What is Easter? Easter is a popular holiday here in the United States. It is a day to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. But, many Americans think of Easter as a day for children to look for eggs the Easter bunny hides. This Easter celebration has been part of American culture for many years. The meaning of this holiday continues to change over time.
According to Christian belief, Easter originated back in 30 A.D. This date is when Jesus Christ resurrected three days after his crucifixion. Christian religion considers Jesus Christ its savior. However, over the years, many Americans have taken to celebrating this day. They do not even have to be religious. Nowadays, it is simply part of American tradition. When Americans think of Easter, they automatically think of the Easter bunny and decorating eggs.
Traditional Easter Game
An Easter Egg Hunt is a traditional game played in many American homes. Adults hide eggs around the house, backyard, or at a park. Then, children try to find them. These eggs can be real eggs or plastic ones filled with candy or money.
You might begin to wonder, “how are bunnies and eggs religious?” Historians do not know the exact origin. Nevertheless, historians think this American tradition began when the Germans first immigrated to the United States; bunnies and eggs became a symbol for birth and renewal.
Poly’s Easter Celebration
Now, enough about the fun facts of Easter. Today, POLY Languages Institute at Pasadena celebrated their own Easter. Our student lounge was filled with fun and colorful decorations of Easter bunnies, eggs, and baskets. It was great to see international students join in our Easter celebration for the first time.
We had stations where some of our students had the opportunity to decorate hard boiled eggs. Teachers showed students how to dye the hard-boiled eggs with multiple colors and put designs on them. The final products looked so beautiful. Therefore, they didn’t even want to eat them! Also, our students participated in the traditional children’s egg hunt. Administrators hid plastic eggs filled with candy throughout the school. The students had a good time with their baskets searching for eggs in each classroom, hallway, and even the front desk!
The students had a fun-filled time. They were able to take a break from their studies to experience an American tradition. Here at POLY, we do not only strive to academically help our students. We also want our students to gain a deeper understanding of American culture and have an overall great experience here in Southern California!
We use idioms in various everyday situations. Literature is riddled with these flowery phrases to elevate prose and poetry. They are so common that we have become unaware that we are using them like idioms are naturally flowing in our speech.
Idioms, sometimes, are easy to understand and make practical sense such as carrot top and cool as a cucumber. Meanwhile, some idioms have interesting origins like the three food idioms below.
Bring home the bacon – to earn money
Example: The parents must bring home the bacon.
This phrase has a funny origin dated back in 1104 in Great Dunmow, Essex that sounded more like a folktale. A local couple impressed the church in their little town with their love and devotion that they were given a slab of bacon. This started the ritual of the church to award couples bacon if they can prove that they are loyal to each other for a year. Since then, couples have been trying to bring home the bacon.
Cry over spilled milk – get upset over something that has happened and cannot be changed
Example: The vase is broken and it cannot be fixed. Don’t cry over spilled milk!
The origin of this idiom is not exactly known, but common belief said that it originated from the days when people offer food and drink to fairies to which they strongly believed. Fairies love milk and when people spill milk, it is nothing to worry about and is considered as an extra offering to the fairies.
Spill the beans – To reveal secret information often ruining a surprise or plan
Example: Jenny spilled the beans about Kerry’s plans.
This phrase originated from ancient Greece where people cast votes using white or black beans in a jar. A white bean means positive vote or “yes” and a black bean means negative vote or “no”. If someone spilled the beans, the result of the voting will be revealed even before the official count.
When you are not a native English speaker, learning the global language can be a daunting task. However, increased immersion will make you learn the language quickly.
Watch or listen to English television shows for at least 30 minutes per day.
Watching or listening to television everyday is a great way to be exposed to the English language. Acclimate yourself to the pronunciation and accent.
Translate a news article everyday.
There are two ways to do this. First, go to a news website in your language and try to translate a news article. Second, you can use Google Translate. Since the translation is not perfect, edit the translated article to minimize the grammar errors.
Keep a journal.
To practice your grammar and writing skills, keep a daily journal recounting the events that happened during the day. Simple sentences are fine as it will be just at the start. Writing a log everyday will become a habit and will improve your skills.
Read materials you like in English on a regular basis.
Let’s admit it! Reading is a boring activity for some people. Thus, it is important to find reading materials that you like. Seeing the written word and constantly exposing yourself to it is the easiest way to learn If you like reading magazines, read English magazines.
Learn technological terms and how to use them in a sentence by reading manuals of gadgets or appliances. Manuals are often in different languages. You can compare the directions written in your native language and the one in English.
Watch English movies with subtitles or vice versa.
Watch English movies with subtitles to learn expressions and how they are used in situations.
Listen to audiobooks or songs while driving.
Activities like cleaning, cooking, and driving should not be passive activities. Make them more productive by playing audiobooks and songs in English to practice your skills.
Which English learning tips have helped you improve your English most?