Level 2


unit 1

(Male voice 1)
My name is John. I am from California. I am an electrician. I like video games and watching TV shows. I like to spend time alone.

(Male voice 2) My name is Antonio. I am from California. I am a gardener. I like to spend time with my friends. We like to exercise and watch TV shows together.

(Female voice 1) Hi, my name is Cristina. I am from El Salvador. I speak Spanish and English. I am a nurse. I like gardening, eating out at restaurants, and playing soccer. I also really like horror movies. I am an outgoing person.

(Female voice 2) Hello, my name is Larissa and I am from Brazil. I speak Portuguese, Spanish, and English. I am a teacher. I love watching romantic movies with my friends. I also like eating out at restaurants, running, and playing tennis. I am an outgoing person.

Pizza is the best food! I love it because it starts with the basics: a crust, tomato sauce, and cheese. Then you can add whatever you want. Most people add different meats and vegetables. There are so many different kinds of pizza. I like eating pizza at restaurants. I am also learning how to make pizza at home because pizza is the best!

I think running is the worst exercise. Running can be very difficult if you have problems with your joints. For example, my knees hurt when I run. There are other exercises that can be better for you than running. I think walking is better. Swimming is also good. I never want to go running – it’s the worst.

unit 2

Hi, I want to talk about my great-grandmother today. She is very special to me. First of all, my great-grandmother’s name is Dolly, and she is 95 years old. She is from Germany. Now, I will tell you about her hobbies. Grandma Dolly loves cooking and gardening. Also, she is always helping other people. One reason she is so special is because she ran her own business for over 50 years! Finally, my favorite memory of my great grandma is working with her in her store during the summer. Overall, I am very close to my Grandma Dolly, and I love being with her.

In my opinion, children should be paid for chores. First, they learn to work. This will prepare them to have a job in the future. Second, it motivates them to do the work. Parents don’t have to tell them to do the chores over and over because the children want to be paid. Third, they learn about the consequences. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. In conclusion, I think it is a good idea to pay children to do chores.

Exercise 20. Listen to the pairs of sentences. Circle the word you hear.

Number 1. A. Here’s your pill. Here’s your pill. B. Here’s your bill. Here’s your bill.

Number 2. A. This is not a good place to park. This is not a good place to park. B. This is not a good place to bark. This is not a good place to bark.

Number 3. A. Is this your cab? Is this your cab? B. Is this your cap? Is this your cap?

Number 4. A. That dog is rabid. That dog is rabid. B. That dog is rapid. That dog is rapid

Exercise 22. Listen to the pairs of sentences. Circle the word you hear.

Number 1. A. This is a black van. This is a black van. B. This is a black fan. This is a black fan.

Number 2. A. The boat is fast. The boat is fast. B. The boat is vast. The boat is vast.

Number 3. A. What a great safe! What a great safe! B. What a great save! What a great save!

Number 4. A. My grandfather shuffles slowly. My grandfather shuffles slowly. B. My grandfather shovels slowly. My grandfather shovels slowly.

Exercise 24. Listen to the pairs of sentences. Circle the word you hear.

Number 1. A. He got a cut on his shin. He got a cut on his shin. B. He got a cut on his chin. He got a cut on his chin.

Number 2. A. Please, watch the dog. Please, watch the dog. B. Please, wash the dog. Please, wash the dog.

Number 3. A. Are you going to shop for carrots? Are you going to shop for carrots? B. Are you going to chop up carrots? Are you going to chop up carrots?

Number 4. A. Look at that chip. Look at that chip. B. Look at that ship. Look at that ship.

Exercise 26. Listen to the pairs of sentences. Circle the word you hear.

Number 1. A. Did you sip it? Did you sip it? B. Did you zip it? Did you zip it?

Number 2. A. That racer is very good. That racer is very good. B. That razor is very good. That razor is very good.

Number 3. A. What is the price? What is the price? B. What is the prize? What is the prize?

Number 4. A. The ice is nice. The ice is nice. B. Her eyes are nice. Her eyes are nice.

unit 3

Theme Vocab Introduction

Tim: Hey, Jeff! How are you?
Jeff: I’m good. How are you?
Tim: I’m great! Hey, do you want to hang out tomorrow?
Jeff: Sorry, I can’t. I’m really busy.
Tim: Oh, that’s too bad. What are you busy doing?
Jeff: Well, every day I wake up at 6am and I exercise. Then I eat breakfast and get ready for work. I work at 8am.
Tim: Where do you work?
Jeff: I work at the bank.
Tim: Do you get any breaks?
Jeff: Yes, I eat lunch at noon and then I get off work at 5pm.
Tim: What about after work? What do you do?
Jeff: After work, I drive home and make dinner. Sometimes I buy dinner at a restaurant. Then I clean my house. I wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, and sweep and vacuum the floors. Then I go to bed at 9pm.
Tim: Wow, you are very busy! What about on the weekend? Are you free on Saturday?
Jeff: Yes, I have some time on Saturday. How about I come over at 2pm and we can watch the game together?
Tim: Sounds great!

