Tom just got hired at the ice cream shop. It was called Creamy Goodness. It was a five-minute walk from his house. Today was his first day on the job. He was nervous. He was also excited. He showed up in his uniform. He was early to the job. He wanted to make a good impression. His first task was to open the shop. He had to prepare the ice cream. He also had to set up the tables and the chairs for the customers. He had to clean all the equipment. He had to make sure everything was ready. His manager helped him get ready. His coworkers also helped. He worked as a cashier. He scooped the ice cream. Tom loved his job.
Joe is a sale associate. He has a lot of duties. He helps customers find things. Customers can be annoying. They always think they're right. Joe always has to be nice to them. Joe also answers phone calls. People ask about products in the store. Joe cleans the bathroom. That's the worst part. It's very dirty. He has to pick up trash. He has to refill the soap. Joe is also at the cash register. He scans items. He gives people change. He gives back money for returns. He thinks his job is okay, but he plans to quit in a few years.
Cindy needed to return her dress. She tried it on at home earlier. It did not fit her. Today was the last day to return it. After today, she had to keep the dress. The store closes at 8 p.m. She started driving at 7:30 p.m. It took her 20 minutes to get to the mall. Today was Saturday. There were too many cars in the parking lot. It took her 5 minutes to find a parking space. She ran out of the car, but she did not make it in time. The store was closed. The store was closed.
Eileen had to see the doctor. She had no appointment. She had to wait for two hours to see the doctor. She was bored. She forgot her phone. She didn't know what to do. She looked around. Everyone had a phone. She looked to see if there were any magazines. Waiting rooms usually had magazines. There were magazines in Spanish. Eileen can't read Spanish. She turned on the TV. There was no cable. Eileen did not like local television. It was too boring. She turned off the TV. She tried to talk to the person next to her. The person ignored her. He was on his phone. She wished she brought her phone.
Tom was hungry, but lazy too. He didn't want to cook. He didn't want to go to a restaurant. He didn't even want to heat up leftovers. He decided to have a pizza delivered to him. He went on a pizza website. He ordered a small pizza. He waited for the pizza to arrive. Later, he heard the doorbell ring. He was too lazy to get up at first. He got up after five minutes. He opened the door. The pizza smelled so good. He paid the delivery man. He gave him a good tip, too. Tom sat back down on the couch. He ate the whole pizza. He was full.
Bob had been exercising every day for a year. He had also been eating healthy. He wanted to see how much weight he lost. He stepped on the scale. He closed his eyes. He was scared. What if he gained weight? He opened his eyes slowly. He looked down. He smiled. He'd lost 50 pounds. He jumped up and down. He wanted to celebrate. He went to his favorite burger place. He ordered the jumbo size. He felt bad at first, but he deserved it. He ordered a large size of fries. He used five ketchup packets. He took his first bite. It tasted so good. He would be healthy again tomorrow.
Marie was messy. Cassie was clean. The two girls were roommates. Marie had a bunch of clothes on her bed. Cassie just had a blanket on hers. Cassie told Marie to put her clothes somewhere else. Marie ignored her. Marie had food from last week on her desk. It smelled bad. Cassie told her to throw it away. Marie said no. Cassie threw it away herself. Marie yelled at her. She was mad that Cassie touched her things. Cassie yelled at her back. She was mad at Marie for being messy. Marie left and slammed the door. Cassie was all alone. It was a good time to clean.
Jessica was a college student. She did not know how to cook well. She does not have much time either. She is always busy. She has an important test coming up. She grabs a bowl of instant noodles. Instant noodles are easy to prepare. She rips off the lid halfway. She rips the seasoning packet. The seasoning is what makes the noodles taste good. She pours the seasoning on the noodles. She fills the bowl with water. She closes the lid. She puts the bowl in the microwave. She heats it up for three minutes. She sits down. She studies while she waits. She hears the "ding" It's ready!.
Allison wanted to eat breakfast. She took a bowl from the sink. She opened the cabinet. There were 10 different cereal boxes. She got her favorite cereal box. It was the sugary kind. She poured the cereal into her bowl. She opened the refrigerator. She grabbed the milk carton. She poured the milk into the bowl. There was only a little bit of milk though. It was not enough for her cereal. She couldn't eat cereal without milk. She groaned. She drove to the market. It was closed. She drove to another market. It was far, but it was open. She bought a gallon of milk. Finally, she could have a good breakfast.
