Idiom of the Week: Go Through the Motions


Meaning: To do something without passion or interest or real effort.


Always try your best – don’t just go through the motions.

I can tell she doesn’t really love me. She’s just going through the motions.

Why don’t you change jobs if you feel like you’re just going through the motions?


Pop Quiz:

Which one is an example of somebody going through the motions?

A.  Making the same thing for dinner day after day without trying to make it delicious.

B.  Spending a long time writing an essay, trying to make it perfect.

C.  Paying attention in class, always doing your homework, and studying extra outside of class.

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

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May 2014 Student of the Month

Our new Student of the Month is Class 2A student Qiu Ying Luo, English name Aileen. Aileen was chosen for three reasons:

1. She got a higher score on her Best Plus Test, which means her English has improved.

2. She has very good attendance.

3. She recently got her U.S. citizenship.

Good job, Aileen!

Watch her teacher, Cliff, interview her above, read her letter of recommendation below, then take the quiz to test your comprehension.

To Whom It May Concern,

Please accept this letter as a recommendation for Aileen Luo for the position of receptionist at Trump International Hotel.

I have been Aileen’s supervisor for the last three years, and she has done a marvelous job. She can multitask and she gets things done quickly. Aileen’s skills involve handling phone calls, greeting visitors, and staying organized. She is very effective and I strongly recommend her for this position.

I am confident that Aileen will be a huge asset to your company and promise you will be satisfied.


Aileen Luo



Literacy Review Volume 12

The Writing Program at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study has just published the twelfth volume of The Literacy Review, which is a collection of excellent writing by adult education students in New York City. University Settlement’s own Tammie Tai has a story in it called “Bone Soup.” Here it is – you can click on the pages for a larger view:

48-49_Tammie-Tai_Bone-Soup_Page_1 48-49_Tammie-Tai_Bone-Soup.jpg2_Page_2

Professor June Foley, Director of the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study’s Writing Program, teaches an advanced writing class right here at University Settlement on Fridays. To learn more about NYU Gallatin’s Writing Program, click here.

To download a copy of Volume 12, click on the image below:


Idiom of the Week: Throw Caution to the Wind


Meaning: To do something dangerous or risky.


She threw caution to the wind and married him even though she knew he was a professional thief.

“Come on, throw caution to the wind!” Jennifer said to her hesitating friends.

Vincent is not one to throw caution to the wind. He’s always super careful.

Pop Quiz:

Which one is an example of throwing caution to the wind?

A.  Jumping on the back of a wild horse.

B.  Doing your homework.

C.  Bringing your umbrella on a cloudy day.

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

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