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Let's Learn English - Level 2 - Lesson 2: The Interview
 
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Anna goes to a travel agent to find the Best Vacation Ever! But does she? Dan the Con Man wants to sell her the Most Expensive Vacation Ever. But does he? See the whole lesson at: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-5-greatest-vacation/4035571.html
Views: 372111 VOA Learning English
Are You Learning English? These Songs May Help
 
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I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Education Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Songs teach language. Consider a song like "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. An American teaching English overseas once told us that students love that song.Recently we asked people on the Special English Facebook page to suggest other songs that English learners might like. Noemi Nito wrote: I'm one of those English students who love "Tom's Diner." I started learning English with "Lemon Tree" by Fool's Garden. Another favorite is "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden. Another person, Asi Tambunan, suggested the song "God Only Knows" by Orianthi. Gyongyi Jako wrote that ABBA's songs from Sweden are perfect for class work. Other good songs for learning English are songs by the Beatles and John Lennon, as well as Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World." Paul Cifuentes says Bob Marley's songs are amazing for teaching. Another teacher, Joseph Deka, says songs by Johnny Cash have always worked in his classroom. He says his students can hear the words, plus the songs often have stories. He also likes "We Will Rock You" by Queen and "Beautiful Girls" by Sean Kingston. He says young children love "C Is for Cookie" by Cookie Monster from the TV show "Sesame Street." Nina John Smith suggested these songs: "It's My Life" and "We Weren't Born to Follow" by Bon Jovi. Also "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica.Aurelio Lourenco Costa Gusmao says he began to like English after his teacher played the Westlife song "I Have a Dream." He wrote: That was eight years ago. I was in the seventh grade. And from that day on, my dream of improving my English skills became attached in my mind. Teachers can use this song to convey the message to their students that they should have their own dream for the future. Aurelio's story was no surprise to another commenter, Katie Kivenko. She especially likes songs by Michael Jackson and Queen. She wrote: When you listen to your favorite songs, you feel emotionally high and it moves you to action.For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. Do you have any favorite songs for learning English? You can share other music suggestions for English learners at our website, voaspecialenglish.com or on Facebook at VOA Learning English. We are also on Twitter and iTunes. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 06Jan2011)
Views: 1518897 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 17: Are You Free on Friday?
 
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Anna tries to plan to see a movie with a friend. But they are both very busy. Will they find a time to get together? What will they do? See the lesson at http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/are-you-free-on-friday-lets-learn-english/3355785.html
Views: 159313 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 23: What Do You Want?
 
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Anna and her boss go on a trip around the world. That is, they eat foods from around the world. Where will they find all these foods? See the entire lesson here: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-23-what-do-you-want/3413753.html
Views: 148209 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English - Level 2 - Lesson 1: Budget Cuts
 
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We meet Anna's co-workers at The Studio: Anna, Jonathan, Amelia, Kaveh, and Penelope. Rumors of budget cuts travel through the office. But who is going to get fired? See the whole lesson at: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson1/3960391.html
Views: 203624 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 28: I Passed It!
 
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Anna takes a driving test and has some problems. Where does she want to drive? Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-28-i-passed-it/3499371.html
Views: 126651 VOA Learning English
How an Allowance Helps Children Learn About Money
 
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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Many children first learn the value of money by receiving an allowance. The purpose is to let children learn from experience at an age when financial mistakes are not very costly. The amount of money that parents give to their children to spend as they wish differs from family to family. Timing is another consideration. Some children get a weekly allowance. Others get a monthly allowance. In any case, parents should make clear what, if anything, the child is expected to pay for with the money. At first, young children may spend all of their allowance soon after they receive it. If they do this, they will learn the hard way that spending must be done within a budget. Parents are usually advised not to offer more money until the next allowance. The object is to show young people that a budget demands choices between spending and saving. Older children may be responsible enough to save money for larger costs, like clothing or electronics. Many people who have written on the subject of allowances say it is not a good idea to pay your child for work around the home. These jobs are a normal part of family life. Paying children to do extra work around the house, however, can be useful. It can even provide an understanding of how a business works. Allowances give children a chance to experience the things they can do with money. They can share it in the form of gifts or giving to a good cause. They can spend it by buying things they want. Or they can save and maybe even invest it. Saving helps children understand that costly goals require sacrifice: you have to cut costs and plan for the future. Requiring children to save part of their allowance can also open the door to future saving and investing. Many banks offer services to help children and teenagers learn about personal finance. A savings account is an excellent way to learn about the power of compound interest. Compounding works by paying interest on interest. So, for example, one dollar invested at two percent interest for two years will earn two cents in the first year. The second year, the money will earn two percent of one dollar and two cents, and so on. That may not seem like a lot. But over time it adds up.For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villareal. You can learn more about economics with MP3s and transcripts of our programs at voaspecialenglish.com. And you can find us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 22Apr2011)
Views: 114261 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 37: Let's Agree to Disagree
 
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In this lesson, Anna meets a new friend from the country. He feels lost in the city. Anna helps him to make it a friendlier place. See the lesson at http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-37-lets-agree-to-disagree/3574029.html
Views: 150048 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 27
 
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Anna does not feel well. She calls her boss and her doctor. What do they tell her to do? And will she follow their advice? See the lesson at http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-27-i-cant-come-in/3457316.html
Views: 161202 VOA Learning English
Lesson 16: Where Are You From?
 
