Sunday, December 31, 2023

New York City's Times Square Prepares for New Year’s Eve


Every December 31, New Yorkers and tourists alike flock to the Big Apple’s Times Square for the New Year's Eve celebration. Elena Wolf had a look at how the city prepares for the big event in this story narrated by Anna Rice. VOA footage by Max Avloshenko and Elena Matusovsky. 

USCIS 100:95. Where is the Statue of Liberty?* 

USCIS 100:100. Name two national U.S. holidays.

What is your special wish for the New Year?

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Getting Ready for the New Year!

VOA Learning English: English in a Minute: Turning over a New Leaf

Randall's ESL Listening Lab: Happy New Year 

  • “turn over a new leaf” = change personal habits
    • “I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf; I’m going to exercise three times a week and not play so many video games.”
  • “ring in the new year” = celebrate the new year
    • “We’re going to ring in the new year at my sister’s house next week.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2023


Kwanzaa is a week long celebration (Dec 25 to Jan 1) held in the United States to honor universal African heritage and culture. 

Kwanzaa is a celebration that came out of the black nationalist movement of the 1960s. 

It was created as a way to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage.

Every night, people light a candle on a kinara (candle holder) which represent Kwanzaa's principles: 

Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. (source)

Also checkout

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Boxing Day

EnglishClass101: Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on December 26, the day after Christmas Day in England and its former colonies. December 26 is also the feast day of St. Stephen who collected food and clothing and gave them to the poor.  On Boxing Day, workers would received boxes of food and small gifts from their employers.  Frequently, there were used  clothing or blankets in the boxes.

Recently, Boxing Day has gained popularity in America.  Many families "box up" unused clothes, electronics, and furniture and donate them to charitable organizations such as Goodwill.

Goodwill was started in 1902 by the Reverend Edgar J. Helms of Morgan Methodist Chapel in Boston. Helms and his congregation collected used household goods and clothing being discarded in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired the unemployed or poor to repair them. The products were then redistributed to those in need.

Today, Goodwill has become an international nonprofit that is funded by thrift stores and provides more than 300,000 people with job training and community services each year.  Goodwill also offers free online job skills and technology courses--learn more at 

In the spirit of Boxing Day, we encourage you to donate your unused goods or volunteer with your local civic or community groups.

Learn more about Boxing Day 
Learn more about Goodwill Industries

More organizations in San Jose/Milpitas that accept household goods donations and need volunteers.

Monday, December 18, 2023

MAE ESL 3 2023-12-18

Origami Crane: Easy Tutorial and Twelve Fun Facts

Also see: 

1000 Paper Cranes - The Sadako Sasaki Story pdf

Nuclear Free Deutschland: Sadako

Naia Shedd: The Story of 1000 Paper Cranes

UpLife: The Story of Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Holiday Stamps and Religious Freedom pdf (2020)

Peace Crane instructions pdf

More Origami folding guides: dover, heart, flapping wing crane

Monday, December 11, 2023

MAE ESL 3 2023-12-10

 ELLI: At the Doctor's Office: Health & Medicine Vocabulary

Oxford Picture Dictionary Medical Care and Dental Care Workbook 118-9

Future 3: Going to the Doctor pg 186-187 Lesson A and B

Health Stories: Allergic to Penicillin

Monday, December 4, 2023

MAE ESL 3 2023-12-05


MAE ESL 3 2023-12-04