Friday, December 31, 2010
VOAVideo: US Economic Momentum Continues
More signs that the US economy is moving in the right direction: The US Labor Department says new claims for unemployment benefits declined last week, dropping below 400,000 for the first time since July 2008. Other data also shows that businesses expanded in the month of December while home sales grew modestly in November. Despite the encouraging numbers, investors remain cautious as 2010 comes to a close. Mil Arcega reports.
Monday, December 27, 2010
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Measures of Effective Teaching project last year EDUCATION REPORT (download MP3)
Sunday, December 26, 2010
A look back at the revolution in consumer electronics over the past decade TECHNOLOGY REPORT download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)
Saturday, December 25, 2010
VOAVideo: 2010 Christmas Underscores Economic Contrasts
The Christmas Holiday - a long tradition in the West, is quickly gaining a foothold in many countries. Even in countries with few Christians, the holiday which symbolizes the birth of Jesus, is finding a home among people of different cultures. But the holiday also gives insight into the tough economic times we live in. Mil Arcega takes a look at the Christmas spirit in a booming China and a debt-riddled Greece.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
''The buzz phrase in the industry is 'content anywhere,''' says a Consumer Electronics Association spokesman TECHNOLOGY REPORT (download MP3)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
VOAVideo: Recovering from a global financial crisis
The world's recovery from an economic downturn is proving to be a long winding road, and a bumpy one at that. But has the path that led to the global financial meltdown provoked governments enough to take corrective actions? VOA's Philip Alexiou reports.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
VOA Learning English News: Aiming for Work in the Video Game Industry
Jason is one of a growing number of students seeking jobs in the video gaming and technology industry. He attends Montgomery College in the state of Maryland.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Most people enjoy working for several reasons. Their job might be fun, or they like their employer and the other people at work. Most people I know, however, work for the money. I do not know anyone who is loaded, or extremely rich. download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)
Saturday, December 18, 2010
VOAVideo: Inside Job Examines Economic Collapse
More than two years after the U.S. government approved the $700 billion emergency bailout for the financial system, unemployment is high and housing foreclosures are still a cause for concern. Charles Ferguson's documentary "Inside Job," takes a hard look at the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown and warns there could be another recession if the Obama administration is not tougher on the U.S. banking sector and businesses it considers "too big to fail."
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Internet Protocol Television normally requires a subscription and a box on top of the set TECHNOLOGY REPORT download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
VOAVideo: New York Burger Company Hopes to Succeed at 'Cursed Corner'
New York City has every kind of restaurant imaginable, from Albanian to Zambian. A French family of restaurateurs of Romanian and Vietnamese ancestry will soon enter this international mix. They will serve the American hamburger. But although the burger is a perennial favorite, their restaurant will be on a busy street corner with a history of failed restaurants. Some say the location is jinxed, but as VOA New York Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports, the family has taken precautions to avoid the worst.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The deal also extends aid for about 2 million jobless Americans ECONOMICS REPORT download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
VOA Learning English Video: Pilot Now Turns to Stopping a Descent in New Pilots
CHESLEY SULLENBERGER: "The number of student pilot starts, that is the number of people who begin to learn to fly, has decreased in the last number of years substantially. What we're trying to do is arrest that descent and to renew people's interest in aviation as a possibility for creation or for a profession."
Thursday, December 9, 2010
VOALearning English Video: PC Recycler Strikes Gold in Old Computer Chips
Each year, Americans throw away millions of tons of electronic devices. That means business is good for a small electronics recycler in Chantilly, Virginia.Company President Jeremy Faber established PC Recycler. He spoke to us from the floor of his company's processing center. Workers were busy taking apart televisions, cell phones and computers -- anything electronic. Jeremy Faber says the flow of discarded electronics is only increasing. (read more)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
VOAVideo: US Unemployment at 9.8% as Hiring Slowed in November
The U.S. unemployment rate rose to a seven month high in November as employers added fewer than 40,000 jobs to their payrolls. That's a sharp decline from October, when private sector employment grew by more than 150,000. After remaining unchanged at 9.6 percent for three months Friday's disappointing numbers helped push the nation's unemployment rate two-tenths of a point higher. Mil Arcega has more.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
VOAVideo: Presidential Panel Outlines Big Changes to Tame US Debt
A presidential panel charged with finding ways to pull the U.S. out of its spiraling debt is calling for sweeping changes that would impact all Americans for generations to come. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommends raising the retirement age and eliminating costly tax breaks as part of a larger plan to reduce the nation's mushrooming debt. The commission's leaders say failure to act could have grave consequences for the U.S. - but even panel's members are divided on whether the steps go too far or not far enough. Mil Arcega has more.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Award-winning research includes mathematical model to understand how long it takes workers to find jobs
Friday, December 3, 2010
VOAVideo: US Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire
Hundreds of thousands of Americans will see their federal unemployment benefits expire this week, and millions more by the end of the year, unless Congress acts to extend them. The payments are designed to provide the jobless with just enough temporary income to cover basic needs while they look for work. Congress has repeatedly prolonged the duration of those payments amid high U.S. unemployment but another extension is far from assured.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
VOAVideo: US Holiday Shopping Season off to Good Start
Early indications show the holiday shopping season in the United States is off to a promising start. The National Retail Federation says the number of Americans who visited stores and websites during the so called "Black Friday" holiday weekend was up significantly from last year. As Mil Arcega reports, retailers are hoping the online equivalent, called Cyber Monday, turns out to be just as successful - as the crucial holiday shopping season gets underway.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Hotel clerk: Here’s the bill for your four- night stay. Would you like the incidentals charged to your credit card?
