Sunday, January 27, 2019

Status of this blog

by Larisa Mishkina
Since Judy and I are back in the USA and not planning to return to Elektrostal on a full-time basis, I won't be updating this blog regularly. I will keep it here as an archive (and a reminder to myself of all the joy of working with our dear students and colleagues).

I'll also stay active on facebook and Questions about English usage are always welcome. Also be sure to let me know if you're planning to visit the USA!

Many of the images embedded on these pages were hosted by photobucket. I am in the process of transferring these images to another server. If you see a page with broken image or media links, and you'd like me to fix that page, just let me know. ( 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Tea and Conversation on Tuesday and Friday

Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine, USA
Solitude is nice for a while, but sometimes you just want some


So ... let's meet on Tuesday after the fourth pair! We'll be in Room 2, hoping to catch up with you to share summer experiences and hopes for the new school year.

We will try meeting weekly through October 10. On September 26, we hope to include our three guests from the USA -- Jesse, Tracy, and Esther Mae.

Bring your own ideas for themes and Hangperson words; we'll bring some ideas, too. See you soon!

PS: Evening students! We'll be meeting at the Quest Cafe "4 Rooms" as well. Friday, September 16, and Friday, October 6, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Group 401V Second Semester Test

Full text: LINK to article on the newspaper's site. LINK to article in PDF format.

When you have finished reading the article, go here for the test. Please finish the test by Monday, May 22. Judy and I must give your results to Larisa Viktorovna by May 23.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Billionaires speaking to graduates


(Link to original article and gallery on Forbes site. Download PDF files here: Pages 1-3. Page 4 with questions and vocabulary.)

Items for discussion:
  1. Summarize the contents of this article in one or two sentences.
  2. How is the content organized?
  3. What are the roles or purposes of the links and gallery within the article? Are they helpful?
  4. Of all the points made in the article, which will you remember the longest?
  5. Do all of the commencement speakers agree with each other? Is any of the advice actually wrong?
  6. Here in Russia, on similar occasions, would the speakers make similar points? Would they make different points than those made by the speakers in this Forbes article? Which pieces of advice in the article seem most typically American to you? Which seem universally valid to you?
  7. The writer includes her e-mail address and Twitter handle in her biography. If you were to write to her, what would you say about this article? (What did she do well, and what could she have done to make her article better?)
Words and expressions:

words of wisdom
host, a host of
core, to one’s very core
loss, to overcome a loss
to be defined by
standout (noun)
a whole lot
to impart
to revolve around
to oust, to be ousted
the odds, to overcome the odds
time and time again
hand in hand, to go hand in hand
to drop out
to pursue
trial and error
to echo (transitive and intransitive)
to head up
to drop (intransitive)
to give back
breathing space
to hazard (a prediction, a guess)
to get crazy
drive (noun)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Why the movie business is in trouble


(Link to the article on Variety's site, with all charts and graphics. Link to PDF version of article.)

This is a long text, and we suggest that you concentrate mostly on the first half of the article, before the author gets into details about the negotiations with specific companies and studios. The last couple of paragraphs are also important.

Here are some questions for discussion:
  1. Overall, what does this article seek to provide the reader?
  2. How does the author organize his analysis? What are the major elements, and how does he arrange them?
  3. What are the two major challenges facing the film industry?
  4. Who are the two “sides” mentioned on page two, second column (“At the very least the two sides are talking.”) Why are their interests supposedly in conflict?
  5. Do you have personal experiences or observations concerning this analysis?
  6. What argument or insight will you remember from this article after you have forgotten the details?
  7. Who is the author’s intended audience?
Which of these words and expressions are new to you?

scared stiff
to usher in
to dazzle
to scramble (intrans.)
existential dread
to release
to come to pass
to pull it off
to choreograph
“cover my ass”
smart money
to be put off
to dry up
slate financing
virtual reality
box office
tax credit

to greenlight
bottom line
grand bargain
to fade
to prop up
to condition
impulse buy
to tinker (with)
to kibosh
to wade (into)
on demand, on-demand
exhibition chain
stiff spine
to interface (with)
screen count
to hit
to cannibalize
to grandfather
to invite to the table
to differentiate
to reboot
diminishing returns
to snap up