quarta-feira, 31 de agosto de 2011

Movie Review: "Mamma Mia!" - Does Your Mother Know You Sing Abba Tunes?

From left, Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep and Julie Walters in "Mamma Mia!"
Musicals are bonkers, Mamma Mia! perhaps more than most. It has an Italian title but is set in Greece and it centres on songs written by a pair of Swedes. But we aren’t allowed to care about that.
Meryl Streep plays a single mum who is the impoverished owner of a dilapidated island taverna, about to celebrate the wedding of her only daughter. This daughter (Amanda Seyfried) wants her dad to take her down the aisle but because Meryl was once the island bike she doesn’t know who the father is.
Anyway, the daughter invites all the possible candidates (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård), while her mum invites her two best friends (Julie Walters and Christine Baranski) for a bit of (im)moral support.
Throw in a groom, bridesmaids, a vicar and a chorus of picturesque Greeks and you have an awful lot of people who need to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time in order to have just the right excuse to break into the right song, which is barely in English anyway. It should be beyond bonkers. It should be a mess.
It isn’t. They’ll probably revoke my membership of the Straight Men’s Sneering Association for this, but Mamma Mia! is actually rather wonderful. It is sharp, hilarious and so beautifully shot that you can almost smell the Ambre Solaire.
Streep slams wonky, wooden shutters and leads her mob of bridesmaids, ageing sluts and lumpy Greek peasant women on a rampage through that sleepy village like a sun-kissed, middle-aged parody of Cyndi Lauper.
Walters cackles away like the old pro she is, and even though Colin Firth is in full Bridget Jones awkward mode, you never properly want to beat him to death with an oar.
Streep is the real star here, and she does serious acting, too, investing a cliff-top rendition of The Winner Takes It All with far more teary gravitas than should be possible for a song that contains the line: “I figured it made sense/ building me a fence”.
Brosnan, meanwhile, is at his funniest and most unBondish. Bless him, but the man cannot sing at all. It’s not that he can’t hold a tune, exactly, more that you can really hear him trying. I hope he is in on the joke.
Maybe it is the mature cast that makes Mamma Mia! work so well. The film is hectic but relaxed. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Every act of breaking into song is a gag and every dance move an undignified scramble.
In the right sort of way, it is also gloriously subversive. Three sexual partners in a week is a bit of a laugh and the older a woman gets, the more likely she is to drink, leer and lust.
With the exception of Baranski’s rather gruesome duet with a young barman on Does Your Mother Know? the film is almost completely without campery. For a musical full of Abba songs, that is truly remarkable.
There is, however, an important caveat to make here before I get carried away, and that is to admit that I saw this film in a little screening room in Soho. In your average multiplex you’ll have people twirling and singing along, which may, if you are of a certain bent, spur you to murder.
But even so, if you can resist a smile as 30 muscular chaps in tiny Speedos and huge Technicolor flippers bop away to Dancing Queen on a rickety Greek pier, then you are a straighter, even more sneering man than I ever was.


Directed by Phyllida Lloyd; written by Catherine Johnson, based on the original musical book by Ms. Johnson, originally conceived by Judy Craymer based on the songs of Abba; director of photography, Haris Zambarloukos; edited by Lesley Walker; music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, some songs with Stig Anderson; choreographer, Anthony Van Laast; production designer, Maria Djurkovic; produced by Ms. Craymer and Gary Goetzman; released by Universal Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes.
WITH: Meryl Streep (Donna), Pierce Brosnan (Sam), Colin Firth (Harry), Stellan Skarsgard (Bill), Julie Walters (Rosie), Dominic Cooper (Sky), Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) and Christine Baranski (Tanya).

From: Times Online, 2008

segunda-feira, 29 de agosto de 2011

Ain't no Sunshine

Check the lyrics and answer:
How many words can you hear?
How many sentences can you undertand?
How many words you thought were different?
It's important to notice how informal is the title of this song. Can you explain why? Leave us your comment!
Take notes and compare with your partners.

domingo, 28 de agosto de 2011

Idioms for Kids

Hello, guys and gals!
Que tal um pouco mais de idiomsHoje postei umas expressões idiomáticas bem simples, especiais para kids. Mas você pode estudá-las também, e fazer o exercício de fixação que está no fim do post.


1. A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush
- Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.


A: "Dan has asked me to go to a party with him. What if my boyfriend finds out? I don't know if I should go."
B: "Don't go. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

2. A Blessing In Disguise

- Something good that isn't recognized at first.


A: "The hotel is full tonight; we will need to find a new place to stay."
B: "Maybe it's just a blessing in disguise; I've been wanting to try a new place anyway."

3. A Chip On Your Shoulder

- Being upset for something that happened in the past.


"He lost his game this morning, and now he has a chip on his shoulder."

4. A Dime A Dozen

- Anything that is common and easy to get.


A: "Do you think I should buy this now and bring it with us?"
B: "Don't bother; those are a dime a dozen where we are going."

5. A Drop in the Bucket

- Something that is not important because it is very small.


