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Golf Expressions in English

April 9, 2018

Golf Expressions in English

Do you love to golf? This sport is incredibly popular in English, so it is not surprising that there are many golf expressions in English. How many of these have you heard?

English also uses many expressions from other sports: read our Sports Related Idioms for more information!

Golf Expressions in English

Above/below par

Golf definition: “Par” is the number of attempts a player should make before putting the ball in the hole. (It can also be used for  many rounds of golf or for entire tournaments.) To be “above par” means that it took the player more attempts than “normal”; to be “below par” is the opposite.

English definition: Better or worse than average.

Example: Your writing and vocabulary skills are above par, but we need to work on your pronunciation.

Not up to par

English definition: Not as good as something should be; below average.

Example: I’m worried that my skiing is not up to par with my friends. We will see this weekend when we go to Big Bear!

Hole in one

Golf definition: Hitting the ball into the hole in one attempt. 

English definition: A successful attempt at something.

Example: Your presentation was a hole in one. Excellent job.

On par with

English definition: To be at the same level as something or someone else.

Example: My running isn’t on par with Silvia’s, so it’s difficult to exercise with her.

Par for the course

English definition: Typical.

Example: Spending 2-3 hours on social media each day is par for the course these days.

Tee up

Golf definition: To get ready to hit the ball; to put the ball on the tee (the small wooden piece that goes into the ground).

English definition: Prepare something; make detailed arrangements.

Example: The children are teeing up for their annual spring concert.

Golf Expressions in English

CISL San Diego organizes private or group golf lessons for students upon request. The lessons, which are either 30 minutes or one hour, are organized at one of the four beautiful golf courses in San Diego (La Jolla, Coronado, Balboa Park, or Fashion Valley). The lessons include equipment. For more information, contact the CISL Activities Coordinator at sdactivities (at) cisl (dot) edu.

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Meet our Japanese Liaison, Joseph!

March 21, 2018

Did you know that CISL has a Japanese Liaison? CISL staff member Joseph is Japanese and lived in Japan for more than 25 years. Now, we are lucky to have him as CISL’s Assistant Academic Manager and official Japanese Liaison.

We interviewed Joseph to learn more about his life, his Japanese family, and his job at CISL.

Meet our Japanese Liaison, Joseph!

CISL: Tell us about your time in Japan and how you learned to speak Japanese. 

Joseph: I grew up in Japan, mostly in Okinawa.  I have family there (my mother is Okinawan).  I lived in Japan for over 25 years before moving to the United States.  Since we spoke English in our house, I mostly used Japanese to communicate with my relatives in Japan.

I went to school on the American military bases, so I was educated in English.  I did study Japanese in middle school and high school as well as college.

 

CISL: What are your credentials and experience teaching?  

Joseph: I have been ESL teaching for 17 years.  I taught in Japan for 8 years.  I have taught in various schools in Tokyo, Chiba, and Okinawa, from languages schools, to special education and a high school (as well as at some companies)

 

CISL: What is your position at CISL and what do your responsibilities include?

Joseph: I am the Assistant Academic Manager.  I oversee the teachers as well as the students in the school.  I help the students if they have questions about their classes or would like to try another one.

I also am the Japanese Student Liaison, so if a Japanese student has difficulty understanding in English, I can explain to them in Japanese.  I also teach the FCE course and have been teaching it for 8 years.

 

CISL: Why would you suggest that students choose San Diego? What is one thing that surprises students about SD/Southern California?

Joseph: San Diego, like the rest of Southern California, is known for its weather and its beaches.  It has a mild climate so it never gets too hot or too cold.  There are a lot of activities which can be done in San Diego, such as surfing, hiking in the mountains or desert, skydiving…..you can even go skiing in the winter!

 

CISL: What is one tip you have for new students?