Wh- Question Chart #1

Mom: Hey, honey. How was soccer practice?
Son: Not so good.
Son: Well, I was at practice after school, on the soccer field, when I realized that I forgot my shin guards. I had my uniform and my shoes, but I didn’t have my shin guards on. So, when I was playing, the other boys kept kicking my legs and there was nothing to protect them.
Mom: Oh no. Why did you forget your shin guards?
Son: My teacher wanted to talk to me after school, so I was late to practice. I got dressed so fast and I forgot to put on my shin guards. I felt really embarrassed and now my legs hurt.
Mom: I’m so sorry. Let’s get you some ice and medicine. Hopefully, next time, you will remember to put them on so this doesn’t happen again.

Wh- Question Chart #2

Husband: Hey, how was work today?
Wife: It was terrible. Work has been terrible all week.
Husband: Do you want to talk about it?
Wife:  Sure, I guess. I do my morning routine like I normally do. I get dressed, I brush my teeth, and do my hair and makeup. I drive to work and then I am grumpy all day. Nothing seems to go right. My coworkers are annoying, my boss is mean, and it is hard to do my work. Today was especially bad.
Husband: What happened?
Wife: Traffic was bad on the way to work. There were so many cars on the road, and it took a long time to get to work. Because of the traffic, I was late to work. My boss yelled at me and reprimanded me for being late in front of everyone. He said I might even lose my job if it happens again. I was so upset all day.
Husband: Wow, I am so sorry. Your boss shouldn’t have reprimanded you in front of everyone. He should have talked to you about his concerns in private. I have a suggestion that might make your mornings better though. Do you want to hear it?
Wife: What is it?
Husband: I noticed that you didn’t eat breakfast all week. It might help you feel better if you do. I can make you breakfast when I get up if that helps.
Wife: Yeah, that would be nice. I’ve been busier than usual in the morning. I’ll try eating breakfast and see if it helps.

Details Fill in the Blank

Hi, I’m Mike and this is my daily routine. I get up early every day, around 6:30 and I go to the gym to exercise before I go to work. I usually run on the treadmill and then lift weights for 30 minutes. Then I go home and turn on my computer so I can start working. I usually skip breakfast and I’ll work until about 12:00. Then I eat a big lunch because I don’t eat breakfast. After lunch, I go back to work on my computer. I am usually done around 5:00. After work, I
call my girlfriend. She lives in a different state right now, so we don’t get to see each other often. We usually talk on the phone for a couple of hours and then I got to sleep around 10pm.

Details MC Questions

Man 1: Hey! How’s it going? I heard your wife had a baby! Congratulations!
Man 2: Thanks! It’s exciting, but it is also a lot of work.
Man 1: Really? Has your schedule changed a lot?
Man 2: Yes, in some ways. I still go to work Monday through Friday, so I have those same responsibilities. But now, when I get home, I don’t get to just relax. I used to be able to watch sports when I got home and sit on the couch for hours. Now, when I get home, I help my wife with the baby. I change the baby’s diapers; I help feed him bottles; and I hold him a lot. Sometimes I can still sit down and watch a football game while I hold him. But if he starts crying, I have to walk around the house with him until he calms down.
Man 1: Sounds like you are always busy!
Man 2: Yeah…but the biggest schedule changes have been for my wife. She used to work in an office, but now she is home all the time with the baby. She wakes up a few times every night to feed the baby. Then she has to be up early with the baby too. Sometimes she can take a nap during the day when the baby naps. She is also cleaning the house and taking care of the baby all day. She is amazing! I try to help anyway I can when I come home from work. Being a new parent is hard work, but it is also very special.

Listen for the /s/, /z/, or /ɪz/ sounds at the end of each word. Mark the sound you hear.

1. helps…helps
2. creates…creates
3. fixes…fixes
4. gives…gives
5. knows…knows
6. churches…churches
7. cliffs…cliffs
8. plums…plums
9. freezes…freezes
10. books…books

Hi, my name is Naomi. I get up every morning at 6am. I eat breakfast and I go to work. I start work at 8am. I am a hospital custodian. I have a lot of responsibilities in my job. I sweep and mop the floors. I also clean the beds and change the sheets. I leave work in the evening and make dinner. I watch TV and go to bed at 10pm.

unit 4

  1. Tonight, I want to eat at a new restaurant, but I can’t decide which one.
  2. I am making steak and potatoes for dinner.
  3. My brother offered to make dinner for me, but he is not a very good cook.
  4. We have a lot of lettuce, so we are making a salad.
  5. Simmer the pot of water and steam the vegetables for 8 minutes.
  6. My doctor said I need to eat healthier, so I am eating more fruits and vegetables now.