A: "I'm sorry I scratched your car."
B: "Don't worry about it. It's just a drop in the bucket. That car has more scratches on it than I can count."


1. A: "I lost my job and was upset at first, but I found a better one and have been much happier since."
B: "Losing your job was just __________!"

2. A: "Look what I found!"
B: "That's nothing special; those are __________."

3. "I'd like to do something to change the world, but whatever I do seems like __________."

4. "Tom had a tough time growing up, so he's got a bit of __________."

5. A: "I've been offered $250 for my stereo. Should I take it, or wait for a better offer?"
B: "Take the $250. __________." 

Resposta no próximo post.

See you!
Teacher Jô

sábado, 27 de agosto de 2011

Everyday Idioms

Hello, everyone!
Hoje quero que vocês entendam um pouco do cotidiano através de expressões idiomáticas. Você vai conhecer expressões incríveis e espero que as inclua no teu vocabulário! 

White roses always help on opening her heart.

”Idioms” ou Expressões Idiomáticas constituem um grupo de palavras que somadas formam um significado diferente. Isso significa que um "idiom" é uma expressão difícil de entender apenas traduzindo-se as palavras, pois nem sempre tem sentido literal, ou seja, não são o que parecem ser. Existe correspondência no plano da idéia, mas não da forma.
Em alguns casos, é possível entender o seu significado, pois existem correspondentes em português que tem o mesmo sentido literal, como exemplo:
open one’s heart (talk about one’s feelings honestly, confide in someone)
- She suddenly opened her heart when I began talking to her on the bus.
Entretanto na maioria das vezes, mesmo que todo vocabulário seja conhecido, a frase em inglês pode apresentar um sentido totalmente oposto:
cup of tea (something one enjoys or does well - usually used in the negative)
- Going to art galleries is not my cup of tea so I think that I will stay home this evening and not go with you.
Desta forma é preciso que os professores de inglês ajudem os alunos a se familiarizarem e aprenderem sobre o uso dessas expressões e o contexto em que os “Idioms” são utilizados.
A seguir serão apresentadas algumas expressões idiomáticas, que podem ser apresentadas junto aos conteúdos de sala de aula.

David got egg on his face because he forgot his math material for this class.

Food Idioms
apple of one’s eye (someone or something that one likes a lot)
- The little girl is the apple of her grandfather`s eye.
(get or) have egg on one’s face (be embarrassed)
- He has egg on his face because everyone knows that he was sick at the party.
out to lunch (crazy, mad)
- She is totally out to lunch and you should never believe what she tells you.
salt away (save money)
- He has been working there for seven years and has been able to salt away quite a lot of money.
polish the apple (flatter someone)
- Nobody likes her because she is always trying to polish the apple with her teacher.

Clothes Idioms
burn a hole in one’s pocket (money likely to be quickly spent)
- The money that he made at his part-time job is burning a hole in his pocket and he will probably spend it quickly.

Johnny is dressed to the nines because of his sister’s marriage.
dressed to the nines (teeth) (dressed elegantly)
- They were dressed to the nines when they went to the opening of the new theater production.
if the shoe fits wear it (that what is said in general can also be said of an individual person)
- You shouldn’t criticize others for something that you would do yourself. Remember, if the shoe fits wear it.
wolf in sheep’s clothing (a person who pretends to be good but is really bad)
- He is a wolf in sheep`s clothing and someone that you should be very careful around.
Body Idioms
butterflies in one’s stomach (a feeling of fear or anxiety in the stomach)
- The little boy had butterflies in his stomach when he had to give the speech in front of the class.
hold one’s breath (stop breathing for a moment when one is excited or nervous)
- I held my breath and waited to see if my name had been called for an interview with the movie company.
on one’s back (making insistent demands of one, being an annoyance or bother)
- My sister is always on her daughter`s back to clean up her room.

Anna eats like a horse because she wants to keep her healthy

Animal Idioms
bark up the wrong tree (choose the wrong course of action)
- He is barking up the wrong tree. He accused me of causing the computer problem but I was away at the time.
buy a pig in a poke (buy something without seeing it or knowing if it will be satisfactory)
- You can buy the used computer if you want but it will be like buying a pig in a poke if you don`t look at it first.
cry wolf (give a false alarm, warn of a danger that is not there)
- He is crying wolf. There is no real danger or worry about the electrical system causing a fire.
donkey`s years (a very long time)
- I talked to my friend for a long time because I hadn`t seen her in donkey`s years.
eat like a horse (eat a lot)
- Her brother who is 18 years old eats like a horse.
rat race (rushing around, confusing way of living that does not seem to have a purpose)
- He is tired of living in the rat race every day and plans to quit his job soon and do something else.
That's it! Hope you liked!
See you,
Teacher Jô

sexta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2011

I have butterflies in my stomach... What???

