What’s Your Breakfast II

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One of my New Year’s resolutions was to eat a proper breakfast every day rather than just swallow two or three cups of coffee and so far I have been successful. My secret: Sunday evening baking.

Each Sunday, I make buns – cardamom buns or cardamom buns with raisins – and freeze them. Then every morning I briefly put a bun or two in the microwave and eat the buns with slices of cheese. I drink some sort of fruit juice and cups of coffee.

This may not seem much but for someone who has difficulties facing food in the morning this is quite a step.

For more inspirations, you can read this old post or try Leora’s Best Bowl of Oatmeal.

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Steamed Vegetables

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I made this simple dish on Friday wanting something light in anticipation of a heavier Shabbat dinner.

Ingredients (per person):
– 2 small leeks
– 1 parsnip
– coarse sea salt
– olive oil

Wash and peel the parsnip. Carefully wash the leeks. Slice all vegetables coarsely. Steam for five and a half minutes for one portion, seven if you have doubled the ingredients. Once the vegetables are cooked, wait for a couple of minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.

Nice on its own but also with baked salmon.

This Year’s Heroes

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If you enjoyed last year’s post about my students’ heroes, you may wish to see who their heroes are this year.

– Coluche, he was a French comedian and actor. He is remembered for the Restos du Cœur – the charitable organisation he created – whose main activity is to distribute food packages and hot meals to the needy. (5 students)
– Martin Luther King Jr (4 students)
– Christopher Columbus
– Albert Einstein
– Michael Jackson
– Kelly Slater
– Two soccer players: Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi
– Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
– Barack Obama
– Neil Armstrong
– Frederik de Klerk
– Winston Churchill
– Nelson Mandela
– Charlie Chaplin
– Lady Diana
– Rosa Parks
– Emmeline Pankhurst

Tips for Language Learning on One’s Own

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Have a goal. You feel you want to start learning a language or improve one you learned but fear you can’t remember. However if you just fancy learning a language without really knowing why, your enthusiasm will probably soon disappear. Learning a language is not very hard but it takes a little time.There are all sorts of good reasons to learn a language: a trip abroad, a book you want to read or a series you want to watch in the original version, family history you want to investigate… What is yours?

Find your own method. Remember how the way you revised for exams was different from the way your friends did, this still holds true. Try to imagine yourself working – with a book, on the computer, with your mp3 player – and find a method that suits your style.

Search the Internet. Whatever the method you have settled on, do some research before you spend your money. You will need to know the strong and weak points of the method you have set your eyes upon. Read what other people think of a language book on online bookstores and search inside the book if you can, visit the local university bookseller and talk with the shop assistants, type key words and see what people have written on forums. Some websites have a few free lessons before you are asked to pay, try them.

Take advantage of free language learning tools. There are lots of them on the web. They may not all be great but they are free. Here is a short list.

Set a specific time for your lessons. Don’t think you will work when you have the time, you may never start. Ten minutes a day is easier to find and much more effective than an hour once a week. Set this time for yourself and keep to it.

Get a dictionary. Whether you prefer a paper version or a smart phone app (some are quite cheap and good), you need a dictionary. You may also find it useful to have a small notepad where you write the vocabulary you acquire and which you can use as a revising tool every now and again.

Vary the sources. Once you start making progress, try to broaden the way you learn by incorporating authentic documents in your learning process. Follow a recipe in your target language, watch movies, read articles online, play vocabulary games…

Good luck!