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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mini-Lessons from Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012

These Mini-Lessons are posted on Twitter, and in China on Weibo, throughout the day. You can follow them there!

To get the most from them, you should try to use them in sentences, or discuss them with friends. Writing something on Twitter or Weibo is a great way to practice!
  • Tip: Memorize poems. Poetry is the highest form of any language, and the sound of poems makes them easier to remember. Learn some by heart!
  • Proverb: Where there's smoke there's fire: Where there seems to be a problem (there's smoke), there probably is one (there's a fire).
  • Academic Vocabulary: fluctuate: go up and down, get bigger and smaller, etc. "The price of gasoline fluctuates based on supply and demand."
  • Literature: Achilles: great Greek fighter in Trojan War. As a baby, all but his heel was dipped in a magic river; later, he was shot there, died.
  • Art: symphony: a long musical work with several parts. Beethoven's 5th Symphony (da da da DUMMMM) may be the most famous.
  • Slang: That's a shame: "That's too bad." A: "I lost my wallet!" B: "Oh, that's a shame."
  • Geography: Sri Lanka: an island country near India, used to be called Ceylon. Mainly Buddhist, with a strong Hindu minority.

  1. Academic Vocabulary is the Academic Word List from Oxford University Press. This is "a list of words that you are likely to meet if you study at an English-speaking university."
  2. The Proverb, and the Literature, Art, and Geography words are from lists in the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. I wrote the definitions and examples myself.
  3. The Tip and Slang words are from my own lists, and I wrote the definitions and examples myself.

This lesson is ©2012 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use"

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