Thursday, February 28, 2013

Using THE

Today's quiz was long, so we didn't have time to do Section 7-6 in BEG. Please study the chart on page 199 and listen to this screencast.

You can also watch this screencast from the BEG PowerPoint.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Counting Noncount Nouns: Using Expressions of Measure

How do you count milk, chocolate, meat, rice, paper, or tennis? These words are all noncount nouns, so we can't *drink 2 milks, *play a tennis, or *eat a meat. Visit this website to practice choosing the right "measure word." Be sure to do the 2 exercises (Click on Continue with the exercises at the bottom of the page).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Count and Noncount Nouns

Here is an introduction to count (countable) and noncount (uncountable) nouns.

Next, try this 3-minute video in British English.

This video may be difficult for you because the teacher uses some advanced vocabulary, but he gives some useful information about different kinds of noncount nouns.

Articles: A, AN, and THE

in this 5-minute lesson, Jennifer explains how we use articles (a, an, and the).

The second video is about the indefinite article (a, an) and "zero article" (no article, as in "I like apples." This video may be a little difficult for some of you to follow. Don't worry!

Preposition Review

Thanks to Ms. Draganescu for sharing this with me!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Simple Past

Watch Jennifer explain when we use the simple past tense:

Review with Part 3:

Now practice making questions and practice pronunciation with Part 4:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Past Form of Regular Verbs

The first video is on pronouncing the -ed ending.

The second video is a lesson by Jennifer Lebedev. (8 minutes)

The third video is some excerpts from songs with examples of the past tense.

The last video is the song "You Needed Me," sung by Anne Murray. The lyrics follow.


I cried a tear;
You wiped it dry.
I was confused;
You cleared my mind.
I sold my soul;
You bought it back for me
And held me up 
And gave me dignity. 
Somehow you needed me. 

You gave me strength
To stand alone again, 
To face the world 
Out on my own again. 
You put me high 
Upon a pedestal--
So high that I could almost see eternity. 
You needed me. 
You needed me. 

And I can't believe it's you; 
I can't believe it's true.
I needed you, and you were there. 
And I'll never leave; Why should I leave?
I'd be a fool 'cause I finally found someone who really cares. 

You held my hand
When it was cold.
When I was lost, 
You took me home. 
You gave me hope 
when I was at the end, 
And turned my lies 
Back into truth again. 
You even called me "friend." 

You gave me strength 
To stand alone again, 
To face the world 
Out on my own again. 
You put me high 
Upon a pedestal,
So high that I could almost see eternity. 
You needed me, you needed me. 
You needed me, you needed me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Past Forms of BE (WAS, WERE)

Watch these videos about the past tense of BE:

  1. Learn English with Jennifer, Lesson 45 (9 minutes; affirmative & negative sentences)
  2. Learn English with Jennifer, Lesson 46 (8 minutes; questions)
  3. Real English Lesson 42Were you good at school? (Scroll down for the video with captions.) There are 4 exercises. Try them! (The 5th one needs you to install some software. I didn't install it.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Podcast: A Trip to the National Gallery of Art

This week's podcast features an interview with Meshari Alkhuzaee about our field trip to the National Gallery of Art.

Transcript of the Interview

NL: This is Nina Liakos with the third 001 podcast. Today I’m speaking with your classmate, Meshari Alkhuzaee. Thanks for helping with the podcast, Meshari.
MK: Hi Mrs. Liakos. I'm glad to talk to you.
NL: This week, we went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Your assignment was to describe a painting. We looked at a lot of paintings of different places and people. You took pictures of paintings that you liked. The next day in the lab, you started to write a paragraph describing your painting. Meshari, did you enjoy the field trip?
MK: Yes, I did. It was a good day with my teachers and my classmates.
NL: What did you like the most?
MK: I liked everything in the museum. It was an interesting day.
NL: Was it difficult to choose a painting to describe?
MK: Yes, it was difficult to choose a specific picture because there are  a lot of pictures, and all of them are beautiful.
NL: Which painting did you finally choose?
MK: I chose Claude Monet's Sainte-Adresse.
NL: Why did you choose that painting?
MK: Because when I looked at this picture, I remembered my hometown, Jeddah.
NL: What was it in the painting that reminded you of your home town?
MK: The painting shows fishing boats on a beach. When I was young, my family lived near the sea. 
NL: After we looked at the paintings and took photos, we had lunch in the National Gallery cafeteria. What did you have for lunch, Meshari?
MK: I had white rice and a piece of fish.
NL: How was it?
MK: It was delicious. I liked it a lot.
NL: Would you like to go back to the National Gallery some day?
MK: Yes, I would like to go back to the National Gallery with my family.
NL: Thank you very much for speaking with me today!
MK: You are welcome. I appreciate the opportunity.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Reflecting on Week 5

At the end of each week, we think back (reflect) on what we have learned. This week, you will complete an electronic survey.

