Driving – Vocabulary

Resultado de imagem para no parking tow away zone

Dialogue: This is a tow-away zone! 

Jake: Hey, I wouldn’t park here if I were you. You see that sign over there? This is a tow-away zone!
Fred: Thanks Jake, I hadn’t noticed it. I’ll try and find another parking spot.
Jake: Yeah, you’d better. You sure don’t want to get a ticket.
Fred: Ok, let’s try the next block. There must be parking spaces there.
Jake: Sure!

Vocabulary & Expressions

Tow-away zone = a no-parking area from which parked cars may be towed away
Parking spot = parking space
Ticket = a traffic fine
Rush hour = a period of heavy traffic when most people are commuting to and from work
Crosswalk = a painted path in a street where traffic must stop to allow pedestrians to get across
Driver’s license = an official document allowing someone to drive a car
Traffic jam = a line of vehicles close together, unable to move or moving very slowly because of heavy traffic
Parking meter = a coin-operated device that registers the amount of time purchased for parking a car
Toll plaza = an area where tollbooths are located on a toll road

Referência: “What to say when …?” – José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.


Looking to take your English to the next level? Here´s something new.

So here it is, my new work. A book geared towards both the advanced student of English and teachers alike, for we teachers are eternal students as well. A book I wish I´d had some twenty years ago when I myself was striving to go beyond the basics and broaden my vocabulary. It would have helped me a great deal.

What can you expect from it? A bit of everything: dialogues, vocabulary, idioms, phrasal verbs, slang. A 360 degree approach to language, as a matter of fact, with content aimed at students that are making the transition from the upper-intermediate level towards the advanced/proficient level.

For this new book I have written 30 dialogues highlighting mainly informal language.
I regard dialogues as paramount to language acquisition. Dialogues are basically language in motion where everything comes up (grammar, idiomatic expressions, formal/informal vocabulary) in due context. Check out some of the titles below meant to deliberately peak your curiosity:

I think I´ll pass on dessert
Guess who I ran into at the mall the other day?
My Pilates class
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
I know the odds are against me, but I´ll give it a shot anyway
A funny cabbie
Could you drop the jargon please?
You must have paid top dollar for those tickets!
The head honcho is going to flip out if he finds out what´s going on
Getting dumped sucks!
My WhatsApp group
I felt kind of weird all dressed up in a rented tux!

The dialogues presented along with the other sections of the book will hopefully linger on in the readers´ minds and help them hone their language skills in many ways. I´ve always thought that learning should be a fun process and I´ve made every possible effort to include content that is alluring enough to get readers to go the extra mile.

Among other benefits, I believe this book will help people …

• Incorporate new vocabulary into their speech in a fun and easy way.
• Boost their knowledge of idioms and phrasal verbs through a hands-on approach: not just by reading about it, but also by doing the carefully-planned activities provided in the book.
• Enhance their listening comprehension skills (the books includes an audio CD with dialogues and exercises recorded by native speakers of English)
• Interact in the language more effectively and naturally.
• Brush up on their knowledge of crucial areas of the language. (for the already advanced student)

In short, this new book will hopefully contribute to taking your English to the next level. Enjoy!
José Roberto A. Igreja

FALE TUDO EM INGLÊS AVANÇADO – José Roberto A. Igreja / Disal Editora


Preparing your students language-wise for trips to English-speaking countries.
by José Roberto A. Igreja

The bags are all neatly packed. You have double-checked your passport and ticket and feel excited to be heading to a foreign country. All the arrangements seem to have been meticulously taken care of. But have they really? Perhaps it would be wise to remember your destination. Is it by any chance an English-speaking country? If the answer to that question is in the affirmative and if you do not happen to be a native speaker of English then another issue seems to be pertinent: how well are you prepared language-wise to get the most out of your trip, be it vacation or business?

We have all heard hilarious stories about tourists or business travelers who, in a desperate effort to communicate, had to resort to mimicking, since they did not have a minimum working knowledge of the language of the country they were visiting. I was once told about a foreigner visiting England who, in order to convey the idea of the dish he would like to  order in a restaurant, started to imitate a chicken by spreading his “wings” (Oops! I mean “arms”) and uttering clucks. While such scenes may be funny and amusing to “spectators” standing by, they remind us that being minimally linguistically competent in the language of the country one is visiting plays a major role in turning one´s stay into a more pleasant  one.

Bearing this introduction in mind, I now turn the spotlight to us language teachers. How can we better help prepare our students in order to interact in English in the various situations that are likely to come up during a business or vacation trip? And what are these situations? As resourceful and experienced teachers we should be aware of how crucial the syllabus for such an endeavor is. That´s right, the syllabus: the summary of main topics to be tackled. What should the syllabus include? Check out the table below for different situations and the language items that are likely to derive from them. Far from being thorough, I believe that the table below includes, language-wise, what is most relevant for someone who is traveling to a foreign country.



