Friday, December 16, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Walk Down Market Street

This short movie is from 1906, just four days before San Francisco's big earthquake and fire.  None of the buildings were standing after the quake -- except the Ferry Building which you can see at the end of the street.

There is a camera on the front of a streetcar.  Look at how crazy everyone is!  Bikes, cars, horses, streetcars, people are all going in front of each other.  It was crazy!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Great Listening Practice...

... to wonderful stories.  Go to  You can listen, read transcripts and watch wonderful animation of some of the stories. And, if you want to tell your own story, you can go to

San Francisco Public Library
6th Floor
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Booth Hours
Thursday: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Schedule times and dates may vary and are subject to change. This includes major holidays.
StoryCorps is also offered around the US.  You can find out where at:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

An interesting story about the Chinese Telephone Exchange

Click on the link below for an interesting story about the history of the Chinese in San Francisco.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've always felt that Thanksgiving is the best holiday because it is a holiday for ALL people regardless of their religion, their citizenship status, their color, nationality, sexual orientation, etc., etc.  It is a day that we can all use to say:


for all the good things in our lives: love, health, shelter, food.

And I'd like to say:

to all my wonderful students.

Image result for thanksgiving clipart 


If you want to practice vocabulary from the past week or so, click here.

If you want to see a few fun videos showing different kind of accents, click on the links below.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Post Election Shock

Many people in the US -- more than half of those that voted -- are in shock that Hillary Clinton has lost, especially since she won the popular vote (she is still ahead as of today).  Here were some of the idioms that came to mind as I reeled from the shock  (felt extremely surprised and upset).

my jaw dropped
I was struck dumb
I was stopped dead in my tracks
you could knock me down with a feather
it's a bombshell

If you are interested in practicing some non-election vocabulary from the last week, click here.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Image result for HALLOWEEN 

Here's a creepy man singing a creepy song for Halloween. He performed it in 1964 on American Bandstand.  The song starts at around 1:00. 

And, just in case you want to read along, here are the lyrics.  But you probably want to watch this guy's crazy expressions first.


I was working in the lab, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
He did the mash, he did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
He did the mash, it caught on in a flash
He did the mash, he did the monster mash
From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes
They did the mash, they did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They did the mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the mash, they did the monster mash
The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolfman,
Dracula, and his son
The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, 'The Crypt-Kicker Five'
They played the mash, they played the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They played the mash, it caught on in a flash
They played the mash, they played the monster mash
Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
Opened the lid and shook his fist and said
"Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist? "
It's now the mash, it's now the monster mash
The monster mash, it was graveyard smash
It's now the mash, it caught on in a flash
It's now the mash, it's now the monster mash
Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you
Then you can mash, then you can monster mash
The monster mash, and do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash, you'll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash, then you can monster mash

Written by Leonard Capizzi, Bob Pickett • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Reservoir One Music, Reservoir Media Management Inc

Friday, October 28, 2016

Honest! I didn't do it, Officer!

Image result for judge clipart 

Here is part 1 of vocabulary about crime (and a couple of other words from this week).  There will be more to come.

Remember, if you can't get into the premium activities, log in as"Teacher."

User name:
Password:    750eddy

Have a good weekend and stay out of trouble!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Here are 18 additional words from this week's reading.  (We did the first 10 in class.  See below)

Stand out

1.    Tim ______ that I’m wrong, but I think he is.
2.   I’m tired of my kids ________ me all the time.
3.   Introverts tend to be sensitive to __________.
4.   Although Tom is very charming and _________, he isn’t really a nice guy.
5.   I often feel ___________ when I walk in the park.
6.   I don’t like being around ________ people because they are too pushy.
7.   People who act or look different often _________ in a crowd.
8.   I don’t think our __________ in other classes work harder than we do.
9.   It’s hard to ________ good workers if the pay is low. 
     10.   I really like Mary, but she is too ________.  I always feel exhausted after our conversations.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Some More Awesome Vocabulary

We've had a lot of new vocabulary to conquer over the past week.  Don't squander this opportunity to practice all 25 words and expressions.  Cheers!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

I am going to give it a shot....

I always collect vocabulary that we've used in class to review.  On my list is "shot."  But I can't remember which definition we were talking about.  So, here are all of them!

I'll post more vocabulary later in the week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Survey for CCSF Students

Would you please take a survey about using technology?  Please click

The password is ccsf.

Thanks a lot for helping our school out.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Proverbs & Podcasts

Image result for proverbs 

Proverbs are universal and a lot of fun.  Click here for a link to 50 common English proverbs.

