Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vocabulary exercise with "SHAPE" & "WEIGHT"

A: Combine the words on the left with either SHAPE or WEIGHT and fill in the blanks. The answers are below, under section B. 
    • In                            SHAPE
    • Out of                      WEIGHT
    • Lose
    • Over
    • Under
  1. Tom looks good, but he's actually ______ because he doesn't work out.
  2. The doctor told Mindy to eat more at each meal because she is a little ______.
  3. Mindy's health is fine. She just needs to ________. Her doctor said another 5 pounds would be good.
  4. Sarah keeps saying she's ______, but she's actually the right size for her height.
  5. John is a health fanatic. To stay ______, he runs, swims, rides his bike, and watches what he eats.
  6. Peter used to weigh 200 lbs. However, he was determined to _______. Now, he weighs 50 pounds lighter!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Staying well--body, mind, & soul--with yoga

Divya Todai teaches fellow NYLC students some basic concepts of yoga before starting the session with her daughter, Sweta.

When NYLC student Divya Todai suffered from back pain 27 years ago, she decided to heed advice from her doctor and took up Yoga as an alternative to surgery. Her back pain gradually dissipated as she gained increased awareness of her body, mind and breath, improved body alignment through specific Yoga postures for backache, and developed more physical strength and mental peace. Her belief in Yoga is so strong that for the last 25 years, she has been teaching Yoga in India and the U.S. and wishes to enlighten as many people as possible to the positive effects of Yoga on the mind and body.
  • HEED - pay attention; listen
  • TAKE UP - begin doing as a hobby
  • DISSIPATE - decrease; lose energy
  • ENLIGHTEN - inform

"Yoga is a way of life," Divya says to a group of NYLC students sitting on their personal mats in room 10. "It is deep like the ocean, and its benefits cannot be measured." She means that Yoga's positive effects on the body physically, mentally, and emotionally are unlimited. Yoga postures are meant to strengthen isolated areas of the body to reduce fat and relax the muscles. Conscious and focused deep breathing not only helps hold the poses for extended periods of time, it also teaches the participant to focus on the present, and in addition to strengthening the body, it teaches positive thinking, relieves stress and has been known to help cure illnesses that have been declared incurable by traditional medicine.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Write, practice your English, & get published!

A coffee shop can be the perfect place to record your experiences in New York, practice your writing, and improve your English!

If you're a typical student at New York Language Center, chances are you're having the time of your life. You're in New York, enjoying yourself. You visit museums and parks; you go shopping and sightseeing; you hit the clubs at night and sit at cafes during the day. You're here for the New York experience and to see as much of the Big Apple as possible.
  • CHANCES ARE - there's a good chance
  • the BIG APPLE - New York City
In addition, you're here to improve your English. You study grammar and vocabulary in the classroom; you practice speaking, writing, and pronunciation with your teacher's guidance and direction, then you head out and use as much of what you learned and practice your English as you hang out with friends.
  • HEAD OUT - go out
  • HANG OUT - spend time

Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodbye summer, hello fall 2014!

All sorts of squashes, including pumpkins, at this supermarket in Brooklyn remind us that autumn is here!
Did you know today is the beginning of fall? If you're a fan of ASTRONOMY, you probably know that fall officially starts with the autumnal (fall) equinox, which this year happens at PRECISELY 10:29 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) today when the earth "straightens out" or isn't TILTED in any direction, giving both HEMISPHERES equal amounts of sunlight. As a result, today we'll have about the same lengths of day and night. Interesting? 
  • ASTRONOMY - the study of the stars and planets
  • PRECISELY - exactly
  • TILTED - leaning to one side
  • HEMISPHERES - the northern and southern halves of the earth

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oh, quit WHINING & have a glass of WINE!

No one really feels better when they WHINE, but if they have a glass of WINE instead, now that's a different story!
If you walk around Union Square when the farmer's market is there, you've probably seen this sign from a wine vendor. Some people who notice it, especially those who like English or language in general, are usually amused by it. What about you? Do you like this sign? Do you notice the PLAY ON WORDS on it?

Many PLAYS ON WORDS or puns use homonyms and homophones, which I've mentioned in one of our previous posts. This PLAY ON WORDS is a play on the homophones WINE and WHINE. Wine, of course, is the drink you probably enjoy with your meal. WINE isn't really used as a verb, except for the expression to WINE AND DINE someone, which means to treat a person to a fancy dinner.
  • HOMONYMS - different words that are spelled the same way and sound the same.
  • HOMOPHONES - different words that sound the same, but are spelled differently.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Where's the road (or the tracks) taking you this Labor Day weekend?

The long Labor Day weekend is here once again! Do you have anything exciting planned with friends and family? You've probably heard that Labor Day in the U.S. is the unofficial end of summer, and people usually think of going away somewhere or doing something outdoors before the weather starts cooling down. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bears bear their bear cubs in the winter.

You've probably noticed by now that some words in English take on different meanings depending on context. The word BEAR is a good example. Most students know the animal. There are grizzly bears and brown bears and polar bears, and apparently, on this wallpaper from a local burger joint, dancing bears! :-)

Another common meaning of BEAR is to carry or endure something heavy or difficult. In this context, you usually BEAR a burden or a heavy load, which often refers to a problem. You can also BEAR someone's attacks. For example, politicians often have to BEAR frequent attacks and scrutiny from the public or the media.
  • SCRUTINY - examination
We also use the word BEAR when we talk about someone giving birth, though this usage is a bit formal: She BORE a son when she was in her 20s and a daughter when she was in her 30s. That's right; the past tense of BEAR is BORE.