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Food/Drink-related Countable AND Uncountable Nouns + Little Italy Coffee Shops

March 1, 2017

Countable and uncountable nouns: what are they, and why are they important? Read on to learn about these two categories and discover some words that can be both countable and uncountable nouns . . . like the word “coffee.” Then learn about some of San Diego, Little Italy’s coolest coffee shops!

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns refer to things that can be counted. (This means that we usually add an “s”  or “es” to the noun when it is plural.)

  • banana/bananas
  • cloud/clouds
  • beach/beaches

Sometimes, the plural form is irregular.

  • man/men
  • woman/women
  • child/children
  • mouse/mice

Why is it important to categorize countable and uncountable nouns? With countable nouns, we can use “a” or “an” in front of the word. With uncountable nouns, this is not the case.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns cannot be counted, and therefore do not have a different word for a plural form.

Many abstract nouns are uncountable:

  • happiness
  • honesty
  • thankfulness

Other countable nouns are not abstract:

  • water
  • coffee
  • flour
  • milk
  • rice
  • butter

However, we can use “a” or “an” with these nouns if we turn these nouns into something that can be divided into elements (and therefore counted). Then we use the form “a (something) of (noun)”:

  • a glass of water
  • a cup of coffee
  • a teaspoon of flour
  • a pint of milk
  • a grain of rice
  • a pat/stick of butter

Words that are both countable and uncountable nouns

Some words can be both countable and uncountable nouns. As we are focusing on coffee today, the nouns listed below are also nouns related to food and drink. Enjoy!

beer

  • Countable definition: a glass of beer
    • Two beers, please.
  • Uncountable definition: a beverage made with water and hops
    • I don’t like the taste of beer.

bread

  • Countable definition: particular types of bread
    • They offer many breads at the local bakery, including sourdough and rye.
  • Uncountable definition: a food made from grains
    • People who are gluten-free don’t eat bread.

cheese

  • Countable definition: particular types of cheese
    • How many cheeses did you buy for the cheese plate?
  • Uncountable definition: a dairy food
    • Cheese is my favorite food.

coffee

  • Countable definition: cups of coffee
    • I ordered two coffees while I was waiting for my friend to join me.
  • Uncountable definition: the drink made from roasted coffee beans
    • I drink coffee every morning.

dessert

  • Countable definition: a particular type of dessert food
    • Did you see all of the desserts they offer?
  • Uncountable definition: the food eaten at the end of a meal (usually it is sweet)
    • Would you like some dessert?

food

  • Countable definition: different types of food
    • Are you allergic to any foods?
  • Uncountable definition: the things we eat
    • Want to get some food?

fruit

  • Countable definition: particular types of fruit
    • She puts a lot of different fruits in her smoothies. They’re delicious!
    • What fruits are low in sugar?
  • Uncountable definition: the part of a tree or plant that can be eaten and contains seeds
    • Sometimes we eat fruit for dessert.

jam

  • Countable definition: different types of jams
    • What types of jams do you have for toast?
  • Uncountable definition: preserved fruit, usually put on toast
    • I don’t like strawberry jam.

juice

  • Countable definition: different types of juices; glasses of juice
    • How many juices did you drink this morning?
    • Two orange juices, please.
  • Uncountable definition: the liquid from fruits, plants, or other foods
    • I don’t like orange juice with pulp.
    • Have you ever had pineapple juice?

meat

  • Countable definition: different types of meat
    • He made three different meats for the BBQ.
  • Uncountable definition: animals eaten as food
    • Do you eat meat or are you a vegetarian?

salad

  • Countable definition: types of salad
    • I made three salads for the picnic.
  • Uncountable definition: a food made with vegetables (usually lettuce) with a dressing
    • Did you eat your salad?