Click here to practice the vocabulary from class.  Remember, if you can't get all the activities, 

sign in as:
Password:  750eddy

Learning a language is about more than the grammar and vocabulary.  You also have to learn to listen in your new language.  Listening to the radio, watching movies and TV, and listening to songs are all great ways to improve your listening skills.  There are also many podcasts that can help you.  Here's one with challenging vocabulary, but they speak quite slowly:

If you don't like that one, there are plenty of others.  Just Google "podcasts for ESL learners."

Enjoy, and remember there's no time like the present to practice your English.

Monday, September 19, 2016

You, yes YOU!!

This is a very interesting short video about the word "You" in English and other languages.  it is in native-speaker English so it is fast, but I think you will be able to understand it.  You can also sign in to the website to answer comprehension questions, if you want to.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Preppies, Cowboys and other Vocabulary

Image result for preppy
This is a preppy guy.

Image result for preppy female
This is a preppy gal.

This is John Wayne in a cowboy movie!

And here is our vocabulary from this week:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Happy Labor Day!

Click here for several good short videos about Labor Day and U.S. labor history -- especially the first one.  These videos are from the History Channel so they use fast American English with loads of idioms and difficult vocabulary.  But give it a try and you can always email me with any vocabulary questions at or bring the new words to class and share with your classmates.

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Are you looking for a job?

Image result for job search

Here's a survey to help you figure out what kind of jobs  may be right for you based on your interests.  It also shows the City College Programs you could take to study for these jobs.  And it tells you about career opportunities, projected salaries, estimated training time, tuition and more.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week Two Review

Click here to practice vocabulary from last week. Remember, if you have trouble getting the premium activities, you need to sign in as:

Password: 750eddy

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A (very bad) joke for the day

A teenage boy tells his father, "Dad, there's trouble with the car, it has water in the carburetor."
The father looks confused and says, "That's ridiculous!"

But the son insists. "I tell you, the car has water in the carburetor."

His father, is still skeptical. "You don't even know what a carburetor is.... but I will check it out. Where is the car?"

"In the pool," replies the son.
Image result for car in swimming pool clipart

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Listening is a skill....

so listen to these podcasts to help practice.  There are some good topics here.  You can just listen, or listen and read along.  Enjoy!

Here's what our class has been thinking about

Thought Cards – 1
I will never forget my feeling when I came to S.F. in February 1995.  A day before we had to leave our country, our city, our friends.  It was evening, very cold and snowing, all seemed dark, like my mood.  My friends and I hardly kept back the tears.  I was upset.  A day later, our plane landed in S.F.  It was again evening, but very bright, fresh air, people smiling.  All things were different!  I was surprised and happy.
I am very sad and angry.  Two weeks ago, I drove my husband to work in the early morning.  After I dropped him off I turned left from 2nd Street to Mission Street.  A policeman told me to stop and gave me a ticket.  He said that I mustn’t turn left.  You know why?  It is because that street changed the rules that day.
I have never forgotten an incident that made me feel extremely embarrassed.  I invited my old friends to dine in a famous restaurant and ordered a lot of delicious food.  We spent a harmonious and delightful time together chatting, making a lot of jokes about what occurred in the past.  We drank ate and talked until midnight.  I asked the waitress to give me the bill.  When I went to pay, I found my wallet was gone.  It might have been stolen or lost.  I felt very embarrassed and scared.  I called my wife and asked her to bring some money to the restaurant to pay the bill.  The bill was $500.
I came to S.F. last November.  I found that communication in English is a big problem for me.  I can read well, however, my pronunciation is bad.  So when I talk to somebody, they cannot understand me well.  Thus, I want to know how I can improve my pronunciation.
I came to S.F. 18 years ago.  I was so excited and happy when I came.  But now I think I was wrong because everything is difficult for me.  I can’t imagine a good thing in my future.
I never ate turkey in my country.  I knew that it was eaten on Thanksgiving in the USA.  I imagined what it tasted like.  Then I came here and I had a chance to eat it, but I didn’t like it!  But I cook it every year and it’s my favorite food now.
Yesterday I ran into my old friend in Golden Gate Park.  We hadn’t seen each other for four years.  Last year I heard her son had a great job with a good salary.  I congratulated her, but she said her son just lost his job and is depressed.  Oh!  I put my foot into my mouth.
For me the Yin Yan symbols mean that nobody is completely good/right and nobody is completely bad/wrong.  People can be good most of the time but they may do something wrong/bad to someone sometimes; on the other hand, people who society considers as a bad guy, may do something good to someone sometimes.  So we shouldn’t judge each other.

I always intended to go on vacation with my whole family.  Finally, I did and it was an amazing trip.  We went to many beautiful places in a week.  One of my favorite places is Yellowstone National Park.  It is a fantastic park.  It’s huge and there are a lot of animals, waterfalls, and we saw the amazing “Old Faithful.”

Here's a link to "Old Faithful" in action

 That geyser is in Wyoming.  Although it is not as big or powerful,  here's one closer to San Francisco