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I suppose that seems like a strange question. But I think it's a good idea for us to step back and take a look at ourselves now and then, to see where we are in the course of life. What direction is your life taking this year? Are you moving forward toward your goals, or are you in a time of searching for direction?
As you know, I'm not a psychologist, so I can't help you with every aspect of your life. But as an English tutor, I would like to help you take a look at where you are in the course of learning English.
This week, let's look at writing. Are you able to write at least 5 sentences correctly? They don't have to be long, and you don't have to use very advanced vocabulary. But just basically, can you write 5 accurate sentences in English?
If not, what is the most difficult for you? Is it spelling? Or is it difficult to get the words in the right order? Maybe you don't know what to write about. That's the problem for many people.
You might have noticed that each of these STEPS has some writing ideas near the end. You could write about those, or they might spark another idea. Many people write a daily email, telling about something that happened that day, or something they thought about, or something they want. It might be 500 words, or it might be 15 words. It doesn't really matter how long it is. It's just important to develop the habit of writing something daily.
With you in mind,
The word directions can mean several different things.
1. Compass directions
When you're reading a map, you need to know about the four cardinal directions: north, south, east and west.
The intermediate directions are northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest.
2. "Excuse me," she said. "Can you give me directions to the library?"
"Sure," said the policeman, "turn right at the next corner and go down about 2 blocks. It will be on your left."
Some direction words are right, left, up, down, go straight, turn, forward, backward, and sideways.
3. These are the directions for making lasagna. First, you need lasagna noodles...
Directions, or instructions, about cooking and baking are called recipes (sounds like RESS-i-peez). Reading recipes is a great way to practice English!
VOCABULARY REVIEW - OK, so far, these are your vocabulary words:
directions, compass, cardinal directions, intermediate directions, right, left, up, down, go straight, turn, forward, backward, sideways, recipe
EVERYBODY: Try this matching quiz of the above vocabulary words.
I'm sure you'll be able to get them all right!
MEMBERS: If you need help with vocabulary referring to baking and cooking, please check our page of cooking and baking vocabulary. If there's a word you don't know, you can try our new dictionary function to find the definition and pronunciation by double clicking the word.
And if you don't know the metric equivalents for American terms of measurement, you may check our conversion page.
This week we have a fun video to watch, where you'll hear many, many people asking for and giving directions. But there's an unexpected twist that I think you'll like.
The Adventures of
Amy: "Arthur, I heard that they're having a masquerade party at the swing dancing club this week. Why don't we see if your mom can babysit so we can go?"
Arthur: "Me dance? You know I have two left feet!"
Amy: "Well then, let's sign up for some dancing lessons. I think we could both use more exercise, and we also need to spend more time together, just the two of us. I think dancing lessons would be a step in the right direction."
Arthur: "Amy, you know I would bend over backwards for you, but..."
Amy: "That's great, Arthur! Bending over backwards is a very important move in dancing. I see you like the idea! I'll sign us up first thing tomorrow!"
to be very awkward with one's feet, especially when dancing
a step in the right direction
an action that is expected to bring good results
bend over backwards (to do something) (for someone)
to work very hard to accomplish something for someone
|Can you write a short scenario of a situation involving these idioms?
That would be a good writing submission!
More Fun with Amy and Arthur
ELE Members: Listen to actual recordings of the dialogues of Amy and Arthur.
Then take a quiz to see how many of the idioms you can remember!
Collocation: a grouping together of things in a certain order, as of the words in a sentence
These are collocations which are used when directions are either incorrect or are not followed carefully.
*go astray People who have no sense of direction in their lives often go astray and end up miserable in their later years.
*get nowhere Without a plan, people get nowhere.
*take a wrong turn
You might end up in a different city if you take a wrong turn.
(We call them Famous Couples, because that's more fun!)
ELE Members: Famous Couples
There are many prepositions of direction. Here are a few of the most common.
across- from one side to the other side
You will find a wonderful restaurant just across town.
behind- at the back of
The library is behind the police department.
beside- next to
The movie theater is beside the restaurant.
between- something or someone is on each side
The main street goes between two shopping malls.
She had always wanted to live by the lake.
down- from high to low
Slow down when you ride your bike down the hill.
up- from low to high
When we were young, we had to walk up a steep hill every day to get to school.
into- entering something
They came into town early in the afternoon.
opposite- on the other side
The grocery store is opposite the laundromat.
past- going near something
Go past the theater and then turn right.
toward- in the direction of something
They drove toward the river.
EVERYONE: Try the Prepositions of Direction exercise!
Do you like these quizzes? There are many, many more on the Membership Website!
1. Writing prompt
Please write the directions from your house to your favorite place.
2. Story Pieces
These are just some fun ways to start the ideas running through your mind.
Setting: under the bridge
Opening: "Before we got lost..."
Vocabulary: Try to include the following vocabulary in your story: road, trees, truck and cow.
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See you next time for the next STEP of
"52 STEPS to Better English"!
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