How What are you doing

HOW or WHAT… are you doing?

Two questions that often confuse students are: How are you doing? & What are you doing? For example, if you ask this woman “How are you doing?,” she’ll say “Great!  Fantastic!” However, if you ask her “What are you doing?,” she’ll say, “I’m giving a double thumbs up!  I’m smiling!”  The answers are totally different. […]

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valentine appealing apeeling banana English ESL

Be My (Corny) Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is coming–Are you ready? February 14th is a day for candy hearts and corny cards (“corny” means sentimental and full of cliches).  Here is one example: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, and so are you And here is another.  First read the pink version.  Then read the black translation: Do you […]

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Actually… you may not be using “actually” correctly!

Romance languages like French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese share a close common ancestor with English.  This is both good and bad for students.  A positive is that many words have the same meaning.  They just have different spelling and pronunciation.   However, sometimes we find “false friends.”  For example, the word embarrasada in Spanish doesn’t […]

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students of the month

Students of the Month: Thaiza and Hiroshi

Each month, PELA selects two outstanding students who have demonstrated their hard work and dedication to learning English, actively taken part in class, asking questions, and being a role model to other students.   Help us congratulate this months recipients:  Thaiza and Hiroshi! PELA: Why are you studying English? Hiroshi: My purpose… is to communicate with foreign people. […]

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Talking Trash

Trash-talking, Teasing, and Mockery

 When athletes complete, they look for any edge (or advantage) over their competition.  Much of that comes from physical skill, but some is psychological.  Often, they try to distract their opponents by trash-talking.  Trash-talking is when someone says bad things about another person’s skill or about some other aspect of his/her personality in order to make […]

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