joi, 7 septembrie 2017

I heart English -- The OK Issue

I Heart English

Expand Your Vocabulary
Synonyms & antonyms

America’s Greatest Word
Listening activity, National Public Radio

Ingrid Michaelson’s OK
Listening activity, song 

Oklahoma, OK! Reading actvity

Words New and Old
Fill the gaps activity

Vocabulary activity – Adjectives, synonyms & antonyms 
Do you repeat the word “OK” too often? Do you always use the words “good” or “bad” to describe everything? Look at other possibilities to expand your vocabulary:

• OK: acceptable, satisfactory, accurate, adequate, all right, approved, convenient, correct, fair, fine, good, in order, permitted, so-so, surely, tolerable.

Not OK: bad, incorrect, intolerable, unacceptable, unsatisfactory, unsuitable, wrong.

TASK: Find synonyms for GOOD and BAD.
Need help? - Try a thesaurus or dictionary of words, which provides  synonyms, and their opposites, or antonyms.  
Try or the Merriam Webster Thesaurus online HERE.


Listening activity, National Public Radio

The ABCs of OK :
It is said to be the most frequently spoken (or typed) word on the planet, bigger even than an infant's ma or Coke.
And it was the first word spoken on the moon.
It's America's answer to Shakespeare.
It's an entire philosophy expressed in two letters.
It's very odd, but it's . . . OK.

Click here to open a small window and listen to the radio segment

Length : 6.22 minutes

Listen to the radio interview and say whether the following ideas are mentioned or not.

1. OK is the world's most popular word.
2.The word appeared in a comic strip in the Boston Morning Post
3.In 1839 OK was used as part of a political campaign.
4.Other abbreviations were popular at the time.
5.Many thought that Martin van Buren was the person who invented the word.
6.President Andrew Jackson had made a spelling mistake.
7.The telegraph contributed to OK's popularity.
8.OK is at present largely used in text messages.
9.Mark Twain used it in his works.
10.The author of Little Women used it once and then changed it.
11.President Woodrow Wilson had a university education.
12.OK represents the American attitude.
13.The phrase "I'm OK, you're OK" represents American pragmatism.
14.Many people don't realize how often they say OK.
15.March 23rd 2012 is officially OK Day.
Click here for the full transcript


Listening activity, song 

Mini Bio  -  Ingrid Michaelson was born on December 8, 1979. She is a singer and songwriter from New York. Her music has been featured in episodes of several popular television shows, movies, as well as in advertising campaigns. Her website is

Listen to the song/watch the clip and answer the questions below.

1.    The writer/singer is probably feeling... happy – sad – unsure
2.    The song is... positive – negative

I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today
I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today.

Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
and give me back my broken parts.

I just want to know today, know today, know today
I just want to know something today
I just want to know today, know today, know today
know that maybe I will be ok.

Open me up and you will see...

Just give me back my pieces
Just give them back to me please
Just give me back my pieces
And let me hold my broken parts.

I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok...
I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today...

Reading Activity

More than 50 languages are spoken in the state of Oklahoma. There are 55 distinct Indian tribes that make the state their home, and each of these tribes has its own language or dialect. The colorful history of the state includes Indians, cowboys, battles, oil discoveries, dust storms, settlements initiated by offers of free land, and forced resettlements of entire tribes.
Oklahoma's Indian heritage is honored in its official state seal and flag. At the center of the seal is a star, and within each of the five arms of the star are symbols representing each of the fivetribes (the "Five Civilized Tribes") that were forcefully resettled into the territory of Oklahoma. The tribes depicted on the seal are the Creeks, the Chickasaw, the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Seminoles. The present Oklahoma state flag depicts an Indian war shield, stars, eagle feathers, and an Indian peace pipe, as well as a white man's symbol for peace, an olive branch.
Oklahoma is a word that was made up by the native American missionary Allen Wright. He combined two Choctaw words, "ukla" meaning person and "humá" meaning red to form the word that first appears in a 1866 Choctaw treaty. Oklahoma means "red person."
Oklahoma is the Sooner state. But what is a Sooner? The answer dates back to the Land Run of 1889. Back then, Oklahoma was still a territory. It was full of unclaimed land. President Cleveland signed an exciting new bill which allowed people to legally claim and settle on some of this land. Each interested person could claim 160 acres.
On April 22, 1889, at 12:00 pm the hopeful settlers got their chance. Men entered with their wagons and horses. They all hoped to find the best plots available. This became known as the "Land Run of 1889."
People who entered the district illegally to claim lands, before the designated entry time, were called "Sooners."

