Friday, December 27, 2013

US Re-balance to Asia Overshadowed by Tensions with China

VOAVideo: US Re-balance to Asia Overshadowed by Tensions with China

The U.S. moved to pivot military, diplomatic and economic resources toward Asia in 2013, but the policy was sidetracked by bickering among allies and an increasingly assertive China. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Seoul.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

China's City of Entrepreneurs Waits for Deeper Reforms

VOAVideo: China's City of Entrepreneurs Waits for Deeper Reforms

Businessmen and women from China's eastern coastal city of Wenzhou have long had a reputation of being financial risk-takers in search of the next big business opportunity. But after the city was hit with an economic crisis two years ago as bad loans ballooned, the government began experimenting with financial reforms. VOA's Bill Ide visited Wenzhou for a look at how the reforms are working.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas is Big Business for Xitan, China's 'Christmas Village'

VOAVideo: Christmas is Big Business for Xitan, China's 'Christmas Village'

holiday, but this year -- no public celebrations. VOA's Bill Ide visited the place where Christmas ornaments remain big business, even though the holiday itself has been a source of controversy.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

ESL Podcast 948 – Listening to Motivational Speakers

ESL Podcast 948 – Listening to Motivational Speakers 

Get motivated to listen to a motivational speaker in this episode about listening to a motivational speaker who motivates people to listen to motivational speakers. 
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Speaking More than One Language Could Delay Dementia

VOA Learning English: Speaking More than One Language Could Delay Dementia

In fact, researchers say speaking two languages appears to be more important than education in defending against several kinds of dementias.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

James Bond: Diamonds and Friends are Forever!

(Teacher Jennifer--Here is another story from the Milpitas Adult Ed Senior ESL Class 11/16/2006.)

Mr. Lee:                Are you still interested in going to see the new James Bond movie?

Mr. Wang             Of course!

Mr. Lee                 Are you interested in going to lunch before the movie?

Mr. Lee                 Maybe.  Can you suggest a good place?

Mr. Wang             The movie is at Century Great Mall Theatres. 
                             We could go to Mayflower or Fresh Choice.

Mr. Lee                 I am on a diet.  Let’s go to Fresh Choice.
Mr. Wang             I am glad you chose Fresh Choice.
                             When I go to a dim sum restaurant, I eat too much and spend too much money.

Mr. Lee                 What time does the restaurant open?

Mr. Wang             It opens at 11:00 am.

Mr. Lee                 What time does the movie start?

Mr. Wang             The first showing is at 11:40.

Mr. Lee                 Forty minutes is not enough time for lunch.

Mr. Wang             The second showing is at 12:40
If we have extra time, we can shop.

Mr. Lee                 Good!  I want to find a good present that my children can buy me for Christmas.

Mr. Wang             Hah!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Huge Display of Lights Brings Out Christmas Spirit in US

VOAVideo: Huge Display of Lights Brings Out Christmas Spirit in US

For many families in the United States, taking a drive to see local light decorations during the Christmas holiday is an annual tradition. One of the most spectacular in the Washington area features more than one million lights. VOA's Deborah Block takes us to dazzling displays at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hernia Operation

(Teacher Jennifer's note--I am going some of my old computer files and found this story from my Senior ESL class 09/20/2006.  My mother passed away in 2011 and the Senior ESL Class has been disbanded.  But I still miss my mother and my Senior students every day!)

I am worried about my mother’s operation because she is so upset.  I decided to ask my Senior ESL class for their advice.

This is what I wrote on the whiteboard:

My mother will have a hernia operation on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
She is very, very sad.
What can I say to her to cheer her up?

This was the class response:

1                   It is a small operation.
2                   Many people have this operation.
3                   After the operation, she will feel much better.
4                   Don’t  worry, be happy!
5                   Pray to God strength.  Ask your friends to pray to God.  We will pray, too.
6                   Talk to a person who had the operation.  What was their experience before and after the operation?
7                   Eat fish or rice soup.
8                   Don’t eat chicken soup—too much fat.
9                   Tell her that her doctor is famous and very skillful.

