Friday, September 30, 2005

Listen to English on the Internet

In our morning class, we often listen to English on the Internet.

You can listen to English poems at The Writer's Almanac.

(To listen to the Writer's Almanac you must install RealAudio on your computer. RealAudio is a free program. Click here to read about how to do it.

ESLpod is a good place to build your vocabulary and improve your listening skills. Click here to read the scripts of the stories we heard in class.

Buying CD's from the Internet

Has anyone purchased CD's on the Internet?

Did you join a club?

Do you have any advice for me?

Current Events Topic For Next Week

Please use the blog to suggest a current events topic for Thursday of next week.

If you haven't posted on the blog yet, have a fellow student post your suggestion.

We will select the topic, from your suggestions, with a vote on Tuesday.

More About Improving Our Classroom

Today we discussed ways to improve our class.

The teacher suggested that students who only attend for the first two hours sit at a table in the back of the classroom. He said that when students leave their study group in the middle of the class, they disrupt the study group.

Some students wanted to talk about this plan.

Khalil said that he wanted to stay in the front of the class because he has a problem with his vision.

Phung Chau said that she had the same problem.

Mei Fang said that she also had the same problem.

Wing also said that she has this problem.

Ha To also has difficulty seeing from the back of the room.

Richard tried to explain the problem, as he sees it.

He said, working in study groups is very important because study groups are the most effective way to improve your English.

Richard wants you to use this opportunity to learn. He knows that his students can not continue in the advanced class forever. They need to develop skills that will help them to succeed in college and in their jobs. Even students that have retired need to learn English communication skills to help their families.

The study groups are the most effective way to improve conversation, writing and editing skills.

What can we do in our class next week, he asked?

It was suggested that the two front tables be reserved for the students that leave at 10:30 and that after 10:30, the students in the back would move forward.

Hector said that he thought this was unfair. He comes to class every day and he usually comes early, he said. He said that he sits in the front because he thinks it is the best place to learn.

Wing, Khalil and Phung left the class because it was 10:30. Mei Fang also left.

Francisco asked, "Do all the people leave at the same time, or do they leave one by one." It would disturb the class if people were always moving.

Mung Kai said, "Some people sneak away."

Francisco said , "If people left from the back it wouldn't disturb the class so much."

Wai Ping said, why don't you write on the black board in the middle of the class so the students at the back table will be able to see better.

Xiao Yan asked that we quit "wasting our time talking about this and start listening to some music or reading literature or maybe a tv show."

Richard said, "We haven't spoken this much English in class all of this month. this is, perhaps, the best conversation practice we have had."

Wai Ping wants to talk about news. He wants to talk about current events.

The teacher asked that we try to make a plan for Monday. We change the plan later, but what should we try, on Monday, as an experiment.

We agreed to try to put the students that have to leave at the two tables in the front. The teacher said that he will try to use the front board less and emphasize working in study groups more. We will review how this works in the near future.

Xiao Yan suggested that we do more intersting topics like news and current events.

Francisco wants more dictation.

Vivian said, "Why don't that we use the two front tables by the windows because they are used to those tables."

Yan Hua doesn't want to move at all.

Vivian suggests that the teacher create study groups "by mnumbers" every day.

Dickson suggested that we have a day each week to just talk. "No paper, now writing."

Jiao said, give us a topic. that we can discuss.

Francisco suggests that we choose discussion groups by whether they leave early or not.

Yan Hua wants to form the groups each day after 10:30.

Richard said, "We still don't have a plan for Monday."

Han Xian said, " All morning, we have no time to relax. We feel very bored. There is no break."

The teacher explained that the school does not allow for official breaks anymore.

Richard asked, "Is there anything you do like about this class?"

Kai Yan said, " I like the class."

Wai Ping agreed, he likes it, too. But he wants to talk about the news.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Want To Know about China

Dear Chinese Classmates,

It's nice to know you. I'm interested in making friends with you because you are from China. It's a country which I want to know about. I plan to go there the next summer. So, could you tell me some famous places that you know? Please recommend to me which restaurants are the best?Are there any elegant holtels there?

Write me as soon as possible.

Your classmate
Cam Hong

Which is harder?

Today I saw a movie about racing . Many people want to pursue speed , but only less people can did it . They need defeat themselves before they defeat the others. I think defeat ourselves are harder than defeat the others. What do you think ? Did you defeat yourself before ?

Me Again

I want to share with you about our class. It is good for everyone to not be afraid to talk ENGLISH with our classmates, even if they come from the same country because it will help us to improve our pronunciation. We have to be brave learning English as a Second language.

Hello, Classmates

My name is Francisco.

I like to play soccer.

What is your favorite sport?

My first post

Hi, classmates,

I'm very glad to know you guys on the computer because this is a good chance for me to practice both English and computer skills. I'm very happy to share with you guys many things from now on.

I wished to know more friends on computer to let me exchange ideas, knowledge. And now my dreams have come true.

Your classmate
Cam Hong

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dare classmates,
Honersly, I really get a headache when I have to write something down. I always say writing is hard for me. And what do you think?

Whenever I have writing homework , I feel I'll like a chicken. Oh, God bless me.
Somehow, I still need to try to do it. By the way, if I make mistakes, please don't blame me, and thank you. Any way, I'll try my best.

How about let me do the a simple way, Man, I am really nervous. Now, let me show you guys a picture and you'll guess where this picture was taken. Here is a clue, this is a picture that my uncle took in China.

I know you know where it is because you are so smart.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Want to know more detail about this picture, You are welcome to go to

My Love

Westlife /Coast to Coast
An empty street
An empty house
A hole inside my heart
I'm all alone
The rooms are getting smaller
I wonder how
I wonder why
I wonder where they are
The days we had
The songs we sang together
Oh yeah
And oh my loveI'm holding on forever
Reaching for a love that seems so far
So i say a little prayer
And hope my dreams will take me there
Where the skies are blue to see you once again, my love
Over seas and coast to coast
To find a place i love the most
Where the fields are green to see you once again, my love
I try to read
I go to workI'm laughing with my friends
But i can't stop to keep myself from thinking
Oh no I wonder how
I wonder why
I wonder where they are
The days we had
The songs we sang together
Oh yeah
And oh my loveI'm holding on forever
Reaching for a love that seems so far

Mark:To hold you in my arms
To promise you my love
To tell you from the heart
You're all i'm thinking of
I'm reaching for a love that seems so far
So i say a little prayer
And hope my dreams will take me there
Where the skies are blue to see you once again, my love
Over seas and coast to coast
To find a place i love the most
Where the fields are green to see you once again,my love
say a little prayer
dreams will take me there
Where the skies are blue to see you once again

"My Love" is a classic and romantic song. I'm sure that you know the melody of this song, even though you don't remember its lyrics. Go through this song, does it remind you of your first love?

How to Improve our Class

We go to school because we want to improve our English.
I think we should set goals. We should come to school on time. When our teacher starts teaching , we should listen carefully. We sould speak English whenever in the school, especially we are learning in several groups. We should finish our homeworks and ask our teacher for making the corrections. It will better if we have more chances to practise oral and we often write some words about our thinking or opinions on blogger.
It helps us more communications among our classmates and improve our class.

Who is this student?

What is her name?

Where is she from?

What is her favorite color?

What is her favorite song?

What is her favorite pastime?


We should write everyday.

We should use this blog to practice our writing.

We should share interesting information with our classmates.

We should share our ideas.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Hometown

Hi,I'm Lihong. I come from TaiShan, KanTong, China.That's a famous place. You know, almost one fourth Chinese immigrants in California are from TaiShan, and the initial Chinese immigrants were all from there, too. It is called "The First Oversea Chinese Hometown". If you would like to take a trip to China, TaiShan is a good choose! There is a beautiful town with many kinds of delicious Chinese food. You will enjoy it!

Those are some pictures of TaiShan, please enter the flowing link:

15 tips in learning English

Manufacture some reason for wanting to remember what you're studying, even if it's just anticipating questions about it on the final exam. Attempt to study the same subject at the same time in the same place each day. When you begin your studying or homework, don't plunge right in on the new work. Spend the first two minutes thinking about what you learned last time, and about how that fits into the course outline.

Most distractions come in through our senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Eliminating most of them is easy. Eliminate some more brain interference by organizing so that you have your study tools ready in advance. Some brain interference is caused by irrelevant things: test dates, deadlines, the time of the dance Saturday evening. Get things like this out of your head and onto paper. Emotional interference is hardest to counteract. Take some steps to solve your troubles and vent your angers so you can get them off your mind. Brain interference also comes when you study similar subjects one after the other.

Before you turn on the memory circuits each time, check with your notes to be sure you've got the facts and ideas right. Correct misinformation and misunder- standing as soon as you know about it.

The amount of attention you give a subject is as important as the amount of time you spend. The more alert you are while studying, the more you'll learn.

Research even tells us how long we ought to sleep for the best memory the next morning - at least four hours and preferably six. Between study and exam, you needn't rush right off to bed. Just do something relaxing with your mind. Sleeping just before you learn something new interferes with remembering.