SITUATION: Airport & airplane

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Common phrases used by the traveler when checking in at the airport; usual check-in agent phrases; specific language used by the crew on the airplane; language the traveler is likely to need to interact with the crew on the plane; customs officer´s phrases and traveler´s phrases when going through customs; etc.

————————————————————————————————————–SITUATION: Means of transportation

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Key phrases used at train, subway and bus stations (to buy tickets and elicit information); usual phrases to interact with a taxi driver; car rental agent phrases; traveler´s phrases for renting a car; language to be used if the rental car breaks down; etc.

SITUATION: Accommodation

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Usual phrases to make a hotel reservation, to check in and out of the hotel; language to express requests and needs such as in the case of room service; key phrases to ask for directions and make a phone call; etc.

SITUATION: Food & beverage

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Names of food and beverage items; usual phrases to interact with the waiter in a restaurant; names of typical dishes of the country the traveler is visiting; etc.

SITUATION: Tourist attractions & Leisure and entertainment

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Language for choosing a sightseeing tour; theme glossary for leisure and entertainment; etc.

SITUATION: Going shopping

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Key phrases to interact with the clerk at a store; names of clothes items; names of stores and services; theme glossary for store items; etc.

SITUATION: Health & emergencies

LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED: Language to express how you feel and interact with the doctor; theme glossary for the human body and symptoms; key phrases used in emergencies.
It goes without saying that each of the language items mentioned above entails lots of vocabulary words and expressions that are related to them. For instance, words and expressions such as toll road; trunk (U.S.)/boot (Engl.); insurance; free mileage; speed limit; detour and GPS would inevitably be essential items under “car rental agent phrases” and “traveler´s phrases for renting a car”.

Another important aspect to be pointed out is that besides language components, culture tips are a must, and can definitely enhance communication a great deal. Being culturally savvy will no doubt make a big difference when traveling abroad, helping you interact more effectively. Some key topics to be addressed are listed below:

  • Currency: being familiar with the most important bills and coins of the country you are visiting pays dividends!
  • Food: what are the typical dishes of the country you will visit? Be sure to know in advance what´s going to replace your rice and beans while you are away!
  • Measuring units and temperature scale: miles, feet, inches, pounds and Fahrenheit. Get acquainted with these terms for they are the norm in many English-speaking countries.
  • Local customs and traditions: learning about them previously will pay off. After all, remember the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.  Also, remember that the way certain things are in the country you are visiting may differ from your home country. When renting a car in the U.S., for example, you should be aware that most American gas stations are self-service and therefore you should be prepared to pump gas into your rental car yourself!
  • Popular holidays: being aware of important holidays of the country one is visiting will help one better understand the mood and behavior of the local people on those days. We should also not forget that many words and expressions are intimately connected to certain holidays. Take Halloween for example and expressions such as “trick-or-treat” and “jack-o-lantern”.

We should also not forget the differences between American and British English, the two most common “Englishes”, since in some cases there are certain vocabulary variations that might lead the less attentive traveler astray. It should for instance be relevant to remind our students that in England an elevator is called a lift, and that the trunk of a car is called a boot. Some other key vocabulary differences crucial to the business or vacation traveler are listed below:

U.S.                                         England

Zip code                                 postcode
Check                                       bill
Highway                                   motorway
Crosswalk                               pedestrian crossing; zebra crossing

Trash can; garbage can           dustbin; litter bin
Laundromat                             launderette
Subway                                    underground; tube
Parking lot                               car park
Refrigerator                               fridge
Schedule                                    timetable
Bookstore                                   bookshop
Package                                    packet
Taxi stand                                taxi rank
Cell phone                              mobile
Pay phone                                 public phone
Trailer                                      caravan
Vacation                                   holidays
Sidewalk                                    pavement
Shoulder                                    hard shoulder

Where there´s a “need” there´s a way!

We are all familiar with the saying “where there´s a will there´s a way”. For the sake of this article please allow me to introduce a slightly different version: where there´s a “need” there´s a way. An explanation is due: language learning takes place much more naturally when there is a real “need” for communication. As a teacher you may have sometimes experienced the lack of interest your students have in learning words and phrases. Let´s remember they may not always be to blame since the situations created to teach those language chunks may seem artificial to them and won´t really grab their attention at the time. Now, once the opportunity of traveling to a foreign country comes along, where speaking the right word and phrase in English will make all the difference, then that´s the time when learning will take place more naturally and rapidly. On a recent trip to the U.S. I was happily surprised to see how quickly my eleven year old son picked up the phrase  “Can I see the menu for dessert, please?” and used it effectively with the waiters at restaurants. There is definitely no doubt that when the need for communication is crucial, it instills a prompt and more appropriate response from people.

Make no mistake, linguistic competence in the language of the country one will visit will surely guarantee a more enjoyable and successful trip, and that is precisely where we teachers come in: in our capacity to ensure that our students are language-wise prepared to get the most out of their trips!