sugar

  • Countable definition: a particular type of sugar or measurements of sugar (such as a packet of sugar)
    • How many (packets of) sugar do you put in your coffee?
  • Uncountable definition: the sweet crystals made from plants such as sugar cane or beets
    • We don’t eat a lot of sugar during the week, so it’s OK if we eat cake on Sunday.

tea

  • Countable definition: different types of tea; cups of tea
    • I had three teas today.
    • How many teas does that local shop sell?
  • Uncountable definition: a drink made from hot water and dried plants
    • Do you have any green tea?

wine

  • Countable definition: different types of wine
    • They have so many wines at that store down the street!
  • Uncountable definition: a drink made from fermented fruit (usually grapes)
    • Did you know that the Romans made wine throughout Europe?

Coffee Shops in San Diego’s Little Italy

San Diego’s Little Italy is a beautiful neighborhood; in fact, it was voted the best Little Italy in the U.S., and it was also named one of the best U.S. neighborhoods to live in! CISL San Diego students have the option of living in Little Italy and staying in the Vantaggio residence. When living in Little Italy, be sure to check out some of the cool coffee shops in the area!

Bird Rock Roasters

Countable and uncountable nouns

The Little Italy location is the newest store for this popular local coffee shop, which roasts its own award-winning beans and brews delicious pour-over coffees. Sip a cup and watch the planes fly overhead: the shop is located in the flight path for the San Diego airport. And be sure to try the Kenyan Peaberry: it’s won more awards than Meryl Streep has Oscars!

Heartsleeves Coffee

Countable and uncountable nouns

This hidden gem is just behind Piazza Basilone, which is a beautiful square with a fountain located on India and Fir Streets. Grab a cup and then explore the adorable shops that are located on the Fir Cottage strip: each boutique is a home once owned by local Italian fishermen, and each is decorated in beautiful colors and offers unique gifts, home decor, and clothing.

James Coffee Co.

Countable and uncountable nouns

Head to Northern Little Italy for James Coffee Co: the space is part coffee shop, part industrial space, and part home to other independent stores such as barber shops, bike shops, and stores featuring local artists. It’s fun, inventive, and a great place to do some studying and shopping!

Lofty Coffee

Countable and uncountable nouns

Little Italy’s newest coffee shop is the second location for this company, which has a popular shop in North County (and whose business just merged with Bird Rock Roasters)! This urban coffee shop on the corner of Cedar and Columbia offers breakfast and lunch items that use local and organic ingredients. Check it out and welcome them to the neighborhood!

Want to learn more about coffee? Check out CISL’s article about The Best Coffee Shops in SF.

All photos from each coffee shop’s Facebook page. 

 

American Traditions Featured Holidays San Diego San Francisco Suggested student activities Vocabulary

Celebrating Mardi Gras in the U.S. + Mardi Gras vocabulary

February 27, 2017

Mardi Gras is here! Are you celebrating? Both San Diego and San Francisco host incredible events for Mardi Gras, but before enjoying the parties, make sure that you know these Mardi Gras-related vocabulary words (and the traditions they are associated with).

Celebrating Mardi Gras in the U.S.

Mardi Gras Vocabulary 

Fat Tuesday

“Fat Tuesday” is the direct translation of the words “mardi gras” in French. It’s the Tuesday before Lent begins (see below) and the day when religious people celebrate before 40 days of more restrained living. For non-religious people, it’s a great excuse for a mid-week party and parade!

Lent

Lent is the Catholic tradition of giving up something you love for 40 days. It begins on Wednesday after Mardi Gras.

To give (something) up

This phrasal verb means “to stop enjoying/doing something.” Here are some examples of things people give up:

  • smoking
  • swearing
  • drinking soda/sugary drinks

For lent, people give up something they love or something that isn’t good for them.

Parade

A parade is an event where people, marching bands, and decorated cars or floats slowly make their way down public streets.

Floats

Floats are large, moving stages that are decorated beautifully (and outrageously)! These floats are used in parades.