May: Incidentals? I think there’s some mistake. I didn’t order any pay-per-view movies and I never ordered room service. And, I didn’t have any spa services, either.
Hotel clerk: Are you sure? We show three movies and two room service orders.
May: I’m positive. Could I speak to a supervisor, please? Download Podcast
Saturday, November 27, 2010
VOAVideo: Holiday Shopping Rush Begins in US
Shoppers turned out in large numbers on Friday, looking for bargains as the traditional holiday shopping season kicked off in the United States. Falling the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., the day is widely known as Black Friday because it is the day when retailers often start moving into the black, the common term for making a profit. American consumers wasted no time, some camping for hours to get the best deals.
Friday, November 26, 2010
VOANews: Survey Shows US Consumers Plan to Spend More During Holiday Season
There are more signs that American consumers are coming back as the key holiday shopping season gets underway. Revised figures show the U.S. economy grew faster than initially reported during the third quarter, thanks in part to an uptick in consumer and government spending. Retailers are hoping consumers will continue spending as the traditional holiday shopping season begins in the U.S. As Mil Arcega reports, a new consumer survey seems to think so.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Rob: Hi, I'm checking in. The last name is Rama.
Clerk: Yes, here is your reservation . You have a standard room reserved for two nights. Is that right?
Rob: Actually, no. It should be a suite. I had booked a non-smoking king. Download Podcast
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Jamal: Have you found a place for us to stay in Chicago?
Erin: I’m still exploring the options. Instead of a run-of-the-mill chain hotel, I thought we could do something different. Download Podcast
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
When I graduated from college, I decided to take a trip to Hawaii as a way to celebrate. I first __________ a cheap hotel about a month before I left, and when I arrived, I couldn't believe how __________ the view were of the beach from my hotel window....
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Finding cheap hotels with some nice amenities is often important to budget travelers like international students. Youth hostels, traditional inns, and pensions are also possible accommodations that would suit travelers.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Man: Hi. I have a reservation for tonight, and I just want to check in.
Hotel Clerk: Sure. What's your name?
I. Pre-Listening Exercises
II. Listening Exercises
IV. Post-Listening Exercises
V. Online Investigations
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Most people look for budget or cheap hotels when they go on vacation, but no matter whether you stay in a cheap hotel or a luxurious one, you can encounter problems when making hotel reservations. Write a list all of the possible problems that could occur with hotel reservations
I. Pre-Listening Exercises
II. Listening Exercises
IV. Post-Listening Exercises
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Randall's ESL Lab: Hotel Reservations
When people go on vacations, they often look for affordable hotel accommodations that provide the amenities they need and want. Accommodations might include hotels, youth hostels, inns, and even campgrounds.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Second of two parts with Kathleen Reardon, author of "Comebacks at Work" (download mp3)
Friday, November 12, 2010
First of two parts with "Comebacks at Work" author Kathleen Reardon (download MP3)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
VOAVideo: US Hiring Accelerated in October
The U.S. job market improved in October with a net gain of more than 150,000 jobs -- more than double what analysts expected. Friday's report from the Labor Department represents the biggest increase since May and marks the 10th month of consecutive growth in the private sector. But as Mil Arcega reports, the gains were not enough to budge the stubbornly high 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
VOAVideo: Voters Head To Polls in Midterm Elections
Voters will decide who will occupy all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, as well as 37 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate. Gubernatorial races are also important, as states redraw Congressional districts following a 10-year census. Democrats are hoping for a good turnout so they can deter what many pundits say might be a Republican landslide. VOA headed to the polls today in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Laurel Bowman has the latest.
