Monthly Archives: May 2012

Idiom of the Week

Out of the blue

Meaning: something happens suddenly or unexpectedly


  • I was sitting in the sun, when out of the blue it started to rain.
  • Yesterday, out of the blue, I got a letter from an old friend.
  • I was just thinking about my sister when she called me out of the blue.

Pop Quiz: What happens out of the blue?

a. You go to a friend’s birthday party

b. A bird goes to the bathroom on your head

c. You see a movie you like

Read the answer below

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Level One Autobiographies

In Elsie’s Level One classes, the students recently made books. They wrote about their own lives  – we call them autobiographies.

We have one example for you. It was written by Erica Miao, who is in Class 1B. Click on the picture below to start reading – and remember to take the quiz afterwards to test your comprehension!

Tagged ,

Poetry Wrap Up

Last month, in April there were many activities and occurrences for National Poetry Month. We even had a poetry contest. We did not receive a lot of poems, but a few students did send us poems they wrote. We would like to congratulate our two contest winnersEufemia Simon and Joey Zhang both from Erica’s E4 class. Below is a picture of Eufemia and Joey with their prizes (personally selected poetry books). Click on the picture to watch a video of them reading and discussing their poems-

Joey and Eufemia from E4 are the winners of April’s poetry contest. They both received a book of poems as a prize. Listen to Joey read his poem, “How Do I Learn English” and Eufemia read to us her, “Wonderful Moments”. Thanks, poets, for sharing your beautiful writing!

“How Do I Learn English”
By Joey Zhang

I have given up the chance to make money
In order to learn English
So I have no time to be in your company
Forgive me
Come back here
We can talk
Face to face
Just you and me


“Wonderful Moments”
By Eufemia Simon

I don’t know how to fly without wings
I am not sure if it was a dream
or only a flash of lighting
that paralized me in to a sweet,sweet dream.

I have no idea why in spring time
the rainbow could come
to paint the picture
in the center of my mind

wonderful moments
to breathing fresh air
smell fragrant flowers
and seeing happy children play.

while you say I love you baby bear,
for this reason and many more
I want our love to be like mathematics signs
x forever
= us

Tagged , , ,

Spring Reading

At the end of National Poetry Month, evening students gathered for a Spring Reading. They listened and shared with classmates poems and stories that they had written or that were written by some of their favorite authors. Below is the video of the reading. Watch, listen and enjoy. Congratulations to everyone on all your hard work and bravery!

Tagged , ,

Idiom of the Week

Dime A Dozen

Meaning: cheap and common

* a dozen means 12 of something


  • Romantic movies are a dime a dozen.
  • Low-paying jobs are a dime a dozen, but it’s hard to find jobs that will make you rich.
  • Language schools are a dime a dozen, to find a good school is not always easy.

Pop Quiz:

What would you say are a dime a dozen?

a. Cheap Watches

b. Someone to love

c. A great book

Read the answer below

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

True Stories

A lot of you have been asking about how you can buy the True Stories books. They’re great books – funny and interesting. And they have good vocabulary and grammar exercises to help you improve your English. They come in a variety of levels – from very easy to advanced.

The easiest way is to buy them is on the Internet through You need a credit card or debit card to order them online. To go to, just click on the pictures of the books below:

They also often have them at Barnes and Noble bookstore. The nearest Barnes and Noble is at Union Square. Click here to see it on the map. Just go there and tell them the title of the book you’re looking for. They can help you.

Or you can check many of them out from the New York Public Library. Click here to take a look at them on the NYPL website.


Qun Qing (Helen) Ye: Student of the Month

We would like to congratulate our newest student of the month, Qun Qing Ye. Helen has been living in the United States for 6 years and has recently passed her US Citizenship Test. Below is a short video interview with Qun Qing (Helen). Keep up the great work!


Is your story similar to Helen’s?

Have you taken the US Citizenship test?

Are you working on your resume?

Let us know and comment below…


Tagged , , , , , , , ,