In time, these lessons and "stubs" will be migrated to the Buzzwords site.
Until then, consider them historical.

Mini-Lessons WITH EXERCISES from Sunday, Mar. 18, 2012

I'm trying something new! Instead of a separate lesson, today's lesson will be exercises based on the Mini-Lessons. Let me know if you like it!
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: Learn words in "chunks." Look for fixed phrases, sentences, etc. Words are good, but sentences are better!
  • Proverb: All's well that ends well: Even if things didn't go perfectly, if things turn out the way you wanted, you should be satisfied.
  • Academic Vocabulary: analogy: comparison. "He made an analogy between brains and computers." "Birds' wings are analogous to people's arms."
  • Literature: Abraham and Isaac: father and son in Bible. Abraham agrees to kill Isaac when God tells him to, but then God says he doesn't have to.
  • Art: perspective: a way of making a flat image look three-dimensional, like painting things smaller that are supposed to be farther away.
  • Slang: right?: asks if someone agrees. "The party's tonight. You're coming, right?"
  • Geography: Liechtenstein: very small country in Europe, between Switzerland and Austria, with one of the world's highest GDPs per person.


Read the Mini-Lessons above. Make cards and study them. When you think you know them, answer the questions below. You may have to look up some new words to answer the questions!


1. Today's Proverb is "All's well that ends well." You would probably NOT say this when:
a. you found your keys after losing them.
b. you traveled home in bad weather.
c. you had a difficult time making a sale, but finally did it.
d. you ate dinner with a friend.

2. Use the Academic Vocabulary word "analogy" in its correct form:
a. There are several good __________ for describing the relationship between a nation and its people.
b. One __________ would be that the nation is a parent: a mother or father.
c. In that case, the citizens would be __________ to brothers and sisters.
d. I don't think the __________ of nation as a zoo would be a nice one, though.
e. (DIFFICULT!) Is your watch digital or __________?

3. Match the Literature, Art, and Geography terms below to these related ideas:
a. "primitive" works lack this
b. another word for this is " a way of seeing things"
c. speaks German
d. a story of obedience
e. about twice the size of Hong Kong Island
f. a ram (a male sheep or goat) takes someone's place

(1) Abraham and Isaac
(2) perspective
(3) Liechtenstein

4. Which of these means something DIFFERENT from the Slang term "right?"

a. He's your friend, for sure.
b. He's your friend, isn't he?
c. He's your friend, ya know?
d. He's your friend, I guess.


If you can, try to talk about these questions in English with a friend. If not, try writing your answers. You may need to do some research in your language, but then you should express your answers in English.

1. Read the story of Abraham and Isaac. What meanings can you find in it?
2. Find some examples of perspective in paintings in books or online. Can you see how it "tricks" the eye?
3. Read a little about the history of Lichtenstein. How did it manage to survive as such a small country, surrounded by "giants"?


1. d.

2. Academic Vocabulary:
a. analogies (the plural of "analogy")
b. analogy
c. analogous (the adjective form of "analogy")
d. analogy
e. analog (the way a watch's hands move is like an analogy for the passing of time; a dial like that is considered "analog" instead of "digital," like a watch that shows only numbers without a dial)

3. Matching:
a. (2) perspective; the technique as we know it was developed in the Renaissance
b. (2) perspective; for example, "men and women often have different perspectives" (ways of seeing things).
c. (3) Liechtenstein; German is the only official language
d. (1) Abraham and Isaac; this story shows Abraham obeying God exactly
e. (3) Liechtenstein; the area is 160.475 square kilometers (61.960 square miles); Hong Kong Island is 80.5 square kilometers (31.08 square miles)
f. (1) Abraham and Isaac; God supplies a ram to be killed instead of Isaac

4. a. It's "sure"; the others express some doubt.

  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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