Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Commonly Used Idioms in American Culture

An idiom is an expression where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. Like:
"pull someone's leg" [joke]
"feel under the weather" [feel ill]

Why learn idioms?

What makes learning idiomatic language important is the fact that much of the everyday speech is based on idioms. For one thing, knowing and being able to recognize them in spoken speech will help you understand a native speaker better. Once you master them and become more fluent in English, you will be able to communicate better, as well.

Understanding idioms can be a difficult task for someone not native of America. Here are several popular idioms used in American culture, and the literal meaning behind them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Virtual Worlds

Monday, June 15, 2009

Microsoft Surface Computer

Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

This quote comes from the famous Martin Luther King's speech "I have a dream", dramatically delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement and is considered to be one of the best speeches ever given, where the key message is that all people are created equal and, although not the case in America at the time, King felt it must be the case for the future.

Watch the video and read the script here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle

"You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.
One of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference. "



Watch this video clip on the topic of health and exercise, and then answer the questions based on what you see and hear. Transcript available, too.

Daily English and Culture

(*you can double click any word in a post to see its meaning)