Read the following sentences and answer T (true), F (false) or IDS (It doesn’t say)
1.Oklahoma is considered a land of cowboys and Indians, among other things.
2.All tribes were forced to resettle.
3.A peace pipe is shown on the official seal of the state.
4.The word Oklahoma was not an original terms.
5.The Sooners were people who officially arrived first to claim land in the run of 1889.
6.By 1889 Oklahoma was already a state of the union.
7.Women could not participate in the Land Run.
8.The competition for lands always started at noon.

Fill the Gaps Activity

On March 23 1839, Boston Morning Post made up the word “OK” it was a short version of “oll korrect”, an incorrectly spelled alternative of “all correct”.

It was never meant to be (1) ____, but until today and for many years ahead this word has gained the title of the most used word in the world. According to Wikipedia, in English spoken countries the most popular word is “THE”, (2) ____ “OK” is the most popular word worldwide.

Some of the oldest words in the English language are "I", "we", “who”, "two", "three" and “five”. (3) ____, the word “one” came some time after the word “two”. This is what researchers from Reading University in England say. They used special computer software to (4) ____ how old English words are and to track their changes. The software also predicted the words "dirty", "bad", "because", “smell” and "squeeze" might (5) ____ out completely (6) ____ the year 3000. Lead researcher Dr. Mark Page said that one day we might have a (7) ____ Stone-Age English phrasebook. He told Britain’s ‘The Times’ newspaper: “If a time traveler wanted to go back in time…we could probably (8) ____ up a little phrasebook of the modern words that are likely to have sounded similar back then.”

Dr. Page said that some English words are (9) ____ at least 15,000 to 20,000 years old. He believes the sounds used back then would still be understood today. His research on the evolution of words (10) ____ at a time when English is changing rapidly. The Internet, technology and globalization are having a huge impact on our vocabulary. The (11) ____ words “blog”, “podcast”, and “gigabyte” were alien to most people at the (12) ____ of the century. Terms such as “global warming”, “credit crunch” and “global village” would not have been understood (13) ____ decades ago. It seems likely our modern methods of communication will continue to transform the English language. However, it still might be a (14) ____ before language from text messages such as CUL8R (see you later) becomes accepted English.

Put the correct words to fill the gaps in the text:

1. (a) Popular (b) Famous (c) Abused (d) Ignored
2. (a) Also (b) However (c) In addition (d) On the contrary
3. (a) Strange (b) Stranger (c) Strangers (d) Strangely
4. (a) analysis (b) analyze (c) analyzed (d) analyzing
5. (a) die (b) death (c) dead (d) deceased
6. (a) for (b) on (c) by (d) at
7. (a) basilica (b) basically (c) basic (d) basics
8. (a) sketch (b) draw (c) doodle (d) paint

9. (a) probably (b) probability (c) probable (d) probables 
10. (a) reaches (b) moves (c) goes (d) comes

11. (a) daytime (b) everyday (c) daily (d) daydream
12. (a) tone (b) tern (c) tune (d) turn
13. (a) few (b) couple (c) several (d) numerous
14. (a) while (b) whiling (c) whilst (d) whiled

America's Greatest Word
1-Y 2-N 3-N 4-Y 5-Y 6-Y 7-Y 8-N 9-N 10-Y 11-Y 12-Y 13-N 14-Y 15-N
1.sad   2.positive
Oklahoma, OK!
1-T 2-F (just 5 tribes) 3-F (it appears on the flag) 4-T 5-F they entered illegally) 6-F (it was a territory) 7-IDS 8-F (there was just one land run)
Words New and Old
1a / 2b / 3d/ 4b/ 5a / 6c / 7c / 8b / 9a / 10d / 11b / 12d / 13c / 14a

miercuri, 24 mai 2017

11 English Idioms Based on Nature

In this article we will look at 11 English idioms that you can use to spice up your sentences.
Plants and flowers, birds and bees, flora & fauna... The natural world is an almost endless source of inspiration for idioms in the English language... let's take a look at 11 examples.

Idioms based on nature

1 - As fresh as a daisy

Meaning: If you feel as fresh as a daisy, you feel energetic and healthy.
Example: "I might feel awful first thing in the morning, but after a cup of coffee and a bit of meditation I'm as fresh as a daisy."

2 - A grass roots movement

Meaning: The ordinary people in a society or political organization and not the leaders.
Example: "The feeling among the grass roots of the organization is that the leaders aren't radical enough."

