Happy New Year!


From betterchinatown.com:

Year of the Horse

Horse Years are seventh in the cycle, following the Snake Years, and recur every twelfth year. The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Horse Year actually begins.

The Horse Years are 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, & 2014.


People born in the Year of the Horse will share certain characteristics. The Horse Sign is an abbreviated way of characterizing that individual’s personality. Following are features associated with the Sign of the Horse.

Exciting and extroverted, vivid and animated, the Horse is the life of any party he attends. He is bursting with energy, always looking for the next place to kick up his heels and hang loose. He entertains friends and strangers alike with his humor and appeal.

Horse people are extemporaneous and quick-witted. They are quite intelligent and use their practicality to their advantage in their business and personal lives. Their sharpness makes them quick to pick up new skills and are able to handle many tasks at one time. However, this ambition can be harmful because Horse people often don’t finish what they start for fear of missing out on the next big challenge.

Horses are trustworthy, friendly and open-minded. They are good friends to have and will always be honest with you. Although they are good confidants, Horse people do enjoy their alone time and are usually independent people. They can struggle with abstinence and self-centeredness, which can lead to a flare of the temper if they don’t get their way. Usually, after an episode or temper-tantrum a Horse can feel remorse, yet not all people will be able to forgive their reaction.

Horses Make Excellent…

Language teachers








Tour operators

Sales representatives

Information technologists

And here’s some info about the Chinatown New Year’s Parade, also from betterchinatown.com:

第 十 五 屆 新 春 愛 心 大 遊 行 藝 節


日期 : 2014年2月2曰 (星期曰) 下午 1:00時

Date : February 2, 2014 | Sunday | 1:00pm

地點 : 華埠勿街夾喜士打街起 –> 格蘭街(科西街)

Location: Starts at Little Italy and goes through the main streets of Lower Chinatown/Manhattan Cultural Festival & Booth: Sara Roosevelt Park (Canal & Forsyth St.) One block from major subway system, next to Manhattan Bridge, nearby all out of town buses, and surrounded by major market place.

The parade route:


Idiom of the Week: Horse Around

In honor of the Year of the Horse…

Meaning: To play; to not pay attention; to goof around


“Stop horsing around!” said the angry father to his children.

His teacher sent him to the principal’s office because he was horsing around.

It’s definitely a bad idea to horse around while you’re driving. Focus on the road!

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following is an example of horsing around?

A.  Listening carefully to what your teacher is saying.

B.  Going for a run in rainy weather.

C.  Kicking and kicking someone’s leg under the table.

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

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January 2014 Student of the Month

Our first Student of the Month of 2014 is Class 3A, Movie Class, and Computer Class student Yan Wang. Yan was nominated by her Movie Class teacher Janel, who says:

“I nominated Yan because she is a great example of a wonderful student. She’s always on time, she comes to participate, is always excited to be a part of class, does her homework, and always wants to learn more – so I feel that she is a great example for all students to take after.”

Additionally, Yan has never missed a class – she has 100% attendance! And she got a higher score on her speaking test – which means her English is definitely improving.

Watch the video above, read Yan’s favorite recipe, then take the quiz to test your understanding:

Steamed Egg Custard

When I was a little girl, my mom often made steamed egg custard for me. It was delicious and it was my favorite dessert then. Now, I am a mother and I often make it for my son. It is also my son’s favorite dessert. It is as follows:


1. One egg

2. 200 ml  (.85 cups) of milk

3. 1 tsp sugar

4. Ceramic or stainless steel bowl


1. Crack the egg in the bowl and add sugar. Use chopsticks to mix well. Then, add milk into the mixed egg. Mix.

2. Boil an inch of water in a pot. Put a steaming frame in the pot and put the bowl on it. Steam about six minutes with the lid on.

3. Now, you are done. Serve and enjoy.


Idiom of the Week: On Thin Ice

Meaning: To be in a risky or potentially dangerous situation.


I’m on thin ice with my boss because I’ve been late two days in a row.

“You’re on thin ice!” said the angry mother to her children.

If he gets arrested again he’s going to spend a long time in prison – he’s on very thin ice.


Pop Quiz:

Which is an example of being on thin ice?

A.  Driving and texting at the same time.

B.  Forgetting to wish your girlfriend happy birthday.

C.  Not doing your homework.

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

Read More »

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


This Monday is an official U.S. holiday – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Martin Luther King was a civil rights leader and preacher, and one of the most important people in American history.

From Simple English Wikipedia:

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) worked hard to make people understand that black people should always be treated equally to white people. He gave speeches and led rallies to encourage African Americans to protest without the need for violence.

One peaceful strategy was for African Americans to have sit-ins. This is where they would sit in a restaurant seat that was supposed to be only for white people. They would politely ask for some food and refuse to leave until someone gave them food. Another strategy that King used was leading boycotts. This is where people would refuse to buy goods or services from people who did not treat white people and black people the same.

Dr. King was born in the Atlanta area on January 15, 1929. He first began to be well-known in 1955 when he led a protest against the way black people were segregated on buses. At that time they had to sit at the back of the bus, separate from white people.

In 1963, a civil rights march in Washington, DC happened that made King even more famous. It was officially called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was held on August 28, 1963. The final speaker was Martin Luther King, Jr. He made his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech which was heard throughout the world.

Here is Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech:

To read his speech, click here.