?
Rooms in the House
Name typical rooms of a house in your part of the world.
Father's Day Worksheet:
Dad-isms - Your Dad’s Favorite Lines
No matter what language you speak, the fathers all over the world typically say the same lines to their children. Discuss the examples and add you own as you take part in a conversation game.
ESL Student Blog
Preposition ‘by’ vs. ‘with’
'Onto' vs. 'On To'
ESL Teacher Blog
Pronouncing -ed Endings in the Simple Past Tense
Phrasal Verbs and Prepositional Verbs - How to Tell Apart
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People
In one of his recent interview Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, America’s largest online retailer, has said:
If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. 
If information spreads by word of mouth, it passes from one person to another (rather than comes from other sources, e.g.: TV, radio, newspapers)
Neil is a very skillful plumber. Most of his work comes by word of mouth - his satisfied customers recommend his services to their friends and family.
We found this place through word of mouth. They make the best burgers in town!
Best summer wishes,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:14 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Wednesday, April 22, 2009

English Gateway Newsletter #9

With bright sunshine and warmth one minute and cold rain the next, April is a truly mixed bag of weather. Yet, as the trees are starting to bud and the first daffodils are in flower, we can’t be wrong that the spring has finally sprung!
In this issue:
New Exercises:

Crime Collocations

Crime has always received an extensive coverage by the media. Are you familiar with crime-related expressions?
Discuss popular North American egg dishes and talk about your favorite. How are eggs prepared in your ethnic cuisine?
New Lesson Plan:
Blood tests are a necessity for many. Prepare your students for possible scenarios taking place at a medical lab.
New Worksheet:
As the weather warms up, it’s time to get down to some serious cleaning. Talk about this seasonal ritual as you introduce the new vocabulary. Students then create their spring cleaning plan for a room assigned by a teacher.
ESL Student Blog

Crash or Crush?

ESL Teacher Blog
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People
Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef, while preparing a feast featuring the best of British food for the G20 leaders, has recently said:
"I'm very, very proud of my country and its food traditions and I know that the guests at Downing Street will be in for a real treat."
If you’re in for something, you’re guaranteed to experience it very soon.
If you thought you’ve tried all the possible ice-cream flavors, you’re in for a big surprise. This ice-cream parlor offers over 200 mouth-watering flavors!
"We’re in for some rain tonight", said the tour guide pointing at the dark heavy clouds.
Happy learning and teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 4:59 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Tuesday, March 10, 2009

English Gateway Newsletter #8

The mounds of snow are getting smaller with each day and migratory birds are coming back. With warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours and..yes, lots of muddy puddles, the winter is gradually giving way to spring!

In this issue:

New Exercises:

City Streets Collocations

Describe the urban landscape of your city. Have there been any changes or additions to the look of your city, such as pedestrian scramble, traffic lights countdown timers or speed bumps?

Love Collocations

Use these word combinations to describe romantic love, love between parents and children, or people and pets. Think of examples from the movies, literature or your personal experiences that are related to the new phrases.

New Lesson Plans:

Shopping for Bed Linens (High-Intermediate)

Shopping for bed linens is yet another cultural difference. Students talk about the topic through reading, vocabulary building exercises and conversation questions.

Workplace Skills (High-Intermediate)

“What skills do you possess that make you a successful candidate for this position?” - is  the most frequently asked question at job interviews. Students read newspaper advertisements and create one of their own to highlight workplace transferable skills.

ESL Student Blog

In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb

Job, Occupation, Profession - What’s the Difference?

Flag Day

ESL Teacher Blog

Toronto Turns 175

Wake Up, Class!

Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People

While accepting the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the President of the United States, Barack Obama, American singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder said:

"What is truly exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time and a space where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as, through the love and caring and the commitment of a president — as in our president, Barack Obama."

What does live up to mean?

When something (or someone) meets our requirements or expectations, we say it lives up to them.


Emily, our real estate agent, has certainly lived up to our expectations when we met her in person. She was very informative and professional, and not pushy at all!

We booked a five-star hotel on our trip to Hawaii. The pool area was dirty, the food was mediocre and there were no English speaking channels to watch! The hotel just didn’t live up to its rating.

Happy March Break,

English Gateway Team

POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:39 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top 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   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Saturday, December 13, 2008

English Gateway Newsletter #6

It’s hard to believe that the new calendar year is only weeks away! The most celebrated part of the year is upon us and we wish you lots of holiday cheer and many learning and teaching rewards!

