Welcome to the AEC ESL Blog
Students in level 2 practiced writing sentences using the present simple tense. Here they are in action!
photos by Maggie
Raleigh and the Triangle area are alive with concerts this spring and summer! There is music for everyone. Some concerts are even free! The biggest names perform at Walnut Creek, Booth Amphitheatre, and NC Museum of Art. Check the links for all the details! There really is something for almost everyone! Enjoy the beautiful spring and summer weather!
Cary Booth Amphitheatre, Summerfest/NC Symphony Series at Booth Amphitheatre, Hob Not Jazz Series at Booth Amphitheatre www.boothamphitheatre.com
Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham dukeperformances.duke.edu
North Hills has a new amphitheatre which is celebrating its grand opening with Legacy Motown Revue and the Embers (April 26-27). http://www.northhillsraleigh.com/events/category/music/
Durham: CCB Plaza
Raleigh City Plaza concerts
Wake Forest Six Sundays series at Joyner Park
To view all this information on a mobile device, go to triangle.com/omg
While in class I often draw pictures on the board to illustrate a point, but they aren’t nearly as nice as the ones the level 1 teacher does! Kim always has nicely drawn pictures on the board, and this week I thought I would share just a few of her illustrations! Pretty nice depiction of the parts of a computer, right?
What exactly is an idiom? It is an expression that means something different than the individual words themselves. There are lots of idioms in English! Here are a few of some of the more commonly used idioms. Have you heard someone use these idioms? What other idioms do you know?
Raining cats and dogs: A really loud, heavy rain storm.
It was raining cats and dogs yesterday, so we had to stay inside.
On The Fence: Undecided.
I am really on the fence about getting a new cell phone. My old one works fine, but there are so many good deals right now, that I just might get one.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: What one does is more important than what one says.
He says he can speak Chinese, however, when he is with his Chinese friends he never says a word.
Drink like a fish: To drink(alcohol) very heavily. When Jerry is at a party he drinks like a fish.
Wine and Dine: To be treated to an expensive meal.
I have a new boyfriend, and he wines and dines me every weekend. We go to a new five star restaurant every Friday night.
Sick As A Dog: To be very sick (with the flu or a cold).
I missed five days of work because I was sick as a dog with the flu.
Don’t give up the day job: To not be very good at something and definitely not able to do it professionally.
Although Mary likes painting pictures, she shouldn’t give up her day job for a career as an artist.
Speak of the devil! This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.
“Well, speak of the devil!” “Hi Mary, how are you?” (said as Mary walks in…. and you had just been talking about her!)
Steal someone’s thunder: To take the credit for something someone else did.
I cooked all the food for the party but my friend told everyone that she did all the cooking! She is always stealing my thunder!
Take with a grain of salt: To NOT take what someone says too seriously.
Barry says he is going to buy your house, but I would take it with a grain of salt. Don’t believe it until you have a signed contract in your hand.
For more idiom practice, check out this youtube.com video!
Are you ready? Have you prepared your taxes yet? If not, there are several places in the area that offer tax assistance. If you earn a certain amount of money it is required by law that you file a yearly income tax with the government. Taxes are usually due on April 15th. Some years the due date changes because the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, but they are due in mid-April every year. Here are some places that can assist you with filing your taxes (filling out the forms, submitting them to the government). Many of the places do not require an appointment, but check first before you go.
The deadline for filing your taxes is very near. You may sometimes file an extension, which gives you extra time to complete your taxes.
Click on this link for a long list of assistance centers:
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=1258 Scroll down to the bottom of the pages, and click on “Find Tax Site Nearest You”
And, here’s a funny song by American legend Johnny Cash singing about paying taxes! How do you think he feels?
What are taxes used for, and how much should we pay? There is a lot of debate about this question. It is a fact of life that we must pay taxes, but the amount that we pay is under constant discussion and argument, and will probably continue to be for a long, long time. The way our tax dollars are used is listed in categories here. If you want to “dig deep”, you can click on this link: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=1258
- National defense
- Social security
- Medicare and Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Safety net programs
- Interest on the national debt
- Remaining program areas:
- Benefits for federal retirees and veterans
- Science and medical research
- All others
This weekend a movie opens about Cesar Chavez, a farm worker, human rights activist, and labor organizer. He dedicated his life to improving the working conditions and rights of America’s farm workers. He was committed to nonviolent means to bring attention to the plight of farm workers. He led marches, boycotts, and went of several hunger strikes. He formed the National Farmworkers Association which ultimately became the United Farmworker Union, which is still active today. One of the things Chavez was most famous for was the national boycott of California table grape growers in 1968. Chavez’s battle with the grape growers for improved compensation and labor conditions lasted for many years. Chavez and his union won several victories for the workers. The growers signed contracts with the union.
Cesar Chavez was married, and had seven children. He died in 1993. It is believed that his many hunger strikes contributed to his death. There are some areas of the country that honor his memory by erecting statues in his honor, and/or celebrating a holiday in his name.
NC Museum of Art has a great event coming up next weekend! It’s the Fiesta de la Familia, and it’s to celebrate the opening of Estampas de la raza, an exhibit chronicling the Mexican American and Latino experience in the United States.
When: Saturday, April 12
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Who: It’s for the whole family! There will be art activities, music, and free admission to the exhibit!
Where: North Carolina Museum of Art 2110 Blue Ridge Road | Raleigh, NC | (919) 839-NCMA
Did you celebrate April Fools Day this year? Did you play any pranks or jokes on anyone? And, what IS April Fools Day, and where did it come from?
April Fools’ Day is on April first. It’s not a holiday, but just a day when people tell more jokes, or play tricks or pranks on people. It’s meant to be fun and silly.
After one of my friends played a prank on me, it got me wondering about the origin of this crazy day! It seems there is not a very clear answer to the question about its origin. There are quite a few different ideas about it. Some think April Fools’ Day began as an issue about the calendar. Others think it has religious references. Despite its unclear origin, there is no doubt that in many places around the world people mark the day by playing tricks and telling jokes! Click on the links if you want to read more about its origins. And watch the video for a funny prank! Do YOU play pranks on people? Tell us about them in the comments.
Every year in the spring, Durham hosts an international film festival called “Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.” It’s a four day event, with over 100 films, panel discussions, and workshops. Want to practice your English? Go see a film! Or, better yet, you can volunteer for the festival and interact with native English speakers and enjoy some interesting films too! It begins April 3rd.
Here’s the link: