Phrase of the day: rule of thumb

My mother turned 70 last month and to celebrate we took her to Majorca for a week-long break. We rented a villa in Puerto Pollensa up on the north coast. It was just about large enough for my mum and…

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Phrase of the day: go pear-shaped

Last night I was at our local pub quiz. For anyone who hasn’t experienced this, basically it’s an excuse for people to get together and drink, but at the same time it allows ourselves to feel that we are not…

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Word of the day: ransom

Over the last few days, the news here in the UK has been dominated by the hackers currently holding the country to ransom! It all began last Friday afternoon, when computers in several hospitals around the country suddenly stopped working…

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Word of the day: landslide

As you've probably noticed, France has elected a new president. From a British point of view, the French system is quite peculiar in that not only do the people directly elect the President, but there are also are two rounds…

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Word of the day: professional

When I was in Norilsk, in the far north of Russia earlier this year, I was lucky enough to have a free day at the end of the teacher development course I'd been running there. We decided we were going…

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Phrase of the day: a big If

We use the phrase that’s / it’s a big if to show that we realise that what we are about to say – or what someone has just been speculating about – is really very unlikely indeed to actually happen.…

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Phrase of the day: Time is of the essence

Over recent weeks, we've been taking a fair few bookings for what will be our first ever London summer school. It's all very exciting, even if it does involve far more red tape than we'd initially anticipated. In order to…

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Word of the day: pimp

A few weeks ago, I ran a teacher development course in Norilsk, Siberia. In one session, we were talking about how to give better examples of new language and I was trying to get teachers to think more about not…

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Phrase of the day: two-fingered salute

At some point during most courses we run, we end up taking whichever students are up for it to the pub. It's a grand British tradition and the pub is basically where we go to let our hair down, relax…

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Word of the day: snap

For many years, Britain had a reputation around the world for stability. Rightly or wrongly, it was widely believed that things here happened as they should and there were no sudden or harmful changes. Over the last couple of years,…

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