Space out practice times so that, in between, your subconscious keeps working. You can sneak in some totally painless study while eating or running or dancing.

Just the act of taking notes - even if you never look at those notes again - will get you higher marks on a test than just listening. Note-taking is a muscle activity.

Make use of sight and sound to help yourself remember. Make the diagrams and other visual depictions of your study material. Learn to make tangible pictures in your mind to remind you of the ideas and facts you want to remember. Talk over your coursework with a friend. Combine see and say techniques. Tell yourself the visual image you have created to remember a particular fact or idea. As you write, say the words aloud. As you make a diagram, tell yourself what the connections are.

Although this tip may be almost impossible to follow, try to be as inventive as you can, because each different way you process an idea or fact makes a different association for it.

For any one course, do your studying in short takes. For textbook reading and note studying, your best timespan is about fifty minutes a course. If you're doing straight memorization, twenty to thirty minutes' time is plenty. One reason you learn better in short takes is that you use time more efficiently when you're under an imposed time restriction. Two kinds of study situations are exceptions to the keep-it-short rule. One is library research. There's enough change of pace to keep you alert for at least several hours. The other exception is writing a paper. Start writing, and don't stop until you're at least a few pages into the first draft.

The specialists say you'll do your most effective studying if you take a ten-minute break between subjects.

The only thing that will help you remember it long enough to do well on the exam is to keep reviewing. The smartest students keep compressing their notes into smaller and smaller size. As they understand relationships between one week's work and the next, they consolidate and organize.

Straight memorizing is the least dependable way to remember anything. The more associations we can set up, the more paths, and the easier it is to remember. Ways you can keep memorizing to a minimum:
(1) Associate. Link it to something you do remember.
(2) Visualize. Make a picture on your mind's eye.
(3) Sound out. Say it aloud and listen to its sound.
(4) Count. Our minds seem to have much less trouble remembering the number of key words we've listed under any main topic than the key words themselves.
(5) Abbreviate. The mind's eye recalls short blocks of capital letters more quickly than several long words.

Written assignments are supposed to help a person review. To get the most benefit from written homework, first figure out what information or ideas it is designed to help you remember. Then make sure that you understand all these concepts and facts before you start writing.

The students in a study group are all learning the material at the same time. For best results, here's how to use a study group.
(1) When: Join a study group after you've learned the facts and ideas that you need to know.
(2) Why: The purpose of the group should be conversation - to help you exercise your sight and sound senses and your mouth muscles in reviewing so that you'll remember long-term.
(3) How: Any method that will get you thinking and talking about your ideas and the facts you've learned is a good method.
(4) Where: Choose a place where there are no distractions.
(5) How long: One hour spent with everyone's mind on the subject is worth four hours' work with time-outs every few minutes for fun and games.
(6) Who: Anyone - just as long as he or she understand the point of the study group: not to teach but to discuss facts and ideas that are already learned; not to socialize, but to study.


Preview - If it's long and hard.
Previewing is useful for getting a general idea of heavy reading like long magaazines, newspaper articles, business repoerts and nonfiction books
Here's how to preview:
_ Read the entire frist 2 pargraphs of what you've chosen.
_Next read only the first sentence of each successive paragraph.
_Then read the entire last 2 paragraphs.

Skim-If it's short and simple.
Skimming is a good way to get a general idea of light reading like magazine, sport news, enterntainment sections of the paper.
Here's how to skim:
_Think of your eyes as magnets.
_Force them to move fast.
_Sweep them across each and every line of type.
_Pick up only a few key words in each line.

Scan : Scanning is reading quickly to find particular bits of infomation.
Follow these steps to scan:
_Think of what you are looking for.
_Move your eyes quickly until you find it. Do not pay attension to anything else.
_Stop and record the information.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Could you...

Dear classmates,

Last Saturday I learned some sentences from school. I want you to enjoy them! I copied them below:
  1. I need help balancing my checkbook. Could you please help me balance it?
  2. I need help using this fax machine. Could you please show me how to use it?
  3. I need help filing these documents. Could you please help me file them?
  4. I need help writing this letter. Could you please help me write it?
  5. I need help answering the phones. Could you please help me answer them?
  6. I need help cleaning the stove. Could you please help me clean it?
  7. I need help arranging these flowers. Could you please help me arrange them?
  8. I need help locating the right part. Could you please help me locate it?
  9. I need help typing these letters. Could you please help me type them?
  10. I need help ironing these blouses. Could you please help me iron them?

Informally Speaking

We learn English Grammar from books, but sometimes we hear about some speaking are not under the rules of grammar.

