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, August 2, 2015

WOLF DOWN

If you "wolf down" your food, you eat it very fast or ravenously.


Example: After the soccer match he was so hungry that he wolfed down a whole pizza.



                                                image courtesy of dreamstime.com

Sunday, July 26, 2015

HAVE A BALL

If you had a ball, it means you had a great time.

The idiom most likely originates from the definition of ball as a large, social gathering where dancing is involved.

Ted: Did your dog enjoy himself in the dog park?
Vincent: Definitely. He had a ball! Literally and figuratively. 

image courtesy of dreamstime.com



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX


To think outside the box means to think freely without limiting structures or rules.


Example: The inventors at the company Apple really think outside the box. Their products are innovative. 

            image courtesy of dreamstime.com

Monday, July 13, 2015

CALL DIBS

If you "call dibs," on something you are informally claiming it as yours before someone else claims it.

For example, when people go for a ride in the car, someone might call (first) dibs on sitting in the front seat because it is more comfortable.




Monday, July 6, 2015

SAVED BY THE BELL

If you were "saved by the bell," you were saved by the last minute intervention of someone or something, such as a bell ringing. This idiom comes from the sport of boxing where a boxer who is down can be saved by the bell which rings at the end of a round.


Example: The teacher asked the student a surprise question, which the student couldn't answer. Luckily, the bell quickly rang, and the teacher was forced to dismiss the class. The student was literally saved by the bell.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

AS COOL AS A CUCUMBER // GOT IT IN THE BAG


  • If you are as cool as a cucumber, then you are calm and untroubled by stress. 



  • If you've got it in the bag, then you are certain you can accomplish a task.


Example

Max: Is Marie worried abou her finals?

Jim: No. She's as cool as a cucumber. She's sure she's got it in the bag.

image courtesy of dreamstime.com

Monday, June 1, 2015

FINE TUNING

If you "fine tune" something, you make small changes to improve it. This expression comes from the idea that we tune a musical instrument to make it sound on key.

Jack: Are you finished with your term paper?
Sue: Almost, but not quite. I still need to fine tune it before handing it in.

image courtesy of dreamstime.com