Monday, September 29, 2008

Taking a Phone Message

Shih Liang tries on a new robe.

On Monday, we will go to the computer lab and listen to ESLPod 190.

LISTEN: ESL Podcast 190 – Taking a Phone Message
As soon as she hung up, I took the phone off the hook for the rest of the night. I’d had enough of being Tony’s answering service for one night! ...

On Thursday, we will go to the computer lab and listen to ESLPod 375.

LISTEN: ESL Podcast 375 – A Call from a Telemarketer
Doris: As I said, I’m not interested. I’m also on the national do-not-call registry and I want to be taken off your call list. ...

Next week, we will go to the computer lab and register our phone numbers with the National Do Not Call list. Before we register our phone numbers, please look at the website.

National Do Not Call Registry
Offers registration for consumers to stop telemarketers from calling. (United States, for-profit commercial calls only). www.donotcall.gov/

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Three Stories about Milpitas


KLIV: THOUSANDS TAKEN AT GUNPOINT IN SCAM
Milpitas Police are looking for a man who allegedly ran a real-life version of an e-mail inheritance scam.

MILPITAS POST: Milpitas mayors stump for presidential candidates
Milpitas' current mayor and his predecessor have taken leadership roles in the Asian- and Pacific-American community for the U.

"We represent the changing face of America," said Staten, a 51-year-old New Jersey native who has lived in Milpitas for 15 years and who is a teacher in San Jose. "That's one of the things I like about it you have people from all walks of life."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Science Museums

OPENING 09/27/08:
Explore this genius of the Renaissance has influenced and inspired much of the technology we use today. September 27, 2008 to January 4, 2009 @ The Tech .

OPENING 09/27/08: SF Academy of Sciences

Thursday, September 25, 2008

YUMMY!

NYTimes Culinary Asia Virtual Tour

China Slide Show
Beijing: The Fusion on the Menu Is Art and Food
By JULIA CHAPLIN
Artists-turned-restaurateurs are introducing cuisine from their ancestral provinces.
In Hong Kong, Home Kitchens With Open Doors By NINA SIMONDS
Some of the best places to dine on the island are the intimate eating places that have sprung up in people's homes.
Shanghai: a Far East Feast By R.W. APPLE JR.
Local river prawns, slow-cooked pork rump, hairy crabs and soup dumplings are all served in classic form.

Japan
Exquisite Dining In Traditional Kyoto
By SETH SHERWOOD
The city’s cuisine is the legacy of court and temple — aristocratic and understated.

Korea Slide Show Video
The Weird, Wild and, Ultimately, Sublime in Seoul
By MATT GROSS
A foodie’s quest starts with barbecue and takes off from there with raw octopus tentacles.

Malaysia Slide Show
Take Many Peoples and Ingredients, Mix, Enjoy
By MATT GROSS
A melting-pot nation mixes all its traditions in its kitchens.

Singapore Slide Show
A Repressed City-State? Not in Its Kitchens By R. W. APPLE Jr.
The country has gastronomic attractions aplenty, from street food to restaurants with inventive cuisine.

Taiwan Slide Show
Feasting at the Table of the Other China By MATT GROSS
The little democratic island offers an array of culinary influences.

Vietnam Slide Show
Restaurateurs Push Hanoi Into the Future
By MATT GROSS
Sophisticated food is showing up in this ancient city that has something for every palate.
Savoring the Bounty of Vietnam By TAYLOR HOLLIDAY
One couple plans a do-it-yourself culinary odyssey through Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Puzzle: Using the Telephone

Why does Mr. Wu have a cobra tatoo?

LISTEN to the following vocabulary from the Phone Puzzle:

answer
area code
back
battery
blue
busy
directory
emergency
hello
long
machine
message
number
press
ringing
ten
understand
yellow

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

English Club: Telephone English Part 2

The seniors hosted a party after everyone signed the Constitution.

LISTEN to the following Telephone Terms:

  • answer
  • answering machine
  • busy signal (Sentence 4)
  • call caller call back/phone back
  • call display cellular phone/cell phone
  • cordless phone
  • dial
  • dial tone
  • directory/phone book
  • hang up
  • operator
  • pager
    phone (1 noun)
    phone (2 verb)
  • phone booth/pay phone
  • pick up
  • receiver
  • ring
  • ringer
  • Today we will discuss the second half of Telephone Language. For more info, go to Telephone English

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    English Club: Telephone English

    Telephone English
    If the phone rings in English, don't be afraid to answer it! The fear of talking on the phone in a second language will disappear if you practise often....

