Happy New Year!

“Some people swear there is no beauty left in the world, no magic.Then how do you explain the entire world coming together on one night to celebrate the HOPE of a NEW year?”

Let’s kiss last year goodbye along with all regrets, remorse and resentment. Let’s thank it for every moment, every experience, for our friends, our loved ones, our joys, for us surviving our mistakes and our losses… and send it on its way, as we pat ourselves on the back for getting to where we are now.

Let’s not burden ourselves with New Year’s resolutions, so that we are free to embrace new joys, new ideas, new challenges, new solutions, new adventures and surprises as we welcome the new year with open arms because, as they say:

“”Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift. That’s why it’s called the Present.”

So as we prepare for the New Year, let’s throw away the list of things we’ll force ourselves to do in 2014, let’s just be ready to unwrap 31 million presents with the same excitement and gratitude we feel at Christmas.

FYI, There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year

What can we learn from this post?

  • to swear- to make a solemn declaration
  • to kiss something goodbye – accept the end of something
  • regret- a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction
  • remorse- a feeling of responsibility for doing wrong
  • pat on the back- to praise someone for something
  • to burden – to place a weight on someone, to make sad
  • to embrace – to receive or accept gladly, to put one’s arms around someone
  • to throw away – to get rid of something useless or unwanted
  • to unwrap – to uncover, to open a present

May 2014 Rock for you!



Are you sitting too much?

Do you stay mobile at the office?Do you think your posture is good while sitting for 8, 9 or 10 hours ? Do you use an active chair? Have you got standing desks at the office?

Watch the video and learn more…



We need to table this decision!

Meeting room stencil graffiti

Meeting room stencil graffiti (Photo credit: clagnut)


On a conference call last week, someone said, “Let’s table the meeting” because someone that was important for the meeting hadn’t shown up . The attendees were Italian and American.
The chair was not sure if we could have the meeting without that person so we  considered postponing the meeting.


What I discovered in the meantime is that the meanings for Americans and Brits seem to be different.


US meaning -agreement to postpone any or any further discussion of that issue;

UK meaning – to put it to vote, or briefly express your opinion after which a decision will be made.



Merry Christmas to All!

A reunion that will touch your heart!

“Twas the Night Before Christmas”

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
A miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
A little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
And more rapid than eagles his reindeer all came,
As he shouted out “Dasher” and each reindeer’s name
So up to the house-top the reindeer all flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too.
Down the chimney he came with a leap and a pound,
He was dressed all in fur and his belly was round,
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight —
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Who wrote ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”?

A Visit from St. Nicholas“, also known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from its first line, was first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who acknowledged authorship.

This poem has been called ” the best-known verses ever written by an American”,[] and is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today. It has been set to music and recorded by many artists. (Source: wikipedia.org)

What vocabulary can we learn from this text? 

  • stirring : moving
  • stockings: item of clothing for the foot and leg, traditionally filled with gifts at Christmas
  • chimney: fireplace
  • Saint Nicholas: Santa Claus
  • sleigh:  an open vehicle that used over snow or ice
  • reindeer: a large type of deer living in the north of the globe
  • leap: to jump or move quickly
  • belly: the part of the body that contains the stomach
  • fur:  the hairy coat of an animal used to make or line clothes
  • jerk: a quick twist or pull
  • nod: to move your head to say yes,  as a signal to someone or as a way of saying hello or goodbye to someone

To all of those who celebrate this holiday, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!



I’ll be getting nuttin’ for Christmas!


This kid is really naughty! I hope the video makes you smile.

What does naughty mean?

It is an adjective that is normally used to describe children that behave disobediently or mischievously.

Happy Holidays Everyone!




Video Watch : Say Something

Wonderful song by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera. When you listen, it moves you. When I watched the video, I simply cried.

What are the lyrics?

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’ll be the one, if you want me to.
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.

And I am feeling so small.
It was over my head
I know nothing at all.

And I will stumble and fall.
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.

And I will swallow my pride.
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
And anywhere, I would have followed you.
Oh-oh-oh-oh say something, I’m giving up on you.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
Say something…

What do the words in bold mean?

  • to give up : to admit you can’t do something and stop trying
  • to stumble & fall: when you  hit your foot somewhere and then fall. In this case it is means that you are learning something unexpectedly so you may make mistakes.
  • to swallow my pride : to be humble

How would you interpret this song?

In my view, it’s totally about love. The singer loves and cares for someone deeply, he still wants to work things out and would do anything for that other person but he is very hurt by the lack of response.