George and his friends went to the park. They first went on the swings. Everyone stared at them. They are already in college. They wanted to feel young again. A parent tapped George on the shoulder. It was a mother. She asked George to get off. George asked, "Why?" "Because my little girl wants to go on," she replied. George turned to the side. There was a young girl. She was about 10 years old. George felt bad. He got off the swing. "Here you go, kid." George said. His friends laughed at him. George went on the slide. He felt young on the slide.
Daniel goes to the library. He needs to borrow books on penguins. The library has all types of books. The library has movies and CDs, too. Dan doesn't have books on penguins. He actually doesn't buy that many books. He thinks books are a waste of money. Why buy books when you can borrow them from the library? He has to make a library card. He fills out his information. The application asks basic questions. He signs his name at the bottom. He borrows 10 books on penguins. He goes to the checkout desk. The librarian scans the books. He takes the books home.
She had a lot of money. She was a generous woman. She was once poor. She understood what it was like. She wanted to help out. On Christmas day, she handed out food to the poor. She made the food herself. She put a turkey leg, a scoop of mash potatoes, and peas on a plate. She gave the plate to each homeless person she saw. The homeless people loved her. One homeless man even gave her a penny. She said to keep it for himself. She decided to do more. She gave $50 to every homeless person she saw. She felt good.
He was a mean man. He treated people badly. He has no respect for anyone or anything. He spits on the ground. He sticks his gum on desks. He makes people cry. He makes his dates pay for dinner. He yells at his maid. His wife decided to leave him. This changed him. He wanted her back. He became nice. He donated to the poor. He volunteered at the animal shelter. He gave compliments to people. He wrote a letter to his wife. He stuck pictures of himself doing good things on the letter. He sent it. Hopefully she would come back to him.
Hilary went to Bree's house. Bree's older sister Lia, stared at Hillary. Hilary was confused. Why did Lia look so mad? Lia whispered something to Bree. Bree nodded her head. Lia left the house. Bree told Hilary that her shoes were still on. Hilary was confused. Bree explained. Guests should take their shoes off when inside someone's house. Hilary was surprised. She had no idea. She always wore shoes inside the house. She didn't want to get her feet dirty. She didn't want to argue with Bree though. She said sorry. Bree told Hillary to apologize to Lia. Hilary called Lia and said sorry. Lia said it was okay. .
Stephanie left her keys in the car. She has another set of keys at home. She called her brother. "Hey, are you busy?" she asked. "Yes, I'm watching TV," he said. "Well, too bad. I need you to drive to my school," she said. He complained. He didn't want to get up. The movie he was watching was good. "Please. I'll clean your room for a week," she offered. "Deal! I'll be there!" her brother said. Stephanie waited. Her brother arrived. He came in his white truck. He gave her the keys. Stephanie opened the car door. The siblings drove back home.
Carrie has too many clothes. She does not have room for anything anymore. Her friends tell her to donate them. Carrie thinks that is a bad idea. She thinks it is a waste of money. She wants to sell her clothes. Her friends tell her that is a bad idea. They think that no one will want to buy her clothes. They say her clothes are not in style anymore. Carrie ignored them. She took pictures of her clothes. She posted them on a website. Two weeks passed by. Her friends were right. No one wanted to buy her clothes. Carrie decided to donate them.
The soccer team had a potluck dinner. Each team member brought one kind of food or drink. There were 40 members. There were 40 different kinds of food and drinks. There were noodles, chips, soda, and burritos. At the end of the dinner, there were a lot of leftovers. "Anyone want to take food home?" the soccer coach asked. The players shook their head. They didn't like leftovers. "I'm just going to throw everything away then," the coach said. "No! That is such a waste. This could feed a family," said one of the players. The other members agreed. The coach had an idea. He drove to the homeless shelter. "Hi! I would like to donate all this food.
Brandy was shopping. She saw a sign that said "BOGO!" She asked a worker what that meant. "It means buy one, get one free," she said. She thought that was awesome. What a good deal! She looked through the clothing racks. She found a shirt for $30. She had to find something else now. She saw a skirt she liked. It was only $5. That meant it wasn't worth it. She wanted to get two items that were similar in price, but she couldn't find anything. She looked for an hour. She found a pretty dress. She checked the price tag. It was $80. She was annoyed. She ended up buying the shirt and the $5 skirt.
Susan and Felicity are going to play tennis at the park. They have been playing this month. They go to different schools. Susan goes to school in Canada. Felicity goes to school in the United States. They used to go to the same high school. They were on the tennis team. Now they only see each other in the summer. Susan visits the United States every summer. It usually does not rain in the summer, but it rained on the day they planned to play tennis. They were upset. They still met each other. They stayed in and talked.
