Wednesday, December 17, 2014

...Until We Meet Again

Well, this is it:  the very last post of the semester and of 2014.
The idioms we've had the past couple of weeks are:
  • to be snowed under
  • to work your fingers to the bone
  • to bring home the bacon
  • to be a number cruncher
We had these tongue twisters (

           Four furious friends fought for the phone.

            There was a young fisher named Fischer
            Who fished for a fish in a fissure.
            The fish with a grin,
            Pulled the fisherman in;
            Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fischer.
            Freshly fried flying fish

             Freshly fried fresh flesh

            A flea and a fly flew up in a flue.
            Said the flea, “Let us fly!“
            Said the fly, “Let us flee!“
            So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
            Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks
            Fat frogs flying past fast at five to five (4:55)

            Flee from fog to fight flu fast!

            Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.

            I am not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate. I am only 
            plucking pheasants ’cause the pheasant plucker’s running late.

  We talked a lot about punctuation.  If you want to practice go here.

Here are some words we learned.

Remember, you can always contact me at
Until then:  
And I wish all of you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Feliz año nuevo
Chúc mừng năm mới
с Новым годом
नया साल मुबारक
feliz ano novo   
bonne année
መልካም አዲስ አመት 
  سنة جديدة سعيدة

Friday, December 5, 2014

I can't believe it's December!

It's almost winter and we've finally gotten some rain here.

During the past two weeks we've had these idioms:

  • to let someone down
  • to make it
  • back talk
  • to skate on thin ice
  • to straighten up
  • to be chicken
  • to be a chicken
  • to chicken out
  • to turn out
  • fraidycat
  • there's something to that
We practiced these words.

And we worked on the following tongue twisters:

1.    Give Mr. Snipe’s wife’s knife a swipe.

2.   Will you wash Wendell on Wednesday, William?

3.   Who washed Washington’s white woolen underwear when Washington’s wash­er­woman went west?

 4.   Twelve twins twirled twelve twigs.

 5.   While we were walking, we were watching window washers wash Washington’s windows with warm washing water.

6.   Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better.

 7.   Welsh wristwatches wear well in wild Wales.

  8.  Of all the felt I ever felt
      I never felt a piece of felt
     Which felt as fine as that felt felt
     When first I felt that felt hat’s felt.

Click on this link to hear me pronounce them:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Since we've been concentrating on job interviews this week, we don't have a lot of vocabulary.  You can practice (a rather strange assortment of words) here.

This week's idioms were:

  • to be bummed out
  • to throw in the towel
  • to give someone a hard time
  • to let someone have it
  • to clean up (pronoun) act

I will take next weekend off for Thanksgiving  and be back in December.  Until then I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving, in my opinion, is the best holiday we have, and it's a holiday for everyone everywhere because it is not from any religion or any culture.  It is simply a day to say thank you for everything you have:

your family
your health
the roof over your head
the food on your table
your friends
your work
your school 
your ability to read in at least 2 languages
and ....

And , I want to say Thank you to you for reading this.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let's Get A Job!

This week we've been talking about jobs in the US, applications, and job interviews.  Click here for our vocabulary (there's a lot!)

Also this week we had these idioms:

  • to crack me up/ to crack up
  • to blow it
  • to be ripped off/ to be a rip off
  • to have it in for someone
  • to be on the same page

And, here are this week's tongue twisters.  They make no sense, but they're a lot of fun!

1.     Seven slick slimy snails, slowly sliding southward.
2.    Chicken in the car and the car can go, that is the way you spell Chicago.
3.    The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
4.    If two witches would watch two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
5.    If you understand, say ""understand"". If you don't understand, say ""don't understand"". But if you understand and say ""don't understand"". how do I understand that you understand?
6.    Whether the weather: Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not.
7.    Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather whether we like it or not.

Here's the link to hear me pronouncing them:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Back to Business

This week we discussed ways to interrupt in meetings -- and had a lot of fun doing so.  Here is the vocabulary we studied.  Remember if you can't get to the premium activities,  log in as VOTPstudent.  Your password is 750.  You should be able to do all the games and take the vocabulary test too.  If you have a problem, please tell me or email me at

We also studied these idioms & expressions over the past week:

  • to put something on the back burner
  • to have a pity party
  • to rub (it) in
  • to be on a slipper slope

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Been An Exciting Week...

in San Francisco!

First the Giants won the World Series and there was a GIANT parade Friday for them. And to give you a taste of a Giants game and why Giants fans don't stop believing, here's Steve Perry singing:  

 Friday was also Halloween.  In honor of Halloween we read this is class:

Two Witches 
       By Alexander Resnikoff
There was a witch.
The witch had an itch.
The itch was so itchy.
 It gave her a twitch.
Another witch admired the witch, so she started twitching though she had no itch.
Now both of them twitch, so it's hard to tell which witch has the itch ,and which witch has the twitch.

If you want to hear me reading the poem, click  here.

And this week in class we had the most wonderful presentations from all the students.  All I can say is:

  • Way to Go!
  • You Knocked Them Dead!
  • You Rock!

We'll be back to our regular work next week and more vocabulary.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's almost Halloween!

Halloween is on Friday, but who can think about that when the S.F. Giants are in the World Series!  Right now it's tied - 2 games to San Francisco and 2 to Kansas City.

GO .........

In other news, we've been planning presentations.  I did a presentation on the Beach Chalet.  

Get information here: 

Be sure to visit if you can or at least check out the great murals

This week's idioms were:

  • to come clean
  • to make fun of
  • a big deal/not a big deal
  • to stick to (review)
  • a piece of cake
  • to get out of hand
  • in a nutshell
  • a long story        

Finally, here are this weeks vocabulary words:

Have a good week and happy trick or treating!