Hello, guys and girls!
Já ouviu esta expressão antes? Bonitinha, né?! Bastante poética... "Butterflies in the stomach"... Mas o que ela significa? Quando a usamos?  
Aparentemente a expressão teria saído de um livro, de algum escritor inspirado. Daí, passou a ser usada pelas pessoas no dia a dia e hoje é "património da humanidade".
A expressão pretende traduzir a ligeira inquietação, a ansiedade, o nervoso miudinho, que se sente quando por exemplo vamos encontar-nos com um novo namorado ou namorada. Ou quando estamos apaixonados.
Também há quem atribua a essa expressão um significado mais prosaico, como por exemplo a sensação que antecede um teste ou exame. Prefiro a primeira. 

Ter "Butterflies in the Stomach" é aquela sensação de frio na barriga, como se houvessem borboletas batendo asas dentro do nosso estômago toda vez que nosso organismo libera adrenalina - seja por ansiedade, paixão, medo, etc.

That's it!
See you,
Teacher Jô

quinta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2011

My Family and ME! (Acoustic Version)

Hello, everyone! 

We love our families. Let's sing about it!

This song was written from the heart to share our love to our families. It's got a nice melody and also happens to be a pretty good learning song for EFL/ESL learners.

In addition to the concept of love and family, vocabulary includes:

- mommy
- daddy
- sister
- brother
- grandma
- grandpa
- me!

Sing along at home or in the classroom. Please let us know your thoughts!

quarta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2011

We Are Family

Hello, everyone!
We are all of us part of a family of one sort or another. Family members have various names in English and some of them like husband, wife, uncle, aunt, nephew and niece, are among the few English words that have gender. This video shows how the members of an extended family are related to each other. From grandfather and grandmother though parents - father and mother - to sons, daughters, brother and sister, grandchildren and cousins, this video gives you all the words you need to describe your own family in English. There is a fabulous new-style audio-visual quiz to go with this video.

Find it at the links above and below. | http://linguaspectrum.com/lessons/language_lessons/we_are_family/

See you!
Teacher Jô

terça-feira, 23 de agosto de 2011

Curiosidades do Inglês: DITTO

Hello, everyone!
A palavra usada no inglês que apresento hoje é bastante curiosa: ditto. Já ouviu em alguma expressão? Poi és, "ditto" significa "idem; o mesmo". Do italiano detto, “dito”. Em inglês fala-se ditto quando você concorda com algo que acaba de ser dito ou quando seus desejos ou sentimentos são iguais. Ditto mark é aquele símbolo ( ” ) escrito embaixo de uma palavra ou frase em uma lista para evitar a repetição da linha superior.Veja o exemplo:

  • A: “I’m going to have a beer.” 
  • B: “Ditto.”
  • A: “Vou tomar uma cerveja.” 
  • B: “Eu idem.”

Cf. Falsos Cognatos: DITTO
Cf. O que “JOIN THE CLUB” significa?
CfMais Curiosidades

Referência: “Why do we say that? Por que dizemos isso? – A origem e o significado de palavras e expressões do inglês do dia a dia”, de Jack Scholes – Editora Campus/Elsevier, 2009.

That's it!
Teacher Jô

segunda-feira, 22 de agosto de 2011


Hello, everyone!

As expressões idiomáticas são uma curiosidade constante quando estamos aprendendo um novo idioma, não é?! A que trago hoje desperta muita curiosidade... Como se diz em inglês "cortar as asas de alguém"?  Em inglês a expressão é "to clip someone's wings". Interessante, né?! Veja o exemplo:

  • The janitor was acting like the owner of the building and we had to clip his wings.
  • O zelador estava agindo como dono do prédio e tivemos que lhe cortar as asas.
Cf. Expressões Idiomáticas: Deus não dá asa a cobra
Cf. Falsos Cognatos: Nem sempre “SUPER” é “super”!
Cf. Animais em inglês

Referência: “All the Dogs are Barking – Os Animais na Língua Inglesa” de Martha Steinberg, Disal Editora, 2006.

See you!
Teacher Jô

domingo, 21 de agosto de 2011

I will be positive!

Hello, everyone!

Sometimes I think I overdo negativity. Although I just love playing with grammatical negatives; double and triple if I’m feeling flighty, I really should temper my non-affirmative relish and write about positive things from time to time. So let’s see if I can manage this sanguine appraoch.
Right? Where do I start? Well, I suppose I should be extremely positive and happy about the fact that my heart is still beating and my breathing is regular. I would love to say the sun is shining too, but it’s raining cats and dogs as I write this. So where I would normally say something negative about this depressing meteorological state, I should instead say what a wonderful effect all this rain is having on farms and water storage. But I won’t because it sounds plain boring.
Getting soaking wet while walking my dog and having our apartment smelling like a damp dog for days really gets on my wick. And why on earth did the stupid architect who designed our building think that marble paths and surrounds was a great idea? Did he not think that it rains and snows in Switzerland – on a dismally frequent basis I might add – and that marble tends to get dangerously slippery when even a little wet. Did he have some weird premonition in 1970 about global warming and think Switzerland would be a sandy desert by the time construction was finished?
While on the subject of water, our kitchen tap is leaking badly and noisily right now. I have diagnosed that it needs a new washer quite urgently, but I must resist using my acute plumbing skills as the landlord insists that all plumbing is done by a licensed plumber. Something to do with negating the threat of flooding the 13 floors below us. Yes, silly I know. Anyway, we’re still waiting for the plumber of course, and the continual drip, drip, drip is driving me crazy. In fact it’s starting to put me in a really bad mood. Oh stuff positivity.
The plumber won’t arrive for days, I won’t sleep well and I can’t believe I am not allowed to fix this silly little problem myself. Ooops. I don’t think this positivity thing is working.

