Idiom of the Week – It’s raining Cats and Dogs

This weeks’ idiom includes the use of our favourite pets and it is probably an idiom you have heard before. But what does it mean? Could it be: 1) There are cats and dogs falling from the sky 2) Cats and dogs have become royalty 3) It is raining heavily Look at the example sentence and guess for yourself.   Sorry I am late for class but it’s raining cats and dogs out there. All the streets are flooded too! Want to know more? Try Basic English Courses in Miami.

Labor Day

This week, many students have asked why school is closed next Monday (Sept. 2).  The answer: Labor Day!   In the US, Labor Day falls on the first Monday of September, so the date varies from year to year.  In the late 1882, the federal government established Labor Day is a way to celebrate “social and economic achievements of American workers” (according to the US Department of Labor).  As time has passed, however, many Americans have simply come to view Labor Day as the traditional end of Summer, and the beginning of Fall.   In the US, Labor Day is a federal holiday.  This means that all government offices, schools and organizations are closed.  Many businesses are also closed, while typically social businesses (shopping and restaurants, for example) remain open.  Americans generally view this as a day of rest.  Here in South Florida, it is very common to celebrate by spending time at the beach and/or barbecuing (don’t forget your sunblock!).  Many people also travel, with that particular long weekend being one of the busiest of the year.   Labor Day also signals a change in activities.  School-age children typically return to school around this time, and the sports seasons also change.  Baseball starts to wind down, while Football and Hockey are starting!   Take advantage of the long weekend!  But most of all, be Safe!

Suncreen — Get Protected!

Those of us that live in Florida know all about being sun-smart (although we don’t always practice it).  But people visiting for a short period of time tend to try to get as much sun in as little time as possible.  Perhaps that’s smart for your time when you’re vacationing, but it’s definitely not smart for your skin.  Need proof?  Check out this article/video that was recently on CNN!   Remember, putting on sunblock just once in the morning isn’t enough.  If you don’t use a waterproof sunblock (Read the label!), you need to reapply every hour or so.  Taking a few minutes to take care of your skin will make all the difference in preventing skin disease and premature aging.   — Mark  

Academic Lecture — “Meeting with Officer Lamoca”

Ester Pechiai is one of our Intermediate students from Brazil.  She recently attended a lecture with the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD).  This was Ester’s winning essay!  — Mark   First of all, I have to say that I was surprised with this opportunity.  Sometimes foreign people like us commit a “crime” because we don’t know very well the laws of the new country , such as drinking beer on the street for example.   When Officer Lamoca was talking about his job, I was thinking about education in my country.  We never had this opportunity to talk with an officer at school when we were children.  If we had gotten this, maybe Brazil would have spent less money on jails.   I was shocked that the most popular crimes here in Miami are related to alcohol, and it is important to emphasize that only people under 21 can consume or buy alcohol in Miami.  The most common tourist’s mistake is to leave their stuff alone on the beach.  There are a lot of robbers just waitng for the opportunity to take your things.  Take care of your things!   The other important tip is always keep your eyes on your drink.  They put drugs in there and you can imagine what can happen after.   Ocean Drive is known too for the prostitution street.  Students can drive with an ID (if they are under 21 years old), but remember if you drink don’t drive.  If you get caught maybe you’ll pay $10,000.   The police station is located on 11th and Washington Avenue and in an emergency case you can call 911.

Idiom of the Week – Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

The idiom of the week is every cloud has a silver lining. Does this mean: 1) You can find silver around clouds. 2) Clouds are made of silver 3) You should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days.   For example, don’t be sad that the class schedule is going back to only mornings. Every cloud has a silver lining, you can now go to the beach every afternoon!     Go to our Learn English site for more exercises! And find out more about Basic English Courses in Miami.

Student of the Month – Heloisa Pegorelli

High Intermediate Class Student’s Miami Recommendation: I recommend every student who have a chance to go to Key West. It’s a wonderful city with beautiful beaches where you can go snorkeling. There you will also be in the southernmost point in the USA. On Lincoln Rd you can find good restaurants for have lunch/dinner and also to have a happy hour with your friends! There you can also find a lot of stores! If you are more interested in shopping Miami is the right place! In town you will find really good malls. The most famous is the Dolphin and Aventura Mall. If you are looking for good prices you can also go to Sawgrass Mills, near to Fort Lauderdale. It is a Outlet with more than stores. If you want to go for a walk on SoBe, you should go to Park South Point, a nice park with a beautiful view! Teacher’s Comments Heloisa is a great student, who really embraces learning English.  She is always willing to participate in class activities and truly makes an effort to use English in her daily life. In the time Heloisa has been my student, she has not only improved her grammar but her speaking as well.

Teacher of the Month – Isabel Rodriguez Saguar

Isabel Rodriguez Saguar FCE/High Intermediate   Teacher’s Hometown Madrid, Spain   Teacher’s Miami Recommendation I love to hang out at Panther Coffee in Wynwood. It’s an excellent place to drink good coffee and prepare for my classes.  Gigi in Midtown is great for some Asian fusion food and is open till at least 3:00am every day, which is wonderful for those late night cravings and for some cheap drinks and food. You may see me at 100 Montaditos in Midtown on Wednesdays; everything is one dollar.   Teacher’s English Tip My advice for students is to have fun with it, get out there, mingle, meet new people, and loosen up. It is not all about grammar all the time. It is also about communicating and having a great time in sunny Miami.

Idiom of the Week – Jump on the bandwagon

This week’s idiom of the week is “Jump on the bandwagon”. Can you guess what this means? Does it mean: a) Jump on stage with a band and start singing. b) Jump up and down in the same spot. c) Follow a popular trend or activity. The correct answer is C! For example . . . I didn’t want to get Facebook but all my friends have it so I guess I jumped on the bandwagon and signed up.