They said what? 5. Happy New Decade!

A new decade begins!

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Oh dear, oh dear, the start of a new decade was supposed to fill us with optimism and provide us with wonderful new opportunities, but let’s be honest it didn’t quite turn out that way, did it!?

January brought us the tragic helicopter crash that killed the global sporting-icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other victims and from there the calamities began to snowball. 

No Olympic Games, no European football championships, no holidays, no music festivals, working from home. Am I forgetting something? I feel like I may be…..? **cough-cough…ahem….the emergence of covid-19!?!?**. Whoops, I better not cough, I might turn heads!!

However, let’s not dwell on the past and the complications that 2020 has brought us thus far – instead, let’s focus on the good times and remain optimistic about what the future holds in store for us. Thats exactly what Lewis and Jack did for us this week! 

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In this episode Lewis introduced a new area to the podcast, in which he wants to find out what his guest learned that week. 

Unfortunately for Jack, this week he learned a rather harsh lesson – can you remember what it was? For those of you who can’t remember (you weren’t listening properly!!) Jack fell victim to bike theft. 

I’ve been fortunate in the fact that I’ve never had my bike stolen, but then again I have never left my bike unlocked. It’s not rocket science people, lock up your bike to stop the thieves!

In all honesty 2020 has been a bit rubbish in comparison to previous years, and the new decade definitely got off on the wrong foot, so to have his bike stolen on his return from holiday and to have also put on weight during the summer (something almost all of us do at one time or another) gave Jack every reason to feel a bit pessimistic for the remainder of the year and also the decade….but no, no, no, on the contrary my english-learning friends! Jack feels very optimistic for what the next nine-years (remainder of the decade) has in store for us. He even went as far to set himself a (very, very) late New Year’s resolution of going on a diet and exercising more. Like they say, “there’s no time like the present”.

Good work Jack, that’s the positivity we like to hear! 

How about you? Do you remain optimistic for 2021 and beyond? Maybe you’d like to follow Jacks example by remaining positive and setting yourself a goal and what better way to commit to achieving that goal than continuing your studies with Teachify!

Stay positive!

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Just like Bob Marley said, “every little thing is gonna be alright” – oh wait, no…that was Lewis!! Whoever said it, the music legend or the teaching legend (Lewis – for those in need of clarification!) the words themselves are very true, everything will, sooner or later, be alright. We like to think of ourselves as perennial optimists here at Teachify and we actively encourage you to see the glass half full.

Thats all for this week folks, it’s time to call it a day. See you next time for another Teachify podcast review!

Interesting Vocabulary:

Oh dear – a polite saying to express surprise.

Turn out –  something happened in a particular way.

To snowball – something starts small and gets bigger and bigger.

Turn heads – attract a lot of attention.

To have/hold in store – something awaiting us in the future.

To find out – to discover or learn something.

Isn’t rocket science – its simple, not complicated.

Get off on the wrong foot – to start something badly.

Put on weight – to gain weight.

Pessimistic – believing the worst will happen.

Optimistic – seeing or believing in the best outcome of a situation.

Contrary – the opposite

No time like the present – do something now, not in the future.

Set a goal – have a plan to achieve something.

Perennial – existing/lasting for a very long time.

Glass half full – to view a situation in an optimistic way.

Call it a day – finish a task or work.

“They said what!?” #3

Charities.

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Hello everybody and welcome back to the Teachify podcast review.

For those of you who listened to podcast #28 – ‘Charities’ then not only will you have had the pleasure of hearing Lewis’ delightfully strong  Yorkshire tones, but you will also know that he was joined by another rich and poetic northern accent and the voice behind the review, as I (Ash!) had the pleasure of joining Lewis for the discussion about charitable organisations and Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s).

So, charities – what are they? Lewis gave a rather good definition off the top of his head. Can you remember it? “Charities are non-governmental organisations that serve the purpose of providing support, funding, help and aid to vulnerable people, groups, animals and centres for disease research”.

Ok, ok, I may have embellished that a little but that’s what artistic license is for, no? And anyway, “teamwork makes the dream work!”

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There are some organisations that are synonymous with the word ‘charities’. We mentioned several of those well known charities, UNICEF, WWF and Greenpeace to name but a few. Which organisations come to mind when you think of charities?

During the podcast I was put on the spot by Lewis and he asked me to give him a hand in describing how charities work. Fortunately for me,  he was impressed with my answer – can you remember it?

It was highlighted that Charities can vary from a small local entity to a large corporation. Both are of great importance in helping the needy but Lewis wanted to know which I thought were more beneficial (It’s safe to say that he had prepared several difficult questions for me!).

