The English Language Institute (ELI) of the Center for International Service has offered innovative academic programs for students learning English as a Second Language since the late 1970’s. Our course of study is designed to challenge and engage students. Students are immersed in the language, culture, and ethnicity of New York City. Classes range from beginner to the advanced level.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


So apparently a chicken is not a brave animal.

If you "chicken out," you act in a cowardly/fearful manner.

I was going to dive into the pool from the diving board, but at the last second, I chickened out.

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Monday, February 9, 2015


There many idioms with the word cold. Here are just a few:

a cold snap - a period of unusually cold weather

catch a cold - get infected with the cold virus

give someone the cold shoulder - treat someone with a cool attitude, reject someone

go cold turkey - quit something suddenly

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Monday, February 2, 2015


English has various food-related idioms and apples are no exception:

1. His granddaughter is the "apple of his eye" - She is his favorite. He loves her very much.

2. That test was "as easy as pie" - The test was very easy.

3. He is a "bad apple" - He is a bad person. He has bad behavior compared to the others.

4. That is like "comparing apples and oranges" - That is like comparing two very different things.

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Monday, December 8, 2014


If you "got cold feet," you suddenly became too scared to do something you had planned to do, especially something important.

If you "call something off," you cancel it.

For example: He got cold feet two days before the wedding and called it off.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Are you happy today? What are some idioms that can describe your happiness?

If you are experiencing an extreme state of happiness, you can say that you are: "on top of the world, "on cloud nine," "over the moon," or even "in seventh heaven." 

You can also use some of these animal-related idioms to describe your contentment by saying that you are "happy as a clam," "having a whale of a time," or "buzzing" (like a bee would).

What is the color associated with happiness? Well, that would be pink, in that if you are pleased with something, like a dinner offer, you say that you are "tickled pink."

Whoever decided that clams are so happy?! They end up being eaten in a chowder.

Monday, November 24, 2014


If you went to the "school of hard knocks," you did not receive a formal education, but, instead, learned through life's, often difficult/hard, experiences.

Monday, November 17, 2014


If someone tells you not to cry "over spilled milk," this means you should not get upset about mistakes, especially minor ones, that have occurred and cannot be reversed.

For example:  Little Sam broke her grandmother's flower pot while playing. Grandmother consoled the crying child, and instead of getting angry she told Sam: "It's no use crying over spilled milk."

                                               image courtesy of