Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ESL Podcast 499 - Marrying a Gold Digger

ESL Podcast 499 - Marrying a Gold Digger
It’s not always easy to determine why someone is romantically interested in you. Download Podcast

ESL Discussions: Marriage
  • Do you think people should agree on a marriage contract before they get married?

Monday, July 27, 2009


Sean Banville writes free ESL lessons for several sites

Sean has a new site NEW ENGLISH LESSONS--Handouts, Listening & Quizzes in Simple English. Here is an example: The first watch phone is coming

Thanks to Sean Banville for all his great work!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just Joking!

ESL Podcast 498 – Joking and Making Fun of People
Learn how to talk about making fun of others in English in this episode. Download Podcast

ESL Jokes
Can you take a joke when someone plays a joke on you?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shopping for Bedding

ESL Podcast 497 – Shopping for Bedding

Learn how to describe different things you use with your bed in this episode. Download Podcast

ESL Discussions: Sleep

  • What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hong Kong Refocuses on Design

VOAVideo: Hong Kong Refocuses on Design

Hong Kong aims to be Asia's fashion center, but the Chinese territory has seen a big drop in clothing exports as the global economic crisis drags on. As VOA's Kari Jensen reports from Hong Kong, the government is stepping in to stimulate the local fashion industry.

ESL Discussions: Clothes

  • Who decides which clothes are fashionable?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

American Slang

ESL-Lab: American Slang
What is "slang," who uses it in your own culture (e.g., male, female, young, middle-aged, old, etc.), and what examples can you think of in your language? What idioms or idiomatic expressions can you think of that are part of everyday language?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moon Landing Remembered On 40th Anniversary

VOAVideo: Moon Landing Remembered On 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago, on July 20, 1969, a man set foot on the moon. The feat captivated an audience of one billion people around the globe and heralded the era of modern space exploration. Apollo 11 was viewed by many as a triumph of American technology in a world dominated by the Cold War. VOA's Jessica Berman reports.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Video Games Are New Teaching Tool

VOAVideo: Video Games Are New Teaching Tool

In the last two decades, American students have fallen behind in critical subjects like math, science and reading. In 2005, the U.S. ranked ninth among some industrialized nations in the percentage of students graduating from secondary school. American education officials are searching for novel ways to stimulate learning again. One tool that is getting some attention is the use of video games.The National Education Association says some schools across the country are now incorporating video into learning. Steve Mort has more on this innovative approach in the state of Florida.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Exiled Uighur Leader Rebiya Kadeer Fights For Xinijang

VOAVideo: Exiled Uighur Leader Rebiya Kadeer Fights For Xinijang

Police and other security forces in China are trying to maintain peace in northwestern Xinjiang province following an outbreak earlier this month of some of the worst ethnic violence in the country in decades. Chinese authorities blame exiled Uighurs for fomenting the unrest, in particular an exiled Uighur political activist who now lives in the Washington, DC area. VOA's Chris Simkins has this profile of Rebiya Kadeer, who has gained new prominence in the wake of the disturbances.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Race Relations in Urumqi Face Uncertain Future

VOAVideo: Race Relations in Urumqi Face Uncertain Future

Tensions still remain between Han Chinese and Uighur Muslims following last week's violence in Urumqi, the capital of China's far-western Xinjiang region. Chinese authorities say 184 people were killed in the unrest, 137 of them were ethnic Han. Some Han and Uighur people insist the riots were an aberration in an otherwise harmonious interracial city. But other Uighurs accuse authorities of longstanding discrimination against ethnic minority Muslims. Alison Klayman has this report from Urumqi.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hold Your Horses!

WORDS AND THEIR STORIES: Today, we talk about about "horse" expressions. In the past, many people depended on horses for transportation, farming and other kinds of work. A lot of people still like to ride horses. And, horse racing is also popular. So it is not surprising that Americans still use expressions about the animals.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama Uses New Media to Reach Audiences

VOAVideo: Obama Uses New Media to Reach Audiences

President Obama arrived in Ghana Friday on his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa since assuming the presidency. The Obama administration has made the use of technologies a mainstay of its communication strategy, even on overseas trips. VOA's Julia Ritchey spoke to Macon Phillips, the president's director for new media, on how the White House is reaching more people abroad.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

National Hot Dog Day

Nathan's hot dog eating contest 2009: Joey Chesnut of San Jose defends sets world record with 68 dogs

Breaking News English: National Hot Dog Day
In the USA, July is National Hot Dog Month. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council decided that National Hot Dog Day would be around July 23rd every year...The main activity on this day is to eat hot dogs, but there are other activities and events.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

San Jose Obon Festival

The San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin’s Obon Festival will be held on Saturday, July 11 from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 12, from noon to 8 p.m. on Fifth Street near Jackson in San Jose’s Japantown.

For more info, call (408) 293-9292.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to Do It: Making Paper by Hand

VOANews: How to Do It: Making Paper by Hand

The earliest process of making paper was done almost five thousand years ago in Egypt and the Nile Valley. In those days, paper was made from strips of the papyrus plant. Modern paper-making began in China about two thousand years ago. This process produced paper from cloth, straw, wood or the bark of trees. The raw materials are struck over and over until they become loose. Then they are mixed with water. After the water has been removed, the flat, thin form remaining is permitted to dry. This becomes a sheet of paper.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Words and Their Stories: Fireworks

Words and Their Stories: Fireworks

WORDS AND THEIR STORIES Today we talk about the word fireworks. The expression fireworks gets its meaning from the fireworks that people shoot into the sky when they are celebrating a great event. Rockets explode to fill the dark, night sky with bright reds and blues, with yellows and greens and whites...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful
O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

O beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!

See Wikipedias's list of American Patriotic Songs

Search for and sing along with patriotic music videos on YouTube. I particularly enjoyed this video of America the Beautiful sung with gusto by the Gaither Vocal Band.

MUST SEE: Angela Tirado has been singing the National Anthem for naturalization ceremonies in San Jose, CA. This is the woman who leads my students in the Star Spangled Banner at their Oath Ceremony. [Video]

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day in Milpitas

If you want to go to the fireworks show, meet Teacher Jennifer under the OCEAN MARKET sign (corner of Calaveras & Park Victoria) at 8pm. Because it will be chilly, wear a light jacket and bring a lawn chair or something to sit on.
4th of July Events
Milpitas Sports Center
1325 E. Calaveras Blvd.

Milpitas celebrates our country’s Independence Day with a day of water fun at the Milpitas Sports Center Pools and an evening of music & ground fireworks on the Sports Center’s Football field.

Pool Party - 1:00-5:00 pm Milpitas Sports Center Pool
Music, games, fun and much more! BBQ lunch available for purchase from the Milpitas Firefighters Local 1699 (proceeds benefit the R.A.P. program) Please Note: Space may be limited at times due to pool capacity.

Concert & Fireworks - 8:00 pm-10:00 pm (Gates Open at 7:30 pm)
Milpitas Sports Center Football Field Come enjoy an evening of music by JamFunkShus and exciting fireworks. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the celebration! Fireworks will be at approximately 9:30 pm.

Please Note: No alcohol, glass containers or dogs/animals are allowed at these events. No BBQing/Tailgating in the parking lot. Personal fireworks are not allowed at this event. Fireworks are illegal in the City of Milpitas.