in Class 29oct 2014

October 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today we had Ye and B.  So I changed the plan.  It was a chance to review some basics.   A couple of situations came up.   Ye phoned G – how to say G did not answer? A question came up with “What do you do”.  So I started with those.  We eventually  went on to the To Be exercises on the computer.  I also downloaded Google Translate to Ye’s phone – she rocks it!


The phone:
“She is not answering the phone” when you are calling and waiting for an answer.  This is Present Continuous.
“She did not answer the phone.” After the call, after you hang up. This is Simple Past.

“What do you do?”
When someone asks you, “What do you do?” They usually mean – what to you do for a job, your work.
“I teach.”  “I clean houses.”  Use the Simple Present form meaning “in general”.

“What do you do?”  Vs. “What are you doing?

  • “What do you do?” Is usually about your work.  “I teach.”  It is Simple Present, in general.
  • “What are you doing?” This means right now, the present.  While you are talking.  This is Present Continuous (-ing).
    A friend may call you and ask, “What are you doing?”  You answer, “I am watching TV.”  “I am cooking.”

There can be more words added to “What do you do…?”  to be specific:

  • “What do you do for fun?”  You answer about something that you like to do, “I like to walk in the park.”
  • “What do you do on Wednesdays?”  Notice that is WednesdayS.  More than one.  This mean what do you do every Wednesday.  “I go to class.” Simple Present  Again, something you do in general, regularly – not  just one special time.
Reviewed Simple Present and Simple Past:
  • To Be
  • To Want – to desire something (Went is the Past Tense of To Go)
Reviewed: Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs
  • Regular with verbs means normal, predictable: they all work the same.
  • Regular Verbs add -ed in the Simple Past Tense.
  • Irregular Verbs are not normal, not predictable:  they change to different words in Simple Past.
“To Want” is a Regular Verb: in Simple Past you add -ed
Simple Present
I want
You want
He, she, it wants – you add as -S here
We want
They want
You want
Simple Past
Wanted – all use wanted, I wanted, you wanted…
“To Go” is an Irregular Verb: it changes to a different word in the Simple Past
Simple Present
I go
You go
He, she, it goes – here you add an -S
We go
They go
You go
Simple Past, the word changes
Went – all use this.  I went, you went, ….

Computer Lab

  • We started the Simple Present and Simple Past of To Be, plus negative – “not”.
  • There are 10 pages to do.  It starts simple and gets more difficult with each page.
  • We got through Exercise 5.  B stayed after class and kept working.  I don’t know how far she finished.
We will continue next week.
We will do the vocabulary worksheets next week – see 29Oct 2014 Class Plan
I think I will present an easier and shorter reading for Ye.  She did very well reading it on her own and doing the exercises.  It was awesome!




29Oct 2014 | Class Plan

October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Halloween is this week.  So will will read a story about it.  I wanted to read a piece and modify a lesson about cemeteries:  But we need the practice with reading, vocab, discussion and lab time.


Let sleeping dogs lie


Multiple choice definitions for basic words.

Grammar/Computer Lab

YES/NO question formation.  Review first in class, then they do these exercises:  This needs to wait for auxiliary verbs

Drill: To Be
This is an intensive set of exercises for the verb To Be.  They are in Simple Present and Simple Past only.  Start with Exercise 1 and work in order.  They get more difficult.

  • Do exercises 1-10 (not all of them at once – a few labs)
  • on this page:.

Class/Computer Lab:


It was Halloween, the last day of October. It was October 31. Halloween was Freddy’s favorite day. He liked Halloween better than Christmas. He liked Halloween better than his birthday. Halloween was dress-up day. Halloween was costume day. Halloween was Superman day. On Halloween, Freddy was Superman. Every Halloween, Freddy wore a Superman costume. He wore his red boots. He wore his blue pants. He wore his yellow belt. He wore his red cape. He wore his blue shirt. His blue shirt had a big red “S” on it. The “S” was for Superman. Superman was Freddy’s hero. Superman was strong. Superman could pick up a train. Superman could pick up a house. Superman could pick up a ship. Freddy loved his costume. He wore his Superman costume every Halloween. Everyone said, “Hello, Superman!” to him. He said hello to everyone. People gave Superman lots of candy.


  • belt
  • boot
  • candy
  • cape
  • costume
  • dress-up
  • Halloween
  • hero
  • shirt
  • strong
  • superman
  • wear

Dictation: assign as homework

15oct 2014 Class

October 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi Ya, thank you for taking time to read my notes.   On Wednesday we talked a lot, we did not do class work. I will try to remember what we did in class.  I did a lot of talking and we all talked together.  Ye, B, and G.  We reviewed the reading passage about Homeless People.  We read it again for comprehension in more detail.

A common theme was “respect” for all people and that no people are above another.  People are different and that is a good thing.  More interesting!

There are many homeless people in America, we see them every day.  They stand on the streets asking for money.  They live under bridges, on the sidewalk, in a park, in shelters and in cars.  In the past most of the homeless people were men.  Now there are women, children and entire families that are homeless.  We talked about how the homeless are treated badly by people sometimes.  People can be unkind to homeless people by saying and doing cruel things to them, or by ignoring them.  The homeless are people who deserve respect too.  I talk with homeless people the same way that I speak to any people.  I give them money, food and water sometimes.  It makes me very angry when I see homeless veterans.  B had mentioned that she was surprised to see homeless veterans, especially the older ones from the Vietnam War – and we all agreed that it was wrong for veterans to be homeless in their own country.