Joseph: The best thing to do is to immerse yourself in English.  It is the best way to learn.  Talk to people.  If you only converse in the classroom, it will be challenging to speak to native English speakers.  Do as much reading and listening as possible.  Even from watching TV, you can improve  your listening skills and learn new vocabulary.  Reading can help to understand not just vocabulary but sentence structure and paragraphing.

 

CISL: What CISL program excites you the most, and why?

Joseph: For me, it is definitely the Cambridge program!  As I have said, I have been teaching FCE for 8 years and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet!  You can learn a lot in a short period of time, and it is always nice to see the improvements the students have made as they go through the course.

 

CISL: What is a misconception about life in the U.S. that many Japanese students have?

Joseph: I don’t think  I would call it a misconception, but I don’t think a lot of Japanese don’t realize just how diverse the United States actually is.  Different regions have their own dialects and cultures (much like Japan).  Sometimes going to another state is like going to another country.

 

CISL: What’s one thing that students must do when in SD?

Joseph: Everyone knows to go to the beaches here, so checking out hiking trails such as those in Mission Trails Regional Park is worth the effort to see the natural beauty of San Diego.

 

Thank you for taking time to give our students some tips, Joseph! And thank you for all the work that you do for CISL students. You are such a wonderful addition to our school!

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The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

December 14, 2017

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

 

When choosing English classes, students are often confused about the difference between Academic English and Conversational English. Do you know the difference? Understanding the advantages of both will help you decide which course is right for you!

Academic English vs. Conversation English: What’s the Difference?

Conversation English: Overview

The goal of conversational English classes is to improve one’s ability to communicate. Therefore, conversational English classes focus on all aspects of learning English: improving listening, speaking, grammar, reading, and writing. There is typically a strong focus on vocabulary, idioms, and phrasal verbs.

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Who should take Conversational English classes?

Conversation-focused English classes are for everyone! Most students feel that their communication in English could be improved: these classes are an excellent opportunity for students of any level to improve their confidence and skills.

When choosing a conversation-based English class, the most important thing to remember is to choose a reputable school with qualified teachers. Make sure that your classes have a clear structure, that goals are outlined, and that the class syllabus is followed.  

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Academic English: Overview

Academic English classes are designed to improve a student’s English skills that are needed in the college classroom. Therefore, the classes will focus on improving English skills (listening, speaking, writing, and reading) for the university classroom. Vocabulary lessons focus more on academic English skills (and less on idioms, slang, and phrasal verbs). Academic English classes tend to focus more on writing, specifically research, essay practice, and citations. Listening lessons focus on listening to lectures and improving note-taking skills.

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Who should take academic English?

Academic English is great for many language learners, including students who:

  • Want to attend college or university in the U.S.
  • Plan to use English in a more formal or business setting
  • Would like a more rigorous workload than they receive in a conversational English class
  • Plan to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or other English proficiency exam
  • Would like to teach English in the future

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Do you still need help deciding which course is right for you? Contact CISL!

Converse International School of Languages has provided quality English instruction since 1973. CISL’s small class size (maximum 8 students per class) and effective curriculum help students reach their English learning goals quickly, and in two of the best cities in the U.S.: San Francisco and San Diego! Contact CISL for information on its Standard course, English for Academic Purposes course, or other programs such as Academic Year Abroad, Career English, and University Pathway.

Business English Career English CISL San Diego Featured

Meet our CISL Career English Host Company, Martinez + Cutri Corporation!

October 24, 2017

Career English CISL San Diego

With CISL’s Career English program, students attend English classes at CISL and improve their language skills. Students then interview with an American company and are placed in a host company where they practice their English skills in a business setting (and learn many things about an industry).

We interviewed Anthony G. Cutri who is the Principal/Partner Architect of his firm Martinez + Cutri Corporation. Over the last few years, Martinez + Cutri Corporation has hosted numerous CISL interns (so far, they’ve taken students from Germany, Switzerland, and Russia). Let’s learn a little about this wonderful company and how they work with CISL students!