Cynthia decided to make eggs for her daughter's birthday because it is her favorite food. She woke up her daughter. Her daughter rubbed her eyes and yawned. Cynthia hugged her and said happy birthday. She gave her a food tray. There were bacon, pancakes, and eggs, of course. Cynthia's daughter looked at the eggs and said, "What is this?" "It's eggs, silly. Your favorite," Cynthia said. "It doesn't look the same," her daughter said. Cynthia explained that you could make eggs in many different ways. Her daughter had only ever eaten them scrambled. Cynthia fried the eggs this time. Her daughter took a small bite. "Delicious!" she said.
Cory was poor. His parents had recently divorced. He lived with his dad. His dad only made $9 an hour. Cory had four other siblings. Rent was expensive. Electricity was expensive. Water was expensive. Everything was expensive. Cory was so hungry. He decided to steal. He knew it was bad, but he was poor. He saw a delicious-looking apple. He looked around him. No one was looking at him. It was safe to steal. He put the apple in his pocket. He walked towards the store's exit. A moment later, he walked back to the apple section. He put the apple back. He did not want to be a bad person. Stealing was wrong.
Veronica is 21 years old. She has not had a driver's license yet. Her friends make fun of her. She does not care. She loves walking. She can walk fast. She can walk for hours. She walks to school every day. She walks to work every day. She walks to the market when she needs to. She does not get tired easily. She thinks walking is very relaxing. Running is a different story. She does not like to run. Running is tiring. Her stomach hurts when she runs. Veronica's new job is far away. She still won't get a car. She plans to take the bus.
America is so big. It has 50 states. Some states are bigger than other countries. Texas is the biggest state in America. Texas itself is bigger than France. People sometimes consider states as countries because they are so different. Even cities can be very different from each other. Los Angeles and Bakersfield are both in California. Los Angeles is urban. It is very busy. There are a lot of shops. There are a lot of businesses. There is a lot to do in Los Angeles. Bakersfield is rural. It is quiet. There is not much to do. Houses are cheap there. America is very diverse.
Finn has a strange sleeping schedule. He goes to sleep at 5 a.m. and wakes up at 3 p.m. He has a weird eating schedule, too. He eats breakfast at 3:30 p.m. He eats lunch at 7 p.m. He eats dinner at 1 a.m. One day, he was feeling hungry at 1 a.m. He did not want to cook though. He decided to go to a 24/7 diner. 24/7 means always available. He drove down to the diner. There were a few people there. Finn sat on a stool by himself. He ordered a burger and a milkshake.
Rick loves food. He loves food too much though. He is overweight. He eats food when he is bored. He eats food when he is stressed out. He eats food when he hangs out with his friends. He eats huge meals. He eats waffles, fried chicken, and eggs for breakfast. He eats pizza, french fries, and soda for lunch. He eats a hamburger and onion rings for dinner. He also eats a lot of snacks between meals. He never exercises. He gets tired very easily. He is okay with his weight though. He laughs when people call him fat.
Heather has funny eating habits. She likes soggy cereal, so she waits 10 minutes after she pours the milk. She eats pizza with a fork and knife. She eats french fries with chopsticks. She drinks ketchup from the packet. She puts ketchup on her chips. She likes to eat mustard with dumplings. She likes to eat pizza cold. She likes to eat melted ice cream. She likes eating seeds. She likes eating bananas with pretzels. She is not shy to eat weirdly around her friends. People usually stare at her, but Heather does not care.
Rosie went to the supermarket. She wanted to buy milk, cereal, and chicken. She took a shopping cart. She went to the meat aisle. She grabbed a pack of chicken, and put it inside the shopping cart. She went to the dairy aisle. She grabbed a gallon of milk, and put it inside the shopping cart. She went to the cereal aisle. She grabbed a box of sweet cereal, and put it inside the shopping cart. She saw a long line of people. She was curious what they were lining up for. She looked at the front of the line. They were giving out samples of pizza! Samples are free. There is always a line for samples. Rosie decided to stand in line, too.
Maya likes to save money. She likes wholesale stores better than markets. Wholesale stores sell things in large quantities for a lower price. They have things like a gallon of mustard. A regular market only sells a bottle of mustard. Maya wants to buy apples, ketchup, and chips. The apples come in a pack, which has 20 apples. The pack costs $6. That means each apple is only 30 cents. At the market, each apple costs 40 cents. Maya's husband does not like wholesale stores. He gets tired of things easily. He would rather buy fewer apples for a higher price. "Maya, we can't finish 20 apples before they go bad," her husband said. "Of course we can!" Maya said.
