Sunday, February 28, 2010

The March 22nd Sacramento March for Education

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs with "hold"
  1. Click here for a list with definitions
  2. Exercise One
  3. Exercise Two
  4. Exercise Three
Speaking Practice: 

Here are some students like yourselves from CCSF Chinatown campus. Please take a look, then introduce yourself. We will make a story next week and send it to them. Maybe we can meet some of them in Sacramento, or in San Francisco. Click here for a new window.


What do you think about speaking up for education? I never thought I would need to attend protest rallies for education in California. I feel both sad and angry that our economy and government cannot financially support educating students of all ages. We are such a rich country! I believe strongly that getting an education can change lives. I know my education changed my life. I am glad we have the freedom to speak up for important things in many places in our world today. I know there have been many times in history all over the world when people could not speak up freely.

I remember clearly when my elder daughter was just a young toddler. We watched the Chinese students protesting in Tiannamen Square on television for hours together. This impressed her a lot because I rarely watched television. Her eyes and her mind were wide open with surprise and many questions. I tried my best to explain why I thought the students were doing a brave and good thing. I wanted her to grow up and not be afraid to speak up bravely. I am happy that she has grown up to be brave and to speak well!

This week, please click below on comments and try to answer at least one of these questions:
  1. What does your education mean to you?
  2. What do you think about peaceful protests? How do they help an important cause?
  3. Have you been to Sacramento on a student march. What was your experience like? Will you join us this year?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have you ever felt nervous about speaking English?

Grammar: How are you doing with present perfect? Have you made progress understanding this important verb? You can study some more today, or skip down to speaking, listening, or writing practice.

Present Perfect Review: You can skip this if you feel confident.


Job applications, resumes, and cover letters need to be perfect so you have a better chance of getting an interview. 

Speaking Practice:  

Last week, we finished our chapter about Job Interview and Job Applications. Some of you had a chance to practice answering job interview questions online. This week, you can practice more questions, or you can begin for the first time. 

If this is your first time, register for Voicethread today so you can record  answers to interview questions. If you registered last week, sign in and answer more questions. Also, you can listen to each other so you can learn from each other. Click here to answer interview questions.

Here is a great song about we handle the changes we face in life. What has been changing in your life? What have you been nervous about? What have you been looking forward to?


I have been learning new languages since I was a teenager. I have always thought the challenges of new languages are fascinating. Every language is amazing and beautiful to me. Also, I have been
teaching English for about twenty-eight years. I have not stopped enjoying my work as a teacher. My students have always made a positive impression on me. I think immigrants are some of the bravest, and most hard-working people in the world. People have been moving all over world for thousands of years. We move far from home to begin new lives, sometimes with a great sense of adventure. Sometimes people leave home for terribly sad reasons. I am happy that I chose a job that mixes my love of languages with the chance to watch history, and the chance to meet so many brave and interesting people, such as my students. 

What about you? Please click on comment and write.   
  1. What have you been doing for a long time? 
  2. Why have you been doing this? 
  3. What have you learned?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting Ready for Job Interview

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Listening Practice:

Click to listen to video advice about job interviews. The woman in this video will give you advice that we have discussed in class.  You can listen and write the missing words, too.

Speaking Practice: Practice answering job interview questions online. Register for Voicethread today so you can record  answers to interview questions. Click here for a bigger window.

Reading: Read my interview story. Write your interview story as a comment below.

When I got ready for job interview as a teacher at City College, I had to do a lot of difficult work. I felt nervous most of the time, and had to try my best to feel confident about myself. After I sent a long cover letter with my resume and application, I was so excited to get an interview. At that time, the college was not hiring many teachers, so there was a lot of competition. For this reason, I was excited about getting an interview, but the interview was not a guarantee of a job. I knew I had to prepare for the next big step, the group interview with a lesson plan.

In our interview, applicants had to write original lessons about a newspaper article about culture in China. All of the teachers who had interviews had to create a lesson for the same newspaper article. I needed to explain how I would teach the vocabulary, and how I would handle students' questions. I needed to try out my lesson if possible, so I went to a new class and tried out my lesson. That way I could report about my experience during the interview. In addition to knowing my lesson, and my profession, I also had to understand a lot about all of City College, not just the ESL department. I had to learn about the CCSF administration in more detail.

Being relaxed, prepared, and confident was more difficult than I expected. I remember feeling so tired from all of the stress. However, I will always be grateful for all of my preparation because I got hired in a fantastic college. Getting ready for the interview took months of work, and lots of mental energy, but the outcome was perfect for me. I wish you all good energy for getting ready, feeling confident, and finding a great job.

Click on comment, then write about your interview experience from the past, or your ideas about an interview in your future. You can write and post at home, too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Help for Haiti


This week at school, your student council will have a fundraiser for the earthquake survivors in Haiti. Our campus has collected donations for hurricane, tsunami, and earthquake many times. We will send our donations to Partners in Health. This is a group that has been working in Haiti for more than twenty years. The group has focused on food and medical needs. You can listen to a video about this group today. The video explains how we can know where our donation dollars, quarters and pennies can help the most. Click here for the video.

Also, last Friday in class, we listened to a story about "Hope for Haiti," a telethon fundraiser. You can listen again today. Just click here. Pay attention to the vocabulary we learned in class. 

Finally, here is an extra listening lesson about the Toyota recall. We have been following this story in our class. You might appreciate listening to the BBC news about the problems with these well-known cars. 


Do you have personal or family story about being in a disaster, or an accident? Write about your story this week. I have been in many earthquakes, but I have never been in a terrible earthquake. I had very few problems in the 1989 earthquake. My home and family were all fine, even though we had so much damage in San Francisco. Since I have never been in a big disaster, I wrote about my sister. She lived in an apartment that was dangerously flooded. You can read her story below. Click on comment at the bottom of this page, and write your story! 

Please write about:
  • a disaster or storm that you have been in.
  • a disaster or storm that a friend or family has been in. 
Tell the story with careful grammar and spelling. You can write in the comment box, but it is a little small to look at. You can also write your story in Word first. It might be easier to use! Then you can copy and paste into the comment box. It's up to you!