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Anna interviews tourists on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She learns about where they are from and the languages they speak. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-16-where-are-you-from/3359153.html
Views: 627663 VOA Learning English
Rice Production Grows, but Not Everywhere
 
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This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish A United Nations report predicts that world rice production will be higher this year than last year. The report is from the Food and Agriculture Organization. The FAO says the global rice harvest should be almost two percent higher this year, mainly because of increased production in Asia. Large gains are expected in Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand.Also, the FAO predicts a recovery for rice harvests in Africa. Production increases are expected to be led by Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. In other parts of the world, the report predicts that rice harvests will be lower in the European Union and the United States. Two reasons for this are unusually dry weather and falling rice prices, which have led some farmers to plant other crops. Smaller rice harvests also are expected in Latin America and the Caribbean. Concepcion Calpe is an economist with the FAO. She says good harvests in Asia will lead to reduced demand in the global rice trade this year. Demand in global trade is expected to fall nine hundred thousand tons to about thirty-four million metric tons. Ms. Calpe says one reason is because a lot of the major importers, like Indonesia or the Philippines, or even Bangladesh, have harvested very good crops. Another reason is because some of them, like the Philippines, have set limits on how much they are willing to import. The FAO says prices for rice have stayed high for several reasons. These include higher costs for fuel, fertilizer and, in some areas, labor. One country where prices remain high is China. Concepcion Calpe says the high prices raise questions about official Chinese reports of record harvests.In Thailand, a government price-support program has led rice exports to fall by twenty percent, to less than eight million tons. The program keeps prices for Thai rice exports above market prices. As a result, the FAO says exporters like Australia, India and Vietnam have captured a larger market share.Ms. Calpe notes that Burma could become a major exporter of rice. Many Western governments have eased trade restrictions on Burma recently because of its efforts at political and economic reform. Foreign investment and increased productivity in Cambodia might also help that country export more rice.For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal.You can read, listen and learn English with more news about agriculture at voaspecialenglish.com. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 15May2012)
Views: 75293 VOA Learning English
Testing New Ways to Recognize What Makes a Good Teacher
 
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I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Education Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish In recent years, Bill Gates has given financial support to improve American education. In two thousand nine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Measures of Effective Teaching project. The project tests new ways to recognize what makes a good teacher. Its goal is to help educators and policymakers identify and support good teaching.The study is being carried out in public school systems in seven American cities. Thousands of teachers volunteered to take part. They agreed to have their classes recorded on video, but only for observation by expert researchers.Last spring, the project collected digital videos of thirteen thousand lessons in the classrooms taught by the teachers. They were in grades four through nine. Researchers also collected information from students. They asked students to report their opinions of each teacher's classroom. Students were also tested in mathematics, English and biology. Officials recently released early results of the project study. The report says teachers' past success in raising student scores on state tests is one of the strongest signs of their ability to do so again. This is known as a teacher's "value-added."The teachers with the highest value-added scores on state tests also help students understand math or show reading ability. The results also say students know effective teaching when they experience it. The students gave comments on whether or not their teachers cared about them. They also gave opinions on how much teachers controlled or managed student behavior in the classroom.The report found that classrooms where students reported positive experiences were more likely to show greater learning gains.Another finding shows that combining different sources of information helps administrators provide better comments and suggestions to teachers. In many cases, administrators had been basing their comments on student test scores only.The Measures of Effective Teaching project continues through twenty twelve when final results will be released. Researchers plan to test a new measure that examines what a teacher knows about how to teach a subject. Experts say these findings could also help create better training and development for teachers.For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 23Dec2010)
Views: 119108 VOA Learning English
The Economics Report: New Clothing Manufacturing Jobs Could Increase in South Asia
 
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A World Bank study says the increasing cost of making clothes in China could help South Asia grow its clothing industry. But workers often make clothes in poor conditions. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/new-clothing-manufacturing-jobs-could-increase-in-south-asia/3338894.html
Views: 111398 VOA Learning English
Need Help With Your Writing? Try This Web Site
 
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This is the VOA Special English Education Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Millions of students have been taught a formula that has nothing to do with chemistry. The formula is for how to write a five-paragraph essay. First, write an introductory paragraph to state the argument. Then, add three paragraphs of evidence. Finally, write a conclusion. Linda Bergmann is director of the Writing Lab at Purdue University in Indiana. Her job is to help students, including international students, improve their writing. Professor Bergmann has worked with many students who learned this traditional five-paragraph formula. She says international students sometimes have difficulty with this formula if they learned a different writing structure. But just knowing how to write a five-paragraph essay is not going to be enough for a college student who has to write a longer academic paper. As Professor Bergmann points out, the formula is too simple to deal with subjects that require deeper thought and investigation. In her words, "Essentially, it is way too simplistic to handle more intellectually sophisticated topics which involve actual inquiry." Karen Gocsik is executive director of courses in the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. The institute has an extensive library of online writing materials on its website. So what are the qualities that make up good writing? Ms. Gocsik says there are no simple answers -- except maybe for one. That is, there is no formula that students can follow to guarantee a well-written paper. She says, "What we try to teach students to do in college is to listen to their ideas, and that the idea should be able to tell you what form it needs to take." She says moving from secondary-school writing to college-level writing can be difficult, but students should not be afraid. American college students are usually expected to state their thesis at the beginning of a paper. In some cultures, students organize their paragraphs to build toward the main idea at the end. And, while students in some cultures use lots of descriptive words, American professors generally want shorter sentences.For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. Tell us about your own experience with academic writing. Go to voaspecialenglish.com and share your stories. And before you write that next paper, check out two links on our website. One is for the Online Writing Lab at Purdue. The other is for the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 14Jun2012)
Views: 253134 VOA Learning English
Comparing American and Chinese Parents
 