Seems I don't know nothing about no positivity.

See you!
Teacher Jô

sábado, 20 de agosto de 2011

What does "puppy love" mean?

Hello, guys and gals!
Hoje trouxe uma expressão idiomática muito fofinha: puppy love! Mas qual o significado dela? Bem, puppy love é uma expressão idiomática que significa "amor de adolescente"... Não é bonitinho?!
  • Mary has a crush on her History teacher. It is just puppy love.
  • A Mary está apaixonada pelo seu professor de história; é amor de adolescente.
Referência: “All the Dogs are Barking – Os Animais na Língua Inglesa” de Martha Steinberg, Disal Editora, 2006.

sexta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2011


Hello, everyone!
Você já ouviu a expressão "laissez-faire"? Você sabe o que ela significa? Não? Então, você tem que ler este post!
"Laissez-faire" significa "o princípio de não intervenção; atitude de "deixar para lá". Veja o exemplo:

  • The situation has got worse because of his laissez-faire attitude.
  • A situação piorou por causa de sua atitude de deixar para lá.

Ao pé da letra, laissez-faire, em francês, significa “deixe fazer”. A expressão se refere à política de um governo de não controlar a economia ou as empresas e deixar que as coisas se resolvam sozinhas, sem interferência. O princípio foi inventado pelos franceses no século XVIII e muito defendido pelo famoso economista escocês Adam Smith (1723-1790). Da área da economia, a expressão passou ao uso geral, sem tradução das palavras francesas para o inglês, indicando uma atitude de deixar as coisas tomarem seu próprio caminho, sem interferir nas atividades ou no comportamento de outras pessoas, nem tentar influenciá-las.

Referência: “Why do we say that? Por que dizemos isso? – A origem e o significado de palavras e expressões do inglês do dia a dia”, de Jack Scholes – Editora Campus/Elsevier, 2009.

See you!
Teacher Jô

quinta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2011

Fun With Gerunds and Infinitives

gerunds and infinitives

For some, playing with the English language may not be your cup of tea, but I love it. One of my favourite parts of speech is the difference of meaning between gerunds and infinitive verb forms.
While some verbs change meaning completely, others remain more or less the same. But knowing which ones change and which ones take on a new sense are not governed by any logical rules, so as usual with English, you just have to know.
Look at these pairs of short sentences and decide if there is a significant difference in meaning. Or is the meaning more or less the same for both phrases?

I like to get up early.
I like getting up early.

She stopped to have lunch.
She stopped having lunch.

I like having coffee at 11 am.
I like to have coffee at 11 am.

I began to read that book last night.
I began reading that book last night.

I remembered to lock the door.
I remember locking the door.

She prefers working in the evenings.
She prefers to work in the evening.

He tried writing a book.
He tried to write a book.

Go on reading the text.
Go on to read the text.

I love reading.
I love to read.

Have fun.

quarta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2011

O que significa “TO TAKE THE MICKEY”?

[zombar; caçoar; tirar sarro; zoar]
  • She’s always taking the mickey out of him.
  • Ela está sempre tirando sarro dele.
CfGírias: Zoar
Cf. Mais Gírias
Referência: “Modern Slang – Easy Way” de Jack Scholes, Disal Editora, 2005. 

segunda-feira, 15 de agosto de 2011

Review: "The Smurfs" (2011)

Hello, everyone!
Last weekend I saw "The Smurfs" and I'm in love with them again... Just as when I was a child! So, I want to share my "smurfexperience" with you. I'm pretty sure you're going to fall in love too!
According to the famous The New York Times' critic, Neil Genzlinger, all the situations in "The Smurfs" make it a film for adults, not for children.Genzlinger's review isn't a favorable one, but I completely disagree with him. In my point of view, the movie is perfecet for all audiences. I really recommend it!
Anyway, to get your own opinion about "The Smurfs", you should read Neil Genzlinger's review and, of course, see the movie. Then, post us your own review!

Teacher Jô

Blue Travelers in the Big City
Smurfette and Gutsy in “The Smurfs,” directed by Raja Gosnell.
Sure, Smurfs are blue, but who knew that they actually work blue?
The funniest moments in “The Smurfs,” a new 3-D movie featuring the old gang familiar from the 1980s television series, are either raunchy or scandalous, as much as that is possible in a half-animated film with a PG rating. There’s a scene in which a Scottish Smurf in a kilt recreates the Marilyn Monroe subway grate display. There’s a rude bit involving a portable toilet.
Those grown-up winks, along with an array of New York locations, make “The Smurfs” a surprisingly tolerable film for adults. As for their children, well, who knows with kids? But at least the writers have cleverly built in enough Smurfology that today’s youngsters will be able to get the basics of the blue universe.
Fleeing their archenemy, the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria, who is quite funny), a half-dozen Smurfs are sucked through a wormhole and into New York City, with Gargamel and a nasty cat in hot pursuit. Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays play the young couple who befriend the Smurfs.
It’s somehow depressing that the story centers on whether Mr. Harris’s character can come up with an advertising campaign that will sell cosmetics, and the movie frequently reminds us that the gimmick of little creatures scurrying about in the human world (“Toy Story,” “Gnomeo and Juliet”) is pretty worn out. But on a hot summer day, “The Smurfs” is a decent enough excuse to haul the little ones into an air-conditioned theater.