 Son: Hey, Dad. Can you show me how you made that grilled cheese sandwich the other day? I really liked it and want to learn how to make it myself. 

Dad: Sure! First, get two slices of bread. Next, spread butter on only one side of the bread. Then, place the first slice in a pan with the butter side down. After that, put one or two slices of cheese on the bread. Then, put the second piece of bread on top with the butter side facing up. Then, turn on the stove and cook the sandwich until both sides are slightly brown and the cheese is melted. You will need to flip the sandwich halfway through so both sides are cooked. Finally, turn off the stove and the sandwich is done. 

Son: Okay, that sounds pretty easy. Can I try to make it today for lunch? 

Dad: Sure, but you have to clean up after you’re done! 


Daughter: Hey mom, I’m calling because I have a quick cooking question. 

Mom: Okay. What do you need help with? 

Daughter: Well, I am in charge of making mashed potatoes for a potluck dinner I am going to, but I have never made them by myself. What do I do? 

Mom: Well, first, you need to wash and peel the potatoes. After that, chop the potatoes into small pieces. You can cook them whole, but that takes more time. I like to slice them into thin circles. 

Daughter: Could I dice them too? Cut them into little squares? 

Mom: Yes, that works too. Next, place the chopped potatoes into a large pot of water. The water should cover the potatoes. Then, turn on the heat to high and boil the water and potatoes. Keep boiling the potatoes until they are soft.  

Daughter: How will I know they are soft? 

Mom: You can poke them with a fork and the fork should go right through. Next, drain the water and then use an electric mixer or a potato masher to mash the potatoes. I like to use the electric mixer to beat the potatoes so they are really smooth.  

Daughter: Okay, that’s a good idea. 

Mom: Finally, add some milk, butter, salt and pepper and mix it all together. Taste it to make sure you added enough salt and pepper. 

Daughter: That’s it? I think I can do that. 

Mom: Call me if you have any more questions. 

Daughter: Thanks, Mom! Love you! 

Mom: Love you, too. Bye! 

Laura: Welcome to Cooking with Laura. Today we’re going to be making one of my family’s favorite breakfasts- Pumpkin Pancakes! 

Woman: Who doesn’t love pumpkin? 

Man: Or pancakes? (all laugh) 

Laura: Exactly! So, this is a pretty easy recipe, perfect for a fall morning – or any morning for that matter. First, we will start with the dry ingredients. We’re going to take 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Then, stir all those ingredients together in bowl. After that, you are going to take a second bowl and mix your wet ingredients – 2 eggs, ¼ cup of water, 2 cups of buttermilk, and 1 cup of pumpkin puree. You know my daughter called me the other day… 

Man: Oh? 

Laura: Yeah, she was making these same pancakes for her kids. It was a Saturday morning, and she calls me all panicked. She says, “Mom! I have all the ingredients mixed in the bowl already, but when I looked in the fridge, I couldn’t find buttermilk! What do I do?” 

Woman: Oh no! 

Laura: Yeah, the poor thing. I could hear her kids yelling in the background. I told her, “Honey, do you have milk and lemon juice?” She did. It’s actually a simple substitution. For every cup of buttermilk, use a cup of milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar instead. Either one works! Let it sit for 5 minutes and you will notice it will start to get thick. 

Woman: Oh really? That’s good to know. I hardly ever have buttermilk on hand, but that sounds like an easy solution. 

Laura: Anyway, now we are going to mix our wet and dry ingredients into one bowl. Then beat the ingredients together until they are combined. Next, we’re going to pour the batter onto the skillet, into little circles like this. Finally, after a couple minutes, flip them over, cook them on the other side, and just like that you have delicious pumpkin pancakes. 

Man: Wow! 

Laura: These are really good with cinnamon syrup, but I’ll show you how to make that later. 

Woman: Sounds good. 

1. Did you eat lunch today?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. Are you a good cook?

4. Do you drink milk every day?

5. Where do you eat breakfast?

6. Do you often eat at restaurants?

unit 5

My hometown is a city called Vacaville, California and I would like to tell you some of the things I like about it. First, Vacaville has lots of shopping. For example, we have a large shopping mall and many outlet stores to buy clothes, shoes, and other things. It is fun to go shopping with friends and family there. Second, my hometown has good schools. For instance, there are three high schools and 14 elementary schools. In addition, these schools have great qualities such as great teachers and the students do well on tests. It is a good place to raise children because of this. Third, the weather is nice. For example, spring and fall are very nice with temperatures between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. The summer is hot with high temperatures, like temperatures between 100 and 120 degrees. But the winter is very mild. For example, it never gets colder than 50 degrees during the day. My hometown is great. It has good shopping, schools, and weather. You should visit it if you get the chance. Thank you for listening to my presentation.