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I'm Mario Ritter with the VOA Special English Education Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Some American parents might think their children need better educations to compete with China and other countries. But how much do the parents themselves need to change? A new book called "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua has caused a debate about cultural differences in parenting. Ms. Chua is a professor at the Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, and the mother of two daughters. She was raised in the American Midwest by immigrant Chinese parents. In the Chinese culture, the tiger represents strength and power. In her book, Ms. Chua writes about how she demanded excellence from her daughters. For example, she threatened to burn her daughter's stuffed animals unless she played a piece of music perfectly. She would insult her daughters if they failed to meet her expectations. Ms. Chua says she had a clear list of what her daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were not permitted to do. They could not attend a sleepover, have a play date, watch TV or play computer games, be in a school play or get any grade less than an A.Many people have criticized Amy Chua. Some say her parenting methods were abusive. She even admits that her husband, who is not Chinese, sometimes objected to her parenting style. But she says that was the way her parents raised her and her three sisters. Ms. Chua makes fun of her own extreme style of parenting. She says she eased some of the pressure after her younger daughter rebelled and shouted "I hate my life! I hate you!" Ms. Chua says she decided to retreat when it seemed like there was a risk that she might lose her daughter. But she also says American parents often have low expectations of their children's abilities.She says: "One of the biggest differences I see between Western and Chinese parents is that Chinese parents assume strength rather than fragility." Stacy DeBroff has written four books on parenting. She says the debate over Ms. Chua's book has to do with two questions. What does it mean to be a successful parent, and what does it mean to be a successful child?Ms. DeBroff says Amy Chua's parenting style is not limited to Chinese families. She says it represents a traditional way of parenting among immigrants seeking a better future for their children. But she also sees a risk. When children have no time to be social or to follow their own interests, they might not develop other skills that they need to succeed in life. Stacey DeBroff advises parents to develop their own style of parenting and not just repeat the way they were raised. And that's the VOA Special English Education Report. What are your thoughts about parenting styles and cultural differences? Tell us at voaspecialenglish.com or on Facebook at VOA Learning English. For VOA Special English, I'm Mario Ritter. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 17Feb2011)
Views: 207203 VOA Learning English
Check Out the World Digital Library
 
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Subscribe to our channel: http://youtube.com/voalearningenglish\ From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report. Imagine you are a student in Mexico. And your teacher asks you to write a report about the country's ancient Aztec civilization. You now can do your own research on the subject through the World Digital Library, or WDL. One of the 8,000 items listed on this website is the General History of the Things of New Spain. It was written in the 16th century by a member of a Roman Catholic religious order. Friar Bernardino Sahagun lived in what is now Mexico. He liked many qualities of the Aztecs and wrote 13 books about them in Spanish and Nahuatl, the Aztec language. The books are stored in Florence, Italy. But you can read every page and see every picture with the World Digital Library. The library has at least one item from every member country of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. UNESCO and the U.S. Library of Congress launched the WDL in 2009. Since then, more than 25 million people have visited part of the collection. The library provides free access to thousands of objects of cultural and historical importance.The library is looking for information about Arabic and Islamic science, says Musa Murawih. He is a WDL researcher who works on all of the library's documents in Arabic. Arab countries and their libraries are strong supporters of the World Digital Library. Mr. Murawih says the library shows the United States as a partner with Arab countries in an area other than military or security matters.The library also is helping countries make electronic copies of their documents, so that they are available to computer users around the world.For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.
Views: 63020 VOA Learning English
Business English Speakers Can Still Be Divided by a Common Language
 
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I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Economics Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Business is the most popular subject for international students in the United States. At last count, twenty-one percent of foreign students at American colleges and universities were studying business and management. The Institute of International Education in New York says engineering is the second most popular field, in case you were wondering.Thomas Cosse is a professor of marketing and business at the University of Richmond in Virginia. He says international students who want to study business need to have good English skills -- and not just to study at his school.But the world has more non-native speakers of English than native speakers. As a result, Americans working with foreign companies may need to learn some new English skills themselves. At the University of Richmond, teams of graduate students work with companies seeking to enter the American market. The students learn about writing market entry studies. The reports are written in English. But Professor Cosse tells his students to consider who will read them.He said his students have to write the report so that it can be understood by someone who is an English speaker but not a native English speaker. For example, he tells his students to avoid jargon and other specialized terms that people might not know in their own language. This can be good advice even when writing for other native speakers. But effective communication involves more than just words. Kay Westerfield is director of the international business communication program at the University of Oregon. She says you must have the language skills as well as cultural intelligence. Cultural intelligence means the need to consider local behaviors in everything from simple handshakes to speaking to large groups. Still, Kay Westerfield says the ability of foreign workers to speak English is becoming more important to companies looking to move operations to other countries. Or, as she puts it, to "off-source." Also, she says English skills often provide a competitive edge for business students when they seek jobs. She said: "As one business student in West Africa put it, 'English is a lifeline.'"For VOA Special English I'm Alex Villarreal. You can read and listen to our programs and find activities for English learners at voaspecialenglish.com. We're also on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 21Jan2011)
Views: 257528 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 3: He Said - She Said
 