“The Smurfs” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested) for fleeting ribaldry and lots of cat abuse.

Opens on Friday nationwide.
Directed by Raja Gosnell; written by J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick and David Ronn, based on a story by Mr. Stem and Mr. Weiss and the characters and works of Peyo; director of photography, Phil Méheux; edited by Sabrina Plisco; music by Heitor Pereira; production design by Bill Boes; costumes by Rita Ryack; visual effects supervisor, Richard R. Hoover; produced by Jordan Kerner; released by Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation. Running time: 1 hour 26 minutes.
WITH: Hank Azaria (Gargamel), Neil Patrick Harris (Patrick Winslow), Jayma Mays (Grace Winslow), Sofia Vergara (Odile) and Tim Gunn (Henri).
WITH THE VOICES OF: Anton Yelchin (Clumsy), Jonathan Winters (Papa), Katy Perry (Smurfette), Alan Cumming (Gutsy), Fred Armisen (Brainy) and George Lopez (Grouchy).

sexta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2011

"One word or two?"!

Is it everyday or every day?  

Is it noone or no one*?
*“No one” is always two separate words, unlike “anyone” and “someone.”

Is it everyone or every one? ("Every body" should only be used when referring to each BODY that people have, or in a phrase such as "every body of water." "Everybody" is equivalent to "everyone", but, at least in British English, the first is less formal.

Ok, no matter the question! The focus on this post is if the words are one word or two words!

Well, every time you have a question like this, look the word up in a dictionary until you've memorized them all. Sorry about that!

Go to denilsondelima.blogspot and learn a little more about this topic.
See you! Have a nice week!

quarta-feira, 10 de agosto de 2011

Asking for and Giving Directions in English - II

Hi, students!
Here is some useful vocabulary for asking and giving directions in English.

Asking for directions


"How do I get to your office?"
"Can you tell me the best way of getting to your office?"
"What's the quickest way of getting to your office?"
"Where are you exactly?"

Getting information


"Will you be coming by car or by train?"
"It's much easier if you take the train."
"Which hotel are you staying at?"

General information in English


"We're not far from…" or "We're quite close to…"
"It's about a mile / kilometre / two blocks from…"
"We're opposite / next to / in front of / across the road from / round the corner from the supermarket."

Giving directions in English


"Come off the motorway / highway at Junction / Exit 12."
"It's signposted 'Manchester'."
"Follow the signs to …"
"There's a one-way system in the centre of town."
"Take the 'A12' to 'Chelmsford'."
"Go straight on / left / right at the lights / at the roundabout /at the junction of … and …"
"Go past the supermarket."
"You'll come to / see …"
"It's the first turning on the right after the bank."

Use landmarks to help


"You'll see a large sign / roundabout."
"On your left you'll see an industrial centre / a hospital / the police station."
"Just after the level crossing / shopping centre (or mall)."
"Go past the petrol station / the garage."

Final tips


If you're giving directions over the phone, remember to speak slowly to allow the other person to write things down.
Check that the other person has understood.
If you're speaking face-to-face with someone, use your hands to show left, right, or straight on.
Use "please" when you ask someone to give you directions. It's polite, and will normally get you what you want!

See you!
Teacher Jô

terça-feira, 9 de agosto de 2011

Asking for and Giving Directions

Hello, students!
There are many ways to ask for and give directions in English. One common way is to give the name of a street and then some buildings nearby. So, let's learn more!
Well, when we travel abroad we need to learn how to ask for directions. On the other hand, we also need to learn how to give directions because our country receives lots and lots of  foreign people every year.
Take a look at the structures for asking for and giving directions in the table below:

Asking for Directions

Excuse me . . . 
**  This is always the most polite way to begin  your request for directions** 

Would/Could you tell me how to get to . . . Sugar Loaf? 

How do I find . . . suite 305? 

What is the best way to get to . . . Ipanema Beach? 

Would/Could you direct me to . . . Ms. Sumidata's office?

Which way do I go to get to . . .  the Nobunaga Building? 

 Giving Directions  

Go straight        Make a U turn        Turn left      Turn right      
Continue on (keep going) 

Follow this hall . . . road . . . path        Take the elevator          
It's about 150 meters  

It's next to . . . across from . . . opposite . . . beside . . . between (two things

Cross the . . . street . . . road . . . park . . . lobby . . . intersection . . .
Go past the . . .

