LEM POLL: Who Would Be Your Dream Barista?

English: Latte art on a cappuccino at Doppio R...

English: Latte art on a cappuccino at Doppio Ristretto in Chiang Mai. The barista/owner of this coffee shop came in 6th in the category “Latte Art” at the World Barista Championship in Bogota, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was listening to the radio today & the lady DJ asked this question.

If you walked into your neighborhood coffeeshop, who would you like to see behind that counter?



Reason 4 Reading: Does Your Boss Smile?

Sander Laughs

Mike Roger’s post this week speaks about how a boss should genuinely care about others in the team. As a boss , you can do a good deed, really pay attention to what people say  or  simply say thank you more often.  Having that likeability factor not only makes working together more pleasant but it also increases productivity and motivation in your team. Show those pearly whites…& reap instant benefits!

Click here to read the article but study the expressions below first

Vocabulary Boost:

  • pearly whites – teeth
  • reap benefits – collect a positive result
  • They get it! – They understand!
  • a deed – an action
  • to help sb shine – to  place someone in a good light
  • approachable – easy to talk to
  • to point out – to direct attention towards
  • humble – not thinking you are better than others

Conversation Builder:

Can you describe your best boss ever? what about your worst? List 5 attributes a good boss should have .

Video Watch: Oprah & Strombo Talking Beyoncé


Oprah and Strombo are two of my favorite talk show hosts. When I read he was chosen to interview Oprah on the Canadian leg of her tour, I was ecstatic and proud to be represented by such an awesome Canadian. This part of the interview is related to the scandal about Beyoncé lip-syncing at President Obama Inauguration Ceremony.

Here’s the transcript :


OPRAH, ANUS. ANUS, OPRAH. (Photo credit: nayrb7)

“I don’t get that. We’re a culture – you all not, Canadians, I do not put you all in that. Even looking at television here, television is calmer here in Canada. I don’t see the nastiness that I see in some of the TV shows.

But we just like to complain about things. And we love to, when somebody does something, you know, particularly when people are on top, and this is the truth – if it happens to people who are quote celebrities, or being celebrated, or of fame, and for me, my definition of fame is the only difference between being famous and not is that more people know your name, cause as you all can see I’m just like you, except you know my name. I don’t know yours, but it’s the same.

You know feelings are the same. So if you want to pull somebody down, oh she lip-synched the song – it was her voice. I could see if she was using Mary J. Blige’s voice, Alicia Keys’ voice, it was her voice! What is the – why is everybody upset about that?”

Click here for the original link from Strombo Tonight

Vocabulary Boost:

  • put you all in that – consider you all the same
  • nastiness – meanness
  • pull somebody down – to cause someone to become sad or depressed
  • lip–synched – pretended to sing a song
  • to be upset – to be angry, unhappy or to have an unpleasant feeling

Conversation Builder:

What do you know about Oprah Winfrey? Do you think Beyoncé ‘s lip-synch was that big a deal? Is television nasty in your country?

Reason 4 Reading: Business Lunches Rock!

Friday lunch on Queen Street West, Toronto, Ca...

Everyone who knows me knows that I am very into having lunch. Whether   it be with my bff, my team or clients, lunch is an integral part of my  demeanor. It’s unlike suppers where you might  be exhausted from a hectic day at the office or you just want to be heading home  to your family.

Kevin Daum tells us why we should be having more business lunches. He describes the advantages to having lunch with people rather than having traditional office meetings. His insight got me in the mood to call up an old friend and say “Lunch tomorrow?

Click here for the link to the original article on Inc.com  but take a moment to read the vocabulary words below that will make reading the article a
little easier.

Vocabulary Boost:

  • Do it over lunch – do it during lunch
  • Odds in your favor – chance is on your side
  • At ease – relaxed
  • On your turf – in an area that you control
  • To be wowed – to be impressed
  • Time frame – the length of time you have available
  • Delve – to search for
  • Pick up the check – pay the bill

Conversation Builder:

When was the last time you had a business lunch? Describe your favorite lunch spot.


What’s Your Take On Ashton Kutcher Becoming A Fruitarian?