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Anna and Pete are meeting a director. But they are late! See the whole lesson at: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-3/4027340.html Originally published at - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-3/4029298.html
Views: 119664 VOA Learning English
Hillary Clinton Concession Speech
 
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Hillary Clinton publicly admitted losing the presidential election on Wednesday. She spoke of the pain of defeat and hopes for the success of Donald Trump’s presidency. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/hillary-clinton-concession-speech/3589739.html
Views: 250645 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 21: Can You Come to the Party?
 
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Anna meets her friend Marsha in a coffee shop. Marsha asks Anna to come to a party. But Anna has to take a driving test. Can Anna come to the party? See the lesson here: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-21-can-you-come-to-the-party/3406732.html
Views: 174632 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 24: Yesterday Was Amazing
 
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Anna discovers a festival - the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall. What does she learn there about Basque culture? See all lessons at http://learningenglish.voanews.com/p/5644.html
Views: 118607 VOA Learning English
Looking to Robots and Other Technology to Improve Health Care
 
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I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Technology Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish An organization called the World Future Society publishes a yearly report about how technology, the economy and society are influencing the world. Tim Mack heads the World Future Society. He says medicine is one area of growth. Mr. Mack says the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology are working together to create new ways to help patients. These include better ways to provide medicine and identify disease without invasive operations. Mr. Mack also says developments in artificial intelligence could lead to a future where disabled patients could be cared for by a voice-activated robot.The World Future Society also publishes The Futurist magazine. Every year it examines developments in technology and other areas to predict the future. The magazine released the top ten predictions from the Outlook 2011 report. Several of the predictions dealt with technology. The report said Internet search engines will soon include both text and spoken results. It said television broadcasts and other recordings could be gathered using programs developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis.Outlook 2011 also examined refuse collection. It said industrial nations will send much more waste to developing countries. This will cause protests in those countries. In about fifteen years, developing countries will stop accepting foreign waste. This will force industrial nations to develop better waste-to-energy programs and recycling technologies.The report also had a prediction about education. It said young people use technologies for socializing as well as working and learning. So they solve problems more as teams instead of competing. In this way, social networking is supporting different kinds of learning outside the classroom. The World Future Society also predicts that robots will be able to carry out mental commands from human beings. Scientists have shown that individuals can type by using their brains without physically touching computer keyboards. In the near future, experts say brain e-mailing and "tweeting" will become more common. For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. You can find scripts and audio of our programs at voaspecialenglish.com. We are also on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 03Jan2011)
Views: 154699 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 34: What Will I Do?
 
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In this lesson, Anna wants to go to a Halloween party. But she needs a costume. Will her friend Genie help her find the right one? Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-34-what-will-i-do/3565940.html
Views: 160539 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 4: Run Away With the Circus!
 
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Anna and Pete visit a circus and talk about circus arts. Are the performers artists or athletes? See the whole lesson at: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-englihs-level-2-lesson-4-run-away-with-the-circus/4034187.html Originally published at - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-4-run-away-with-the-circus/4040102.html
Views: 103822 VOA Learning English
VOA Learning English - Development Report: A Service Group Built on 'Friendship'
 
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This is the VOA Special English Development Report. Amizade means friendship in Portuguese. It is also the name of a service organization in the United States that places volunteers in projects mostly in developing countries. Amizade's executive director, Eric Hartman, thought of the idea in Brazil in nineteen ninety-four, which explains the Portuguese name. The Amizade Global Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs placed three hundred volunteers in nine countries last year. These American university students and others worked in thirteen communities. Amizade works with local groups and individuals on service and learning projects. The local groups define and direct the projects. The volunteers learn about local culture and make friends as they work in the community. Amizade charges college students as much as ten thousand dollars for three months of experience. Volunteers generally provide labor and do things like teach and assist at health centers. They can also do research. College students can earn work-study credits. Participants in programs have included a twelve-year-old boy and a man in his eighties. There are programs in Ghana, Tanzania, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico and Jamaica. There are also programs in Germany, Poland, Northern Ireland and the United States. Recently, in Tanzania, thirteen Amizade volunteers worked on systems to harvest rainwater from the roofs of homes. They worked on the project in the Karagwe area, in the northwestern part of the country. Eric Hartman, the director, described the water collection systems in Internet blog postings from Tanzania in July. Rain falls on the metal roofs and flows into aluminum gutters. These gutters carry the water to a large collection tank on the side of the home. The rain harvesting systems mean that a family member no longer has to walk long distances to get water. So there is more time for farming or schoolwork. The systems are especially useful for people who are too sick to go a long way for water. On the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, Amizade places volunteers with a local partner in the small community of Petersfield. The volunteers live with local families. They help children with schoolwork and computer skills. They also visit the sick and work on building, painting and other restoration projects in the community. And thats the VOA Special English Development Report.
Views: 1168115 VOA Learning English
VOA Learning English - Education Report # 393
 
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New developments in American education presented in Special English
Views: 212229 VOA Learning English
Are People Who Speak More Than One Language Smarter?
 