Please finish Chapter 6 in Basic English Grammar before you take the survey.

Click here to take survey

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Singular and Plural Nouns

Listen and watch the PowerPoint. Study the rules for regular noun plurals and examples on page 168 in your book. Then do the exercises.

Here is the PowerPoint for the last chart. After you listen and watch, study the rules for irregular noun plurals on page 173

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Plural Nouns

Jennifer explains how to make nouns plural here

She explain irregular noun plurals here


Here is an easy video to review where adjectives go in a sentence (2 minutes).

And here's a short video about adjectives and nouns that describe people.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Subject, Verb, Object

Watch this review of subject, verb, and object. Here is Part 1 (7 minutes):

and here is Part 2 (8 minutes). In Part 2, the teacher introduces the predicate ("the rest" of the sentence after you find the subject).

So to find the subject, ask, "Who or what is the sentence about?" 
To find the verb, ask "What does (or did, or will do...) the subject do?" 
To find the object, ask, "Who or what does (or did, or will...) the subject see/like/want/learn...?" 

Finally, watch a short video about prepositional phrases. We will learn about object pronouns tomorrow.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Podcast: A Description of My Living Room and Dining Room


I want to describe my living room. It’s a combination of a living room and a dining room in the shape of a capital L. We call this kind of dining room “a dining ell (L).”

In the first photo, I am standing in the living room, looking at the dining ell. The door to the kitchen is on the right. On the far wall between two chairs, there is a very old china closet which belonged to my grandmother. In the china closet, there are plates, cups, bowls, glasses, and other things. On top of the china closet, there are three decorative plates and two candlesticks with candles in them. To the left, there is a window which looks out on the deck and the back yard. My dining room table and four chairs are on that wall.

In the second photo, I am standing in the dining room, looking at the living room. You can see the dining room table on the right.  Between the table and the living room wall, there is a double French door which looks out on the deck and the back yard. In the corner next to the French doors, there is a flat-screen television set. To the right of the TV, there is a large orange exercise ball. To the left of the TV, there is a glass-fronted bookcase. There are pictures and photographs in the bookcase and on top of it.

In the third photo, you can see the glass-fronted bookcase on the right. There is a floor lamp next to the bookcase. On the wall next to the floor lamp, there is a copy of a painting by the French artist, Odilon Redon. In the background, you can see two hallways. The hallway on the right goes to the bedrooms, and the hallway on the left leads to the front door and the kitchen. On the left side of the photo, there is a green couch.

 In the next photo, you can see the front door in the background on the right. You can also see the couch. Behind the couch, there is a low wall, and behind the wall, there is a staircase leading down to the lower level of the house. There are two embroidered pictures on the wall above the staircase. My mother made these pictures. To the left of the sofa, there is a small end table with a blue lamp on it. There is a coffee table in front of the sofa. On the left, there is an armchair, and above the armchair, there is a print of a painting by Amadeo Modigliani on the wall.

In the last photo, you can see the dining ell again. On the wall over the dining room table, there is a copy of a famous painting by the Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer. The name of this painting is “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” I like this painting very much.

"Would Like" and "Like"

Review the difference between would like and like:

This video is for children, but I like it! Do you like it? Leave a comment below.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Prepositions of Place

We did not have time to learn about prepositions of place in class today, but you already know many of these prepositions.  Now listen to Mohamed explain prepositions of place to you on this video.

Here is a fun children's song to help you review prepositions:

And here are the words. The prepositional phrases are bolded.

Like a butterfly or like a bee
Like an ant as busy as can be
These little words we call the busy Ps:
Nine or ten of them do most all of the work
Of, on, to, with, in, from, by, for, at, over, across--
And many others do their job,
Which is simply to connect
Their noun or pronoun object
To some other word
In the sentence.
Busy Ps, if you please
On the top is where you are
(top relates to “where”)
With a friend you’ll travel far
(With a friend you'll go)
If you try you’ll know that you can fly over the rainbow
(Over the rainbow is where you can fly)
Busy prepositions,
Always on the go
Like a bunch
Of busy bees
Floating pollen on the breeze
Buzzing over the meadows
Beyond the forestthrough the trees
Into the beehive--
Busy, busy Ps
Into, beyond, over, on, through!
Busy prepositions always out in front
On the edgesin the crack,
Around the cornerfrom the back,
In between the action,
Stating clearly to your satisfaction
the location and direction.
Prepositions give specific information.
Though little words they are,
They never stand alone
Gathering words behind him you soon will see
How they have grown into a parade:
A prepositional phrase,
With a noun or at least a pronoun bringing up the rear
A little phrase of 2 or 3 or more words.
Prepositions! Attention! Forward--march!
Busy prepositions, always on the march,
Like a horde
Of soldier ants
Inching bravely forward on the slimmest chance
That they might better their positions.
Busy, busy prepositions,
In the airon the ground, everywhere--
The sun sank lower in the west.
In the west it sank,
And it will rise in the morning and will bring the light of day.
We say the sun comes up in the east every day.
In the east it rises.
Busy prepositions
Busy busy busy
On the top is where you are.
(On the top)
If you try you know that you can fly
(Fly where?)
Over the rainbow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MohamedESL - Chapter 5, Charts 1 - 6

Here are the links to Mohamed's lessons for the first part of Chapter 5.