    1. Telephone Terms
    2. Telephone Language
    3. Telephone Tips
    4. Practice 1: Making an Appointment
    5. Practice 2: Taking a Message
    6. Practice 3: Ordering a Pizza
    7. Telephone Quiz

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Waterway Cleanup!

    The California Coastal Commission estimates 55,000 volunteers collected 750,000 pounds of garbage, from San Francisco Bay Area waterways.

    People picked-up many things from empty soda cans and styrofoam cups to used drug needles and old tires.

    Organizers say much of what they collected was recyclable.




    Many students crossover the Berryessa Creek on their way to school

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    Gordon and Anna Chan Memorial Post Office vocabulary

    Vocabulary from LOCAL POST OFFICE ON PATH TO NEW NAME

    Interesting to note: Mr Chan is the owner of the Mayflower restaurant. Mr Chan also founded a non-profit group, THE GORDON N AND ANITA T CHAN FOUNDATION, located in Milpitas.

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    New Citizen Friday

    Yesterday, Mr Wong visited our class to share his experience about becoming a new citizen.


    Today we will read three stories:
    Here are some links:

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Constitution Thursday

    The cake at 10:27am

    Medicine can be dangerous if you don’t understand how to take it. Download Podcast

    Active ingredients
    Allergic reactions
    Cap
    Childproof cap
    Dizziness
    Dosage
    Drowsiness
    Exceed
    Impair
    Label
    Medication
    Pharmacy
    Prescription
    Seal
    To be on the safe side
    To watch out for
    Warning

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Happy Constution Day! Happy Citizenship Day!

    The USCIS 96 & 100 hall cards are up--thanks to Senior ESL & T/Th Citizenship classes.

    Happy US Constitution Day! Happy US Citizenship Day!

    Today we will
    • Study the Constitution.
    • Ask the new citizens to talk about studying for citizenship and what has happened after they became citizens.
    • Assign classmates to help people sign the Constitution and give each student a copy.
    • Sign the Constitution.
    • Eat cake!
    • The CA State Budget passed on Tuesday, but Gov. Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto it. If our administration approves, we will fill-out and send the Governor postcards which say: PASS THE STATE BUDGET! FULLY FUND ADULT EDUCATION plus two quotes from the 1st Amendment & the CA Constitution about petitioning the government.

    Here are more resources from US Citizenship Podcast for Constitution Day!

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Preparing for "I Signed the Constitution"


    Yesterday, assembled the USCIS 100 hall-cards.


    • We printed out each of the USCIS 100 questions on separate white sheets of 8.5x11" paper.

    • We printed out all the USCIS 100 answers on separate white sheets of 8.5x11" paper.We used a paper cutter to cut the questions and answers down to 8.5x5.5" rectangles.

    • We folded a 9x11" pieces of Federal Blue construction paper in half.

    • We used a glue stick to glue the corners of the questions on the outside of the hall card.

    • We used a glue stick to glue the corners of the answers on the inside of the hall card.
    Today we will:

    • Study the Constitution.

    • Put four loops of blue sticky-tape on the back of the hall cards and hung them up in four rows of twenty-five cards.

    • Make hall cards for the USCIS 96. We will use red construction paper.

    • Un-roll the big Constitution and parchment paper.

    • Sharpen the quills and test the ink.

    • Set up tables in the hallway.

    Tomorrow we will

    • Study the Constitution.

    • Ask the new citizens to talk about studying for citizenship and what has happened after they became citizens.

    • We will assign classmates to help people sign the Constitution and give each student a copy.

    • Each class will come and sign the Constitution.

    • Eat cake!

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Mid-Autumn Festival: Fly Me To The Moon!


    Frank Sinatra - Fly Me To The Moon!
    A special song for the Mid-Autumn festival--Perfect for Moon Viewing!

    Fly me to the moon
    Let me play among the stars
    Let me see what spring is like
    On a-Jupiter and Mars
    In other words, hold my hand
    In other words, baby, kiss me

    Fill my heart with song
    And let me sing for ever more
    You are all I long for
    All I worship and adore
    In other words, please be true
    In other words, I love you

    Fill my heart with song
    Let me sing for ever more
    You are all I long for
    All I worship and adore
    In other words, please be true
    In other words, in other words
    I love ... you!