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I'm Carolyn Presutti with the VOA Special English Health Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish In the early nineteen fifties, researchers found that people scored lower on intelligence tests if they spoke more than one language. Research in the nineteen sixties found the opposite. So which is it? Researchers presented their newest studies in February at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The latest evidence shows that being bilingual does not necessarily make people smarter. But researcher Ellen Bialystok says it probably does make you better at certain skills. She says: "Imagine driving down the highway. There are many things that could capture your attention and you really need to be able to monitor all of them. Why would bilingualism make you any better at that?"And the answer, she says, is that bilingual people are often better at controlling their attention -- a function called the executive control system. She says it is possibly the most important cognitive system we have. It is where all of our decisions about what to attend to, what to ignore and what to process are made.Ms. Bialystok is a psychology professor at York University in Toronto, Canada. She says the best method to measure the executive control system is called the Stroop Test. A person is shown words in different colors. The person has to ignore the word but say the color. The problem is that the words are all names of colors.She explains: "So you would have the word 'blue' written in red, but you have to say 'red.' But blue is just lighting up all these circuits in your brain, and you really want to say 'blue.' So you need a mechanism to override that so that you can say 'red.' That's the executive control system."Her work shows that bilingual people continually practice this function. They have to, because both languages are active in their brain at the same time. They need to suppress one to be able to speak in the other. This mental exercise might help in other ways, too. Researchers say bilingual children are better able to separate a word from its meaning, and more likely to have friends from different cultures. Bilingual adults are often four to five years later than others in developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Foreign language study has increased in the United States. But linguist Alison Mackey at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. points out that English-speaking countries are still far behind the rest of the world. For VOA Special English I'm Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 09March2011)
Views: 469416 VOA Learning English
Everyday Grammar: Will vs. Be Going to
 
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Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/3137091.html
Views: 57897 VOA Learning English
Facebook Finds New Friends in the World of Private Finance
 
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I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Economics Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Facebook is the world's biggest social network -- and the subject of the movie "The Social Network."The real Mark Zuckerberg and his friends at Harvard University launched the site in two thousand four. Facebook says it reached five hundred million users last July.Now, the American bank Goldman Sachs and the Russian company Digital Sky Technologies have friended Facebook. They are investing a total of five hundred million dollars in the company. The deal values Facebook at fifty billion dollars -- more than many publicly traded Internet companies. Goldman Sachs is expected to raise a billion and a half dollars more by selling shares of ownership in Facebook to rich investors. The plan does not include a public stock offering -- at least not right now. For now, Facebook would remain a private company -- meaning a company that does not sell shares to the public. The plan has brought new attention to the largely secretive world of private financing and the rules for private companies in the United States.The idea is that investors in public companies have protections that investors in private companies do not. The Securities and Exchange Commission says a private company must report financial information if it has more than five hundred shareholders. A new business, a startup company, is usually considered too risky for average investors. But a promising startup may find a small number of private investors, often known as "angels." These investors are willing to lose everything for a chance at big returns.Rikki Tahta has been involved in raising money for startups. He is now chairman of his own investment company, Covestor, with offices in New York and London.Mister Tahta compares the difference between public and private companies to the difference between marriage and dating. When people are dating, he says, there are understandings but few rules. In marriage, the rules are more clear and well-defined.In his opinion, the only real benefit for a private company is lower administrative and record-keeping costs. Yet he tells us Covestor remains a private company after a few years because it is still too risky for most investors.For VOA Special English I'm Alex Villarreal. You can comment on our programs and find transcripts and MP3s at voaspecialenglish.com. We're on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 07Jan2011)
Views: 349037 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 10: Visit to Peru
 
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Anna needs to learn more about Peru. She does not have time to travel, but her friend Bruna says she can learn about Peru in one short visit. Where will she go? See the whole lesson at https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-10-visit-to-peru/4079037.html Originally published at - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-10-visit-to-peru/4089527.html
Views: 42211 VOA Learning English
Studying How Plastic Pollution Enters Ocean Food Supply
 