1: Hey, what did you do last weekend?

2: Oh, I went to the farmers’ market!

1: Really? Where is that?

2: It’s in the big park downtown. It’s just a little south of the hospital. It’s next to a drugstore, a big financial institution, and that one cafe that you and I went to a few months ago.

1: Okay, I know where that is. So, what do you do at a farmers’ market?

2: Well, there’s lots to do! First, you can buy produce from local farmers. That’s why it’s called a farmers’ market. For instance, there are a lot of stands or booths with fruits and vegetables, like peaches and squash.

1: Cool. So, is it just produce?

2: No, they also have local vendors who sell things that they make, such as jewelry, art, and sometimes even clothing. They also have food to eat, too.

1: Really, like what?

2: Well, for example, they sometimes have stands set up by local restaurants and they have food trucks too. They offer all kinds of food, like Mexican food, Chinese food, Polynesian food, etc.

1: Wow, that sounds like fun. Do they have a farmers market every day?

2: No, but it is every Saturday in the summer and fall. Do you want to go together next weekend?

1: Sounds great!

1: Hey, I’m new in town and I don’t know where to go shopping. Can you help?

2: Sure! I’d be happy to help. For grocery shopping, you have a few options. I like to shop at Walmart because it’s cheap, but Smith’s and Kohler’s are also good options.

1: Great, thanks. What about clothes shopping?

2: Well, you have a lot of options for clothes shopping if you are willing to travel to nearby cities. There is a mall about 20 minutes north of here. They have a lot of department stores. There is also an outlet mall here in town with lots of small clothing stores. Other than that, there are other clothing stores like Kohl’s, Maurices, and Old Navy.

1: It sounds like there are lots of options. What about furnishing my new apartment? Where can I buy furniture and home decor?

2: Well, Costco sometimes has good furniture options if you have a membership. There are also furniture stores such as RC Willey and Ashley HomeStores. For home decor, I like to shop at Target, but there are also other small boutiques.

1: Wow, this town has everything I need. Thanks so much!

Adult Child: Mom, I am so glad that you have come to visit me. It’s getting close to dinnertime. Are you hungry?

Mom: Yeah, it was a long drive to get here. Let’s get food at a restaurant so we don’t have to cook. It will be on me.

Adult Child: Well, we have lots of options. If you like Chinese food, there’s China Island or China Cafe.

Mom: I’m not in the mood for Chinese food.

Adult Child: There are other types of Asian food, like Thai food, Vietnamese food, or Korean Barbeque.

Mom: Maybe… What else is there?

Adult Child: There are American diners, such as The Square Pancake, All-American Diner, Pizza House, or Bill’s Burgers.

Mom: What about Mexican food? I might be in the mood for that.

Adult Child: Oh, well we have some great Mexican restaurants, such as Taqueria Las Hermanas and Paco’s Tamales. My favorite is Trujillo’s Mexican Restaurant though.

Mom: Let’s go there! 

*As you read these words, give emphasis to the capitalized letters and repeat each word twice.

  1. BARbershop
  2. BOWling
  3. COffee
  4. dePARTment
  5. STAtion
  6. GROcery
  7. HOSpital
  8. hoTEL
  9. LAUNdromat
  10. THEater
  11. muSEum
  12. PHARmacy
  13. poLICE
  14. OFfice
  15. SHOPping

unit 6

  1. I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16? But it was Exit 60?
  2.  I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16. But it was Exit 60.
  3. Oh, I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16…But it was Exit 60…
  4. Oh, I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16! But it was Exit 60.
  5. You told me to get off the highway at Exit 16! But it was 60!
  6. Wow! I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 60, but it was 16! We are going to be there so much sooner!
  7. Oh no! I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16! But it was Exit 60! What am I going to do?
  8. Ugh. I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16…But it was Exit 60.
  9. Ha! I thought you said to get off the highway at Exit 16! But it was SIXTY!
  10. I thought you told me to get off the highway at Exit 16…But it was Exit 60…Oh well.

Woman: You’re so late!  

Man: Oh, I’m so sorry! Everything went wrong on my way here. 

Woman: What happened? 

Man: Well, I normally take the Number 36 bus to get from my house to your house, right? But today I’m not sure what happened because the Number 36 bus never came to the stop! I waited for 30 minutes. 

Woman: Oh. The Number 36 bus doesn’t come on Sundays. 

Man: Yeah, that’s what a lady at the bus stop told me. 

Woman: So, what did you do? 