Charts 5-1 and 5-2, "Using it to talk about time" and "Prepositions of time"
Chart 5-3, Using it to talk about the weather
Charts 5-4, 5-5, and 5-6: "There + be," "There + be: Yes/No questions," and "There + be: Asking questions with how many"

There is / There are

In this first video, learn/review the vocabulary for furniture in the living room. Then listen to Jennifer use there is/there are to talk about the living room. You can review prepositions of place with this video, too.

In the second video, Jennifer teaches Natasha about questions with "How many . . . are there?"

Monday, February 4, 2013

What's the weather like today?

Listen to lots of different answers to the question, "What's the weather like today?"

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Podcast: An Interview with Elizabeth Anne

For the first podcast, I spoke with Elizabeth Anne, an English teacher in Grenoble, France. I asked Elizabeth to tell me about a typical day in her life. Listen to the interview. If you need it, the transcript of the interview is below.


NL: OK, This is Nina Liakos in Gaithersburg Maryland, and I am speaking with Elizabeth Anne in Grenoble, France. Elizabeth is going to tell us about a typical day in her life. So, Elizabeth, what do you do on a typical day? Start with what time you usually get up.
EA: Well, if I talk about a work day, then I have to get up at half-past six, because it takes me a while to wake up. And I leave the house at around half-past seven because we start classes at 8 o’clock. I’m a teacher too, as you know. So it’s not every day because I teach at the university. Sometimes my classes start at 8:00 and sometimes they start at ten, or even some days I don’t have class at all.
Then I have to go to the university by car because there’s no direct bus service, so I drive to work and then I have to set up things for class. I need to get out the video projector and things like that, before the students come. So then we have four hours in the morning. And I usually have lunch in the staff room. Everyone…
NL: What time do you have lunch?
EA: Around 12:00. People either bring their lunch with them to work, or we have a cafeteria downstairs, which sells snacks.
NL: When you eat lunch, do you speak English or French?
EA: Well, at the entrance to our floor we have a sign in French saying “Vous quittez le zone francophone.”
NL: “You are leaving the French-speaking zone.” Our classroom is an English-only zone, and it’s challenging because all of my students speak Arabic…
EA: Aha.
NL: … so it’s very difficult for them not to speak Arabic.
EA: And, um, so my day will usually finish around five, although sometimes I don’t leave work until 7:00 in the evening.
NL: Wow.
EA: There are even some classes from five to seven.
NL: Do you teach those classes sometimes?
EA: One or two days a week, yes.
NL: OK. What time do you usually go to bed?
EA: Rarely before midnight.
NL: Okay, Elizabeth, thanks for talking to us today. This is Nina Liakos in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and I have been talking with Elizabeth Anne in Grenoble, France.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Questions in the Simple Present: When and What Time? Daily Routine

Watch Jennifer's video about daily routines. She talks about questions with when and what time, too. This video is about 10 minutes long.

Before you try to do the homework, watch this summary of Lesson 3-13 (p. 82) by MohamedESL:

Now watch Lesson 52 in the Learn English with Jennifer series:

Notice: Jennifer says "base form" for "simple form" of the verb. They mean the same thing.

Song: Why Do Fools Fall in Love?

This is a classic rock and roll song. Diana Ross (of "The Supremes") sings it here.  How many simple present questions can you find?

The lyrics (words) are here:

Why do birds sing so gay,
And lovers await the break of day?
Why do they fall in love?
Why does the rain fall from up above?
Why do fools fall in love?
Why do they fall in love?

Love is a losing game.
Love can be a shame.
I know of a fool, you see,
For that fool is me.
Tell me why, tell me why.

Why do birds sing so gay
And lovers await the break of day?
Why do they fall in love?
Why does the rain fall from up above?
Why do fools fall in love
Why do they fall in love?

Why does my heart skip a crazy beat,
For I know it will reach defeat?
Tell me why, tell me why.
Why do fools fall in love?
Tell me why, tell me why.

Now listen:

Questions in the Simple Present: How often? How long?

How often do you do the laundry?  I do it once a week.
How long does it take you to get to school?  It takes about an hour.

Here is a Real English video from Mike Marzio. Listen to native English speakers in different countries answer questions in the simple present tense. The interviewers ask questions with "How often...?" and "How long...?" Notice the use of the helping verb do/does.