3 - The grass is always greener on the other side

Meaning: Other people's lives or situations always seem better than your own.
Example: Jill - "My job is so tedious. I wish I had my own business, like Beatrice does." Jane: "Beatrice probably wishes she had the security of her old job. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

4 -  To hit the hay

Meaning: To go to bed.
Example: "I have to go home and hit the hay pretty soon. Let's hit the sack. We have to get an early start in the morning."

5 - To be out of the woods

Meaning: To be out of danger or difficulty.
Example: "Financially, things are looking better, but we're not out of the woods yet."

6 - To beat about the bush

Meaning: To avoid talking about what is important.
Example: "Don't beat around the bush - get to the point!"

7 - To lead someone up the garden path

Meaning: To deceive you, or give you false information that causes you to waste your time.
Example: "It seems as if we've been led up the garden path about the position of our hotel - it's miles from the beach!"

8 - To let the grass grow under your feet

Meaning: To waste time by avoiding doing something.
Example: "We can't let the grass grow under our feet - we've really got to get going with this project."

9 - To nip something in the bud

Meaning: To stop something at an early stage
Example: "Many serious illnesses can be nipped in the bud if they are detected early enough."

10 - Find a needle in a haystack

Meaning: Something extremely hard to find
Example: "It's pretty much a needle in a haystack because these fish are extremely hard to find."

11 - The cream of the crop

Meaning: The best of all
Example: "This particular car is the cream of the crop. These three students are very bright. They are the cream of the crop in their class."
Are you feeling brave? Try this... remember one or two of the idioms that we have mentioned above and try to use them in a sentence this week, then come back here and let us know how it went!

vineri, 21 aprilie 2017

I Heart English - The Technology Issue

I Heart English

  • The Technology Issue
  • I Love My Gadgets
  • Cellphone, Friend or Foe?
  • Technology in the Kitchen
  • Fiction & Science
  • Crosswords: Gadgets
  • The Technology Issue - Solutions
The Technology Issue

 I Love My Gadgets
Vocabulary, discussion, and reading activity

Cellphone, Friend or Foe?
Discussion, video, and vocabulary activity

Technology in the Kitchen
Vocabulary & listening activity

Fiction & Science
Video and discussion activity

Crosswords: The Gadget Puzzle
Vocabulary/ game activity
I Love My Gadgets

Vocabulary, discussion, and reading activity

gadget is a tool such as a machine or device that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty.

A.Match the names to the gadgets in the picture below.

home cinema projector  -  tablet   -  headphones  -  scientific calculator      
usb stick  -  sound bar  -  3D printer   - Game console     
flatscreen TV  -  smartphones, iphones   - sound bar  -  GPS 

  • Which ones do you already have? Which do you want? Which would you never use? Why (not)?

B.Read the text and answer the questions that follow.

Every year new desirable devices make their way into the market, such as Go Pro cameras, espresso machines, or 3D printers. 

We know we'd survive without as many gadgets as we own nowadays, but why should we?

Much of our day is spent with devices that do things for us, tell us where to go and what to do.  They are here to entertain and inform us, to feed us, track our health and manage our time. And only after just a few years of existence, they prove to be so valuable. Why does it seem impossible to think of life without them?

Most of us are so increasingly dependent on phones, for instance, that it is unthinkable to even spend a day without social networks, apps or videos.

How long can you survive without your gadgets before having an anxiety attack?

True or False?

1.It is not necessary to live without the benefits that new devices bring.

2.New gadgets appear periodically.

3.Gadgets do many functions and tasks.

4.Many people find that they don’t need their devices.

5.Living without gadgets would be very difficult.

Discuss the ideas in the passage and answer the questions in it. What do you think about the topic.
Alternatively, you can do this activity as a writing.

Cellphone, Friend or Foe?
Posted: 06 Sep 2016 06:07 PM PDT

Discussion, video, and vocabulary activity

1.Discuss the following questions in pairs or small groups:

  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is your cellphone in your life?
  • What do you use your cellphone for?
  • Do you ever switch off or silence it? When? Why? Why not?
  • How often do you glance at it when you are working or studying?
  • Do you use it when you are with another person?
  • How do you feel when people use their cellphones when they are spending time with, or talking to you?
  • Would you say that you have an addiction? Do you know people who are addicted to their cellphones?

2.Video Segment:  “I Forgot My Phone”

Imagine you spent a day without your cellphone... What would that day be like?

This is a short film directed by Miles Crawford and written by Charlene de Guzman, that points at the apparently negative aspects of using cellphones. 

Watch the video and order the following scenes. There are two extra ones that do not appear in the film.

I Forgot My Phone from Miles Crawford on Vimeo.

A)Girl walking on the beach sees a man proposing to his girlfriend while taking a selfie.