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From http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Marcus Eriksen is not really fishing. He is catching plastic in the Atlantic Ocean. Eriksen wants to publicize the growing buildup of plastic waste in our oceans and to study its effects. MARCUS ERIKSEN: "These are five sub-tropical gyres in the world where the majority of the plastic in the world accumulates." ANNA CUMMINS: "The gyre is formed by ocean currents that couple with the spinning of the Earth, the Earth's rotation. And what happens is that you have, effectively, a massive whirlpool, this large spinning system, where debris can accumulate." Anna Cummins and her husband Marcus Eriksen set up a not-for-profit group called the 5 Gyres Institute. It helps researchers with studies of plastic pollution in the oceans. Cummins says plastic bags and bottles have little or no value after they are used. Most plastic waste can be found in solid-waste landfills or along rivers. A lot of this waste also washes out to sea. ANNA CUMMINS: "This becomes a problem in the marine environment because plastics are designed to last forever. They don't break down, they can't be digested by marine organisms and they persist in the ocean for thousands of years." When sailing, Eriksen and Cummins gather objects from the ocean's surface. Hundreds of things they caught have gone to a California laboratory for testing. ANNA CUMMINS: "What shocked me the most on all these trips is to cross an ocean, to cross for thousands and thousands of miles, and find that every single sample we pull up has plastic." Some plastics stay in large pieces for a long time. But many break down into smaller particles. ERIKSEN: "The plastic out there. It's not a condensed island of trash. It's really spread out. And it's this plastic soup, that is from continent to continent." Animals mistakenly eat the smaller pieces of plastic or feed them to their young. ANNA CUMMINS: "Roughly 43 percent of all marine mammals, 86 percent of all sea turtle species and 44 percent of sea bird species have been found with plastics in or around their bodies. Thirty-five percent of the samples of fish that we collected in the north Pacific had plastic in their stomachs." 5 Gyres Institute and its partners are now studying how plastics enter the ocean's food supply and their effects on human health. ANNA CUMMINS: "I had a chance to do what's called a 'body burden analysis' on my own blood. We looked into my blood serum to find, do I have the same chemicals that we know stick to plastic. And we found in my blood trace levels of PCBs, DDT, PFCs and higher levels of flame retardants. We don't know how these chemicals entered my body. As a woman, I know that these chemicals in my body will pass on to the next generation." Marcus Eriksen and his partners used 15,000 empty plastic bottles to build a boat they called "JUNKraft." In 2008, they sailed from California through the North Pacific Gyre. MARCUS ERIKSEN: "The North Pacific Gyre, it's surprising if you go only 1,000 miles off the coast of California, which is 7,000 miles from Japan, you still get a lot of Japanese and Chinese plastic." Eriksen and Cummins say the seas of plastic waste will be with us for a long time. But they believe there are solutions. MARCUS ERIKSEN: "The solutions, they don't begin on the ocean. They begin on land." ANNA CUMMINS: "We also need to improve our recycling infrastructure. Here in this country, in the United States, we only recover and recycle roughly five percent of our plastics." Re-using plastics is one way. The husband and wife team say they support the wider use of biodegradable materials. They want more products re-designed so they can be used again and again. And they believe that people around the world need to understand the problem of plastic waste and its effect on the environment and our health. I'm Shirley Griffith.
Views: 78839 VOA Learning English
The Economics Report: Market for Illegally Made Goods Reaches $460 Billion
 
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An organization that studies economic and social issues says the international trade in counterfeit goods is rising. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development or OECD warns that some of these products can endanger the public and might even finance terrorists or criminal groups. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/illegally-made-goods-market-reaches-460-billion-dollars/3327326.html
Views: 56768 VOA Learning English
Advice for Staying Warm and Safe in Freezing Weather
 
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I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Health Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Freezing weather can mean frostbite and hypothermia unless a person is prepared. Today we talk about how to stay warm, dry and safe. Frostbite is damage that happens when skin is exposed to extreme cold for too long. It mainly happens on the hands, feet, nose and ears.People with minor cases of frostbite that affect only the skin may not suffer any permanent damage. But if deeper tissue is affected, a person is likely to feel pain every time the area gets cold.If blood vessels are damaged, people can suffer a gangrene infection. Sometimes the only way doctors can treat an injury like this is to remove frostbitten areas like fingers and toes.Hypothermia is a condition that develops when the body cannot produce as much heat as it releases. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shaking, very slow breathing and difficulty thinking clearly. Hypothermia can lead to death if the person does not receive help. To avoid cold-related injuries, here is a simple way to remember four basic steps to staying warm. Think of COLD -- C.O.L.D.The C stands for cover. Wear a hat and scarf to keep heat from escaping through the head, neck and ears. And wear mittens instead of gloves. In gloves, the fingers are separated, so the hands might not stay as warm as they would in mittens. The O stands for overexertion. Avoid activities that will make you sweaty. Wet clothes and cold weather are a dangerous combination.L is for layers. Wearing loose, lightweight clothes, one layer on top of another, is better than wearing a single heavy layer of clothing. Make sure outerwear is made of material that is water-resistant and tightly knit.D is for dry. In other words, stay as dry as possible. Pay attention to the places where snow can enter clothing. These include the tops of boots, the necks of coats and the wrist areas of mittens or gloves.And here are two other things to keep in mind -- one for children and the other for adults. Eating snow might be fun but it lowers the body's temperature. And drinking alcohol might make a person feel warm. But what it really does is weaken the body's ability to hold heat.Next week: advice from experts about what to do, and not to do, to help someone who is injured by cold weather.For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 22Dec2010)
Views: 81985 VOA Learning English
Syrian University Students Seek Education Overseas
 