It's on . . .  the left . . . the right . . . the third floor . . . the corner 

Prepositions to use with Directions

Go straight     Go to    Right     Left     Cross    On your right     

On your left     Beside  

Next to    Behind     Across from     In front of     On the corner of 

* Don't forget to say "Thank you" after someone has given you assistance.  

When Giving Directions in English 

Giving directions usually consists of to sets of instructions. 
In the first set:   Say "Go to" and tell the listener what street, building, office number, etc - or - how far they need to go.
In the second set:  Say "Then" and tell the listener what to do when they get there.  (turn left, turn right, it's on the left, etc.)
Giving even very complicated directions is just a repetition of these two steps.  

That's it!
See you,
Teacher Jô

segunda-feira, 8 de agosto de 2011

Places in a City

Hello, everyone! 
Here you have some places we can find around the city. Let's improve our vocabulary!

airport - the place you go when you want to travel by plane to another city.
bakery - you can buy fresh bread and cakes here.
bank - you deposit or withdraw/take out your money here. You can cash a cheque.
bookstore - a place where you can buy books and magazines.
bus station - the place you go when you want to travel by bus to another city.
butcher's - they sell fresh meat.
café - you can buy a cup of coffee and cakes or sandwiches.
church - a religious place of worship
court - the place where they have trials and law cases. A judge works here
craft market - a place that sells typical products (normally hand-made) of a region/country.
department store - a large store that sells clothes, household appliances etc. in sections.
cinema/movies - you can see the latest movies here. Many people eat popcorn while they're here.
fire station - the building where firemen keep their equipment including the fire-engine
gas / petrol station - the place you go to put petrol (gas) in your car.
gym - you can do exercises, weight training and keep fit here.
hairdresser's - you go here when you want to cut your hair.
hospital - you go here when you need an operation or someone is going to have a baby.
hotel - where you sleep when you visit another city.
gallery - you can see paintings and other works of art.
jail / prison - criminals are sent here by a judge for a number of days or years.
laundromat / launderette - a place where you can wash your clothes in coin-operated machines.
library - a place where you can read and borrow books.
museum - you can see many old objects (and sometimes paintings)
pharmacy/drugstore - you can buy medicine and (legal) drugs.
police station - you are taken here when you break the law and are arrested
pub - a place where you can buy a beer or other types alcoholic drinks
park - An area of public land in a city that contains an area of grass where you can rest, play or walk your dog. Sometimes children can play on swings, a slide or a climbing frame here.
restaurant - you go here when you don't want to cook at home. They prepare meals for you.
school - a place where children learn. You normally start school at the age of 5.
square - an open area within a city in the shape of a square. It is usually the heart of the city.
supermarket - a large store that sells food, drinks and household items
video store - you rent a movie or a DVD for a couple of days from this place.
zoo - a place where you can see many types of animals in cages.

That's it!
See you!
Teacher Jô

domingo, 7 de agosto de 2011

What is the difference between a city and a town?

Hello, guys and gals!
Most of you usually ask this question: what's the difference between a city and a town? Well, the answer is related to geography. Let's understand it!
In the United States, an incorporated city is a legally defined government entity, with powers delegated by the state and county and created and approved by the voters of the city. It can provide local government services to its citizens.
In most places in the U.S. a town, village, community, or neighborhood is simply an unincorporated community with no governmental powers. Usually, county governments provide services to these unincorporated communities. Some states do have official designations of "towns" that include limited powers.
Generally in the urban heirarchy, villages are smaller than towns and towns are smaller than cities but each country has its own definition of a city and an urban area.

Got it?!
See you!
Teacher Jô

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2011

Uses of "mind"

A palavra Mind é apresentada logo nas primeiras aulas do curso básico. Geralmente em expressões simples como “never mind” (não tem importância, não faz mal) ou ainda “I don't mind” (não tem importância!). Essas aplicações talvez escondam o “mundo” de significados que mind pode ter, pelo menos no meu dicionário ela cobre mais de uma página.
Fique atento à pronuncia correta /maɪnd/ (entenda os símbolos fonéticos). O “a” recebe destaque e o “d” fica bem fraco, de forma grosseira a pronúncia é “máind”.
Mind pode ser tanto um substantivo (noun) quando um verbo (verb). Como substantivo mind significa: mente; cérebro; alma; pensamento; memória; opinião; intenção; vontade. Aplicada como verbo significa: prestar atenção; considerar; notar; vigiar; recordar; observar; impugnar; lembrar; contrariar. Preste muita atenção, quando mind (verbo) vier seguido de outro verbo, este deverá estar no gerúndio (-ing). Confira alguns exemplos: 

  • Do you mind driving? I’m feeling pretty tired.
  • I don’t mind at all telling people my age.
  • Would you mind closing the door?
Alguns adjetivos que podem ser usados com mind (noun) são: human, subconscious, unconscious, best, brilliant e open. Dessa forma é permitido dizer “open mind” como na sentença “Try to keep an open mind until you’ve heard all the facts“.
Agora ficou fácil fazer a tradução do filme “Uma mente brilhante” não é? Faça a tradução mentalmente. Ahh! Essa é fácil, o nome do filme é “a brilliant mind” of course. Errado! Foi apenas uma pegadinha, a tradução está correta mas o nome do fílme em inglês é “A Beautiful Mind”. Confesso que nunca só vi o adjetivo Beautiful usado com Mind como foi utilizado no nome do fílme. Fica como curiosidade mesmo!