I went off on a huge tangent about missionaries and colonization.  Poorly simplified social history.  But interesting for all of us.  So it was fun.  I talked, and we discussed as a group.  I went on about how missionaries in history went to other countries that had been invaded/colonized to “help” people to be “better” by converting them to Christianity and European customs – like language and clothing.  The local people were not allowed to follow their own customs, language or religion.  They may even have been beaten or killed for speaking their own language.  B talked about how the Turks and British did this in the Middle East to the Arab people.  I talked about how it happened in The Americas.  Mexico, Central and South America had empires, large cities and things like gold – they were highly organized and powerful.  The countries were invaded, colonized and many people were killed, but their cultures were not erased.  We named some of the Meso-American empires together and talked about Indian peoples of the region.  In North America it was a little different.  The North American Indians had “simpler” cultures that were not powerful in the same way.  Many North American Indians were simply killed to take the land, and because they were not respected as people.   I told the smallpox blanket story.  Always shocking.  And taking Indian children from their families to go to reservation schools to “civilize” them as recently as the 20th century.

Computer Lab:  We had more work to finish on the computers with the “Homeless People” reading exercises and puzzle.

Note: I need to remember dictation!

in Class 22Oct 2015

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Okay I need to do this entry!

13oct Monday Class

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

We had a slow start.  Ye, Ya, and G.  We need to the review this piece for comprehension and dictation.  We read the passage aloud for the Computer Lab work.  Including vocabulary list presentation.

Homeless People

Los Angeles is a big city. There are millions of people here. But thousands of people have no home. They are homeless people. They live on the sidewalks. They sleep on the sidewalks. They are called street people. They don’t have cars. They have shopping carts. They fill the carts with their belongings. They put their extra clothes into the carts. They put their blankets into the carts. Many homeless people live downtown. They live near the newspaper building. They live near the courthouse. They live near fancy condos. They have no money. They sit on the sidewalk all day. People walk by them. They ask people for money. People say they don’t have any money. There are missions downtown. These missions feed homeless people. They give them free lunches. They feed them every day. Some missions have beds. Homeless people sleep in these beds. But there are more homeless people than beds. There are not enough beds for the homeless people. So most homeless people sleep on the sidewalk. They sleep next to their shopping carts.

Do the following exercises:

Read and listen to the story.
Review vocabulary, fill in the blank – Cloze, crossword puzzle, word order and dictation.

Vocabulary       Cloze       Crossword        Sentences        Dictation


8oct 2014 Class

October 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

We spent most of the first hour talking.  There were 3 of us, me, B and Ya.  The two students engaged each other in conversation about what is it like to have such freedoms in America and about B’s country – the religious restrictions and current dangers, and more.  They even went to the wall map during their discussion.  (I love maps). So I let them talk, as English is their common language.  I joined in, added clarification and little correction.  I am impressed at the level of conversation – about esoteric topics like religion, politics, stigma – people’s perceptions and reactions.

B’s son joined us for the second hour.  His class had been cancelled.  I invited him to join us anytime that happens.  He did very well!

We quickly read the passage “In Love” and worked on the corresponding exercises in the computer lab.
See previous post for the passage and links to lab exercises. 

The next week Monday/Wednesday:

Do the dictation from “in Love” and check it.

Reading/Lab: A more difficult reading passage, with exercises:  the vocabulary list is much longer.  We should practice reading definitions in English – there are links to the definitions on the vocabulary page.

News: read a news story for the day – From – level 1


Class 1oct 2014

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment


Today we will discuss “love”.  Write questions on the board.  Ss copy and answer verbally.

  • What is love?
  • What kinds of love are there?  How are they different?
  • How does it feel?
  • Does it last forever?


Should, Would and Could


Should is used to give advice and make recommendations and to talk about obligation, duty and what is expected to happen. Reference is to the present and the future. Should is similar to must but is not as strong as must.


If we want to talk about an unreal or unlikely situation that might arise now or in the future, we use a past tense in the if-clause and would + infinitive in the main clause. Compare the following and note thatwould is often abbreviated to ‘d:

  • How would you manage, if I wasn’t here to help you? ~ I’d manage somehow. I wouldn’t bother to cook. I’d go out to eat or bring home a take-away. I’d ask your mother to help me with the washing and the ironing. I know she’d help me.

Nouns and Verbs – handout: “Batty About Bats”

Bats fly. Bats have extra skin. This skin connects their hands, arms and ankles. Why do they have it? The skin forms wings. Bats use their wings to fly. They fly at night to find food. They need their wings to eat.

People sit and stand. Bats hand upside down, even when they sleep. Some bats live in trees. Some live in buildings. Others live in caves.

Find the nouns – which are a person, place or thing?
Find the verbs.
Is this piece past, present, future or in general? 

Reading for Computer Lab.   See 8oct 2014 class/computer lab

Handout: “In Love”
Donna loved her husband. Her husband loved Donna. They were in love with each other. She wanted to give him a birthday present. He was going to be 40 years old next week. She wondered what to give him. Should she give him a watch? Should she give him a sweater? Should she give him a new guitar? What should she give him? She asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He said he didn’t want anything for his birthday. “Oh, you must want something!” she said. “You’re right,” he said. “I want your love forever.”
Lab Exercises:  Crossword, Cloze, Dictation
Dictation:  can’t hear computers in lab, I will read.  They will write answers online.
1).  Did she love her husband?
2).  They were in love with each other.
3).  She wanted to give him a birthday present.
4).  He was going to be 40 years old.
5).  She wondered what to give him.
6).  Should she give him a watch?

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