[Easy English Blog] Trying to be more active

person rolling green gym mat

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I spend most of my time sitting in front of my computer. This is not good for my health. So I am trying to be more active. I go running, but not as often as I would like. I need over an hour to have a good run. Most days, I start work at 7am and finish late at night. I would like to go running in the middle of the day, but this is a busy time for me.

So, I am trying to be active while I sit at my desk. I have a set of weights next to my desk, which I use when I take a short break from writing. I also stretch a few times during the day. I feel more relaxed when I do this, and it helps me to work better.

Still, I think I need to make more time to exercise. I could get up 30 minutes earlier and exercise before I start work. I have an exercise bike which I could use. I should stop making excuses and just do it!

by Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

Give it a whirl!

Do you know the English expression “to give (something) a whirl“? Read the conversation below. Can you guess the meaning?

Oliver: Hey, have you started ballet dancing?

Grace: Yes, it looked fun so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Does it mean:

a) twirl around something

b) try something

c) do something for a short time

d) do something with a lot of effort

The answer is below!↓

people woman jump show

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Answer: b) try something

[Easy English Blog] Speech contest

black microphone

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The other day, I judged an English speech contest. The contestants were school students. I judge the contest every year. This year was my 11th time. There were about 30 students in the contest. As usual, I was very impressed with the standard of the speeches.

In speech contests, while pronunciation is important, it is also important to think about non-verbal communication and the impact your speech has on the audience. Factors such as eye-contact and gestures are important. Some students used too many gestures, which was unnatural. Others used them well – adding expression to their speech.

When practicing the speech, it is important to ask yourself “what impact do I want to have?” “How do I want the listeners to feel?” The students who scored highly in the contest gave moving speeches. They successfully communicated their feelings, not only their words, to the listeners.

I was impressed with all the contestants though. It must be very difficult for a teenager to stand up in front of everyone and give a speech in a foreign language. I’m sure I couldn’t have done it when I was their age!

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

I wouldn’t be caught dead (doing something)

Do you know the English expression “to not be caught dead (doing something)“? Read the conversation below. Can you guess the meaning?

Jane: Did you see the dress Helen was wearing today? It was pink, yellow and red.

Michelle: I saw it. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that!

Does it mean:

a) would never (do something)

b) would not (do something) before I die

c) catch someone and tell them not to (do something)

d) talk about someone who died

The answer is below! ↓

 

Answer: a) would never (do something)

 

[Easy English Blog] Website update

person using black and white smartphone and holding blue card

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I had a meeting with our web designer yesterday. He made our website five years ago. I like the website, but I think it needs an update. So, I asked him to change the layout, add Facebook and Twitter feeds, and to make a mobile version.

Five years ago, I didn’t think about a mobile version. But the world is changing. More and more people are using their mobile phones to access the Internet. So I think we need a website that is easy to use and read on a smartphone.

We are also going to add more books in the future, so we need a better layout. I’m not a designer, so I’m going to let the designer decide which layout is the best. I trust him to make us a nice site which is easy to use. I’m looking forward to seeing what he creates!

 

Cut to the chase!

Do you know the English expression “to cut to the chase“? Read the conversation below. What does Katy mean when she says “can you cut to the chase”?

Katy: Thank you for your detailed report of your meeting with the client John. We appreciate it. But can you cut to the chase and tell us if the client wants to work with us or not?

John: Sure. She wants to work with us.

Does it mean:

a) chase someone

b) talk in more detail

c) tell us the important point

d) stop talking

The answer is below!↓

 

Answer: c) tell us the important point

 

[Easy English Blog] Coffee Coca-Cola

I tried coffee-flavoured Coca-Cola the other day. It tasted like….well…coffee-flavoured Coca-Cola. It was nice. I usually feel sleepy in the afternoons, so I drank it around 1:00pm. I thought the caffeine in the drink would wake me up. Unfortunately, I still felt sleepy after drinking it. I still needed to drink a cup of coffee afterwards to keep me alert.

Here it is. It just looks like normal Coca-Cola. The can is smaller than a usual can though. It is only 250ml. If you are in Japan, why don’t you give it a try?

DSC07719

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press