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Five ESL Podcast Episodes about Phone Conversations

    ESL Podcast 408 – Calling Someone You Haven’t Met About a Job
    Learn how to make a business call in English to someone you don’t know in this episode. Download Podcast

    ESL Podcast 407 - Waiting for a Man or Woman to Call
    Romance can be a game sometimes. Learn about what happens when he doesn't call (and she doesn't call, either!). Download Podcast

    ESL Podcast 375 – A Call from a Telemarketer
    Learn how to get rid of people who call to sell you things in English in this episode. Download Podcast

    ESL Podcast 243 – Speaking to a Store Clerk on the Phone
    Find out how to call the store before you go shopping in this episode. Download Podcast

    ESL Podcast 132 - Getting Through on the Phone
    First, there was the phone tree. I had to go through three menus before I got the option to speak to an operator. Download Podcast

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Mooncakes!


    San Jose Chinese Moon Festival 2008
    Sunday, September 28, 2008, 1:00pm to 5:00pm
    Free Admission and Parking
    Overfelt Gardens 368 Educational Park Dr. San José, CA
    In the Chinese Cultural Garden

    The Beijinger: Mad about Mooncakes

    Chiff.com: "When the moon is full, mankind is one!"

    Similar harvest festivals with their own unique traditions also occur during the same time - in Korea during the three-day Chusok or Chu Suk festival; in Vietnam during Tet Trung Thu; and in Japan at the Tsukimi festival.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    It never rains in Southern California...

    Many people say that, "It never rains in southern California."

    In response by Mr. Kang's question about rainfall (precipitation) in San Diego, here is a podcast about preparing for a trip to San Diego, plus links to the average temperature and rainfall in several Californian cities.

    Inspired by Mr. Panchal's story about his cave tour, there is list of links to more caves at the end of today's post.

    Listen: ESL Podcast 122 - Packing Toiletries for a Trip
    Let's take a trip to San Diego, but we have to pack first. Download Podcast.

    Average temperature and rainfall for ten Californian cities. (More cities).

    More cave information:

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    The Legacy of the California Missions

    Read Today's Handout: The Legacy of the California Missions

    See more old pictures of Santa Clara Valley Fruit Agriculture.

    Listen: KLIV: What is the difference between a Prune and a Plum?

    Listen to more Produce Reports.
    Known as “Mr. Produce” for his exceptional development of fruit and vegetable departments at Cosentino Markets, Phil Cosentino presents tips and information about fruits and vegetables during The Produce Report.

    VOANews: From San Diego to San Francisco, Visiting the Beautiful Missions Along the Coast of California
    On EXPLORATIONS: A religious group within the Catholic Church called the Franciscans built the settlements. The Franciscans chose a young priest named Junipero Serra to begin the work.
    California Missions Word Search

    Map of the California Missions

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    I have a cold!

    Wednesday's Lesson
    ESL Podcast 254 – Good Hygiene
    They say that people are taking too many sick days and it’s bad for productivity. Juanita: So, we all have to sit through a training. What a pain! ...


    Thursday's Lesson
    VOANews: From San Diego to San Francisco, Visiting the Beautiful Missions Along the Coast of California
    On EXPLORATIONS: A religious group within the Catholic Church called the Franciscans built the settlements. The Franciscans chose a young priest named Junipero Serra to begin the work.
    MP3 - Download (MP3)
    MP3 - Listen to (MP3)
    RealAudio - Download

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Milpitas and San Jose Water!

    Mr Lin asked a very interesting question: "Where does our water come from?"

    Two sources: If you live south of Calaveras Blvd, you get your water from the San Luis Reservoir via the California and South Bay Aqueduct. See Map of CA State Water Project.

    If you live north of Calaveras Blvd, you get your water from Hetch Hetchy.

    During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the water system failed, and fire destroyed half of the city. The City and County of San Francisco decided that it must have it's own fresh water supply. SF asked the US government to dam Hetch Hetchy Valley (near Yosemite) to collect the water from the melting snow in the Sierra Nevada.

    The water comes down the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct to the reservoirs in the mountains around the SF Bay Area. The water for Milpitas and Fremont is stored in the Calaveras Reservoir, which used to be the largest earth fill dam in the world. It is 210 feet (64 m) tall and was completed in 1925. The reservoir has a capacity of 100,000 acre-feet (123,000,000 m³). The reservoir is also fed by two creeks, Arroyo Hondo and Calaveras Creek, and is next to the Calaveras Fault.