Man: I took the Number 17 bus. It takes a longer way to get to your house, but it was my only option. But because the Number 36 bus doesn’t run on Sundays, the other bus was really crowded. I had to stand most of the time, and it was really hot because the air conditioning wasn’t working well, so everyone around me was sweaty and smelly.  

Woman: Aww, that sounds awful. 

Man: I finally got to sit down and the woman next to me started talking and talking and talking. I was so distracted that I missed the stop for your house! 

Woman: Oh no! 

Man: So, I got off at the next stop and had to walk five blocks in this terrible weather. That’s why I’m late.  

Man: Where did you go last weekend? 

Woman: I went to Monterey, California! 

Man: Fun! What did you do? 

Woman: I went kayaking in the bay and shopped at some of the stores on the pier. But my favorite part was the bike ride I took. 

Man: Why’s that? 

Woman: Well, it was just so peaceful and beautiful! I rented a bike while I was there and rode on a trail that followed the coast, so I could always hear and see the ocean. The view was beautiful and the weather was perfect. There was a cool breeze and the sun was out. I rode for several miles, and it was nice to be outside by myself and enjoy nature. 

Man: That sounds nice. 

1: I am planning to take a trip home to see my parents for Thanksgiving. 

2: That’s great! Don’t they live far away? 

1: Yeah, they live several states away. I usually fly home, but I was thinking of taking the train. I heard it can be cheaper. It just takes more time. Have you ever taken a train? 

2: Yes, I have. I enjoyed it. 

1: Can you tell me a little about what it is like? 

2: Well, riding a train is similar to riding a plane in some ways. You will need to buy a ticket and bring some form of identification, like a photo ID or a passport. However, like you said, a train trip can be longer than a plane ride, so you will need other things, too. 

1: Okay, like what? 

2: I would recommend bringing personal care items. You know… soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, lotion, et cetera. There are bathrooms on board and showers that you can use. 

1: That makes sense. 

2: You will also want to bring your own snacks and water. There are things you can buy but it is nicer to have your own. You will also want to bring things to help you pass the time. I like to bring books, noise-canceling headphones, and my laptop. The train has Wi-Fi, so I try to get some work done while I travel. 

1: Okay, those are great suggestions. So, do I have to stay in my seat the whole time? 

2: No, if you get a sleeping room, there is a bed to sleep in. If you don’t and you just buy a seat ticket, you can still get up and walk around the train. And there are also stops along the way. The train will stop to let people on and off. You can walk around outside, but you want to pay attention to when the train is leaving again so you don’t miss it! 

1: Yeah, that would be bad. 

2: But, overall, riding the train is a pretty relaxing way to travel and you can meet so many people from many places as you travel. 

  1. Miles is 13 years old.
  2. I rode my bike 60 miles today.
  3. My ninety-year-old grandmother goes dancing every month.
  4. Michael graduated in 2019.
  5. Melissa was born in 1980.
  6. Sue invited 50 people to her birthday party.
  7. Last night, I wrote a 17-page paper.
  8. The art museum has 30 new paintings.
  9. The taxi drove me 14 blocks.
  10. Many Americans get their driver’s license when they turn 16.

unit 7

1: Hey, I heard you got a new job. What are you doing again?

2: I got a job as a truck driver.

1: Nice! Do you like it?

2: Well, like any job, there are things I like and things I don’t like about it.

1: Okay, so why do you like it?

2: Well, I like it because I get to see new places. I go to cities all over the country.

1: That’s pretty cool.

2: And because I like working by myself, it’s a good job for me. It’s also nice since the pay is good.

1: It sounds like a good fit. Why do you not like your job sometimes?

2: Well, it’s a hard job because of the schedule. Sometimes I have to get up really early and other times I have to drive all night. It’s also really hard since I am away from home all the time and I hardly ever see my family.

1: Yeah, I could see how that would be hard.

1: Thanks for coming in today and for applying for the cashier position. 

2: I’m happy to be here! Thanks for the opportunity. 

1: To get started, I’m going to ask you a few questions about your experience and then you can ask me questions. 

2: Sounds great. 

1: Okay, so can you give me examples of previous work you’ve done that is similar to this position? 

2: Well, I have been a cashier before. For example, I worked at a grocery store in high school. I also have worked in similar positions, such as customer service and sales. 

1: Okay, good. Can you tell me why you left your last job?  

2: Well, I left my last job because I moved to a new city, and it was too far to commute. 

1: Okay, and why do you want this job? 

2: I want this job because the schedule will work well for me and my family. And also, because I like helping people and working with a lot of different people. I think this job will be very good for me. 

1: Thanks. Those are good qualities to have for a job like this.