Masks

In Mardi Gras, the Venetian-style masks are a common decoration (or piece of attire)!

“Let the good times roll”

This expression is the motto of Mardi Gras. It comes from the French expression “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

King cake

A king cake is the traditional cake eaten for Mardi Gras. A small trinket is placed inside the cake, and whoever finds the trinket in their slice of cake is either considered lucky . . . or is the person who has special responsibilities during the day. The traditions vary from family to family!

Krewe

This word, commonly used in New Orleans, means “group of people on the float.”

Throws

The “throws” are the things that the krewe throws from the float, such as candy or beads.

Beads

Beads are small, (usually round) pieces of plastic that are joined together to make a necklace.

Costumes

Costumes are clothing that are outrageous, colorful, or in the form of a famous person. In the U.S., we wear costumes for Halloween . . . and sometimes for Mardi Gras!

To dress up

This phrasal verb means “to wear a costume.”

Mardi Gras in San Diego

Would you like to join in on the festivities? Check out these two events held in San Diego for Mardi Gras. For these events, you must be 21 or over.

http://www.sdmardigras.com/

http://gaslampmardigras.com/

Mardi Gras in San Francisco

San Francisco’s main Mardi Gras celebration is all about the jazz! Check out this incredible parade if you are studying at CISL SF!

http://sf.funcheap.com/celebrate-mardi-gras-jazz-marching-band-parade-sf/

California Life Featured San Diego San Diego Neighborhoods San Diego Travel Tips Student Life Vocabulary

YouTube Vocabulary + Awesome Videos of SD

January 24, 2017

We can’t hide our excitement for San Diego. The stunning beaches, the sunny skies, the gorgeous Downtown, the trendy neighborhoods and the charming seaside towns . . . there’s a little of everything for everyone in SD! Just when we think we can’t get any more excited, we see beautiful footage of San Diego on YouTube, and we fall in love with the city a little more!

Have you seen these great videos of San Diego on YouTube? Check them out, and also check out some of the YouTube-related vocabulary that we’ve added. Be sure to change your language on YouTube (and social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram) to English so that you are constantly connecting with English!

Videos of San Diego

YouTube Vocabulary

Channel

Meaning: the account that of the person/company on YouTube

Example: She started her YouTube channel four years ago.

Example: Is there a YouTube channel about learning English that you recommend?

Example: Have you seen CISL’s YouTube channel?

To post (a video)

Meaning: to publish a video online. Synonyms include to publish, to upload.

Example: They post a new video each week.

Followers

Meaning: the people who receive notifications when a new

Example: The account has over 100,000 followers.

To gain/lose followers

Meaning: to have an increase or decrease in followers.

Example: She gained 20,000 followers after her video went viral!

To go viral

Meaning: to become popular/receive a lot of views

Example: After the video went viral, he gained a lot more followers.

Hits

Meaning: views

Example: How many hits does your newest video have?

Subscribe

Meaning: to receive updates (similar to “follow”)

Example: Subscribe to my channel for updates!

Subscribers (subs)

Meaning: the people who subscribe to a channel

Example: Do you know a way to get more subs?

Academic English EAP Featured San Diego University Pathway

Meet our Pathway Partner, American Aviation Academy!

December 29, 2016

With CISL’s Pathway Program, students can attend an American college or university. In addition to having agreements with traditional schools, such a Palomar College, CISL is also partnered with vocational schools such as American Aviation Academy. After studying at CISL and completing our English for Academic Purposes course, students can get their pilot’s license in sunny San Diego with AAA’s incredible program!

aaa_logo

To learn more, we met with Marion Froehlich, who is the International Student Advisor in the Admissions Department at the American Aviation Academy. Thanks for answering some of our questions, Marion!

American Aviation Academy

How long have you been working with your school? 15 monthsmarion

What are some of your job duties? I issue I-20s, conduct orientations for new international students where I explain their obligations as M-1 students in the U.S., help students apply for Extension of Stay, assist students in applying to transfer to our flight school and to change their non-immigrant status from F-1 to M-1, if applicable.

