Building back up the Big Easy.


This is A.R.Thompson, I’m an administrator at TEFLocal and a writer for the TEFL taster blog. This week I am taking a break from my instruction duties to volunteer building houses and repair broken houses in the city of New Orleans. So far it has been hot, and a bit confusing getting everything together. All in all, I didn’t really have to much trouble though and it all seem worth it. New Orleans, or NOLA, after a few bourbons, “N’awlins!” really needs our help. Remember what United States President John F. Kennedy said, “Its not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

I will try to submit pics, but as i am living between hostels and workcamps right now, access to a secure connection isn’t a big easy thing to do, i’ll keep working on it.


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May Day Blog

International Solidarity Day.BIG NEWS!

Today there are some protests going around under the moniker, ” A day without Latinos,” it may as well be called a day with less Americans. I mean, we are all Americans and we all work to hard and all should march more. So good for the people marching for the cause of Latinos, power to the people. This is a great day for it, do you know why? Well check out this wiki info here:

May Day is May 1, and refers to any of several holidays celebrated on this day. May 1 was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures, and many elements of these holidays are still celebrated on May 1 today, such as the Maypole. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer: hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now the 22nd) was “midsummer.” (MORE)

Please stay tuned for more TEFL news and community building, such as a TEFLocal field trip to New Orleans to help re-build that part of our country for a few weeks.

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English Resources for TEFL

‘Allo. i’m sure many people are infatuated with the differences between British and American English. one such example is American English, to many British it doesn’t exist, either does the British empire, so i guess we are kind of even. So, before i talk about the future of langauge, lets celebrate the past, with differences between our friends across the pond.

British & American English

Activities for teachers

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The word contronym, and what language brings to mind.

tefl passportA synonym is a word that means the same as another. “Necessary” and “required” are synonyms. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another. “Wet” and “dry” are antonyms. While synonyms and antonyms are not in themselves interesting, the complexities and irregularities of the English language sometimes makes synonyms and antonyms interesting to explore. Many complexities result from words having multiple definitions. A trivial example is a word with synonyms that aren’t synonyms of each other, the word “beam,” for example, having the synonyms “bar” and “shine.” Similarly, some words have antonyms that are neither synonyms nor antonyms of each other but completely unrelated: the word “right,” for example, having the antonyms “wrong” and “left.”

A more interesting paradox occurs with the word groom, which does not really have an antonym in the strictest sense but has an opposite of sorts in the word bride, which can be used as a prefix to create a synonym, bridegroom.

The word contronym (also the synonym antagonym or & Auto-antonym) is used to refer to words that, by some freak of language evolution, are their own antonyms. Both contronym and antagonym are neologisms; however, there is no alternative term that is more established in the English language.

Contronyms are special cases of homographs (two words with the same spelling). Some examples:

  • anabasis – military advance, military retreat
  • apology – admission of fault in what you think, say, or do; formal defense of what you think, say, or do [New!]
  • aught – all, nothing
  • bolt – secure, run away
  • by – multiplication (e.g., a three by five matrix), division (e.g., dividing eight by four)
  • chuffed – pleased, annoyed
  • cleave – separate, adhere
  • clip – fasten, detach
  • consult – ask for advice, give advice
  • copemate – partner, antagonist
  • custom – usual, special
  • deceptively smart – smarter than one appears, dumber than one appears
  • dike – wall, ditch
  • discursive – proceeding coherently from topic to topic, moving aimlessly from topic to topic
  • dollop – a large amount, a small amount
  • dust – add fine particles, remove fine particles
  • enjoin – prescribe, prohibit
  • fast – quick, unmoving
  • first degree – most severe (e.g., murder), least severe (e.g., burn)
  • fix – restore, castrate
  • flog – criticize harshly, promote aggressively
  • garnish – enhance (e.g., food), curtail (e.g., wages)
  • give out – produce, stop production
  • grade – incline, level
  • handicap – advantage, disadvantage
  • help – assist, prevent (e.g., “I can’t help it if…”)
  • left – remaining, departed from
  • liege – sovereign lord, loyal subject
  • mean – average, excellent (e.g., “plays a mean game”)
  • off – off, on (e.g., “the alarm went off”)
  • out – visible (e.g., stars), invisible (e.g., lights)
  • out of – outside, inside (e.g., “work out of one’s home”)
  • oversight – error, care
  • pitted – with the pit in, with the pit removed [New!]
  • put out – extinguish, generate (e.g., something putting out light)
  • quiddity – essence, trifling point
  • quite – rather, completely
  • ravel – tangle, disentangle [New!]
  • rent – buy use of, sell use of
  • rinky-dink – insignificant, one who frequents RinkWorks
  • sanction – approve, boycott
  • sanguine – hopeful, murderous (obsolete synonym for “sanguinary”)
  • screen – show, hide
  • seed – add seeds (e.g., “to seed a field”), remove seeds (e.g., “to seed a tomato”)
  • skinned – with the skin on, with the skin removed [New!]
  • strike – hit, miss (in baseball)
  • table – propose (in the United Kingdom), set aside (in the United States)
  • transparent – invisible, obvious
  • unbending – rigid, relaxing
  • variety – one type (e.g., “this variety”), many types (e.g., “a variety”)
  • wear – endure through use, decay through use
  • weather – withstand, wear away
  • wind up – end, start up (e.g., a watch)
  • with – alongside, against

Finding such idiosyncrasies in slang is much easier. The word “bad” can be used as slang to mean “good.” The word “bomb” has two slang meanings: “failure” (as usually used in the United States) and “success” (as usually used in the United Kingdom).

Some noteworthy antonyms aren’t homographs (words that are spelled the same) but homophones (words that are pronounced the same). Some of these include:

  • aural, oral – heard, spoken
  • erupt, irrupt – burst out, burst in
  • petalless, petalous – lacking petals, having petals
  • raise, raze – erect, tear down

Homophones that are near-antonyms:

  • reckless, wreckless


Also, for those that are interested in a flash based game of the Nintendo classic, Contra, here is a version for you mac/pc.

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Associated Press reports Volunteerism dips in 2006.

As I was purusing the Economist, blogs, and Google news; I came up on an article in the New York Times reporting that volunteerism was down a bit in 2006. Here is a snippet of that article:

WASHINGTON (AP) — People in this country have been volunteering at record levels in the years following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but that voluntary service dipped slightly in 2006, a study found.

More than a fourth of the population, 26.7 percent, did volunteer work in 2006, down from 28.8 percent the previous year, according to a new report by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

”We can’t expect every year to be a new high so we’re not really concerned moving from ’05 to ’06 with a small decrease,” said David Eisner, chief executive officer of the corporation. ”We would get concerned if that repeated itself year after year.”

An increase in volunteerism from 20.4 percent in 1989 to 26.7 percent in 2006 was heavily influenced by a sharp increase — almost doubling — in the volunteer rates of young people ages 16-19, according to the report, released at the start of National Volunteer Week. MORE

Please try to give back what you can, as the Beatles once said, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

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The Magic of English

The sentence below is true. (see below)

esl teacher

The sentence above is false. (See above)

English is amazing no? Find out more interesting English magic  Here. 


Have a great Monday! – TEFLocal Staff

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The Study of Wine & Tongues..

island teflBy tongues, I mean “language.”

What langauge  would you describe this photo?




Facebook: Just Click!


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