I got my first job in 2006 when I was fifteen years old. I worked at a local bookstore. I worked there in high school. When I went to college in 2009, I worked at a catering company. We set up tables, chairs, and decorations at big events, served food, and cleaned up at the end. Then in 2011, I became a nanny for a family with two kids. After I graduated college in 2013, I got a job as an elementary school teacher. I went back to school for another degree, and I started my own business in 2021. I own and run a preschool now. 

  1. argued. I argued with my brother. argued.
  2. started. I started a new job last week. started.
  3. shared. She shared dinner with me. shared.
  4. asked. My boss asked me to come in early. asked.
  5. avoided. We avoided the busy roads. avoided.
  6. listened. I listened to the training video. listened.
  7. finished. I finished work early yesterday. finished.
  8. touched. He touched the hot stove. touched.
  9. cheated. She cheated on the test. cheated.
  10. lived. I lived in Canada for two years. lived.

unit 8

1: Hi, I’m Mateo. I’m from Mexico and I have lived in the United States for 5 years. I think that Christmas is the best holiday. In Mexico, we celebrate on December 24th, but Americans mostly celebrate on the 25th. Christmas is the best because everyone is focused on giving to others and spending time together. I also have a lot of family Christmas traditions that make it a special holiday. 

2: My name is Amy and I’m from Hong Kong. I really like New Year’s Eve. I think that it’s the best U.S. holiday. It’s my favorite because I really like the idea of starting a new year with new goals. I also like celebrating with my friends at midnight. 

3: Hello, I’m Kamola and I’m from Uzbekistan. I have lived in the U.S. for 15 years. When I first moved here, it was really hard to find work and I didn’t have much money. I met a lady who invited me to have Thanksgiving dinner with her family and I was so grateful that she would share her home and food with me. In my opinion, Thanksgiving is the best U.S. holiday because it is a day to show gratitude and love. 

4: I’m Gabriela and I’m from Argentina. I moved to the U.S. 2 years ago to study English. There are a lot of differences between the U.S. and Argentina. One difference is the holidays we celebrate. In Argentina, we don’t celebrate Halloween, but I believe that it is the best U.S. holiday. I really enjoy dressing up and handing out candy to all of the kids who come around the neighborhood. I think it is just a good way to have fun. 

5: Hi, I’m Paulo. I am from Brazil. My sister married an American a few years ago and I enjoy visiting my family in the U.S. I went last summer and celebrated the 4th of July with them. I prefer the 4th of July to other U.S. holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day. They are similar, but I like the 4th of July better because of the great parades and fireworks displays. My family had a big barbeque and we got to set off fireworks in their front yard with some neighbors.

1: I am thinking about moving abroad for a year. 

2: Really? That would be a big change. 

1: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I think it could be a really exciting opportunity, but I also believe it could be really hard to move to a new country. 

2: Maybe we should talk about pros and cons. It might help you figure it out. 

1: Okay, right. That might help. So pros… Well, the main reason I want to go is to learn a new language. I also think it would be a great opportunity to travel to new places and meet new people.  

2: There might be really great food too. And you will have new experiences in a new culture. 

1: Yeah, that could be really good, but it’s also part of what scares me. 

2: What do you mean? 

1: Well with a new culture, there might be social rules that I don’t know about or understand. At the beginning, I will have a hard time understanding people because I won’t know the language yet. 

2: That’s true. 

1: I also think that moving to a new country is complicated. There is a lot of paperwork and it can be expensive too. It might also be hard to find a job before I get there. But more than anything, I am worried about missing home, you know? Getting homesick. 

2: I understand what you’re saying, but I think you shouldn’t let homesickness keep you from doing something that could be life changing for you. 

1: You really think so? 

2: Yeah, I think you should do it. 

1: Okay! Thanks for talking to me about it. It really helped me think it through. 

1: So, you know how here in the U.S., we eat our biggest meal of the day between 5 and 7pm? 

2: Yeah… 

1: Well, I just learned that other countries eat their biggest meals at different times. For example, some people eat their biggest meal around noon, other people eat it around 4 and then there are places where they don’t eat until 10 o’clock at night. 

2: Yeah, there are a lot of different customs around food and eating in other cultures. 

1: Yeah, it’s been really interesting to learn about. But it got me thinking…When do you think is the best time to eat the biggest meal of the day? 

2: Well, like you said, we eat our biggest meal at night here, but I don’t think that’s the best way to do it. I actually prefer eating my biggest meal in the afternoon. 

1: Really? Why? 

2: Well, I feel like it gives me better energy for the day. When I eat at night, I feel like I don’t have time for food to digest before I go to bed, but when I eat a big meal at lunchtime, I have the rest of the day to digest it. 

1: That’s true… 

2: Also, according to some studies, it is better for weight loss. And in another study, it stated that eating late can cause trouble sleeping and digestion problems. Eating a big meal at lunchtime would get rid of those problems. 