With my answer, I decided to sit on the fence. It’s all  a matter of perspective and personal opinions and it can be hard to definitively say which is “better”. They both have their pros and cons.

If you forced me into a decision I would be inclined to favour local charities, due to the fact that some of the larger, global organisations make substantial profits. Which as a charitable organisation can be sometimes difficult to justify.

However, there is the argument to be made in spite of these organisations and their CEO’s making large personal profits. Provided that there is a substantial benefit and aid for the charities in question then it is a necessary “evil” (for lack of a better word) and thats the way it goes.

At the end of the day, some charity is better than no charity. Maybe we can all try to spare a few quid.

 

Who likes jokes?!

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What’s a joke? …Lewis and Ash’s memory!

For those of you who answered the question above with an enthusiastic “I LOVE JOKES!!!” then unfortunately I have bad news for you. Lewis and I made the unforgivable mistake of forgetting to tell a joke at the end of the podcast. 

So those of you who were expecting to be in tears right now, then I must apologise once again. It won’t happen again!

 

Interesting Vocabulary:

off the top of his head; to say something immediately, without thinking carefully about it or checking the facts.

Vulnerable; exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Embellished; to add or change some details of a story, usually to make it more interesting or exciting.

Artistic licence; the way in which artists or writers change facts in order to make their work more interesting or beautiful.

Synonymous: closely associated with or suggestive of something.

Come to mind; To suddenly or immediately materialise in one’s mind.

Be put on the spot: have to answer a difficult question or make a difficult decision. 

Give someone a hand: To help someone.

The needy: People in need of help.

To be inclined; to have an opinion about something, but not a strong opinion.

Profits; to make money, not a loss

In spite of; without being affected by the particular factor mentioned.

That’s the way it goes; that’s life. 

To be in tears: consider something hilarious/very funny. 

“They said what!?” – 2. Confidence

Boost your confidence!

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Spotify

Hello everybody and welcome back to the second edition of the Teachify podcast review! 

Readers who are returning for volume two, then a big thankyou for doing so! Last week must have made quite an impression hey!? 

For those of you who are new readers to our new weekly podcast review, fear not, for you haven´t missed out on too much wonderful content. Like I mentioned, this is only our second week , but if you would like to catch up on last weeks content, then you can do so here.

Now that pleasantries have taken place, lets cut to the chase. This week on the podcast, Lewis discussed the topic of  ´Confidence´. Some people have tonnes of it, and some people have none at all, but all of us require it in at some point in our lives. 

But hang on a second, what exactly is confidence?

Lewis refrained from imparting his pearls of definition wisdom and opinion on us (at least for this week!) but did tell us what he discovered ON the internet  (that’s right ON the internet, never IN). 

Confidence is the ability to believe in yourself, to feel comfortable in your own skin and staying true to yourself. 

There can be no doubt that confidence is a desirable trait. People are more likely to belive you or to be inspired by you. Confidence is an attractive quality, people want to be surrounded by confident people. 

There are many perks to oozing confidence, so who wouldn´t want to be confident!?

For many people, confidence is a necessity in achieving success. What that success relates to is subjective, it can relate to both professional and personal life. What is certain, is that confidence leads to success, which consequently results in happiness. 

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At some time in our lives we all face barriers, obstacles or difficulties that prevents us from feeling as confident as we want to be.

Previous experiences can lead to you lacking confidence or feeling self-concious, and although these things can be difficult to overcome, it is only ourselves who can determine our level of self-confidence.

The ability to project confidence is something that we can all do and something that we should all aim to achieve.

However, the all important question is…how??

What can I do to improve my confidence, my self-esteem or my self-worth?  Lewis mentioned a classic proverb  during the podcast, can you remember it? It references that should an individual fail to prepare adequately for any given task, then they should expect to fail. I would think that this is applicable to everybody, and highlights the importance of being prepared in all walks of life.

For other people, little more is required to improve their confidence than a few cheeky beers or a few glasses of wine.

We call this ´Dutch Courage´, and for the history aficionados or the merely curious amomgst you, the term originated many years ago in the early 17th century. British troops were fighting French King Louis XIV alongside their Dutch allies, and it is widely believed that they appreciated the confidence boosting  effects of Jenever (Dutch gin) before heading into battle!


What works best?

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In the podcast a list was put together, of tips and techniques to help with gaining and maintaining confidence. We´re not going to review them all in this post, as I encourage you to do that yourself and decide which works best for you. However my two preferred suggestions are what some may consider as polar opposites, and these are;

  1. To focus on things that we are good at.  Because we are good at something, we believe in ourselves, and we are able to exude confidence. What things are you good at?  I´m quite sure you won´t have to think too hard for something!!
  2. To go outside our comfort zone! As was mentioned, this one is somewhat of a contradiction to the suggestion above, but by trying something new and different, and achieving small goals, we realise we are able to succeed in areas that we once thought we might have failed. Thus giving us a tremendous confidence boost!