Listen to the podcast:

Ashton Kutcher, 34, is an American actor. He is most famous for his relationship with Demi Moore that lasted several years & also for the hidden camerapractical joke TV series Punk’d. He recently portrayed Steve Jobs in a biopic that will be released in April of this year. To prepare for the role, he became a fruitarian like Steve Jobs & ended up in the hospital two days before they started shooting the movie. Apparently, his pancreatic levels were completely “out of whack”!

I can’t believe he took the method acting approach that far. I also never thought that a fruit-only diet could give such violent reactions.

Here are 3 questions for you: What do you know about Ashton Kutcher? Would you ever consider becoming a fruitarian? Are you looking forward to watching this biopic?

Vocabulary Boost: Listen again and try to find the following expressions

  • lasted: continued to exist
  • hidden camera: video camera is in a place it can not be seen
  • practical joke: a trick played on someone
  • portrayed: to play a character in a film
  • biopic: a movie related to a biography
  • fruitarian: fruit-only diet
  • ended up: finished
  • shooting: filming
  • out of whack: not working properly
  • method acting: when an actor tries to live exactly like the character he is portraying

Read the original article and watch the video clip by clicking on the link below:

All fruit diet lands Ashton Kutcher in  the hospital

Fluency Builder:

Summarize the story for your teacher and give your opinion on this matter in class.

Share your comments on Ashton Kutcher with us too…please!


English Phraseology: Giving Instructions-A2

learn english1

Here are a few phrases you can use to give instructions. When we give instructions, we usually list the actions that need to be done. The following expressions can be used to list an agenda for a presentation, to assign tasks, to give a recipe, to present guidelines & also to give steps for technical assistance.

  • First off,…
  • Second,…
  • After that,…
  • Next,…
  • Then,…
  • Finally,…

When giving instructions, we often add extra information just to make sure the person performing the task has all the necessary details.

  • Don’t forget to…
  • Make sure you…
  • Remember to…
  • Be careful about…

Fluency Practice:

Listen to the podcast and repeat after the speaker. Concentrate on articulating at first. Then, listen for the natural pauses in the sentence and repeat.

[audio http://audioboo.fm/boos/1182402-english-phraseology-giving-instructions-a2.mp3]

Classroom Tip:

Use these sentences in role-plays with your classmates or your teacher. Set the scene, plan a short dialogue & use the expressions in context. Here are a few ideas to inspire you. Give our your favorite recipe. Explain how to change a tire. Describe your family tree. Present the agenda to a presentation you’ve recently made.

Homesick by Kings of Convenience



I’ll lose some sales and my boss won’t be happy,
But I can’t stop listening to the sound
Of two soft voices
Blended in perfection
From the reels of this record that I’ve found.

Every day there’s a boy in the mirror asking me…
What are you doing here?
Finding all my previous motives
Growing increasingly unclear.

I’ve traveled far and I’ve burned all the bridges
I believed as soon as I hit land
All the other options held before me,
Would wither in the light of my plan.

So I’ll lose some sales and my boss won’t be happy,
But there’s only one thing on my mind
Searching boxes underneath the counter,
On a chance that on a tape I’d find…
A song for someone who needs somewhere to long for.

Because I no longer know where home is.

Vocabulary Boost:

  • reels: objects used to hold and release recorded tape
  • motives: reasons
  • I’ve burned all the bridges:  I have done something that made me unable to go back
  • I hit land: I got to my destination
  • wither: become weak
  • on my mind: in my thoughts
  • the counter: a flat surface that workers and customers stand on opposite sides of
  • to long for: to feel a strong desire or wish for
  • Homesick: sad because you are away from your family and home
  • I no longer know: I don’t know anymore

Verb Pattern:

Example 1: ” I can’t stop listening to the sound of 2 soft voices…”

When STOP is followed by a gerund, the verb means to cease, interrupt or quit. In this case, he can’t stop the action of listening to the tape.

Example 2: I stopped to listen to the poet reciting a poem in the park.

When STOP is followed by an infinitive, the verb means to interrupt an action to do another action. In this case, you interrupted your walk so as to listen to the poet.


I love this song because it’s so close to home (i.e.it affects me in a strong and personal way). I miss home but I don’t really know if my place if birth is still my home. It seems like the memory of that place is what I am most homesick about.

