Posted by: veraschefer | October 6, 2010

Blow the horn or Honk the horn?

The other day, a student of mine asked me how to say “tocar a buzina” in English. I immediately answered – to blow the horn. But that was a mistake, that we teachers are not free from making. I hadn’t realized it until I was driving back home after class.

Well, it’s about time to make things clear.

In fact, to blow the horn means “tocar corneta”.

Now, “tocar a buzina” in English is to honk the horn, as in the example: The angry driver was shouting and honking the horn as the car ahead of his wouldn’t move.

So, when horn refers to a musical instrument that is played by blowing, the correct verb to use is, naturally, to blow the horn. But when you use the word horn to talk about that device in your car that makes a loud noise as a signal or warning, which, by the way, can be very annoying at times, the correct verb to use is to honk the horn.

Now that the question is solved, it’s worth learning an interesting American English idiom with these words – to blow your own horn, which means to brag about your own achievements and abilities, or, in Portuguese “vangloriar-se” or better, “vender seu peixe”, as in the example: If you don’t blow your own horn, nobody else will.

It’s also good to know that honk is a noun, too – “buzina”, in Portuguese – She pulled to the right with a honk.

Well, that’s it…. There are a lot of other homonyms, like the word horn, in the English language – words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation, but have different meanings – and we have to be extra careful not to mix them up…

Posted by: veraschefer | October 6, 2010

Sharing valuable experiences with learning

I was willing to share with my classmates my experience with the extra classes that I’m doing at CEL LEP. So, instead of sending them an e-mail, Vera and I decided to post it in our blog, so other students can benefit from it, too.

Good Morning Guys,

I want to share with you one very important thing: On Friday morning I went to Cellep and I did 2 more exercises from previous levels, in the lab (Unit 7 – Day 3 and 4).

There are so many good points that allow you to develop your English, that I want to show you:

1) It´s not necessary to wake up early to go there. You can go there in your free time.

2) You keep in touch one more day with American Culture. This is important to record and remember words, grammar and practice listening.

3) You can talk to other teachers like Iolanda, Claudia and Lu. It was very nice because you are not worried or tense.

4) You can realize your own development. You feel more comfortable to talk and secure to risk more.

5) If you wake up early you can sing a song and learn new expressions and new words .

I felt very happy because Iolanda told me that my pronunciation and intonation in the lab became better.

We have to make efforts to learn more. Keep walking guys.

By Luis Ricardo Sabino

Posted by: veraschefer | September 28, 2010

Have you ever seen the rain?

This is another top hit by Creedence Clearwater Revival, first released in December 1970, in the album Pendulum. For some people, one of the all-time favorites, and the best song ever written. Anyways, the lyrics are easy to follow, so, sit back, turn up the volume and sing along!

Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm
I know, it’s been comin’ for some time

When it’s over, so they say
It will rain a sunny day
I know, shinin’ down like water

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
Comin’ down on a sunny day

Yesterday, and days before
Sun is cold and rain is hard
I know, been that way for all my time

And forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow
I know, it can’t stop, I wonder

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
Comin’ down on a glorious day


I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
Comin’ down on a glorious day

Posted by: veraschefer | September 28, 2010

Someday never comes


First thing I remember was asking papa why
For there were many things I didn’t know
And daddy always smiled and took me by the hand
Saying someday you’ll understand.


Well I’m here to tell you now each and every mother’s son
That you better learn it fast, you better learn it young
‘Cause someday never comes.

Well, time and tears went by and I collected dust
For there were many things I didn’t know
When daddy went away he said “try to be a man”
And someday you’ll understand.


And then one day in April, I wasn’t even there
For there were many things I didn’t know
A son was born to me; mama held hid hand
Saying someday you’ll understand.


Think it was September, the year I went away
For there were many thing I didn’t know
And still I see him standing trying to be a man
I said, someday you’ll understand.


Posted by: veraschefer | September 21, 2010

How do you say jabuticaba in English?

One of these days, my students were eating the juicy “jabuticabas” that had grown in the “jabuticabeira” there is in the backyard of the CEL LEP Lapa branch, during the break between classes. When they got back to class, with handfuls of the round black fruit, they asked me how to say it in English. I taught them that it was a kind of berry, but I was not sure whether there was an English equivalent, since the tree is native to Brazil, but I would certainly look it up and tell them in the following class.