Friday, October 29, 2010
VOAVideo: US Economy Grows Two Percent in Third Quarter
The US economy is growing. That's the good news. The bad news is that economic growth remains sluggish. The US Commerce Department says GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the broadest measure of the US economy, grew 2 percent, at an annual rate, between July and September - a slight increase from the previous quarter. The White House says the government report is more evidence that the economy has weathered the worst downturn since the 1930's. But the numbers are of little help for Democrats who face steep losses in next week's mid-term elections.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
VOA Learning English Video: 15 Months Out of Recession, but Not Feeling Like It
American businesses are still slow to hire and unemployment remains near ten percent. But an economic research group reported in September that the recession in the United States ended in June of last year. It was the longest recession since the nineteen thirties.
Friday, October 22, 2010
You will practice one time. First, you will hear a question. Next, listen carefully to what is said. You will hear the question again. Then choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. You will hear everything one time. Listen.
What’s the problem?
Joe, where’s your hard hat?
Oh…sorry! I forgot to wear it.
What’s the problem?
1. What problem does the woman have?
I need to talk to Payroll about my pay statement.
They used vacation time for the days I was sick.
What problem does the woman have?
Hi, I’m interested in your summer soccer camp program for kids. Can you give me some information?
Sure! It’s a half day program and…let’s see… it starts next week…no, sorry…next month. You need to register by this Friday. It’s really popular. Last year we had to turn alot of kids away.
What is the man asking about?
Hi, Sonia! How’s it goin’?
Great! How about you?
Oh, fine. Whaddaya doin’ this week-end?
Where are you located?
We’re on Third Avenue just west of Imperial.
Did you say Third Avenue?
Andrew, the printer keeps jamming again. Could you get someone to come and repair it right away?
Again? We had a guy out here last week to fix it!
You will practice one time. Listen to what is said. When you hear the question, Which is correct?, listen and choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. You will hear everything only one time.
Do we need onions?
Yeah…get five or six.
Well then…let’s buy a whole bag. It’s less expensive.
Which is correct?
When was the last time you visited your sister?
I saw her in June.
Which is correct?
Your lab results will be ready in about 3 days. You can call this number to find out if they’ve come in.
Which is correct?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
First, you will hear a question. Next, listen carefully to what is said. You will hear the question again. Then choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. Listen to the MP3 for Questions 1 & 2
1. What does the woman say?
.....Let’s go for a walk at lunchtime.
.....I can’t go today. I have too much work to do.
What does the woman say?
2. What button should you press for your credit card balance?
You have reached Town & Country Bank.
For your current checking or savings balance press “1”.
For your credit card balance, press “2”.
To report a lost or stolen ATM card orcredit card, press “3”.
For information about other services, or to speak to a representative, press “zero” at any time.
What button should you press for your credit card balance?
You will hear the first part of a conversation. To finish the conversation, listen and choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. You will hear everything two times. Listen to the MP3 for Questions 3 & 4.
3. Doctor Khan says I need to lose weight.
4. What’s wrong with Lupe?
Listen to what is said. When you hear the question, Which is correct? Listen and choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. You will hear everything only one time. Listen to the MP3 for Questions 5 & 6
5. Where’s Nancy?
.....She’s on vacation. She won’t be back until the 10th.
.....Oh, really. Where’d she go?
.....She went to Wisconsin to see her family.
Which is correct?
6. .....Hello. I’m Dr. Meade. What brings you here today?
........I’m feeling very run down. I’m getting a lot of sleep, but when I get up to go to work, I still
Which is correct?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Look at the Practice pictures and listen. Choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. Listen to the MP3 for Questions 1 & 2
1. How do you like your new apartment? I really like it. It has big windows.
- A. apartment bldg w/big windows
- B. apartment bldg w/very small windows
- C. house with big trees
2. I like this shirt but the sleeves are too long.
- A. woman wearing a long dress
- B. woman wearing a short-sleeved shirt
- C. woman wearing a shirt with sleeves too long
First, you will hear a question. Next, listen carefully to what is said. You will hear the question again. Then choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. You will hear everything two times. Listen to the MP3 for Questions 3 & 4
3. What time will the man get home?
.....What time will you be home?
What time will the man get home?
4. What does the man want to do?
.....I’m moving next week, can I borrow your truck?
.....Sure, no problem.
