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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES

Jones is a common English surname. Someone trying to keep up with the Joneses is trying to compete with his/her successful neighbors by having the same lifestyle or acquiring the same possessions, like a fancy car, to prove equal status.

Example: After their neighbors painted their house, Mrs. Smith insisted that they too paint their house. She was trying to keep up with the Joneses.



                 image courtesy of dreamstime.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

LIKE TWO PEAS IN A POD

If two people are like two peas in a pod, then they are very similar, as if related.

For example: We couldn't tell the best friends apart. They dressed the same, wore their hair the same, even walked and talked the same. They were like two peas in a pod!
image courtesy of dreamstime.com


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT

To take something with a grain of salt  means not to consider something too seriously because it may not be true.
(This idiom probably arrives from the idea that food tastes better with salt.)



Max: Don't be upset about what he said. Take it with a grain of salt.
Mary: You're right. It's probably not even true.



Monday, March 23, 2015

A FAT CHANCE

If you have a "fat chance," then you have very little or no possibility to accomplish something.

For example:
Ronda: Do you think our school soccer team will win the championship?
Meg: Fat chance! They have been on a losing streak this season.
image courtesy of dreamstime.com

Monday, March 16, 2015

A SLICE OF LIFE

If a movie, a play, a book, a painting, or another artwork reflects the reality of everyday life, we say that it is "a slice of life."


Example: The short film was a slice of life reflecting the daily lives of Eskimo families.



                                                 photo courtesy of dreamstime.com


Monday, March 9, 2015

EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING

The idiom "every cloud has a silver lining" means that we should think optimistically because even a bad situation will have a happy ending.

Example: "I'm sorry to hear you didn't get the job. But cheer up! Every cloud has a silver lining! You will find a better job."


              image courtesy of dreams time.com

Monday, March 2, 2015

IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT

If something happens "in the dead of...," it occurs in the middle of that period, during its greatest intensity.

For example: 

The fire broke out in the dead of night.

or

January is the dead of winter.



               image courtesy of dreamstime.com