Do you have a 2021 gratitude list?

The end of the year is a great time to look ahead and draw up (make/put together)a plan for what to do next. But first, let’s go back to what happened this year.

What are you most grateful for in 2021?

How did this person/experience/thing impact your life?

What are the other things you’re grateful for in 2021?

Gratitude benefits us on many levels. It’s good for emotional balance and positively affects our personality

It also helps us appreciate the things we have, do, and are in our lives, giving us the chance to feel good about them rather than focusing on the feeling that keeps telling us we need to have, do and be more.

Cultivating gratitude increases well-being, happiness, energy, optimism, and empathy.

This is what makes it onto my 2021 grateful list:

  • Being alive: my family and I, and all the people I care for;
  • My daughter: so proud of her! She’s facing challenges, in a foreign country, all by herself, and beautifully achieving her full potential;
  • My dear students, former and current ones. Each one is unique, and I’m grateful for the chance to help them with their goals;
  • Every person or being who made me smile, who offered me help, who taught me something, who showed me a better way to be or to do something;
  • Food and shelter;
  • My effort to set the time to make progress in my studies, to think, to self-reflect;
  • New challenges and accomplishments, although simple for others;
  • Making the most out of good and bad experiences;
  • Finding joy in the most simple, tiniest details and this world’s natural beauty;
  • What has gone and what is yet to come.

This video, A Good Day, was recorded fourteen years ago and watched over 1 million times. It features Brother David, a highly-respected Benedictine monk, author, and spiritual leader, and is a blessing to all those with “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Look, listen, and feel inspired by this powerful message on grateful living

And if you want more, Brother David says that the one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. Below is an inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful. 

It is a listening and reading practice if you work on the transcript. You can find it in English and Portuguese if you need it. Look up the words you don’t know.

Where are you from? Countries and nationalities

Where are you from?

Where did you come from?

We say our nationality with “I’m”. We say which country we are from with “I’m from…”

“I’m…” + nationality
“I’m from” + country

I’m Russian. 
I’m from Russia. 

We use “she’s”, “he’s”, and “they’re” to talk about other people’s nationalities.

I’m Turkish.I’m from Turkey.
He’s English.He’s from England.

⚠️ Learners of English often confuse the words for nationality and country. ⚠️

We can tell the difference between nationality and country by looking at the ending of words. Many nationalities end in “-ish“, “-an” and “-ese“.

Nationalities ending in “-ish“:


Nationalities ending in “-an“:

Americanthe USA

Nationalities ending in “-ese”:


If you haven’t seen your nationality or country this lesson, you can look them up.

Look at a dialogue between two people.


Sofia: Hi, I’m Sofia. You’re Alex, right?

Alex: Hello Sofia, yes I’m Alex. Are you from the USA?

Sofia: Yes, I am! Are you American too?

Alex: No, I’m not American, I’m from Russia!

Now the listening practice:

Next, some more language for those who feel that can go a little further.

Anna interviews tourists on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She learns about where they are from and the languages they speak. Listen carefully and write down what you hear.

What are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on November 25, the biggest and the most important holiday in the US, even more than Christmas or the Fourth of July.

It officially marks the beginning of the holiday season, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year.

Do you want to know when the first Thanksgiving happened?

And are you ready for a dose of American culture while building your English vocabulary? Let’s first look at some words.

Next, there is a little more advanced video. If you feel that the listening is too fast, change the setting.

Now it’s your turn. What are the things you are thankful for, the things you are most grateful for this year?

I’m sure you have a list of things to be grateful for:

  • your family
  • close friends
  • good health
  • your home
  • your job
  • healthy food
  • your pets

How was your long weekend?

Este foi um feriadão, um feriado prolongado para você?

Todos rapidamente sabem dizer feriado em inglês, HOLIDAY, public holiday e também bank holiday (no inglês britânico). Mas e feriadão?

Para se referir à fim de semana prolongado ou feriadão, você pode usar as expressões LONG WEEKEND ou THREE-DAY WEEKEND (feriado na sexta ou na segunda), e FOURDAY WEEKEND (feriado na quinta, com recesso na sexta, ou na terça, com recesso na segunda).

A expressão DAY OFF, significa dia de folga, mas dependendo do contexto (sempre ele!), pode ser vista no sentido de feriado.

E as perguntas mais comuns antes e depois de um feriado prolongado são a respeito de seus planos com relação à ele: 

As duas primeiras, são as construções mais utilizadas pelos alunos, pela semelhança com as estruturas da língua portuguesa.

  • What are you going to do this long weekend? or What did you do this long weekend?
  • How is your long weekend going to be? or How was your long weekend?

As seguintes, são as utilizadas pelos falantes nativos:

  • How are you going to spend your three-day weekend? or How did you spend your three-day weekend?
  • Where are you going to spend your long weekend? or Where did you spend your long we

Agora pratique, completando as frases com as palavras ou expressões que faltam:

1- Monday was a _____________________.

(Segunda-feira foi feriado.)

2- It was a ____________________________________.

(Foi um feriado de três dias.)

3 – It was ________________________________.

(Foi Proclamação da República.)

4 – There are many ____________________in Brazil.

(Há muitos feriados nacionais no Brasil.)

5 – Next long weekend, Christmas, ________________ a Saturday this year.

(O próximo feriado prolongado, Natal, cai em uma sábado este ano.)

5- On Friday, I was in a __________________.

(Na sexta-feira eu estava em clima de feriado.)

7- I _______________ the holiday at home.

(Passei o feriado em casa.)

Confira suas respostas:

1 – holiday; 2 – a three-day weekend; 3 – Republic Day; 4 – national holidays; 5 – falls on; 6 – holiday mood; 7 – spent

Conteúdo Extra

Aos que já possuem o conteúdo desta lição suficientemente trabalhado, aqueles alunos com os quais praticamos estas estruturas diversas vezes, vamos lá ampliar os limites!

English from the streets! Australian accent!

Listen carefully and take notes of all the extra possibilities not discussed in this lesson.

Clique em  feriado e feriado prolongado, se quiser ouvir as expressões mencionadas na primeira parte da lição.

Covid-19 vaccine side effects

It’s a good idea, when you travel abroad, to know how to describe what you are feeling, in case you need to go to an emergency medical service.

So, we started with the most common health problems, ways to ask about someone’s health, and typical responses.

Next we looked at simple conversations between doctor and patient, and we worked on a dialogue in which a patient visits his doctor because he has many of the classic Covid-19 symptoms.

Then, working with a student, she told me that she had a hard time with the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Forty-eight hours after she took it, she had a rash / she broke out in a rash on her neck and forehead. She didn’t have a fever, but her blood pressure went down / dropped / decreased. Then, she called the doctor, and the doctor prescribed her an anti-allergic medication/drug. She took the medication and rested. ‘It was weird,’ she said.

Here is a piece of news which is a good listening and reading practice, as it brings the vocabulary related to this problem.

I also had / got / experienced side effects / suffered from side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine. I had / experienced fatigue, a fever, a headache and, body aches.

In case you need to go to an emergency service, one of the questions they may ask you is: Are you allergic to any medicine/medication?

You should respond:

Yes, I’m allergic to…

No, not that I’m aware of / not that I know of.


What about you? Did you have / get / experience side effects or suffered from side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine? What did you have?

Nota: O intuito desta lição, é oferecer soluções lexicais, para caso necessite, você possa comunicar com segurança e tranquilidade, seus sintomas. Ao que tudo indica, o tema não deverá, tão cedo, desaparecer da nossa realidade.