10              Tell your dad to be brave.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Calls for Reform Increase as China's Economy Slows

VOA Learning English: Calls for Reform Increase as China's Economy Slows

Experts say China has been too dependent on cheap or low-cost labor, cheap exports and cheap resources like coal to fuel its economic growth.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ESL Podcast 947 – Seeing a Circus Performance

ESL Podcast 947 – Seeing a Circus Performance 

Don’t cry out loud when you listen to this episode about the circus coming to town. It’s really not that bad. 
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Monday, December 9, 2013

US Homes Attractive to Foreign Buyers

VOAVideo: US Homes Attractive to Foreign Buyers

The wealthy around the world are always looking for ways to invest their money, and for some people that means buying homes in the United States. While foreign buyers make up just more than six percent of overall home sales in the United States, certain cities are disproportionately affected by foreign buyers, and that includes neighborhoods in southern California, where Elizabeth Lee has this report for VOA.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

ESL Podcast 946 – Designing a Building

ESL Podcast 946 – Designing a Building 

Design the next great building in this episode about a male architect and the woman who hires them. 
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Clinics Provide US Health Care Enrollment Help

VOAVideo: Clinics Provide US Health Care Enrollment Help

The debate over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, continues. But the White House says improvements to the website have dramatically boosted enrollment. In some places, trained counselors are helping people navigate the website and they also help enrollees understand how such insurance works.

Friday, December 6, 2013

SL Podcast 945 – Using Electronics While Traveling

ESL Podcast 945 – Using Electronics While Traveling 

What’s a vacation without cell phones, smartphones, tablets, computers, cables, batteries, and power strips? Find out in this episode. 
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mandela Through His Own Words

VOAVideo: Mandela Through His Own Words

Inaugural Speech, Pretoria [Nelson Mandela]- 5/10/94

Subject: Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech - Pretoria May 10 From: ancdip@WN.APC.ORG (tim jenkin) Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 13:37:00 -0400

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Distinguished Guests, Comrades and Friends:

Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world,confer glory and hope to newborn liberty.

Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.

All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today.

To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld.

Each time one of us touches the soil of this land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The national mood changes as the seasons change.

We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.

That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression.

We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil.

We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity.

We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism,non-racialism and democracy.

We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth,business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honourable F.W. de Klerk.

We would also like to pay tribute to our security forces, in all their ranks, for the distinguished role they have played in securing our first democratic elections and the transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty forces which still refuse to see the light.

The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us.

We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country,the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment.

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

God bless Africa!

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chinese Sculptors Bring Their Talent to US Holiday Ice Show

VOAVideo: Chinese Sculptors Bring Their Talent to US Holiday Ice Show

No matter what the thermometer shows about the weather in your neighborhood - this next story will keep you cool. For the Christmas holiday, a huge attraction at the Marriott Gaylord National hotel near Washington DC is made entirely of ICE. Actually, more than 900,000 kilograms of ice! As VOA's Carolyn Presutti shows us, the artwork is done entirely by Chinese ice carvers.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ESL Podcast 943 – Making a Will

ESL Podcast 943 – Making a Will 

The only certain things in life are death and taxes. Learn about avoiding taxes after death in this episode. 
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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Breast Cancer Story Everyone Should See

VOAVideo: The Breast Cancer Story Everyone Should See

Former VOA producer Zulima Palacio discusses her battle with breast cancer with On Assignment's Alex Villarreal and VOA health reporter Carol Pearson. Carol produced a five-part series on Zuli, her diagnosis and her treatments. Both women say they shared Zuli's story to encourage women worldwide to listen to their bodies.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

ESL Podcast 941 – Types of Shopping Areas

ESL Podcast 941 – Types of Shopping Areas 

Shop ‘till you drop in this episode, where one lucky guy gets to go shopping with his girlfriend. 
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