In this issue:
New Exercises This Month:
These common day-to-day phrasal verbs will help you talk about two main human needs – food and sleep.
Food Phrasal Verbs
Sleep Phrasal Verbs
New Worksheets This Month:
Whether shopping for clothes or groceries, these phrasal verbs come in handy in any shopping related conversations.
Shopping Phrasal Verbs
Does personality play a role in choosing a gift? Students share their opinions as they define common personality traits.
Personality and Gift Giving
Set a festive mood in your class by listening to this popular tune and sharing a laugh about childhood memories associated with Santa Claus.
Naughty or Nice? (based on the song ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town)
Blog Updates
ESL Student Blog
A Note on Number Reading
Recognizable Idioms
ESL Teacher Blog
Naughty or Nice? Help Your Students Find Out As You Sing Along
Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People

Oprah Winfrey, a very popular talk show host on American TV, has candidly related to her current weight:

'When it comes to maintaining my health, I didn't just fall off the wagon. I let the wagon fall on me.'
What does ‘fall off the wagon’ mean?

If a person falls off the wagon, s
/he fails to keep his/her promise not to do something.
Oprah talked about her ‘dieting’ wagon. She has gained weight because she didn’t follow her diet and quit her exercise routine.
This expression is often used to describe people who start drinking alcohol after a period they haven’t had any:
He fell off the wagon right after their divorce was finalized.
Do you know anyone who fell of the wagon and resumed smoking? How many times has this person tried to quit smoking?
We wish you to never fall off the wagon in the upcoming year!
Happy Holidays!
English Gateway Team

POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:55 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Saturday, November 15, 2008

English Gateway Newsletter #5

The trees are nearly bare of their leaves and it won’t take long until the first snow covers the ground. November is here and most of us are busy finishing the end-of-the-year work and look forward to the holiday season and well-deserved time off!
In this issue:
New Exercises:
Do you like watching and/or reading thrillers? Going over newspaper headlines? You’re definitely to come across those word combinations.
Police Collocations
Tell about your sleep patterns using the idioms in this exercise.
Sleep Idioms
New Worksheets:
Divide the new idioms into positive and negative types and ask your students to describe people in their surroundings. Are they familiar with any of these types?
Types of People – Descriptive Collocations (ESL High-Intermediate)
Incorporate this worksheet into a study unit on health issues or when noticeable seasonal changes take place (arrival of longer/shorter days, daylight saving time, winter ‘hibernation’).
Sleep Idioms (ESL High-Intermediate)
Blog Updates
ESL Student Blog
Are English Words Getting Shorter?
Some time, Sometime, Sometimes
ESL Teacher Blog
Presidential Elections Word Cloud and Language Learning
Let’s Play Scrabble
Idiomania: Idioms in Advertisements
What does the idiom ‘cloud nine’ in the following advertisement of Lufthansa (airline) mean?
A Business Class bed that feels like home. An Internet connection that feels like the office. An experience that feels like cloud nine. All for this one moment.
Cloud nine is a state of extreme happiness.
After living in a rental apartment for 10 years we finally bought a new house. We’re moving in next month and I'm on cloud nine!
What makes you be on cloud nine?

Happy Learning and Teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:33 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Saturday, October 18, 2008

English Gateway Newsletter #4

Walk or drive through Canadian neighborhoods these days and you won’t miss them - pumpkins, spider webs and scarecrows are everywhere.  And with trees decked out in their brilliant fall colors, no wonder October is the most beautiful month of the year!
In this issue:
New Exercises This Month:
Corporate, medical, government, law or post offices surround us at ever turn. Can you describe an office that you've recently visited?
Office Collocations (Workplace English)

Find more office collocations in our workplace related lessons.

Canadians have just casted their ballots in the Federal Elections. Can you describe the election process in your country? Read this blog post about the structure of the Canadian government.
Elections Collocations (Day to Day English)
New Worksheets This Month:
Help your students brush up on idioms related to school days.
Higher Education Idioms (ESL High-Intermediate)
With Halloween around the corner, talk about the ways to describe the feeling of fear through the language of idioms.
Fear Idioms (ESL Advanced)
Blog Updates
ESL Student Blog
The Cutting Verbs
Describe Your Perfect Fall Leaf
Canadian Government in a Nutshell
ESL Teacher Blog
Using Subway Maps
Turning a Technical Problem into a Teachable Moment
Thanksgiving and Elections – Is there a Connection?
Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People
This is what Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., said on hiring:
“Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.”  
What does the bolded idiom mean?
A needle in a haystack is an object or person which is very difficult or nearly impossible to find
Consider this example:
Searching for the tourist gone missing in the vast area of the Amazon River rainforests was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Have you ever been searching for a needle in a haystack?
Happy Learning and Teaching,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:50 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Sunday, September 14, 2008

