Happy Birthday, Marilyn Monroe!


Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most famous actress from America. She was born on June 1, 1926, which would make her 87 years old  – were she alive, that is.

Unfortunately, she died. In the year 1962, she was found dead in her home in California. The cause was probably a drug overdose, but there’s still a mystery about it.

Read the information below from Wikipedia, watch a video for a song written by Elton John about Marilyn, read the song’s lyrics, then take the quiz to test your comprehension.

Marilyn Monroe (real name: Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of successful movies during the 1950s and early 1960s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. Her early film appearances were small, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950), drew attention.

By 1952 she had her first leading role in Don’t Bother to Knock and 1953 brought a lead in Niagara, a melodramatic mystery that showed her seductiveness. Her “dumb blonde” persona was used in later comedies such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955).

The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of debate. Though officially classified as a “probable suicide,” the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as of murder, have not been ruled out.

In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth-greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been called a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol. In 2009, TV Guide Network named her No. 1 in Film’s Sexiest Women of All Time.

Candle in the Wind

by Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name


And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

[repeat chorus]

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

[repeat chorus]


Idiom of the Week: Throw in the Towel


Meaning: To quit; to give up


The job was just too stressful, so I threw in the towel.

Don’t throw in the towel yet! You’re almost finished!

I always finish what I start – I never, ever, ever throw in the towel.


Pop Quiz:

People usually throw in the towel when…

A. they can’t go on anymore.

B. they still have enough time and energy to complete a task.

C. they really enjoy what they’re doing.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Monday Is Memorial Day


From Wikipedia:

Memorial Day is a United States holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, living or dead.

Watch the video below for more info, then take the quiz to test your comprehension:


Idiom of the Week: Accident Waiting to Happen


Meaning: Something potentially dangerous or harmful (describing situations, things, or even people).


This water all over the floor is an accident waiting to happen.

Her new boyfriend has been in prison three times. Their relationship is an accident waiting to happen.

Letting your kid run around the train is an accident waiting to happen.

Pop Quiz:

Another example of an accident waiting to happen is…

A. locking your door before you go to sleep.

B. an open bottle of soda sitting next to a new, expensive computer.

C. a telephone that doesn’t work anymore after being dropped.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue Reading”:

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May Student of the Month: Chang Wen Zheng


We’re pleased to announce our new Student of the Month, Class 1A student Chang Wen Zheng.

Watch a video below showing Chang Wen’s teacher Elsie presenting him with his Student of the Month certificate, read a short piece of writing Chang Wen wrote about his job skills, then take the quiz to test your listening and reading comprehension.

My Job Skills

by Chang Wen Zheng

I am a cook. I cook delicious food for customers daily. I have good experience in cooking. I cook lobsters and steaks wonderfully.

I clean the kitchen for one hour every day. Cleaning up the kitchen is an important part in the whole day’s work. I do not really like to clean the kitchen much. Why not? Because it is hard work!

I cut vegetables and meat every day. I can cut carrots into different shapes. If you are not careful, your hands get hurt very easily.


Idiom of the Week: Double-Edged Sword


Meaning: Something that has significant advantages and disadvantages.


Having a car in New York is a double-edged sword. It’s much easier to get out of the city, but it’s really difficult sometimes to find a place to park.

Cell phones are a double-edged sword – they’re convenient, but they can cause a lot fo disruptions.

I asked him if he recommended getting married. “It’s a double-edged sword,” he said.

Pop Quiz:

An electronic dictionary is a double-edged sword when it comes to learning English because…

A. it can help you find the definitions of words.

B. it’s expensive.

C. it’s easy to use, but sometimes you rely on it too much.

Click on “Continue reading” to see the correct answer:

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