Your school has many international students. What are some countries you have had students from? Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Mongolia, UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Angola, Kenya, Canada

What is one student service that international students often use? (Tutoring, housing, etc.) We provide housing in apartments in shared or private rooms. Flight instructors will meet one-on-one with students as necessary.

Fly.Airplane.Aviation.Plane.Sky

What is one academic program that your school is really proud of? Our Commercial Pilot License training.

At what part of campus do students usually hang out? Study room, lobby, picnic tables outside. There is a deli on the premises.

What’s one thing that makes your school unique? We are one of four flight schools in the U.S. that provides EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) training.

What’s one piece of advice you have for a student transferring to your school? If you are committed to completing your flight training goals and apply yourself, you can complete your Commercial Pilot License within one year. Private Pilot License training takes less time.

Thanks to Marion for providing AAA students with a positive learning environment and the chance to reach their academic goals in the U.S.! To learn more about studying at American Aviation Academy after learning English at CISL, contact the Pathway Coordinator

 

Academic English Featured San Diego San Diego Neighborhoods University Pathway

Meet our CISL Pathway Partner, Palomar College!

December 8, 2016

CISL’s Academic Pathways program provides English students the opportunity to attend a college or university in the United States (often, without taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam!). Today on the CISL Blog, we are interviewing Yasue O’Neill, the Coordinator of International Education at Palomar College in San Diego. Yasue is an excellent resource for international students!

Palomar College is a California community college located in the Northern San Diego town of San Marcos. The quiet community, beautiful and clean campus, and thriving international student population make it a wonderful and welcoming location for students from abroad. Plus, Palomar offers the San Diego basics that everyone loves: beautiful weather, sunshine year-round . . . and the beach!

Below are some excerpts from our interview with Yasue.

Palomar-College-International-Student-Program-CISL

How long have you been working with your school? 20 years

What are some of your job duties? I direct the international student program and promote internationalization of the college campus. I also make the final decision on the international student applications as well as work with several U.S. government agencies. For students, I make sure that we provide excellent student support services to assist them achieve their academic and personal goals.  

Your school has many international students. What are some countries you have had students from? We have enrolled students from Japan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, France, United Kingdom, Denmark, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, India, and many others.

International Students Flags

What is one student service that international students often use? (Tutoring, housing, etc.) International students on our campus often use free tutoring services, counseling services, and a place to relax (office of International Education) to hang out with their friends.

Many students from your school transfer to four-year college and universities. What are some of the schools that students attend after they complete their studies at your school? Universities our students have transferred to include but not limited to: University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, University of California San Diego, San Diego State University, University of Southern California, California State University San Marcos, Long Beach State University, and State University of New York campuses.

Graduate.Graduation.Celebrate.College.University

What is one academic program that your school is really proud of? Our University Studies transfer program prepares the students become eligible to transfer to universities. There are academic counselors available to develop and update students’ educational plan to give them necessary information for them to successfully complete the transfer process.

What are some of the more popular clubs and activities for students? There many student clubs to facilitate students’ social activities. There are Child Development club, Dance club, Fashion club, International Student club, Archaeology club, to name a few.

Fashion.Design.Art.Student

At what part of campus do students usually hang out? International students often hang out inside the Office of International Education and around the Student Union.

What’s one thing that makes your school unique? Number of programs and courses offered. Palomar College offers over 200 associate and/or certificate programs that range from Accounting to Women’s studies.

What’s one piece of advice you have for a student transferring to your school? Don’t be ashamed of asking questions. Always remember that we are here to help you succeed in your life.

Thanks to Yasue for providing Palomar students with a positive learning environment and the chance to reach their academic goals in the U.S.! To learn more about studying at Palomar College after learning English at CISL, contact the Pathway Coordinator