You will hear part of a conversation. To finish the conversation, listen and choose the correct answer: A, B, or C. You will hear everything two times. Listen to the MP3 for Questions 5 & 6
5. I’ve lived here for 6 years. How do you like it?
6. Look out! There’s broken glass on the floor.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
On Monday 11/01, VESL will take the CASAS Reading Test.
On Friday 11/05, VESL will take the CASAS Listening test.
Here are some exercises to help you prepare for the CASAS TESTS.
CASAS Test Prep Activities for the Reading Test
- Links to Activities to Form 27
- Links to Activities to Form 81 R
- Links to Activities to Form 81 RX
- Links to Activities to Form 83 R
- Links to Activities to Form 85 R
- Links to Activities to Form 185 R
- Level A Level A Audio (more practice on 10/20)
- Level B Level B Audio (more practice on 10/21)
- Level C Level C Audio (more practice on 10/22)
Monday, October 18, 2010
On July 11, 2010, in Advanced, Business English, ESL Podcast, Job Interviews, by BEP
This Business English Pod lesson is the first in a three-part series on first job interviews.Job interviews can make anyone nervous. After all, you want to make the best impression you can. But as a new graduate, you have an added challenge: little formal job experience. You need to prove to [...]
BEP 167 ADV - First Job Interview (Part 1) [22:53m]: Play in Popup Download
Thursday, October 14, 2010
VOAVideo: Miners in Chile Raised to Freedom after More Than Two Months Underground
Those 33 trapped miners in Chile are being pulled to freedom one by one after being underground since early August. VOA's Elizabeth Lee tells us about the rescue operations and the celebrations at the mine site.
VOANews: Chile Completes Rescue of All 33 Miners
The flawless operation to bring the miners to the surface ended earlier than expected
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Studies have shown that long periods of stress can lead to serious health problems SCIENCE IN THE NEWS download MP3
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
VOANews: Obama Urges Steps to Strengthen Economy
In September, President Obama proposed new measures to lift the economy. The central bank in its latest report said there was continued growth in the past several weeks, but with "widespread signs" of slowing. President Obama gave a speech near Cleveland, Ohio. He proposed a tax plan for businesses that make capital improvements, like buying new equipment.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
ESL Podcast 444 – Planning for Retirement
If I keep working at this rate for the next 20 years, between Social Security and my savings, I should be sitting pretty for retirement. ... Download Podcast
Friday, October 8, 2010
VOAVideo: US Unemployment Stays at 9.6 Percent
The latest US unemployment report shows the economy shed 95,000 jobs in September. Although the private sector added 64,000 jobs last month, the gains were not enough to offset the loss of more than 150,000 jobs due to government layoffs. Despite the net loss, the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6 percent, as some Americans gave up looking for work. Mil Arcega has more.
VOANews: US Economy Sheds 95,000 Jobs
Loses came in government work, while private employers added positions
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Today’s Business English Pod lesson is the first in a two-part series on the basics of social English: starting a conversation, keeping it going, and finishing it appropriately. Successful conversation is an important part of networking – the skill of building up a network of contacts and relationships.
You’ll hear two dialogues. In the first, Penny, an HR officer from Malaysia, strikes up a conversation with George, the Asia-Pacific learning and development manager. “To strike up a conversation” means to start a conversation, usually with someone you don’t know too well.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
- A Tour of the Hotel : SCRIPT
- Cloze Exercise Unit 2 Lesson 1.doc
- Laundry: EAW Workforce Skills 2-1.doc
- Employee Lounge: EAW Workforce Skills 2-2.doc
- Maintenance & Gardening EAW Workforce Skills 2-3.doc
- Gym and Spa: EAW Workforce Skills 2-4.doc
- Laundry Care Symbols Chart (pdf)
- Laundry List (2-up)
Monday, October 4, 2010
Job Interview Video by Milpitas Adult School
This is a video created by Ann Taguchi, Reva Larson, and Hongyan Zheng at Milpitas Adult Education center. The two actors in the video are current ESL students at the school, one from level 3 and the other from level 4.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
EducationalInstitute: Housekeeping: Laundry Operations
The best techniques and laundry procedures save time, money, and potential injuries. This video provides a comprehensive, narrated training program covering all aspects of laundry operations, including preparation, gathering dirty laundry, sorting, washing, drying, folding and storing.