Expressões com Mind
  • My Mind just went blank: deu branco.
  • Mind your own business: estar na sua, sem incomodar ninguém.
  • I can’t get you out of my mind: não consigo te tirar da cabeça, não consigo te tirar dos meus pensamentos.
  • A sound mind in a sound body: mente sã em corpo são.

That’s all for today. See you guys!
Teacher Jô

From English Experts

sexta-feira, 5 de agosto de 2011

Gene Kelly dances with Stewie Griffin

Hello, everyone! 

Yesterday my post was about the great actor, singer and dancer Gene Kelly. Today, I want to show you a fantastic dance number bringing Stewie Griffin and Gene Kelly, arguably the best dancers of their respective generations, together on the same stage. Adapted from "Anchors Aweigh" (1945) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037514/, and originally featuring Jerry Mouse instead of Stewie.


So cute, isn't it?!
See you!
Teacher Jô

quinta-feira, 4 de agosto de 2011

Have you ever heard about Gene Kelly?

Hello, everyone!

Have you been to the movies lately? I have. I love going to the movies. I'm a really movie lover!
Awesome surround sound, huge screen, new release. What I don't like, however, is the price. And what if the movie sucks? I don't get my money back.
Anyway, today I want to talk a movie star I really love: Gene Kelly. Have you ever heard of him? If not, I can tell you something about this great movie star.

Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer. Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen.
Although he is known today for his performances in Singin' in the Rain (Cantando na Chuva) e An American in Paris (Um Americano em Paris), he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid 1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.
Kelly was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors, and from the Screen Actors Guild and Americam Film Institute; in 1999, the American Film Institute also numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of All Time list.
In this video, we can see an unforgetable Gene Kelly's scene in Singin' in the Rain (1952).

There is no shortage of information on the life and work of Gene Kelly. His biography and filmography can be found in many and varied websites, books and articles written over the years. So I will not waste web space repeating what you probably know or can easily discover.
All I want to do is to pay my respects to a very special man, who has brought much joy and comfort into my life and the lives of countless others. I wish more than anything that I could have written to him to thank him for the legacy he has given to us, of making us believe we can do anything, if we only try hard enough, but I never knew his magic until it was too late to tell him.

Much has been written about him, good and bad, and I am fully aware that he was no Irish saint. He was a human being, with his fair share of accompanying imperfections. But I figure that the positive things said about him are more likely to reflect the truth, whereas negative comments can sometimes come with their own agenda. I believe that the love, joy, and dreams, which filled his heart and overflowed to millions of others worldwide, far outweigh his shortcomings. There are other places where Gene’s ‘faults’ and ‘failings’ are mentioned. I want to redress the balance a little. So I make no claim to being impartial – after all, I am a fan!

Hope you liked to know a little about Gene Kelly.
Take care!
Teacher Jô

quarta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2011

ECO92: A soulful Canadian Girl's speech... It was 19 years ago!

Hello, students!

This is a speech from a canadian 12yo girl during ECO92, in Rio de Janeiro, regarding the importance of doing more than speak about the world problems, and the ecological problems.

Saiba o que foi a Eco-92

da Folha de S.Paulo   

Realizada de 3 a 14 de junho de 1992, a Conferência das Nações Unidas sobre o Ambiente e o Desenvolvimento (também conhecida como Cúpula da Terra ou Eco-92) reuniu 108 chefes de Estado para buscar mecanismos que rompessem o abismo norte-sul preservando os recursos naturais da Terra.

As bases para a Eco-92 foram lançadas em 1972, quando a ONU organizou sua primeira conferência ambiental, em Estocolmo, e em 1987, quando o relatório "Nosso Futuro Comum", das Nações Unidas, lançou o conceito de desenvolvimento sustentável.

Após negociações marcadas por diferenças de opinião entre o Primeiro e o Terceiro mundos, a reunião produziu a Agenda 21, documento com 2.500 recomendações para implantar a sustentabilidade.

Essa grande carta de intenções deverá ser o foco principal da reunião de Johannesburgo, durante a qual o próprio conceito de desenvolvimento sustentável deve sofrer ajustes. "As bases do conceito não são sacrossantas", afirma Klaus Töpfer, do Pnuma.