Career English CISL San Diego

Could you please provide a brief description of your company?

We are a full service architecture/urban design firm, we make buildings – from low/midrise to high rise building. We design schools, hotels, high density mixed use housing amongst other building types.

 How long have you been taking interns with CISL?

About 18 months

 What are some of the qualifications or qualities you look for in an intern?

A good portfolio and resume along with an in person interview.

Career English CISL San Diego

 What are the typical duties for a CISL student who is “working” at your company?

We try to have them get experience in most of the tasks in the office from drafting and design to job site visits and everything in between.

 What are the advantages of having an international student in the workplace?

It is very helpful for us at M+C to know how the practice of architecture works in other countries.

Career English CISL San Diego

Thank you to the Martinez + Cutri Corporation for providing such a wonderful environment for our students!

To learn more about CISL’s Career English program, contact CISL

All photos are from Martinez + Cutri. 

Business English Career English CISL San Diego Featured

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

September 28, 2017

Have you dreamed of improving your English skills for a future job? CISL’s Career English program provides students with the English skills necessary to succeed in the work environment AND offers international students a chance to spend time at an American company!

Our German student, Florian, recently learned English at CISL and then spent time at Casas Advisors, a real estate company. Florian shared some of his experience with us.

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

Objectives and expectations

Florian’s goals before the Career English program were clear. “My main objective and intention to enroll for the Career English Program at CISL was to improve my business English and to gain some work experience abroad to improve my CV.”

Why did Florian choose CISL? He admits that it’s not easy for international students to find such an experience at an American company without the help of programs such as CISL’s Career English. Florian recalls that “A major issue for finding a company for me was that most companies require to pay their interns and therefore they need to have a working visa.” Thankfully, with the help of CISL’s Career English Coordinator, Florian was able to find a placement at Casas Advisors, a real estate company in San Diego.

Florian’s tasks and responsibilities

Florian spent two months at Casas Advisors, where the “team was very dedicated to integrate me into the team and to always find challenging tasks for me.”  His responsibilities were varied and challenging. “To summarize my activities I created the following list for a quick overview:

  • Creation of social media analysis and planning tool; definition and implementation of recommendations
  • Development of corporate design
  • Creation of buyers & listing presentation
  • Calculation of ROIs of planned real estate investments for creation of investors pitches
  • Increased transparency of projects through Gantt-Project management planning
  • Administrative activities (reply to enquiries, ordering etc.)
  • Revised marketing material

Improving English through a host company

Florian says he saw great improvements to his English skills after spending time with his host company. “Reviewing my time as an intern at Casas Advisors I can say that those two months were great . . . [I was] able to improve my business English in this environment. Mostly this improvement was caused by making phone calls or attending meetings and holding presentations.” Another reason Florian’s English improved is because of his interactions with employees of the company. “Working together with my co-workers made my work more fun, interesting and flexible at the same time. I worked closely with Linda Paz, the Broker’s assistant, and Santiago Orvananos, the Owner and Broker of Casas Advisors.”

Was it worth it?

Florian says yes. “I was very pleased with my working experience in San Diego. Through the aforementioned activities I was able to improve my skillset according to Excel & PowerPoint . . . it was an awesome experience which I highly recommend. I can only speak highly of Casas Advisors.

Congratulations to Florian for a successful experience with a host company, and many thanks to Casas Advisors for providing such a welcoming environment for Florian to improve his English!

executive-english-premier-english-business-meeting-management-language

CISL’s Career English Program offers students the opportunity to improve their English skills in the classroom and at an American company. Students first spend time in the CISL classroom, which has small class sizes (no more than 8 students!) that allow English learners to quickly improve. Students then work closely with the Career English Coordinator to create an American resume (which is different than a CV) and interview with American companies. Students spend at least two months improving their English in a work environment, either while still taking classes at CISL or after completing their CISL English courses. Contact CISL for more information.