Do you live away from home?

What’s your favorite Kings of Convenience song?



Reason for Reading: 9 Sentences That Could Ruin Your Career

Don't be a bigmouth - NARA - 535386

Don’t be a bigmouth – NARA – 535386 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read the title and smiled. It instantly made me think of certain faux pas that  I encounter during my working day.

Tobak gives concrete examples of scenarios that we should avoid. Most of them are related to our urge to speak way too much for our own good. Many of them are connected to trust issues.  It made me think of an expression that Sam,a wise old jewish friend, used to use. You can trust him as far as you can throw him…and that ain’t far! 

Here’s the link to the original article by Steve Tobak for Inc.com :

9 Sentences That Could Ruin Your Career

Vocabulary Boost: Read through the expressions quickly and then read
the article.

  • Shoot yourself in the foot: to do something that causes trouble for  yourself
  • A big fat mouth: said of someone who talks too much
  • You name it!: anything
  • Let alone: much less, not to mention
  • To turn up: to happen unexpectedly
  • Under wraps: hidden, unofficial
  • Granted: I admit it may be true
  • To cross boundaries: to go over the limit
  • Amorphous:not defined
  • To end up: to finish in a place you don’t want to be
  • To pound the pavement: to walk around looking for a job
  • A jerk: someone not well liked due to unkind behavior
  • A slam: an insult
  • Better yet: even better
  • To badmouth: to criticize
  • Plastered: advertised

Conversation Builder:

Do the examples ring a bell? Do you think they could actually ruin someone’s career? Which is your favorite?


English Phraseology: Interrupting – A2

learn english1

Here are a few phrases you can use to interrupt when you have something to add to a conversation or when you approach a stranger  to ask for something.

  • Excuse me for interrupting, but…
  • Can I add something?
  • Can I ask a question?
  • Sorry, I’d like to comment on that.
  • Could I just say something here?

Once someone has interrupted you, you need to get back to the topic at hand. Here are a few examples:

  • Where was I?
  • Let’s get back to the topic at hand.
  • Anyway, what were we saying?
  • Thanks for your input. So, where did we leave off?

Fluency Practice:

Listen to the podcast and repeat after the speaker. Concentrate on articulating at first. Then, listen for the natural pauses in the sentence and repeat.

[audio http://audioboo.fm/boos/1170692-english-phraseology-interrupting-a2.mp3]

Classroom Tip:

Use these sentences in role-plays with your classmates or your teacher. Set the scene, plan a short dialogue & use the expressions in context.

Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry


Go on and close the curtains
Cause all we need is candle light
You and me and a bottle of wine
Going to hold you tonight
Well we know I’m going away
And how I wish, I wish it weren’t so
So take this wine and drink with me
Let’s delay our misery

Save tonight
And fight the break of dawn
Come tomorrow
Tomorrow I’ll be gone

There’s a log on the fire
And it burns like me for you
Tomorrow comes with one desire
To take me away it’s true
It ain’t easy to say goodbye
Darling please don’t start to cry
Cause girl you know I’ve got to go, oh
Lord I wish it wasn’t so

Save tonight
And fight the break of dawn
Come tomorrow
Tomorrow I’ll be gone

Tomorrow comes to take me away
I wish that I, that I could stay
Girl you know I’ve got to go, oh
Lord I wish it wasn’t so

Save tonight
And fight the break of dawn
Come tomorrow
Tomorrow I’ll be gone

Save tonight
And fight the break of dawn
Come tomorrow
Tomorrow I’ll be gone x5

Save tonight x4

Vocabulary Boost:

  • I’m going away: I’m leaving
  • delay: postpone
  • save tonight: remember tonight in your memories
  • fight the break of dawn: resist the coming of tomorrow/sunrise…make it last as long as possible
  • a log: a piece of wood
  • It ain’t: It isn’t
  • Darling: endearing term used for someone you love e.g. honey, sweetheart, my love
  • I’ve got to go: I have to go


This is a great song that takes one back to past relationships where two lovers are sadly separated & they stay up all night hoping that  sunrise will never come.It really is all about living life and making the most of every moment we have.

What’s your favorite Eagle Eye Cherry song?