All About Nerds

5 Dec

Step 1 First take this true/false test to see if you have an understanding of nerds. Guess if you are not sure.  Discuss. ______ 1.  Nerds like books or computers, possibly both. ______ 2.  Nerds bump into things and are … Read More »

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

5 Dec

This is a Christmas song from the early 19th century. Thus, its English is not particularly useful to today’s students. You can see the old form for plural “you” (ye) which isn’t too handy nowadays, for instance. God Rest Ye, … Read More »

The Buffalo Gals Song

4 Dec

“Gal” is another word for “girl”. “Buffalo” is a city. First, listen to the song and figure out the words. Once that’s done, you are going to do a dance. Chorus: Buffalo Gals, won’t you come out tonight, Come out … Read More »

Benny, An Athabascan Native-Speaker

1 Dec

Benny is a Navajo and works as a guide, taking visitors into Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Canyon de Shay) in eastern Arizona. Benny grew up in the canyon, and didn’t begin to learn English until he was twelve. Benny’s native language … Read More »

I-Chun, Who Had To Move To Europe

1 Dec

Listen to the brief interview with I-Chun. She is a writer living now in Europe. On the first listening, take a top-down approach – going for the main information. Answer these questions: 1. Where has I-Chun lived? 2. Where is … Read More »

Eavesdropping at a Party

1 Dec

Let’s eavesdrop on a party. You’ll have to dig out phrases from the background noise. Write them down as you listen (best done in pairs so that learners can help each other). Some phrases are loud and clear and some … Read More »

Kevin’s Favorite Food Waltz

1 Dec

Here is another list song. That means you can just play it, and students will write as fast as they can, trying to list all the favorite foods that are sung. You’ll also learn a bit about cuisine in America … Read More »

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 »