English Gateway Newsletter #3

September is here and most of us getting back to school, work or just back to our regular schedule after the lazy days of summer. This is a truly inspiring month when new people, opportunities and experiences await us at every corner!
In this issue:
New Exercises This Month:
Gone are the days of 20-pound dictionaries and pencils #2. Electronic dictionaries, lead pencils (or the ones with toys on the tips!), post-it notes and liquid paper are today’s must-have items for school and work.
School Supplies Collocations
No topic is more important to brush on when students get back to the school.
Fire Safety Collocations
New Worksheets This Month:
Through common word combinations and idioms, students are exposed to language and cultural norms and routines of today’s North American office in these workplace-related worksheets.
Office Collocations
Business Idioms
Blog Updates
Student Blog:
The Right Paper For Your Job
Accept, Expect or Except?
Teacher Blog:
Back to School Madness
First Day Mood
Idiomania: Idioms in Taglines
Tagline is a short phrase that summarizes the main idea of a product or service that is offered by a business. It comes along with the brand name and is used for advertising purposes.
Companies try to make their taglines more memorable to their customers by writing them in a funny or rhyming way, or …by using idiomatic language. Here is an example of an idiom used in the tagline of – an online business that provides information on accommodations: We know hotels inside and out.
If you know something inside and out, you know it very well.
Garry helped us to buy a house. He’s an experienced real estate agent who knows the market inside and out.
Patricia gave me a lot of useful advice on how to use Photoshop effectively. She really knows this program inside and out.
Is there a subject or topic you know inside and out?
Let us know - leave a comment.

Wishing you a very productive school year,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 10:55 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Wednesday, August 13, 2008

English Gateway Newsletter #2 Updated

Please accept our sincere apologies for the newsletter #2 sent with broken links.

Thank you

English Gateway Team

As we curiously watch the world’s best athletes compete in Beijing, let’s admire their willpower, perseverance and determination. Whether we strive to be better at sports, work or learning English, it sure takes a lot of hard work!
In this issue:
New Exercises This Month:

Are you familiar with the Olympic motto? What’s the most famous Olympic venue in Beijing?
Did the torch relay pass through your country?

Olympic Games Collocations

Workplace language is packed with idioms. 6 new idioms are practiced in this exercise.

Workplace Idioms

New Worksheets This Month:

Phrasal verbs have always been the Achilles heel for language learners. Use the teacher notes to get ideas on how to introduce/reinforce the concept of phrasal verbs that have more than one meaning.

Multiple Meanings Phrasal Verbs

Weather is a topic everyone can relate to. As your students advance through higher levels of learning English, draw their attention to vocabulary that describes the weather beyond the words ‘nice’ or ‘cold’.

Weather Collocations

Blog Updates

Are idioms and phrasal verbs the same?
Usage Note: Safe or Confident? Try out a short quiz at the end of the post.

Student Blog

Share your favorite Olympic memories or moments after brainstorming Olympics related vocabulary.

Teacher Blog

Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People

The 38-year-old American actress Uma Thurman feels good about her age as she talks about it in her recent interview:
“Being in my late 30s is fine with me. Maybe when 40 hits, the penny will drop and you just hate life. But so far, so good.”

What penny is she talking about?

If the penny dropped for you, you finally understood something that wasn’t obvious to you some time ago.
The comedian was really funny. At first I didn’t get his jokes, but then the penny dropped, and I burst into laughter.
When Natalie looked through the bus window, she didn’t recognize her surroundings – the streets were unfamiliar and strange. Finally the penny dropped, and she realized that she missed her stop.
so far, so good – things have gone well until now
She has won three out of five games. So far, so good!
“How is your trip going?” my mom asked me on the phone.
So far, so good. It hasn’t rained even once and we’ve been able to see most of the city’s attractions”, I replied.
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 10:56 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Sunday, July 13, 2008

English Gateway Newsletter #1

What are you doing this summer? Whether gardening, visiting your family, relaxing at the beach or just eagerly anticipating the start of the Beijing Olympic Games, we at English Gateway hope you keep speaking English!

In this issue:

New Exercises This Month:

Tying the knot (getting married) this summer, anyone? Invited to a wedding?

Wedding Collocations

Canada turned 141 on the 1st of July, young or shabby? When does your country celebrate its birthday?
Canada Day Collocations
Are you an avid gardener? Any luck growing tomatoes this year?
Gardening Collocations 
New Worksheets This Month:
Trying to get your students to talk about weddings in their countries? These expressions will lay the foundation to discuss the topic:
Wedding Collocations
With the Games fast approaching, use these expressions to warm your students up towards the  action-packed days:
Sports Collocations
Blog Updates

Student Blog: Placing Stress in Noun-Verb Pairs in English
Teacher Blog: Do You Have a Favourite Student in Your Classroom?

Teacher Blog: End of the School Year Activity

Idiomania: Idioms in Quotes of Famous People

Lt. General Ann Dunwoody has recently become the first female four-star general in the history of the United States. This is what she said on her nomination:

“I grew up in a family that didn't know what glass ceilings were.”

What did Lt. General Ann Dunwoody mean?

Glass ceiling is a barrier to the positions of top management jobs that women and minorities face when they try to advance their careers. This term has a discriminatory nature.
Many women hit the glass ceiling in their middle management positions. Eventually, they decide to quit their jobs and start their own business.

It took her a decade to get through/break/crack/shatter the glass ceiling and become the CEO of the company.

Do you have a glass ceiling story to share? We’d love to listen!
Have a great summer,
English Gateway Team
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:19 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

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