  • Convenção da biodiversidade: estabelece metas para preservação da diversidade biológica e para a exploração sustentável do patrimônio genético, sem prejudicar ou impedir o desenvolvimento de cada país

  • Convenção do clima: estabelece estratégias de combate ao efeito estufa. A convenção deu origem ao Protocolo de Kyoto, pelo qual as nações ricas devem reduzir suas emissões de gases que causam o aquecimento anormal da Terra

  • Declaração de princípios sobre florestas: garante aos Estados o direito soberano de aproveitar suas florestas de modo sustentável, de acordo com suas necessidades de desenvolvimento
    Agenda 21: conjunto de 2.500 recomendações sobre como atingir o desenvolvimento sustentável, incluindo determinações que prevêem a ajuda de nações ricas a países pobres

  • Saiba o que é a Rio +10

  • Saiba o que é desenvolvimento sustentável

  • Think abou it, guys...
    Let's save our planet!
    Let's save our home Earth!
    Teacher Jô

    terça-feira, 2 de agosto de 2011

    O que significa "redneck"?

    Hi, everybody!

    Fico muito feliz quando um aluno pergunta o significado de uma palavra que ele leu ou ouviu em um filme, música, noticiário, etc. Por que fico feliz? Porque isto significa que seu interesse em compreender mais e melhor a língua inglesa está crescendo; também sinaliza que sua percepção auditiva para as palavras do segundo idioma está se desenvolvendo mais e mais... E isto é resultado de nosso trabalho em sala! É simplesmente fantástico observar o desenvolvimento de cada um de vocês!
    Desta vez, a Bruna Salgado (4th level student) trouxe para a sala uma palavra que ela ouviu repetidamente em um dos episódios de "Family Guy": redneck. No episódio em questão, influenciado por um programa de tv que falava sobre os benefícios da vida no campo, Peter Griffin (para quem não conhece, Peter é o pai gordo e hilário no cartoon que retrata o dia-a-dia da familia Griffin) passou a agir como um redneck. Isto é, Peter troca seu carro de pai de familia urbano por um "pickup truck", passa a usar jeans e camisa quadriculada e, é claro, seu sotaque fica exageradamente carregado de r's. Pelo contexto, todos compreendemos que Peter tornou-se um caipira. Mas vamos compreender o uso do termo redneck.
    Historicamente redneck é uma gíria preconceituosa usada para se referir aos fazendeiros pobres e brancos do sul e sudeste dos Estados Unidos (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississipi, Oklahoma, Texas, etc.). Seu significado é semelhante ao de cracker (usado especialmente para os originários da Georgia e Alabama), hillbilly (usado para os indivíduos da região de Appalachia¹ e Ozarks²) e white trash (surpreendentemente usado sem qualquer sentido ofensivo).
    O termo define fazendeiros que têm o pescoço "vermelho", queimado pelo sol devido as muitas horas de trabalho no campo. A citação de 1893 nos dá a sguinte definição:  

    "Poorer inhabitants of the rural districts...men who work in the field, as a matter of course, generally have their skin stained red and burnt by the sun, and especially is this true of the back of their necks".

    Nos anos de 1900, "rednecks" era comumente usado para designar coalisões políticas (Democratic Party) dos fazendeiros pobres e brancos do Sul. O mesmo grupo também era frequentemente chamado de "wool hat boys" (porque faziam oposição aos homens ricos, que usavam chapéus caros de seda).

    Em 1910, os integrantes do Mississipi Democratic Party, liderados pelo político James K. Vardaman (Líder dos fazendeiros brancos) começaram a intitular-se "rednecks" orgulhosamente. Além de usar neckerchiefs (tipo de gravata; lenço de pescoço) vermelhos em reuniões políticas, comícios e picnics.
    Nos anos de 1970, o termo tornou-se uma gíria ofensiva e estendeu seu significado para bigoted (intolerante; fechado para novas idéias), loutish (rude; mal educado) e avesso ao modern ways (modernidades); também é usado para indivíduos conservadores e racistas, categoria muito comum no sul dos EUA. Por outro lado, alguns brancos sulistas adotaram a palavra, usando-a com orgulho e como elemento identitário.

    So, that's it guys and gals!
    See you,
    Teacher Jô

    ¹ Palavra que descreve a cultura da região das montanhas dos EUA, Appalachian Mountains, que se estende do Estado de New York até a Georgia.
    ² Refere-se a Ozarks Mountain Country, a Ozark Mountains e a Ozark Plateau. The Ozarks são as regiões altas (highland region) dos EUA. Ela compreende mais da metade do sudeste do Missouri e uma porção se estende ao nordeste e o norte central de Arkansas. Esta região também se estende ao oeste e nordeste de Oklahoma e extremo sudeste de Kansas. As colinas do sudoeste de Illinois, comumente chamadas de Illinois Ozarks, não são consideradas parte do verdadeiro Ozarks.


    1. Harold Wentworth, and Stuart Berg Flexner, Dictionary of American Slang (1975) p. 424.
    2.  Dictionary.com " Term Definition: Redneck"
    3. Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly, A Cultural History of an American Icon, Oxford University Press (2004), pg 39.
    4.  Wray (2006) page x.
    5. Ernest Cashmore and James Jennings, eds. Racism: essential readings (2001) p. 36.
    6. Jim Goad, The Redneck Manifesto: How Hillbillies, Hicks, and White Trash Became America's Scapegoats (1998) p. 17-19
    7. Barbara Ann Kipfer and Robert L. Chapman, American Slang (2008) p. 404