Idiom in O – Off the Grid

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The 15th idiom of the series! Have you ever heard of this one? Well, sometimes it is good to get off the grid for a while.

What it means:

To make it simple it means “not connected”.

How to use it:

It can be used in many different ways. Here are just a few:

  • Not connected to social media or internet.

I tried contacting Pepe via Whatsapp but I just remembered that he is on a retreat so he will be off the grid for a while.

  • Not connected to services (water, electricity…):

Once our solar panels generate enough power, we’ll be able to go off the grid.

  • Not under governmental control:

The inventor of the Bitcoin currency is still unknown to this date. He is completely off the grid.

Other interesting idioms:

On a roll – If someone is on a roll they are experiencing good luck and success (ex: So, you found a ten pound note on the floor this morning and your boss gave you a day off? You’d better play the lottery today because you are on a roll).

On board – To be on board means that you are willing to do something (ex: I asked Mark if he wanted to come with us to Madrid this weekend and he said that he was on board).

Open book – If a person is an open book they are easy to understand and to know (ex: I know you like that boy, it is obvious. You are like an open book).

Open secret – Something that is supposed to be a secret but that everyone knows (ex: Marilyn Monroe and John Kennedy had a relationship. It was an open secret).

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

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Idiom in N – Nick of Time

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Because Taylor Swift used this expression in one of her songs, you have to learn it.

What it means:

If something is done in the nick of time it is done last minute. It could also mean that it was done just in time.

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at some examples.

  • A TV game show contestant could answer in the nick of time. The person used all the time available and answered at the last minute.
  • You need to go buy bread but are worried the bakery might already be closed. When you arrive just before they close and manage to buy your bread. You got there in the nick of time.
  • You had an essay due at midnight for university and sent it at 11h59…You handed in your essay in the nick of time.

Other interesting idioms:

Needle in a haystack – when you are looking for something difficult to find because of the surrounding it is like looking for a needle in a haystack (ex: looking for a particular person in a big crowd).

Nerves of steel – a person with nerves of steel does not get frightened easily.

Never a rose without a prick – it means that something good comes with something bad (ex: you find the perfect job which is very interesting and is well paid but you have a longer commute everyday).

No pain, no gain – Success comes with sacrifices (ex: if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise a lot. No pain, no gain!).

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in M – Make Someone’s Day

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It’s official! I am committing to posting a new idiom for this series every week. So make sure to follow the blog and you’ll receive a notification as soon as it is out every week.

What it means:

If something makes your day, it makes you very happy. I also feel that you need an element of surprise for someting to make your day. It is not just happiness, it is unexpected happiness.

When to use it:

You can use this idiom whether it is something or someone that makes you happy.

Receiving a message from a friend, finally finding that top you have been looking for, finding a 5 euro note in one of your pockets or even realising a new episode of your favourite TV show is out are all things that could make your day.

Other interesting idioms in M:

  • Make ends meet – If it is hard to make ends meet, it is difficult to live with the money you earn.
  • Make someone’s blood boil – Something that makes your blood boil makes you angry.
  • More than one way to skin a cat – This means that there is more than one way to achieve the same result.

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in L – Learn the Ropes

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New entry in the series, letter L.

What it means:

If you are learning the ropes of something, you are learning how to do it.

When to use it:

There are millions of ways and situations when you can use this idiom. When I started teaching, I had to learn the ropes of teaching, become familiar with what to do.

It is often associated to starting a new job and getting used to the new tasks it involves.

Here are 2 synonyms of learn the ropes:

  • get the hang of something
  • get the knack of something (the -k- is silent here, like in ‘know’)

Other Interesting Indioms in L:

Last laugh – to finally be more successful than someone who was unpleasant to you or finally succeed after experiencing setbacks.

Lay down the law – give instructions or orders in an authoritarian way (ex: when a mother tells you to clean up your room)

leading edge – sometimes cutting edge – refers to the most advanced position in a field (ex: leading edge technology)

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

B2 Listening – Plastic Surgery

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And here we go with another Trinity style listening exercise. This one is for ISE II (B2) students, but feel free to challenge yourself with this exercise regardless of your level (as the listening is a bit long and on the higher spectrum of B2).

I chose the topic of plastic surgery specifically because it is a controversial topic. Which means the exercise is more focused on expressing ideas and opinion than fishing for pure facts like in the previous one (B1 Listening – Axolotls)

  • Audio clip:

 

  • Download this document for the script, the questions and the answers.

Plastic Surgery B2

You need to get 50% of the answers right. Let me know how it went in a comment below!

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

B1 Listening – Axolotls

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Time to practise listening. This is my first full listening post. The intention behind it was to create a listening exercise that ISE I (B1) trinity students can use, but any B1 student can benefit from it.

Audio

Download this document for the script, the questions and the answers.

B1 Listening Exercise – Axolotls

I hope you find the activity useful. If you like it, I’ll make more and include other levels as well.