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Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report. Many Syrians are trying to study overseas while a civil war continues in their country. Thousands of Syrian university students sought help when they learned there was money to help them continue their education. Leen al Zaibak is with Jusoor, an organization for Syrians living overseas. Jusoor joined with the American-based Institute of International Education to create the Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis. More than 40 universities in the United States and Europe agreed to provide emergency aid to Syrian students and professors. Each university decides which students to accept. Universities in the consortium are supporting 70 students right now. One member of the consortium is American University in Washington. It is supporting a Syrian graduate student and a faculty member in the university's School of International Service. Daniela Kaisth is the vice president of the Institute of International Education. She expects there will be aid opportunities for 600 Syrian students during the next few months. She notes that a former president of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, launched a scholarship program called the Global Platform 4 Syrian Students. He created the program because of Portugal's history of educating Jewish refugee children during World War II. The Institute of International Education also has a Scholar Rescue Fund for university professors and researchers in any country in crisis. This year, the fund found places for 30 Syrian scholars in five countries. All of the scholarship programs may be found online at iie.org. For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.
Views: 120182 VOA Learning English
The Health Report: Asian Children Face Hunger and Obesity
 
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Child hunger and obesity are rising in Asia, says a new report. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/media/video/asian-children-fight-hunger-and-obesity/3285529.html
Views: 23584 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 5: Greatest Vacation of All Time
 
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Anna goes to a travel agent to find the Best Vacation Ever! But does she? Dan the Con Man wants to sell her the Most Expensive Vacation Ever. But does he? See the whole lesson at: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-5-greatest-vacation/4035571.html Originally published at - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-5-greatest-vacation/4050063.html
Views: 55733 VOA Learning English
Using the Internet and Social Media to Search for a Job
 
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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish The job market is more competitive than ever for millions of workers around the world. In America, one reason for that right now is high unemployment after the worst recession since the nineteen thirties. But other reasons involve changes in the needs of the American and global economies. In big developing economies like India and China, high turnover rates mean workers often move from job to job. These days, many job seekers go online to connect with employers. Job candidates want to show they have a lot to offer. But in many cases they simply apply for a job title and list their work experience. Instead, they should describe the talents and abilities they could bring to an organization.That's the advice of Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University in Indiana. He advises students on career planning and often talks about workplace issues in the media. He says social media sites are valuable when they show the abilities of job candidates and not just their job title and experience. He says: "This really is a talent economy, and we're stuck with most job seekers presenting themselves in a job title mode. And I don't think it matches very well." Steve Langerud also says employers should think harder about the skills they really need to help their organization reach its goals. "Because at the end of the day, it's still about getting the right people in the right place at the right time and then keeping them." Ben Kirshner is the founder and chief executive of a media marketing company in New York called Elite SEM. SEM is search engine marketing. His company's job is to help businesses improve their websites and search engine results. Ben Kirshner says when his company is searching for candidates for new positions, it first looks within; it considers existing employees. After that, he says, social sites can be valuable. Twenty-five percent of new hires come from social media. Seventy-five percent "typically come from word of mouth" -- in other words, recommendations from other people. Elite SEM uses sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about job candidates. LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals, so users might be more careful about what they say. But Mr. Kirshner says a site like Facebook can also provide a lot of information -- good or bad -- about a person. So pay attention to what you put on the Internet and what others put online about you. For VOA Special English, I'm Carol Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 05May2011)
Views: 77274 VOA Learning English
Debating the Best Way to Learn a Language
 
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This is the VOA Special English Education Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish What is the best way to learn a new language? A small study of foreign language learning in adults compared two methods. One is known as the explicit or classroom method. This is the kind of traditional classroom teaching where students are taught a lot of information about grammar rules. The other method is known as the implicit or immersion method. The idea here is to learn much the way children do when they learn a native language. That is, by being with native speakers and absorbing the language that surrounds them, generally without a lot of explanation. Teachers may combine these two methods into what Professor Michael Ullman calls immersion-style classroom teaching. But is that necessarily a better way to learn a language?Mr. Ullman was the senior investigator for the new study. He is a professor of neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington. He says he was surprised to find that combining the two methods might not help the brain in processing the new language. If he had to learn a language, what would he do? One possibility would be to start with classroom and then go to immersion. But he says there is a possibility that classroom could hurt later immersion -- that is one possibility in interpreting the data. The Public Library of Science published the study earlier this year. The twenty-one adults in the experiment learned Brocanto2, a thirteen-word language created for the study. The words and grammar rules relate to a computer game similar to chess that the learners played. For example, "Blom neimo lu neep li praz" means "The square blom-piece switches with the neep-piece." The researchers tested the people three to six months after they had learned the language, to see how well they could remember it. The study found that those who had learned it with the immersion method had brain waves similar to those of native speakers of a language when speaking that language. Professor Ullman says those who trained with the classroom method also became more native-like in their brain processing. But only the immersion group showed full native-like processing of the grammar. Still, he says teachers should not make any curriculum changes based on his findings. He says further research is needed. "And it may be, for example, that a combination of classroom and immersion might be best. But we don't know that." For VOA Special English, I'm Mario Ritter. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 28Jun2012)
Views: 249311 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 25: Watch Out!
 
