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CISL Student Getaway: Visiting Paso Robles (+ Idioms with Barrel)

Many CISL San Diego and San Francisco students choose to take a road trip while they are studying English in California, and for good reason: the California coastline is gorgeous (and ever-changing) scenery! If you only stop for gas and snacks, a drive from San Francisco to San Diego can take about nine hours. But...

FCE Use of English Part 1 Practice + SD Breweries
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FCE Use of English Part 1 Practice + SD Breweries

CISL students preparing for the Cambridge FCE Exam are aware that the Reading and Use of English Module begins with Part 1, which is a paragraph with missing words and multiple choice options for the correct answer. What is the best way to prepare for this section of the test? Familiarize yourself with as many collocations, expressions,...

CA English Student Life: Vocab for Wine Tasting
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CA English Student Life: Vocab for Wine Tasting

Most picture Napa when they think of California’s world-famous, award-winning wines, but the entire state’s coast is filled with wineries that students living in both San Diego and San Francisco have the opportunity to visit. When you go wine tasting,  you will hear specific wine-related words: here is some wine vocabulary you need to know before your next trip to one...

Hidden bars (speakeasies) in SD and SF + retro 1920s vocabulary
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Hidden bars (speakeasies) in SD and SF + retro 1920s vocabulary

What is trendy, serves delicious drinks, and is hidden? A speakeasy! Speakeasies are hidden bars, and they have become very popular in San Diego and San Francisco. To enter them, you must know someone who can make you a reservation, and the entrances are often hidden. Speakeasies are a fun way to spend an evening...

Using the Passive Voice to plan a beach BBQ
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Using the Passive Voice to plan a beach BBQ

English learners often feel frustrated with the Passive Voice because it has so many forms. Rather than looking at each form, we suggest learning the forms based on context: what can we use each type of the Passive Voice to express? Today on the CISL Blog, we are looking at three forms of the Passive that...

Happy hours in SD and SF + Writing a CAE Review
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Happy hours in SD and SF + Writing a CAE Review

There is a reason they put the word “happy” in “happy hour”: grabbing a drink (for a discounted price) while the sun is still out is a great thing! Have you checked out some of the best happy hours in San Diego and San Francisco? The key to a good happy hour is, of course,...

Pancakes! The best (and tastiest) thing about weekends in the U.S.
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Pancakes! The best (and tastiest) thing about weekends in the U.S.

Piled high, covered in berries, dripping with syrup, finished with chocolate . . . there are a million recipes for this breakfast favorite. While you are studying English in San Diego or San Francisco, be sure to check out some of the cities’ delicious pancake houses. The best pancakes in San Diego Richard Walker’s Pancake...

Fall Flavors: Cranberries! (+ Simple Passive Practice)
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Fall Flavors: Cranberries! (+ Simple Passive Practice)

Fall is often associated with pumpkins and apples, but there is another fruit and flavor that Americans love during this time of year: cranberries! Cranberries are the staple of any Thanksgiving dinner. But how do Americans eat them? Read on to find out . . . and look for how many times the Simple Passive...

Roman’s Favorite San Francisco Bars!
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Roman’s Favorite San Francisco Bars!

By CISL SF Student, Roman If you study English at CISL San Francisco, it will be easy for you to make a lot of new friends from all over the world. You spend time with them in class and also maybe after class in the school activities. Today, I will recommend some places for to...

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Idioms with “apple” (and the best apple pies in SD and SF!)

Not too long ago, we explored the expression “As American as apple pie” and other “as . . . as” expressions in English. To celebrate the upcoming fall season, today we are looking at expressions with apple. Apples and pumpkins are the fruits most often associated with fall, and there are many expressions with apple that...