Visit the following website and listen to the newscast:
http://learningenglish.voanews.com/audio/Audio/295045.html

** Write the answer and the time in the show when you hear the answer.

1. Where is the host?
2. Are car sales increasing or decreasing in China?
3. What is happening in South Africa?
4. Where did the large group of Chinese visit South Africa 5. What did they do there?
6. Where did South Africa add visa-processing offices?
7. Who was Cape Town’s tourism market directed at before? 8. How much have auto sales increased in China?
9. How many vehicles will they sell this year?
10. How many will be sold in the US?
11. Where is the auto show?
12. Dave Shoke says there are how many customers?
13. Are hybrid vehicles and electric technology important in China now? 14. How have SUV sales changed recently?

ANSWERS ARE LINKED HERE:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/45852891/VOA%20Listening%20-%20China%20Auto%20Show.pdf

I recently stumbled upon this website which is a new and interesting idea. It collects writing from anyone on the web. You can write articles and submit them to the site. The site is called Helium. I’m not sure why, but if you are interested, I looked at the “English Language” catagory and there are about 80 articles on the English Language. Some are obviously aimed at ESL students. If you want to check it out go here:

http://www.helium.com/channels/807-English-Language

http://www.helium.com/knowledge/48486-speaking-good-english

scroll down until you see this part…

picture 1

and select an article. Don’t forget you can go to the next page at the bottom to look at all the articles.

Cheers

Here is a new article I have written about trees. I think trees are great and the many different types of trees amaze me! So, I decided to write an article to describe some of the many amazing types of trees. I will await the comments of Shirley, a tree expert. 😉

Awesome Trees

Have you ever wanted to find a word in the dictionary but you…. surprisingly… can’t find the right word? Have you ever thought: “Gee it would be nice to be able to find a word by the definition”? I have some good news that can hopefully easy some of that painful feeling you get when you want to remember the perfect word for the situation. It’s called a reverse dictionary. Here’s how it works:

1) You type in words that might be in the definition of the word. For example, try making a question you would typically ask to your teacher. Like this: “Is there a word for someone who is afraid of technology”?

2) Then you can isolate the “key” words from that sentence (in this case, “technology” and “afraid”) and put them into the reverse dictionary. Here are the results of searching one reverse dictionary for these terms.

3) Look through the results to find the word you were looking for, or to find a new better word. You can also try to rearange the order of your search words. This can help sometimes. If you click on the link in the last paragraph, you can find the suggested words for “afraid” and “technology”. You can see the first on the list is “technophobia”. That’s the word I was looking for, however you can also see that the third suggestion is “cyberphobia”. Oh great.. that’s my new favorite word! I can click on the word to see how many online dictionaries have this word, then I can choose a dictionary to give me the definition. I like Dictionary.com because it gives me related words at the bottom, very clearly. Here is the definition for my new favorite word!

Here is a link to the best reverse dictionary in my opinion, however do an internet search for reverse dictionary yourself to see if you can find a better one!
http://www.onelook.com/

Here is the new lesson plan, and audio.  This story is tough, and has lots of difficult vocabulary and phrases.  Enjoy!

Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses

Mp3 Audio

Here is a new Recent News Lesson Plan with audio Mp3 file.  Hope you enjoy this one as well.  The Audio file has little extra news bits at the beginning for your interest and to help you with listening.  I try to go slow, but let me know if you have any suggestions about my reading speed.

US Withdrawing 12,000 troops from Iraq

Audio Mp3

10 Seconds of Wow!

So, you want to write a resume?  What is important?  How should you start?  My advice and the general consensus is that your resume is like a personal advertisement and has only 10-20 seconds to make a good enough impression to land you the interview.  The top of the first page should highlight the best aspect of your qualifications.  For example, if your education is your best asset, then you place that at the top of the first page.  If your work experience is your best asset, then you should place that at the top.

Article about resume writing

Powerwords and Jargon

Many factors regarding the look, and outline of your resume and cover letter also depend on the job you are applying for.  Powerwords are words that convey a strong message of competence.  They are important.  Also, each industry and profession has jargon, and key-phrases and vocabulary which are important to that profession.  Try to use these types of vocabulary to increase the power of your resume and cover letter.
Try doing a Google search for “your profession” + jargon.  For example, you can type “telemarketing jargon”, or “fashion jargon” into Google to get some key terms for that profession.  Here are the top hits I got for these searches on Google.com.

Telemarketing Jargon

Fashion Jargon
Article about POWERWORDS

New for 009

Video isn’t only taking over the  internet, and cellphones these days.  People are even using video resume’s to try and get them to the top of the job list.  Although I agree it could do as much damage as it could do good for your chances of ultimately getting into the interview room, it is an option worth further examination.  I know some schools in Japan that demand video resumes for their teachers, but since they are hiring teachers from overseas, a video resume makes sense.   Being in front of a video can be likened to being in front of a class of students.

Sample Video Resume – click on the questions at the top to see different questions

1 Minute quick tip for resume writing

Here is a new lesson plan.  I am going to try out something new for a month and see what happens.  I will add an Mp3 file which includes a reading of the news story and also some added information for the definitions.  Hopefully they can help your listening practice as well!  I may add quizzes to these lesson plans as well in the future!

Should Cell Phone Jamming be Legal?

Mp3 Audio

How can you practice your listening skills for foreign accents?  One idea I can offer to people who do business with Europeans, Australians, Russians, or any other non-native speakers who have a thick, exotic, or difficult accent is to watch movies or TV shows with people who have that accent.  This will at least give you some practice listening to someone with that accent.  When you are speaking to another non-native speaker, make sure to speak clearly, and try to “parrot” the person, by imitating their grammar, and using the same vocabulary that they use.

I did a quick scan of the Internet, and Youtube to find some helpful listening resources.  Here are some resources I found to help you pick up a foreign accent.

IDEA – International Dialects of English Archive
http://web.ku.edu/idea/index.htm

**These listening files come with a transcript so you can read along and try to figure it out!!
First, go to this website, and choose a continent location from the right side menu.  Then Choose a country location from the right-side menu.  Scroll down a bit until you get to the table that looks like this.

picture-1

Here you can use mp3 file on the right, and download the transcript on the left to read along!  This archive has EVERY accent on earth, with hours of audio for each accent, so you can use this to hone your listening for that particular accent!

The Speech Accent Archive
** Browse by native language, or by region by clicking on the map.
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_language.php
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

Youtube

**click on the links to get to one video, but be sure and look on the right side to find more video’s with the same person

German / Austrian

-WolfGang Puck – Cooking Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJd8_TYPu5Y

Australian

-Steve Irwin


British

The Naked Chef
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJJi8ROrvZE

Irish / Scottish

Liam Neelson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwjlYgu2ObU

Otago Sound Clips
http://www.otago.ac.nz/anthropology/Linguistic/Sounds/Sounds.html

** this website mainly has accents from the United Kingdom (British).  The transcript is on the main page.