More info: American Hotel & Lodging Association Education Institute provides quality hospitality education, training and professional certification that serves the needs of hospitality schools and industries worldwide.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
ESL Podcast 331 – Washing Clothes
Mina: Didn’t anyone teach you how to do laundry? You’re supposed to separate your whites from your colors and wash them separately. Download Podcast
Friday, October 1, 2010
VOAVideo: Unemployed Americans Search for 'Lifeline' Until Jobs Return
Unemployed workers in the United States are eligible for up to 99 weeks of government-provided financial assistance. Those who have used up their benefits call themselves "99ers" in reference to this limit. VOA's Carla Babb reports on how one 99er is struggling to survive with absolutely no income. (read more)
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Jamal: Have you found a place for us to stay in Chicago?
Erin: I’m still exploring the options. Instead of a run-of-the-mill chain hotel, I thought we could do something different...... Download Podcast
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
VOAVideo: Obama Signs Small Business Jobs Act
President Barack Obama on Monday signed into law a bill that he says will cut taxes and help small businesses to prosper. The measure narrowly passed along mostly party lines last week, and provides a minor but much needed political victory for Mr. Obama with mid-term elections just five weeks away. Mil Arcega reports.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
ENGLISH FOR MY JOB: Food & Beverage Visual Vocabulary
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
ESLPodcast 83 - Planning a Business Luncheon
Learn about how to plan a business luncheon in English in this podcast. Download Podcast
Saturday, September 25, 2010
VOAVideo: US Hotels, Resorts Catering to Hindu Couples
Some hotels and resorts in the United States are reporting a large increase in bookings by Hindu couples who are looking to hold lavish weddings. Some Indian-style weddings can involve hundreds of guests attending multiple ceremonies over several days, so such events are highly profitable for the hospitality industry. (read more)
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The U.S. downturn lasted 18 months and ended in June 2009. Is productivity a signal of coming job growth? ECONOMICS REPORT (download MP3)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
If you want to become successful in business, there’s no better place to start than talking to someone who has already achieved success. Learn more about mentoring in this episode. Download Podcast
Sometimes our jobs don’t give us much independence, but require following the rules exactly. Learn more in this episode. Download Podcast
ESL Podcast 464 – Talking About Inventory
Every company needs to know what they have available to sell. Learn about discussing inventory in this episode. Download Podcast
Sunday, September 19, 2010
ESL Podcast 548 – Working for an Impossible Boss
Is your boss impossible to work with? I know mine is. Learn how to fight back in this episode. Download Podcast
ESL Podcast 452 – Dealing with Unhappy Employees
Having problems at work? Learn how to talk about it in English in this episode. Download Podcast
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Here is a slide show of the US Constituion.
Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal holiday that recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution. Citizenship Day also recognizes all who have become citizens due to either coming of age or naturalization. It is celebrated on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.
Before Constution Day, students study the US Constitution, focusing on the rights and responsibilites of American Citizenship. On Constitution Day, students sign a large copy of the Constitution and are given pocket-sized copies of the Constitution. Many Adult Schools honor the students who were naturalized as American citizen during the previous school year. The school also encourages the students who are preparing for naturalization during the upcoming school year.
For more info, see:
ELCivics.com: The US Constitution
Learn about the US Constituion with Pictures, Easy Lessons, and Fun Activities
ESLPOD English 92
LISTEN to the Preamble to the US Constitution.
National Constitution Center: Home
The National Constitution Center, located on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, is the worlds only museum devoted to the US Constitution.
US Citizenship Podcast
Check back every day for updated materials for Constitution Day. Here are some pictures from last year's celebration.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Unit 2: A Tour of the Hotel
Unit 3: The Lobby
Unit 4: The Hotel Kitchen
Unit 5: Front of the House
Unit 6: Job Skills & Qualifications
Unit 7: Job Interviews
Unit 8: Breakfast, Lunch & The Salon
Unit 9: Dinner Service
Unit 10: Housekeeping
Unit 11: Retail Sales
Unit 12: Taking Care of Business
Unit 13: The Custodian Job
Unit 14: Workplace Responsibility
Unit 15: Opportunity Knocking
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
ESL Podcast 312 – Different Work Styles
What kind of employee are you at your job? Find out how to describe different work styles in this episode. Download Podcast
ESLPodcast 59 - Teamwork
At school and at work, you have to be able to work with others. Find out how to talk about it in this podcast. Download Podcast
Sunday, September 12, 2010
VOAVideo: Designer Burgers Becoming the New Steak in Tough US Economy
Long a staple of the American fast food diet, the hamburger is getting a makeover as cash-strapped consumers turn to less expensive dining options. In Las Vegas, designer burgers are the latest rage, with top chefs adding their own flourishes to come up with a new twist on an American classic.