1: Well, that’s all really interesting. So, do you always eat your biggest meal in the afternoon. 

2: No, it’s hard to eat a big meal in the middle of the day because of our culture here. My family is used to eating a big meal later in the day. Also, with work, I only have a short lunch break and I don’t always have time to prepare and eat a big meal in the middle of the day. I still believe that it is better to eat a big meal at lunchtime, but it is sometimes difficult to actually eat a big meal at that time. 

Hearing the difference between the words can and can’t is difficult for English language learners. English speakers often don’t fully pronounce the final t in can’t. Listen to these sentences and their explanations. 

  • I can understand you. 

In this sentence, can changes to sound like “kin.” “I kin understand you.” 

Here’s the next sentence: 

  • I can’t understand you. 

In this sentence, the t is barely pronounced, and the n sound is more nasal (in your nose) and a. little longer. The vowel sound stays the same. Can’t. Also, in this sentence – “I can’t understand you” – can’t is shorter and faster than can in the first sentence. 

Listen to them both again and see if you can hear the differences. 

  • I can understand you. 
  • I can’t understand you. 

  1. I can sing in the shower. 
  2. I can’t dance in public.
  3. I need to know that I can count on you. 
  4. I can still hear it. 
  5. We can’t lose this money. 
  6. I can’t get milk from the store. 
  7. He can help you tomorrow. 
  8. We can’t go together. 
  9. She can’t make it. 
  10. They can talk to you. 

unit 9

1: Hey, Jonathan! Are you okay? You look confused… 

2: Hi, Roger. Yeah, I’m confused. My girlfriend wants to go see a new play this weekend, but I have no idea what I am doing. I don’t know anything about buying theater tickets or even what to wear! 

1: You’ve never seen a play before? 

2: Nope. Have you? 

1: Yeah, lots of times. In fact, I saw a new play last weekend. Do you want some help? 

2: Yes! Thank you! 

1: Okay, so are you on the theater website? 

2: Yes. 

1: Okay, to start off, you are going to pick your seats and buy your tickets. I like to pick something in the middle of the theater…yeah those look good. 

2: Okay. My tickets are being emailed to me. What do I do when I get there? 

1: I’ll tell you about my experience. Maybe that will help. First, I bought my tickets before, like you just did. Then, on the night of the play, I got dressed up. You don’t have to wear fancy clothes, but it’s fun to dress up in nicer clothes for things like this. 

2: Okay, right. 

1: After that, we drove to the theater early. You want to get there about 30 minutes before the play starts in order to park your car, walk to the theater, and find your seats. When we got to the theater, we showed our tickets at the front of the theater and were given a playbill. That’s the paper that has all of the information about the play. 

2: And how did you know where to go when you got inside? It’s a big theater. Are there signs? 

1: Yes, there are. After we got in, we talked to an usher to show us to our seats. They were wearing red vests and they were very helpful. Then, we sat and watched the play. However, most plays have what is called an intermission. 

2: What’s that? 

1: About halfway through the show, we took a break. During this time, you can get up and walk around, buy food or drinks, and use the bathroom. Then, you go back to your seats after the intermission to watch the rest of the play. 

2: That’s pretty different than the movie theater. You have to take care of all that stuff before the movie starts. 

1: Mmhmm. Eventually, the play ended, and everyone stood up and clapped their hands. This is called a “standing ovation” and lets the actors know that they performed well. 

2: Okay. I feel a little less nervous now. Thanks for your help! 

1: No problem. Enjoy the play this weekend! 

1: What are you reading? 

2: I’m trying to read “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, but it is confusing! The language is hard to read, and I do not understand what is going on at all! Have you read it? 

1: Yeah, it’s a good one, but I agree Shakespeare can be hard to understand at first. It helps me to understand more if I can understand the plot. Do you want me to summarize it for you? 

2: That would be great. 

1: Alright, first, there are twins – Sebastian and Viola- and they both survive a shipwreck, but they believe that their sibling is dead. So, Viola starts working for Count Orsino, but she dresses like a man and pretends to be a man named “Cesario” to get the job. 

2: Sounds complicated. Then what happens? 

1: Next, Count Orsino wants to marry Lady Olivia, so he sends “Cesario” to give Lady Olivia love letters, but Olivia sees Cesario (Viola dressed up like a man) and falls in love with him. However, Viola is secretly in love with Orsino. 

2: Oh…it’s a love triangle. Everyone is in love with someone else. 

1: Yep! Then, we find out that Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, is alive. He comes to town and Olivia sees him. She thinks he is Cesario and asks him to marry her. He says yes. 

2: Oh wow. 

1: Later, after more people become confused, Viola and Sebastian show up together. Viola reveals that she is not a man, so Count Orsino proposes marriage to her. Finally, Sebastian marries Olivia and Viola marries Count Orsino and everyone is happy. There are a few other things going on with some of the servants, but that’s not part of the main storyline. 