    The drinking water for Milpitas and East San Jose is processed at the Penitencia Water Treatment Plant.

    Today's Handout:
    Early California History pg 6
    Map of Santa Clara County Flood Zones pg 59

    See also:
    San Jose Drinking Water
    Milpitas Drinking Water
    Map of Milpitas Water Service Area (pg 21)

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Schwarzenegger!

    For the next two weeks, we will study the Government and History in preparation for Constitution Day on September 17. We will also mark California Admissions Day on September 9 (CA joined the USA in 1850).

    Constitution Day is also known as Citizenship Day. One of the most famous naturalized US citizens is the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today we will read a short biography about Governor Schwarzenegger. You can download the handout here.

    VOANews: California and Its People
    Many people consider California the land of dreams; the state population grew almost five percent between 2000 and 2003.

    VOANews: THIS IS AMERICA - California - 2003-11-23
    The western state of California is has one of the largest populations in the United States. Its natural resources and technology industry have made it one of the most popular places to live.

    VOANews: October 4, 2003: California Recall Election - 2003-10-03
    Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger could become California's next governor after next week's recall election.

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    Pronunciation

    Vocabulary Flash Cards
    You need to know how to pronounce a word. You check the dictionary. There are phonetic symbols, but you're not exactly sure which sound goes with which symbol, because different dictionaries use different symbol sets.

    You can use web resources with audio, such as Longman Online Dictionary (see the sidebar) or Merriam Webster (which has audio for most words), or carry around electronic dictonary.

    You can also use: International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)--English Sounds from UIowa (audio with animation--cool!) (Spanish) (German)

    VOANews: Where Did the English Language Come From? Part 1
    Five thousand years ago in southeastern Europe, people spoke a language called Proto-Indo-European. 081908

    VOANews: How English Became a Modern Language Part II
    During the 1500s, English became the modern language we would recognize today. The language later added words from other cultures. 082908

    Saturday, September 6, 2008

    New Citizen: Wang Jong-Yi

    Five Loaves and Two Fishes
    May the Lord Bless You and All Your Good Works!

    Congratulations!
    Listen to Mr Wang's mock USCIS Interview.

    Friday, September 5, 2008

    Chip off the old block

    Today we will continue to discuss hockey moms and study the following idioms about chips:
    • bargaining chip

    • be in the chips

    • call/cash in your chips

    • a chip off the old block

    • have a chip on your shoulder

    • let the chips fall where they may

    • when the chips are down

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    Chipper


    Video of Saran Palin @ the GOP Convention

    Gov Palin described herself as a "hockey mom" and then told this joke: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." Is this joke funny, insulting, or a warning?

    In the past year, we have tried many snacks, especially chips. Today we will continue discuss Gov. Sarah Palin, share a chip assortment from Frito-Lay and Sun Chips, and study the following idioms about chips:

    • bargaining chip
    • be in the chips
    • call/cash in your chips
    • a chip off the old block
    • have a chip on your shoulder
    • let the chips fall where they may
    • when the chips are down

    Solution to the Sudoku Puzzle 105.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Breaking English News: McCain & Palin II

    Today we will continue to study the Breaking English News article:
    McCain picks female running mate(read) (handout) (discussion questions)

    We will also complete a GOP & Dems National Conventions scrambled Words Puzzle. The words are: carry, each, gavel, grand, huge, other, plans, plank, voting.

    Listen to VOANews: Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, Is McCain's Surprise Choice
    Listen to all mp3s and watch all videos from VOA 2008 Election News

    Yesterday, we reviewed the following terms:
    • evacuate, vacation, vacuum
    • accept, except, expect, surprise turn
    • huge gamble v. wise choice
    • double standard
    • Down Syndrome (listen to VOANews)
    • pro-life v. pro-choice
    • "me: first, country: second" politics.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Breaking English News: McCain & Palin

    The U.S. presidential campaign took a surprise turn on Friday night. John McCain picked the little-known governor of Alaska Sarah Palin to run as his vice-president.

    Today we will study Breaking English News article:
    McCain picks female running mate
    (read) (handout) (discussion questions)

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    New Movie: Mad About English



    Mad About English is a 60 minutes documentary about Chinese people learning and speaking English in preparation for the Olympic Games.