José Roberto A. Igreja has a BA in English and Literature from PUC – SP and holds certificates of proficiency in English from Michigan University and BYU – Brigham Young University – Utah. He also lived in London where he studied at Hammersmith and West London College. He is the author and co-author of several ELT books, including What to say when?; How do you say … in English?; Fluent Business English; English for Job interviews!; 600 Phrasal Verbs and American Idioms!, all published by Disal Editora.

Referência: “Fale Tudo em Inglês em Viagens!” – José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora.

Business English

IPO (Initial Public Offering)

Resultado de imagem para IPO

IPO = Initial Public Offering (oferta pública inicial; primeira venda de ações de uma empresa na bolsa de valores)

“We´re very excited about our company´s  IPO launch.”, said Mr. Nielsen to a friend.
“Estamos muito animados com a abertura de capital de nossa empresa.”, disse o Sr. Nielsen para um amigo.

Referência: “Fale Tudo em Inglês nos Negócios!” – José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.

4 X 4; tração nas 4 rodas

4 X 4; tração nas 4 rodas

O termo equivalente em inglês é four-wheel drive. A abreviação 4WD também é bastante usada. Veja os exemplos abaixo:

Resultado de imagem para 4wd pickup truck cartoon

Four-wheel drive vehicles are appropritate for rough and muddy terrains.
Veículos com tração nas quatro rodas são apropriados para terrenos irregulares e lamacentos.

Most pickup trucks are 4WD vehicles.
A maioria das picapes tem tração nas quatro rodas.

Referência: “Como se diz … em inglês?” – José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.

Quer implantar um curso de inglês em sua empresa? Clique aqui!

Curiosidades do idioma inglês


Resultado de imagem para trailer

Tome cuidado com a palavra de origem inglesa trailer. Incorporada ao português, é usada no Brasil para se referir tanto ao veículo que pode ser descrito como “uma casa sobre rodas” quanto ao reboque habitável sem tração própria que é puxado por um carro. Em inglês, a palavra trailer faz referência apenas ao reboque que depende de um veículo para ser levado de um lugar para outro. Para se referir à “casa sobre rodas” usa-se em inglês o termo RV, que é abreviação de recreational vehicle. Uma outra opção nesse caso é a palavra motor home.

“Renting an RV was really a good idea. We visited lots of places and had a lot of fun” said Fred to his friends.
“Alugar um trailer foi uma ideia realmente boa. Visitamos muitos lugares e nos divertimos bastante”, disse Fred aos amigos.

Resultado de imagem para rv                                                            RV: Recreational Vehicle

“Our motor home is quite comfortable. We have four beds, a small living room and kitchen and a shower”, explained Celine.
“Nosso trailer é bastante confortável. Temos quatro camas, uma pequena sala de estar e cozinha e uma ducha” explicou Celine.

The Johnsons have traveled all over the country in their RV.
Os Johnson viajaram pelo país inteiro no trailer deles.

“A motor home is surely not as comfortable as a hotel, but it’s a lot more exciting”, said Neil to his friends.
“Um trailer certamente não é tão confortável quanto um hotel, mas é muito mais emocionante”, disse Neil aos amigos.

Lembre-se que em outro contexto a palavra trailer também é usada, tanto em inglês quanto em português, para se referir a um pequeno trecho de filme exibido para divulgação do mesmo.

We watched a trailer for the latest Woody Allen movie.
Assistimos ao trailer do filme mais recente do Woody Allen.

Referência: “Como se diz … em inglês?” – José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.

Quer implantar um curso de inglês em sua empresa? Clique aqui!

Phrasal verbs

Horse around

 Resultado de imagem para stop horsing around

to behave in a silly playful way; to clown; to fool around (vadiar; ficar brincando)

“We´d better quit horsing around and get to work. We have a deadline to meet for this project.”, said Brian to a coworker.
“É melhor pararmos de vadiar e trabalharmos. Nós temos um prazo a cumprir com este projeto.”, disse Brian para um colega de trabalho.

Referência: “600 Phrasal Verbs” – Jonathan T. Hogan e José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.

Quer implantar um curso de inglês em sua empresa? Clique aqui!

Inglês para entrevistas de emprego

Competitive edge: diferencial

Featured Image

What’s your company’s main competitive edge in your opinion?
Na sua opinião, qual é o principal diferencial de sua empresa?

Referência: “English for Job Interviews” – José Roberto A. Igreja e Robert C. Young Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.

Quer inplantar um curso de inglês em sua empresa? Clique aqui

Expressões idiomáticas

Around the clock

24 hours a day (24 horas por dia)

The crew will have to work around the clock to repair the roads that were damaged in the rains.
A equipe vai ter que trabalhar 24 horas por dia para consertar as estradas que foram danificadas pelas chuvas.

The firemen worked around the clock to put out the fire.
Os bombeiros trabalharam 24 horas por dia para apagar o incêndio.

Referência: American Idioms! – Joe Bailey Noble III e José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora. Clique aqui para ler a resenha.


Quer implantar um curso em sua empresa? Clique aqui!