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in K – Keep at Bay

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And we continue this series of idioms with the letter -K-

What it means:

If you keep something, or someone, at bay it means that you are preventing them from coming too close, whether it is physically or metaphorically. (Also hold something at bay)

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at the physical aspect of it. If you keep someone at bay, you do what you can to keep them far from you. A typical example could be an overprotective dad keeping any of his daughter’s suitors at bay and scaring them (Who has a dad like that? Mine used to say that he would cut all my future boyfriends’ ears  and make them pointy like elves…Do not ask me why…You know, funny dads!)

But then I also mentioned a metaphorical aspect. By this, I am actually referring to abstract things such as sadness or hunger. I could for instance say that a nice cup of tea keeps the cold at bay in winter.

Other interesting idioms in K:

 Keep a straight face – To stay serious and not to laugh despite wanting to.

Kick a habit – Stop doing something (that you are used to doing)

Knight in shining armour – A person who saves you when you are in great trouble

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in J – Je ne sais quoi

 

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Yes, that’s French! A lot of French expressions are used in English actually!

What it means:

“Je ne sais quoi” means that something is good but for a reason that is difficult to explain.

When to use it:

Use it when you can’t quite say what is that little thing that makes it how it is. This expression will also make you sound a little fancy.

Imagine that both Gordon and you have each made a cake. You both followed the instructions correctly but for some reason Gordon’s is better. You could say that his cake has a je ne sais quoi.

Other Interesting Idioms in J:

Just what the doctor ordered – It means that it is just what you need.

Justice is blind – It means that justice is impartial.

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates.

 

Eating Frogs – Online Listening Exercise

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It has been a while since I last posted something on the blog (though I have about 10 articles waiting to be finished).

I have been making short videos about situations I experience and poor Arran, my boyfriend, was forced to try frog’s legs, one of my favourite French delicacies. My dad also really wanted to be in one of my videos so we decided to go full on French for this one (my Dad’s French accent, the flag on his T-shirt and frog’s legs…We just need to add a béret basically).

But this is not just a fun video to watch, I have turned it into a real listening exercise. And all you need is a piece of paper and a pen. I have used the subtitles to create an actual listening quiz. There are numbered gaps in the subtitles and your job is to find those 10 missing words. The answers are at the end of the video.

Would you eat frog’s legs if you could?

If you want the version without subtitles check out my Facebook page. (link down below)

What do you think of this new type of video exercise?
I really hope you like it!

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates.

 

Valentine’s Day – ESL Lesson

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Hello everyone!

I am sorry for not being very active on the blog lately, I have been focusing a lot on making videos for Youtube (for both teachers and students of course!).

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether you like that celebration or not it is always a good excuse to create an especially fun lesson.

Here are several ESL activities to teach in class. And if you are a student, there are some exercises that you can download and do at home! So let’s have a look!

Famous Couples

Teacher writes the following expressions on the board (feel free to add your own) and discusses their meanings with the students:

  • to admire
  • to look up to
  • to give back to
  • to be kind-hearted
  • to set an example
  • to overcome something
  • to go through something
  • to live up to someone’s expectations
  • to pave the way
  • to be devoted to someone/something

Ask your students to tell their partner about a famous couple they admire. Then that partner presents to the class using as many of the expressions on the board as possible. The person who uses the most wins.

Love or Hate Vocabulary

Here is a worksheet you can download.

 

love-or-hate

love-or-hate-answers

Exercise I – Tell your students to write the expressions under the correct category (love or hate). Then discuss the meaning with them.

Exercise II – Fill in the blanks with the appropriate expression from the previous exercise. More than one option is sometimes possible.

Love letter

This is the perfect occasion to review the structure of a letter.

Pair your students up. Tell them to write a list of stuctures that can be used to start and finish a letter (both formal and informal). The team that has the most wins. Teacher adds other expressions.

Then it is time for practice. Give your students a topic. Here are some options:

-A famous star has a crush on you and has sent you a love letter. Write the letter you would love to receive.

-Write a love letter to someone you love.

-Your best friend has just broken up with their partner. Write them an email to cheer them up.

-Your English pen-friend has asked you about what people do for Valentine’s Day in your country. Write him a letter in which you explain what people typically do for that occasion.

I suggest writing a 100 to 150  word long story (fewer for lower levels, or if it’s just a one hour-long lesson). Then either collect the writings to correct at home or tell them to present to the class.

I love this thing!

Tell your students to think about an item they love, why they love it, how they got it…Then they write that item on a piece of paper and the teacher collects all the pieces of paper. The teacher re-distributes the papers randomly. The students might have their own paper or a new one. No matter what the paper they must present this item to the class as if it were there’s. The other students can ask questions in order to guess whether it is the student’s loved item or not.

At the end, once everybody has presented once, the class gets to discuss which paper was whose and why.

 

Let me know how these activities go!

XOxo