Which of these do you consider to be more beneficial in achieving confidence? Have you experience with both?To

History Lessons?

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So there we have it, a little insight into confidence as we view it here at Teachify. I hope you enjoyed your short English and History lesson (two for the price of one WOOHOO!!) and I encourage you all to try and believe in yourselves just a little bit more.

Before I leave you, i´m sure you have been eagerly anticipating this weeks joke.

I must warn you about our jokes, they´re  just like a box of chocolates….you don´t always know what you´re going to get. Some are good and some not so much….

Whats’ Forrest Gump’s password? 1forrest1

What was that?

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Interesting vocabulary:

To make an impression: to cause someone to notice and admire you.

Catch up: do tasks which one should have done earlier.

Cut to the chase: stop wasting time.

Tonnes: To possess a large amount of a given quality.

Hang on: to wait.

Refrained: stop oneself from doing something.

Oozing/exude confidence: to be very confident.

To Project: to appear confident.

Dutch courage: confidence gained by having an alcoholic drink. 

Troops: soldiers.

Go outside your comfort zone: doing things that you don’t feel comfortable doing

Confidence boost: to become confident.

5 Beauty Related Idioms

5 Beauty Related Idioms

Hi Guys!

As ‘beauty’ is our topic of the month for June we thought that we would share with you some great beauty and appearance related idioms. As always these can be used in a variety of different contexts.

To be Dressed to Kill

To wear elegant clothes.

I have to be dressed to kill at the party tonight, my boss is going to be there.

This idiom dates back to the 1800s and implies that somebody is dressed so well that they could ‘kill’ somebody.

To Have a Face Only a Mother Could Love

To be ugly

He’s a lovely guy, unfortunately he has a face only a mother could love.

The phrase implies that this person is so ugly that the only person who would tell them that they are beautiful would be their mother.

To be all Skin & Bone

To be very thin

When he was released from prison, he was all skin and bone.

The idiom suggests that this person is so thin that they have no fat on them and that they are literally just ‘skin and bone.’

To be Vertically Challenged

To be very short

She’s quite vertically challenged; she can never reach the top shelves.

To be Thin on Top

To lose your hair.

It’s a shame he’s thin on top now, he used to have such a good head of hair.

This idiom refers to the thinning of the hair that usually happens to men as they get older.

 

Jack’s Music Box – Stereophonics: Have a Nice Day

Jack's Music Box - Stereophonics: Have a Nice Day

Hello Music Lovers!

 

Welcome back to Jack’s Music Box, the music blog where we analyze the vocabulary used in different songs. Today we are going to be looking at Have a Nice Day from Welsh band Stereophonics.

About the Artist

 Stereophonics were formed in 1992 in the Welsh village of Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley (bonus points for anyone that can correctly pronounce that!)

The band played gigs throughout the UK and were eventually signed by V2 and released their first album Word Get’s Around which reached number 6 on the UK charts. In 1998 the group won a BRIT award for best new group. From there the band continued to prosper and become even more popular, to date they have released 9 studio albums and sold over 10 million albums worldwide they are one of the most popular Welsh Acts.

About the Song

Today we are going to be looking at one of the bands most popular songs: Have a Nice Day from their 2001 album Just Enough Education to Perform.

The Lyrics are based on a conversation that the band had with a taxi driver in San Francisco. You can listen to the song below:

The Lyrics

San Francisco Bay
Past pier thirty nine
Early p.m.
Can’t remember what time
Got the waiting cab
Stopped at the red light
Address, unsure of
But it turned out just right

It started straight off
“Coming here is hell
That’s his first words
We asked what he meant
He said ” where ya’ from?”
We told him our lot
“When ya’ take a holiday
Is this what you want?”

So have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day

Lie around all day
Have a drink to chase
“Yourself and tourists, yeah
That’s what I hate”
He said “We’re going wrong
We’ve all become the same
We dress the same ways
Only our accents change

So have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day

Swim in the ocean
That be my dish
I drive around all day
And kill processed fish
It’s all money gum
No artists anymore
You’re only in it now
To make more, more, more

So have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day

Have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day
Have a nice day

Interesting Vocabulary

Pier: A raised structure above a body of water, usually providing access to boats and other offshore areas.

Cab: Colloquial slang for Taxi

Hell: A fiery inferno where the devil lives.

Ya: Colloquial spelling of you

That be my dish: That’s what I’m interested in/what I want to do