Counting Songs

30 Nov

Students practice saying numbers. This is good practice even for advanced learners. They won’t believe it, but let them try. Step 1 In “Counting Song 1 – 7,” students sing along with the numbers: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, … Read More »

The Kitten Story

26 Nov

My father, Mac McCaughey, will tell a tale from when he was very small – far younger than he is in this photo to the right, which was probably snapped around 1953. Step 1 Key words to learn before listening: … Read More »

The Blind Date Story

20 Nov

Here I tell a story about a couple meeting on a blind date – meaning they had arranged a date without ever having actually seen each other before. Not too long ago I was working at the coffee shop where … Read More »

Sounds Of Celebration

14 Nov

You’re going to hear the sounds of Victory Day celebration in Vladivostok (May 9, 2004). Above the background sounds you will hear three native English speakers reciting a list of 15 words that have to do with this day. They … Read More »

What Does Pektopah Mean?

14 Nov

This song is based on a true story. It’s probably not very funny unless you’ve been to Russia, or Ukraine, or other former Soviet countries. If you want to do a quick language activity, listen to the “Brief -LY Clip” … Read More »

The Slavic Influence On American Music

14 Nov

There are American songs that nearly everyone in Russia (and in countries of the former USSR) seems to know, songs like “Summertime”, and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” But not everybody knows that the composers of these very American-sounding songs had … Read More »

The Animal List Song

14 Nov

This is a recycled version of the Counting Songs. Same music. But this time the singer sings a list of 21 creatures. The song is only 15 seconds long, but from it you get THREE great activities for students. The … Read More »

Teenage Years

9 Nov

This poem was written by Zhenya Dudina, 20, of Samara, Russia. Step 1 Try to fill in the missing words. They will rhyme with the final word of the preceding line, so that and the context are your clues. Teenage … Read More »

Greensleeves

8 Nov

This song is said to have been written by Henry VIII, King of England, in the 16th century. It’s a beautiful melody, although, it’s a questionable listening activity for non-English speakers because the language is so old. Still, that’s the … Read More »

A Wall Like You

4 Nov

My friend Bilby Lighthouse wrote this song. He played the piano and sang, and then I added a lot of wet backing vocals to irritate him. Although the song wasn’t written as an ESL activity, I’ve made it into one, … Read More »