Since I have always had trouble remembering the names of all the different berries there are and their translation into Portuguese, I decided to do some research and eventually ran into a webpage with a long list of names of fruits in English and their equivalent in Portuguese. All the berries are there and some other interesting translations to some well-known Brazilian fruits. So, I decided to share it here so everybody can enjoy learning them. So, click on this link FruitList to open the PDF file and have fun.

Posted by: veraschefer | September 14, 2010

Someone I admire – by Andrea

One of the most admirable people I know is my grandmother.
She is 93 years old, she has a great sense of humor, she is nice and sweet.
She had five children, but four of them died. It was very difficult for her but she really has a big faith in God who helps her feel better. Once I thought she was falling down but she is strong and went ahead.
She always worked a lot in her life, nowadays she is retired and lives with me.
It is amazing that she has a lot of energy. She walks a lot, and I think that is her secret to good health.
She goes to church every week by bus alone, she sings at a choir and sometimes she travels with church friends to sing in a church at another place.
She loves guitar. Nowadays she is taking guitar classes.
I have a lot of things to learn with her because she is an example to me.
I love her so much!

Posted by: veraschefer | September 14, 2010

Smile and be happy!

I’ve just got an e-mail from a great friend who has been going through a tough moment in her life, with a suggestion to watch this video to feel happy. I felt like sharing it with all of you, because it’s really awesome – I felt happy the moment I started watching it. So, take some free time, stop what you are doing, relax and enjoy it. And then let me know if you also felt like smiling.

Posted by: veraschefer | September 10, 2010

Someone I admire – by Janeth

One of the most admirable people I know is my mother. She never looks tired and lazy. She has five children with a gap of two years between them. She was born in another country, got married and moved to Brazil in the first month of the marriage, without knowing anything, anybody, and the language. And in the first year in the new country she had her first child, when she was 31 years old she had five children.

She works throughout the day now and at night she cooks, she loves cooking and does it very well! Now, she began to do exercises; walk and run. She took a driver’s licence with 56 years of age (or when she was 56 years old), and today she drives everywhere.

She is very hardworking and has a lot of guts. And I always ask myself, how can she do a lot things without stress, depression, etc… For this reason and also because of the immense love I feel for her , she is the most admirable person I know.

I love you mother!!!

Janeth Atieh

Posted by: veraschefer | September 10, 2010

No pain, no gain – by Vinicius

This evening I was surfing on the net and I got curious to know about the life of the most rich people around the world. According to Forbes magazine (2010, March 10th), there are 1.011 people that keep more than US$,00 in the world.

The first five are:

1.Carlos Slim Helú
2.Bill Gates
3.Warren Buffet
4.Mukesh Ambani
5.Lakshmi Mittal

When I read this article on the internet, I started to think about their luck. Then I started to read about their lives and I discovered that none of them was born rich; they earned their money thank to their efforts.
Lakshmi Mittal, for example, is the owner of Arcelor Mittal, the largest steel maker in the world; when he was a child he was extremely poor, though. He took advantage of some opportunities that had arisen in his life and became rich.

Luck wasn’t the only attribute that led all of them to success. They were always persistent on their objectives. I think this reading was a good lesson for me on the benefits of being persistent and always following your dreams regardless of your conditions.

There are a lot of good examples of how the efforts are more important than luck, so let’s go pursuit our dreams. Have you decided what you want to reach?

Vinicius Martinelli

Posted by: veraschefer | September 7, 2010

Someone I admire – by Patricia

One of the most admirable people I know is my friend, called Rodrigo. When he was younger he suffered an accident and lost all movements from the neck to the feet. He was traveling with some friends when he decided to dive into the swimming pool. Unfortunately, he hit his head at the bottom and had his cervical spine broken. Despite being in a wheelchair since then, Rodrigo is an adorable, persistent and especially a lively person!

Nowadays, he is studying again in order to finish college. He wants to be a business man! Of course there are several things that he can no longer do. However, since the accident he discovered how to live the life without using his legs. Hope and faith compound his philosophy of life, though. In addition, he still can drive, go out with friends, date his girlfriend, make fun of things, and he can also be happy.

He is a very determined, funny guy, he is always in a good mood and he is a very friendly person. Everybody who knows him wants to be at his side because he is a pleasant and lovely company. He taught me how to live the life with simple things and we don’t need to be perfect to face people and work toward our problems.

patricia Oricchio

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