B)Little girl in a park looking at her phone instead of swinging.

C)Girl turns out the light to sleep while her boyfriend is looking at his phone.

D)Girl in class while everybody is using their phones.

E)Girl in a restaurant with friends trying to speak while their friends look at their phones.

F)Girl with a friend who’s pouring a drink and taking a selfie of herself.

G)A couple waking up in the morning, boyfriend looking at his cellphone.

H)Man at a theater show using his phone.

I)Girl trying to buy at a store while the shop assistant is using her cellphone.

J)Girl bringing out the cake at a birthday party while everybody is recording the moment.

K)Girl bowling at an alley while her friends are using their cellphones.

L)Girl going for a run in the mountains, trying to enjoy the moment while
someone talks loudly on his phone.

M)Girl at a concert and everybody is recording the show.

After-watching Debate:

  • Do you think these scenes show normal, expected behavior from the participants?
  • What about the girl’s feelings? 
  • Which, if any, of these situations would you find annoying? Why?
  • Do you feel identified with the topic? How?
  • Is there anything you would like to be different?

Technology in the Kitchen
Posted: 06 Sep 2016 06:20 PM PDT

Vocabulary & listening activity

Gadgetry: (N) appliances, collection of gadgets.

A)Make a list of all kitchen gadgets, big and small, that you can remember.
Which are the most/least useful?

B)Listening Segment: Engines of Our Ingenuity by Andrew Boyd - Episode 2452

Audio length: 3.49 minutes

1.The kitchen is...
a)the most used room in your home    b)the room where we spend most time  c)the room with most gadgets

2.Which gadgets are mentioned in the first part of the audio?
a) dishwashers and coffee makers  b)freezers and microwave ovens  c)cheese graters and coffee machines

3.In the history of gadget design... a) most  b)some  c)few   did not survive the new technologies

4.“From Hearth to Cookstove:Gadgets and Utensils Made or Used in America from 1700 to 1930”  is the name of
a)a TV show b)a radio show  c)a book

5.A historical gadget called an “ale boot” was used to a)clean your shoes b)warm your beer  c)store boots

6.A “fly fan” was used for... a)keeping flies away  b)frying flies  c)catching flies

7.The “toast fork” was the predecessor of...
a)the grill  b)the electric oven  c)the toaster

8. By 1874, existed over eighty patents for...
a) tools for mashing potatoes  b)apple peelers  c) egg beaters

9. According to an article in the New York Times, by 1890 who had filed 2400 patents?
a)housewives  b)women engineers  c)women cooks

10. Our kitchens are filled with...
a) history and innovation  b)creativity and ingenuity  c)passion and necessity

Fiction & Science

Video and discussion activity


Which examples of gadgets and devices from science fiction movies, books or series will be common in 30 years time?

What would you like to see as a reality?

B.Video Segment: “When Science Fiction Will Become a Reality”

Michio Kaku is an American futurist, theoretical physicist and popularizer of science. Dr. Kaku is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York.

Watch his clip and answer the questions below.

1."Physics of the Future" is the name of...

2.Growing up, physicist Michio Kaku had two heroes. Who were they?

3.He says that internet will be  in our contact lenses. 
What will we do to go online?
What will we see when we talk to peole?
What will happen if someone speaks another language?

4.What are physicist working on?

5.Dr Kaku advises not to slam the door if someone knocks one day. Who could this person be?

·        Will we be able to do the things Dr Kaku predicts?
·        What other new gadgets will be common?
·        What will the positive and negative effects of technology be in the future?

Crosswords: Gadgets

Vocabulary/ game activity


1. A mechanical device for cleaning dishes and utensils.
2. Car instrument that tells you how to go from A to B.
3. A mobile computer that is primarily operated by touching the screen.
4. Hand-held device that adds, substracts, divides and multiplies.
10. A gadget you wear for telling the time.
11. It connects a computer to the Internet, invented in 1958.
12. A mechanical device used to toast bread.
15. A video camera that feeds its image in real time to a computer or computer network.
17. An appliance used to combine ingredients.
18. An electrical device consisting of two earphones held by a flexible strap passing over the head.
19. A tool used in the removal of unwanted body hair through the act of shaving (2 words).
20. A hand-held portable electric light.
21. A specialized desktop computer used to play video games (2 words).


1. A picture frame that displays digital photos without the need of a computer or printer (3 words).
5. A portable flash drive with a USB connector (2 words).
6. A component of an electronics device, used for operating the device wirelessly from a short distance (2 words).
7. Flat panel TV much thinner and lighter than televisions with picture tubes.
8. A device for taking photographs.
9. An instrument used to measure weight.
13. An electromechanical device designed to blow cool or hot air over wet or damp hair.
14. A device that plays video and audio discs (2 words).
16. A kitchen appliance that heats food by bombarding it with electromagnetic radiation.
19. A publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both.

