Idiom: Apple of one’s eye


Apple of someone’s eye:  this is someone or something that is very, very important to someone; someone that they like very much.

It’s used frequently to describe someone who is special:

  • Joan’s husband is the apple of her eye.
  • His only son was the apple of his eye.

The phrase can also be used to describe something.

English Text Speak – Net Lingo

You’ve probably seen a similar joke before:


Ha, ha. But for many of my students English texting (or net lingo) is like learning another English language. It can be very frustrating for them.

One reason it’s hard for English learners to understand text speak is that words are abbreviated and shortened. Plus there are a lot of slang and idioms in text speak.

But text lingo is everywhere, especially because of mobile phone messaging, internet commenting, chatting and Twitter. I bet you even use text lingo in your own language!

So how can you learn English text lingo? Here are two important things to know: Continue reading

How to Decode English Text Lingo


Text lingo = text speak = net lingo

No matter what you call it, it’s in emails, text messages, Tweets, online chatting… everywhere. The there are two main ways people write in text speak:

#1. Typing in shorthand: Abbreviations (Acronyms and Initialisms)

You can abbreviate phrases and expressions by using the FIRST letter of each word. These are often written in CAPITAL letters. All of these are abbreviations, which means that the word has been shortened. Continue reading

Text speak slang: Help for ESL learners


As I mentioned in another post, there are many shorthand terms that are slang so it’s good to look up the words in one of the online text lingo dictionaries (they are listed on the other post, click the link for more information).

A lot of the text speak slang is not shorter than regular words. This is different than what regular text speak normally does. Really, people are trying to be cool when they’re using text speak slang — or I should say kewl not cool…. now do you understand what I mean?

Here a few examples: Continue reading

Idiom: She’s “got nothing on” this parrot!


Earlier this week I did a vocabulary lesson based on a girl doing animal impressions. She was amazing…but after watching “Einstein” the parrot’s animal impressions I have to say, that girl’s got nothing on this parrot!

What’s “got nothing on someone” mean?

The expression “got nothing on someone” (or “have nothing on someone”) is used to compare different people and their qualities, skills, etc.

The person that’s “got nothing” is the thing that is less in comparison to the other person(s). Continue reading

Amazing Animal Impressions Vocabulary Lesson

This gal does amazing animal impressions. What’s an impression? There are several definitions of this word, but in this situation an impression is an imitation of something. Here’s she’s acting like she is different animals.

Check out her video and then take the quiz to see if you can name all of the animals.

Now here’s a quick quiz.

1. dog

This is a

Question 1 of 18



This is a .

Question 2 of 18

3. Robin

This is a .




Question 3 of 18

4. cricket

This is a .

Question 4 of 18



This is an .

Question 5 of 18



This is a .

Question 6 of 18

7. wolf

This is a .

Question 7 of 18



This is a .

Question 8 of 18



This is a .

Question 9 of 18



This is an .

Question 10 of 18



This is a .

Question 11 of 18



This is a .

Question 12 of 18



This is a .

Question 13 of 18



This is a .

Question 14 of 18



This type of bird is a:


Question 15 of 18



This bird lives in Australia:


Question 16 of 18



This is a .

Question 17 of 18



This is a . It can talk.

Question 18 of 18



Practice the Imperative with Flight Safety Video



Hey everyone! Here’s another flight safety instruction lesson (previous lessons include a rapping flight attendant and vocabulary practice). This time we can review some grammar: The Imperative.

The imperative is used to tell someone to do something, or not to do something. It’s a command.

Since airline safety instruction demonstrations are telling people what to do – and not to do – flight attendants use the imperative throughout their speeches.

1.  To form the imperative, use the present tense.

2.  The subject of the imperative is always the same: you.

Continue reading

Practice Listening with Virgin America Safety Video

Airline crossword puzzle

I traveled last night by plane again and decided to do some more safety video lessons so you can practice hearing different accents. Here you will listen to an American accent. You can listen to an Australian accent here.

In this lesson you will also learn some vocabulary related to air travel. Please note that there are different words for the same things. For example, airplane is the same as aircraft. And, life vest is the same as life jacket. Don’t get frustrated; many of the names sound similar. Continue reading

Tennis Lesson on Superlatives

Collage photo of top ranked women players (Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska)

2013 top ranked women’s tennis players © Neale Cousland /

As promised, I’m back with your next tennis lesson :)

In case you missed it, yesterday, we reviewed comparative adjectives:

Rafael Nadal is a better tennis player than Novak Djokovic. Or is Novak better? We can debate that all day but one thing is for sure:

Compared to Novak and Rafael, I am the worst player. Oh well, compared to them I’m the best English speaker! ;)

So, you may have guessed that today’s lesson is on the superlative. This time we’ll look at some top-ranked women’s tennis players. Continue reading

Tennis Lesson on Comparative Adjectives


A recent exhibition tennis match on a barge in front of a glacier in Patagonia between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was so cool I’ve decided to give a tennis lesson… a grammar lesson comparing tennis champions, that is!

Today I’ll compare men’s tennis rivals Rafa and Nole, who are currently ranked #1 and #2 in the world (as of December 2013). I’ll look at some of the top women’s players tomorrow.

First an overview of comparisons and then a short quiz (it’s painless, I promise).

Continue reading