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Anna learns about a new game, "Catch Americana." She walks around the memorials to U.S. Presidents and learns fun facts by playing the game. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-25-watch-out/3469016.html
Views: 333228 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 33: Learning America's Sport
 
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Anna teaches how to play baseball in this video. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-33/3558003.html
Views: 80487 VOA Learning English
English in a Minute: To Have Butterflies
 
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Butterflies are beautiful creatures. But, is it a good thing or a bad thing to "have butterflies?" Find out how to use this expression in this episode of English in a Minute! Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/media/video/english-in-a-minute-to-have-butterflies/2741430.html
Views: 116259 VOA Learning English
Retirement Savings Rule 1: Reduce Investment Risk as the Day Nears
 
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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report , from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Today, retirement can mean different things. For many Americans, it means the end of the money-earning part of their life and the beginning of a period of enjoyment. But retirement calls for planning and savings.In many countries, employers may offer some kind of retirement savings plan. The plan could be linked to the company's stock or to a managed investment service. Almost any financial planner will say workers should use these plans to save money easily: often directly from their wages. But an employer plan should not be your only way to save for retirement.Pete D'Arruda heads his own financial planning company and gives retirement advice on radio shows and television. He tells people to save whenever possible. But he says as retirement nears, you must take fewer financial risks. "There's three stages of life there when we look at it. There's the part where you're earning money. And when you're earning money, if you have a salary, it makes it easier to take risk because you know that if you lose the money you can go back and earn some more." By risks, Pete D'Arruda means investing in stocks and other financial instruments that can lose value quickly. He says people should move money away from riskier investments as they age even if there is a possibility of a higher rate of return. Instead, investors nearing retirement should seek more secure investments for their savings. "But then we get to the transition phase when we're within five years or so of retirement. I call it the financial red zone because now is the time when you need to protect what you have, you need to start transitioning away from the risk of Wall Street and into safe places that guarantee lifetime income." Pete D'Arruda has a simple way of deciding how much of your retirement savings should be at risk. He says take your age and put a percentage after it. That is the percentage of your retirement savings that should be fully protected from losing value. So, for a sixty-five-year-old, "sixty-five percent of the money must be in a place that can't lose it. The reason why is when you're in retirement it's impossible to get the money back that you lost because you don't have a salary coming in."One recent survey by the Charles Schwab company found that forty-four percent of baby boomers feel secure in their readiness for retirement. Baby boomers are the generation of Americans born after World War Two. For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal.(Adapted from a radio program broadcast 28Oct2011)
Views: 41149 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 9: Pets Are Family, Too!
 
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Anna goes to D.C. State Fair and wins first place in a pet contest even though she doesn’t have a pet. Or does she? See the whole lesson at https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-9-pets-are-family-too/4074883.htm
Views: 49882 VOA Learning English
A Device That Can Tell If Drivers Are Alert
 
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. High-tech companies are developing the next generation of products that will help us drive cars, do our shopping and even care for our children. The technology company Intel recently held a demonstration of some of its new devices in San Francisco. One device measured how alert a driver was. Sensors connected to the driver's head measured brain activity. Cameras placed on the car's dashboard measured eye movement. Justin Rattner works at Intel Labs. He says the devices measure how much of the brain is occupied while the person is driving. Devices like these, he says, will make driving safer. Another experimental Intel technology links cars electronically to help prevent crashes. When the driver of the car in front signals a turn or slows down, an alert message is sent to the car in back. There was also a demonstration of a virtual computer. The computer was projected onto the table from a controller hidden in a flower pot. Sensors read the movements of the users' hands, so there was no need for a mouse or other handheld device. This technology could be used in everyday situations. At a market, sensors and computer chips placed in products could help shoppers find the items they want to buy. For example, the technology could help them avoid foods that could cause an allergic reaction. Cameras and sensors are already available to help parents watch their children. In the future, other equipment will monitor a baby's health and mood. And security systems are being improved and simplified, with face-recognition software instead of complicated passwords. For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.
Views: 42102 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 11: The Big Snow
 
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A big snow is coming. Anna has Anna and Pete have to stay at work on the weekend to report on it. Have they both prepared for the blizzard? Let's find out! See the whole lesson at https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-level-2-lesson-11-the-big-snow/4102755.html
Views: 47469 VOA Learning English
English in a Minute: Bucket List
 
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What is on your "bucket list?" Find out what this term means in this week's English in a Minute! Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/media/video/3209586.html
Views: 183438 VOA Learning English
Everyday Grammar: As If, As Though
 
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Originally published at - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/everyday-grammar-as-if-as-though/4211828.html
Views: 14767 VOA Learning English
Second U.S. Presidential Debate 2016: Clinton vs. Trump
 
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Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go head to head in their second general election season debate. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/3545123.html
Views: 105683 VOA Learning English
Michelle Obama Commencement Address at City College of New York
 
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Michelle Obama gave her last commencement address as First Lady of the United States at the City College of New York. Listen as she talks about education and diversity in America. Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/michelle-obmama-commencement-ccny/3363985.html
Views: 124202 VOA Learning English
Let's Learn English Lesson 36: I Can Fix this!
 
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Anna and Marsha are having a dinner party. But Anna shopped with the wrong list. What will she make with the strange ingredients she bought? Originally published at - http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-36-i-can-fix-this/3595258.html
Views: 119469 VOA Learning English