The Technology Issue - Solutions
Posted: 06 Sep 2016 06:01 PM PDT

I Love My Gadgets

A. 1.Go-pro camera    2. smartphones, iphones   3. flatscreen tv    4. usb stick  5. Game console  6. scientific calculator  7.tabet  8. 3D printer   9.GPS  10. headphones  11.home cinema projector   12.sound bar

B. 1.T ( why should we..?) 2.T (every year new desirable devices...)  3.T (they inform, entertain...)  4.F (most of us..)  5.T (it is unthinkable...)

Cellphone, Friend or Foe?

Video segmet- order the scenes

1.A couple waking up in the morning, boyfriend looking at his cellphone.
2.Girl going for a run in the mountains, trying to enjoy the moment while
someone talks loudly on his phone.
3.Girl in a restaurant with friends trying to speak while their friends look at their phones.
4.Girl walking on the beach sees a man proposing to his girlfriend while taking a selfie.
5.Little girl in a park looking at her phone instead of swinging.
6.Girl with a friend who’s pouring a drink and taking a selfie of herself.
7.Man at a theater show using his phone.
8.Girl bowling at an alley while her friends are using their cellphones.
9.Girl at a concert and everybody is recording the show.
10.Girl bringing out the cake at a birthday party while everybody is recording the moment.
11.Girl turns out the light to sleep while her boyfriend is looking at his phone.

Technology in the Kitchen

1.c  2.a  3.b  4.c  5.b  6.a  7.c  8.b  9.b  10.a

Today, gadgets galore. The University of Houston’s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.

What’s the most gadget filled room in your home? If you’re like most people, it’s probably your kitchen. There are big items like freezers, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves. And then there are all those little things we couldn’t do without — coffee makers, pots, bowl scrapers, cheese graters … the list goes on and on. Just look through your cabinets and drawers.

And to the engineer, it’s a treasure-trove. Almost every item has an elaborate history of design and redesign. Some survive and some pass into obscurity, rendered obsolete by new technology.

I recently found myself thumbing through From Hearth to Cookstove: … Gadgets and Utensils Made or Used in America from 1700 to 1930. The book doesn’t pretend to be all-encompassing. No surprise. A complete history would require volumes. But it does contain some gems.

Take, for example, the ale boot — a metal pot shaped like a boot. It’s easily thrust deep into the coals of a fire, warming your beer on cold winter nights. We find an assortment of devices for keeping flies away from food — a real concern before window screens and air conditioning. One such device is the fly fan. Wind it up and a woman’s hand-held fan waves back and forth — a mechanical means for saying “shoo, fly, shoo!” Before the toaster was the toast fork. The many innovative designs were used to hold bread over the fire, much as we use sticks to roast our marshmallows today.

The contraptions for peeling apples are a delight. Gears, blades, springs — many are quite elaborate. By 1874, over eighty patents had been filed for cast iron apple parers. Was it really that important a utensil?

The collection of tools for mashing potatoes goes on for pages. Then there are the egg beaters. Some look like springs; others like failed fly swatters. Variations of the dual interlocking mixer are popular. All totaled, I counted fifty-one different designs in the book — all hand-powered. That’s not true of butter churns. Some of them incorporate treadmills so they can be run on dog power.

And women were behind many of the improvements. According to an article in the New York Times, by 1890 women had filed 2400 patents — an astounding number given role of women in that era. Most were filed by “thrifty housewives … generally in the nature of kitchen utensils and domestic articles.” Women didn’t simply inspire changes; they engineered them.

We take our kitchen gadgetry for granted. We chop with a Cuisinart, mix with a blender, and slice bagels with specially designed bagel cutters. But our kitchens are filled with history and innovation. It’s something to think about next time you’re preparing a meal.

Fiction & Science

1.His book  2.Albert Einstein and Flash Gordon  3.blink/ you'll see their biographies printed out/ subtitles will appear under their names   4.Time travel
5.your great great great great grand daughter

Across :  1.dishwasher  2.GPS  3.tablet  4.calculator  11.modem  12.toaster  15. webcam  17.mixer 18.headphones  19.electric razor  20. flashlight  21. game console

Down:  1digital photo frame 5.USB stick 6.Remote control 7.flatscreen 9.scale 13.blowdryer 14.Dvd player 16.microwave 19.ebook