2: Okay, this is starting to make more sense. Hopefully, I can make it through because it sounds funny. 

  1. The parents told the children to clean their room. 
  2. The classroom was quiet. 
  3. I set the table for dinner. 
  4. The presentation will begin at noon. 
  5. I am here to collect my money. 
  6. The insect was very small. 
  7. I painted my room purple. 
  8. She respects her teacher. 
  9. The trip was boring.
  10. The teacher waited for the students to be silent. 

unit 10

1: I’m signing up for college classes for the first time this weekend. 

2: Wow, that’s exciting. I signed up yesterday. I’m a senior. 

1: Maybe you can help me then. I want to take writing class this semester, and a lot of the in-person classes are filling up, but there is an online class I could take. What do you think of online classes? 

2: I’ve taken both types of classes. With an in-person class, you get to know the teachers and your classmates. It’s easier to ask questions because everyone is together. It’s also easier to learn, in my opinion, because you don’t have as many distractions. However, the downside is you have to travel to school and that can cost money with either gas money or bus tickets. 

1: Good points… 

2: With an online class, you save a lot of time since you don’t have to commute. It’s also really convenient. You can take classes in your pajamas if you want! You can also take classes anywhere you have Internet access. I took online classes one semester when I had to work a lot and the in-person classes were only offered during my work hours. 

1: Well, that does sound pretty convenient. 

2: The only downside is it’s so impersonal. When I would try to contact my teachers or classmates, they would sometimes not answer for days, and my classmates didn’t know who I was, so they didn’t really want to help me. Sometimes I felt very alone in the class. 

1: Okay, I am the kind of person who likes to work with people. I’m very social. 

2: Well, there you go! 

Kim: Thank you for letting me talk to you about cell phone use today, Monte. 

Monte: No problem. 

Kim: Alright, so how old were you when you got your first cell phone? 

Monte: I was 16 when I got my first cell phone. It was one of those flip phones. My parents bought it for me so I could contact them when I had to stay after school for sports practices. 

Kim: You mentioned that it was a “flip phone.” Can you tell me more about that? 

Monte: Yeah, the top flipped up and there was just a number pad. You could receive calls and send texts. You could take pictures, but they weren’t very good quality. 

Kim: Yeah, I remember those old phones. What do you use your cell phone for now? 

Monte: Everything!  

Kim: Can you give me some examples? 

Monte: I use it to stay in touch with friends, I use it for school, I use it for banking, I use it to play games and watch videos…The list goes on and on. 

Kim: Do you think cell phone use affects your mood? 

Monte: Sometimes. I have noticed that on days when I am using my phone a lot and scrolling through social media, I feel frustrated. 

Kim: What about that makes you feel frustrated? 

Monte: On days like those, I don’t get as much work done and feel frustrated with myself for wasting time. It is also easy to compare myself to my friends who seem to have great things going on in their lives. Sometimes I get jealous of them and wish my life was like theirs.

Technology has helped us be more connected than we were in the past. We have access to information at all times and technological advancements have improved our lives in many ways. However, the overuse of technology, or using technology too much, also has some very negative effects on our lives. 

First, it affects our mental health. People who use social media more often say that they feel lonelier. Also, social media use has also been linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety. 

Second, technology is affecting our physical health. Because we have screens everywhere, our eyes get tired easily, and we can get blurred vision, dry eyes, and headaches. People also have bad posture from sitting at desks and working on computers, or always staring down at their phones. We also don’t move as much because technology makes everything easier, so there are higher rates of obesity and heart disease. People also have more sleep problems. Many people use their phones right up until they go to bed, but the light from the screens changes the way we sleep. 

Finally, the most negative effect of technology is how it affects children. Studies are showing that if children use technology too long and at a very young age, they don’t do as well in school, they can be delayed in their speech and social skills, they are more aggressive, and can become addicted to the internet. 

With all of these negative effects of technology, it is important to change our habits and find time to be away from our screens, so we can be healthier.

  1. salad
  2. elephant
  3. telephone
  4. pencil
  5. cousin
  6. vitamin
  7. celebrate
  8. president
  9. condition
  10. campus

Parent: Wow, technology has really changed since I was a kid!

Child: What do you mean? 

Parent: Well, when I was young, we didn’t have computers to do schoolwork. We used typewriters and if you made a mistake, you had to start your assignment all over. It was very inconvenient. 

Child: That sounds like it would take a lot of time, too. 

Parent: Yep! Also, we didn’t have cell phones. You had to use a phone attached to a wall. I remember trying to stretch the cord as far as it could go to have a private conversation with my friends. 

Child: No cell phones…I wonder what kind of technology my children will use.