Today,I took a quiz at Laney College. After the class, I asked one of my American friends about the quiz. He said:"I don't feel that I did well, even though I been studying so hard."

I asked him to repeat his words, and asked, "Why didn't you say you have been studying?"

He told me that in informal speech, some speakers may omit have. Other speakers may say have very quickly so that it is difficult to hear. This happens most often in statements with I and in questions with you. English is crazy,I think. Could you find out more examples about another informally speaking?

Learn the Names of the States and Capitals

Click on this link:

to play an internet game and learn US geogrraphy.

While you are at it, click here:

to learn about Mexican Geography

Sunday, September 25, 2005

About Hurricane

You have probably read and heard about Hurricane Katrina for the past 3 weeks and how the hurricane and flooding killed and injured so many people in Louisiana and Mississippi.Do you think it is responsibility of govenment to try to prevent so many people from dying?Who should be responsible to help people who have lost everything?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Finding the Words to a Song

Using the Internet, you can easily find the words to a song if you know the song's title.

The words to a song are called lyrics.

Suppose that you are looking for the words for the song, Right Here Waiting.

  1. Go to
  2. In the search window type: Lyrics Right Here Waiting.
  3. Click on one of the search result links
I usually copy the lyrics into a word processor.
  1. Highlight the lyrics and copy them (cntrl-c).
  2. Open a new Microsoft Word Document
  3. Paste the lyrics (cntrl-v)
  4. Type in the title and recording artist above the lyrics
  5. Format, save and print the lyrics

Elvis Presley

Hi, Classmate
Elvis Presley was born in January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi. His mother is a sewing operator and his father is a truck driver. Elvis must be a good singer because a lot of people very love his song. I did not like his song and his hair before. But today I have to change my feel, I feel the "Money, Honey" is a interest song. He have a song of the "Love me, tender", today I know he is the song's singer because I love the song but I was never know who is the singer.

After Reading the Story

Today we got the second part of "CRUCITA".I'm so surprised that Crucita had extrasensory perception.Fancy that!I can't help thinking that Manuela is a capable creator:It is completely different from what I guessed before. What would happen in the future in the story?

Money, Honey

We listened to an Elvis Presley song called "Money, Honey" today.

Do you think Elvis is a good singer?

Do you like this kind of music?

Hello, Classmates

My name is Hua Jia, I from China. I like to study English. I like to travel in the world. I would like to go to England.

May Have and Might Have

Use may have and might have to indicate that something is possible.

Must have expresses certainty. That must be true. (It is certainly true.)

May have and might have express possibility. That may be true. (It is possibly true)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Joining the Blog

Come to class a little early (around 8:00 am) if you want to learn how to get a Blogger account and begin to post to the Room101am Blog.

See you then, I hope!

Writer's Almanac

We listened to the Writer's Almanac.

There was a story about a literary critic who did not hear stories when he was a child.

There was a poem about a father and his baby son.

Must Have and Can't Have

Use must have when something is true.

Use can't have when something is impossible.

For the past use must have and the past participle (i.e. must have eaten) or couldn't have (couldn't have eaten).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Could and Could Have

Today we studied could and could have.

We use could and can to talk about future possibilities. Could is more uncertain than can.

The past of could is could have.

Could have indicates that something was possible in the past, but it did not happen.

Organizing Your Binder

Please divide your binder into five sections:
  1. Grammar
  2. Reading and Literature
  3. Listening and Vocabulary Building
  4. Writing
  5. The American Experience
If you need dividers, please ask me and I will give them to you.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Today we reviewed "can", "could" and "be able to".

We listened to a podcast about a homecoming football game.

If you want to listen to this podcast go to

We also looked at pictures from our teacher's younger brother's wedding in Beijing, China.

We also looked at Google Earth and talked about the geography of California.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Can you find a classmate in this picture?

One of our classmates teaches Kung Fu.

Her students recently won medals in a competition.

Can you find your classmate in this photograph?

What is her name?

What is this student's name?

Can you name this student?

Where is this student from?

Have and Got

Today, in our grammar exercise, we studied how to use "have and have got".

We learned that "have" means to posses something. It can also mean that a special relationship exists. There are many idioms that use "have".

That is all for now.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Some of the books we use in the Advanced Class

Grammar in Use
by Raymond Murphy
Cambridge University Press
A grammar book

Literature for English (Beginning, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2)
McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Press
A book of short stories

Welcome to the Room 101 Morning Class!

We welcome you to the Room 101 Morning Class Blog.

Look here to read what your fellow students have written.

Keep an eye out for new pictures and graphics.

See you soon!

This Day in History