Can you answer these questions?

  1. Had you heard this song before? What do you think of it?
  2. Did you like Aguilera’s performance and look?
  3. Which scene moved you the most in the video? Why?
  4. Have you ever loved someone without having a similar sentiment in return?

Like, share & comment. We always appreciate it.



Video Watch ‘One Republic-Counting Stars’


My friend Taline posted this video on her facebook page. I thought we could listen, read and check out some new vocabulary. I love the tune. Catchy chorus, don’t you think?

What are the lyrics?

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 1]
I see this life
Like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find

Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

I feel something so right
By doing the wrong thing
And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

Lately I been, I been losing sleep (hey!)
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard (hey!)
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Lately I been, I been losing sleep (hey!)
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard (hey!)
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 2]
I feel the love
And I feel it burn
Down this river every turn
Hope is a four letter word
Make that money
Watch it burn

Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that downs me makes me wanna fly


[Bridge 4x:]
Take that money
Watch it burn
Sink in the river
The lessons I learned

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive


[Bridge 4x:]
Take that money
Watch it burn
Sink in the river
The lessons I learned

What do the lyrics mean according to me?
  • He seems to have some kind of addiction and it is stopping him from reaching his goals.
  • He is losing sleep because he is torn between not being able to reach his goal and not being able to keep his promises to his loved on.
  • He is praying hard (i.e. a lot) because he feels desperate. A small feeling of hope surfaces when he says that he will be counting stars in the future.
  • Seek it out and you shall find‘ means look for the way out and you will find it. He does not think that it’s that easy though.
  • Hope is a four letter word , make that money, watch it burn’ shows that they feel they are hoping in vain.
  • He says that he is not bold (i.e. audacious, strong) and this is an excuse for his addiction.

What do you think?

  1. Do you like One Republic? What bands do you listen to?
  2. Do you think being bold is a positive character trait in your country?
  3. When do you  lose sleep over situations?



Seth Godin’s take on Nelson Mandela

6th April 2000 Visit of Nelson Mandela to give...
6th April 2000 Visit of Nelson Mandela to give a lecture at LSE on ‘Africa and Its Position in the World.’ Held at the Peacock Theatre. IMAGELIBRARY/575 Persistent URL: archives.lse.ac.uk/dserve.exe?dsqServer=lib-4.lse.ac.uk&a… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The internet has been inundated with posts on Nelson Mandela’s passing. I especially liked Seth Godin’s  so I have decided to share it with you. You can find the original link here.

 What did Seth Godin have to say?

A Legacy of Mandela by Seth Godin

Others can better write about Nelson Mandela’s impact on the world stage, on how he stood up for the dignity of all people and on how he changed our world.

For those that seek to make a change in the world, whether global or local, one lesson of his life is this:

You can.

You can make a difference.

You can stand up to insurmountable forces.

You can put up with far more than you think you can.

Your lever is far longer than you imagine it is, if you choose to use it.

If you don’t require the journey to be easy or comfortable or safe, you can change the world.

What do the following expressions mean?

  • A legacy: something received form someone who has died
  • To seek : to look for, search
  • To stand up to: refuse to receive bad treatment from someone
  • To put up with: to tolerate

How would you answer the following questions?

  1. How would you describe Nelson Mandela’s accomplishments to children?
  2. Who else has had such a positive impact on Humanity?
  3. What other humanitarian causes need to be adressed today?
  4. When thinking of your community, what can you do to make a change?


Great Man. Powerful Words. Big Love!


Etymology: To Break The Ice


breaking ice

breaking ice (Photo credit: NapaneeGal)




I kicked off a new course this week. I always plan a few  activities that help people to relax at the first lesson. These activities are called icebreakers. That got me thinking. Where does this idiom come from? It is actually pretty intuitive to understand but when did people start using it as an idiom?

What does ‘To Break The Ice ‘mean?

To say or do something that helps people to relax and begin talking at a meeting, party, etc.  The corresponding noun is ‘icebreaker‘.

What is the etymology?

The ice in question is metaphorically that on a river or lake in early spring. To break the ice would be to allow boats to pass, marking the beginning of the season’s activity after the winter freeze. In this way, this expression has been connected to the start of enterprise for abour 400 years.

How do we use it in context?

  • I broke the ice by telling them about my hometown.
  • Playing 20Questions is a nice way to break the ice at a lesson.
  • What icebreakers do you use to start a meeting?

Can you repeat the sentences you hear?


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