American Views Of Chinese Immigrants

5 Dec

Here is a text about Chinese in America. I think my father Mac McCaughey does a fine job as the voice of Mark Twain. The Chinese have been in America a long time. They came in the 1850s during the … Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Albina’s Anchovy Story

30 Oct

Here is a Little Story written and recorded by Albina Krasnova of Samara, Russia. Step 1 Before engaging students in the listening task below, you might want to involve them in some pair discussions on the subject of pizza. 1. … Read More »

How Do You Say Remont?

15 Oct

If you live in a country where everyone knows the word remont, start off with these questions for pairs or small groups: 1. What are your associations with the word remont? Is it positive, neutral, or negative? 2. Think of your … Read More »