Marina likes clothes. She likes being unique. A lot of girls in her school shop at the same stores. Marina hates to have the same outfit as another girl's. That is why she shops at thrift shops. A thrift shop sells things that people donate. They are usually clothes that have been worn before. Sometimes there are stains and holes on the clothes. They are very cheap. Marina enjoys looking through clothing racks. She usually finds at least one thing she likes. Last weekend she found a dress. It was black and long. She thought it would be good to wear to a fancy dinner.
Kenneth is a good tennis player. He has been playing since he was 7 years old. He is now 16 years old. He competes against other players all around the country. They are also very good. He is competing against the best teen tennis player tomorrow. He is nervous. He has heard rumors about him. The other player is named Antonio. Antonio is mean. He is very competitive. He is not afraid to hurt people. He has punched someone before. Kenneth told his dad he wanted to quit. "Why? You have been doing so well!" Kenneth's dad said. "I'm scared of Antonio," he said. "Never give up," Kenneth's dad said.
There is one student in the class. He is from South Korea. This student from Korea says that he has a question. He says that he has a big problem with pronunciation. He knows that his pronunciation is not very good but he doesn’t know how to make it better. He doesn’t speak much because he doesn’t like his pronunciation.
He says that he reads and watches films in English a lot. He understands very well but he also wants to speak well. He asks if there is something what he can do with his pronunciation.
The teacher says, “OK, I can tell you something about pronunciation and how to practise it. I also want to teach you a technique which can help you with pronunciation.
First, we have to look at why students have problems with pronunciation. When we speak, we have to move our mouth. We have to use muscles in our mouth. The problem is that when you speak English, sometimes you use your muscles like in your native language.Then your English pronunciation is like pronunciation in your native language.
This happens to many students who learn English. Almost every student has a little different pronunciation than native speakers have. It is not a big problem because usually people understand what you want to say. You are a student and it is logical that your pronunciation is not perfect when you study English.
But you can work on your pronunciation and make it better. There is a great technique that can help you a lot.
The name of this technique is shadowing. The technique is very simple. When you do shadowing, you simply copy the sound which you hear. When children learn their first language, they also copy what they hear. They copy after their parents again and again and after some time their pronunciation is perfect. You can learn English proununciation the same way.
You can take some video which is not very fast and which you understand very well. You listen and you copy what you hear when you hear it. It is all.”
Then our teacher tells us, “Shadowing is also good when you are prepareing for a presentation and you want to have good pronunciation. Before the presentation you can go to some place where you are alone and you can do shadowing for about 10 minutes. You will see how much it will help you to have better pronunciation during the presentation.”
When you want to have good pronunciation, repeat after native speakers.
Monica is a student from Italy. my teacher asks Monica some questions. My teacher knows Monica because Monica visited her class one year ago. It was a class for beginners and it was only for two weeks during summer holiday.
When Monica speaks, her English is beautiful. Her pronunciation is very good and she is very fluent.
My teacher is very happy and she tells Monica, “Your school in Italy must be very good.”
Monica says, “I don’t go to any school. I learn English at home. I use techniques from you. I do a lot of reading, shadowing and thinking aloud. I try to think more in English than in Italian.
This is how I work on my English. The two weeks which I spent last summer at your class helped me a lot. You showed me the way. I know how to work on my English every day. This is why I wanted to go to your class again because one year ago, I was a beginner and now I can speak English. I want to learn from you again.”
My teacher is very happy when she hears these words. She thanks Monica for her hard work.
Our teacher says, “It is a very effective technique. You have to have a strong motivation to learn English if you want to have benefit from this technique.
It is also good to know that for some people this technique is a little crazy. But when you start to think aloud, your English can be better very fast.”
“OK, it is actually very simple. You think in your native language all day every day. It is normal. Now, you can start to think in English. And when you start to think in English, then you can think aloud. You simply say aloud what you think. It is all.”
Then our teacher asks Monica if it is OK for her to speak about her experience with thinking aloud. It is no problem for Monica.
She says, “When I started with this technique, it wasn’t easy. I started with very simple sentences. For example, ‘I can speak English. It is good that I can speak English. I want to be better. I need to practise every day. I don’t know many words. But I can use these words well. I can say my ideas with these words. I can do this. This is great.’
The sentences were really simple. But at the beginning there was one problem. My thinking in Italian was long and complicated. I wasn’t able to say in English exactly what I was saying in Italian. I needed to find a simpler form for English. To think in simple English was the hardest part. But after some time it was normal for me to think in English.
Then something interesting happened. I met a girl from Australia. She was on holiday in Italy. I was still a beginner, but we started to speak English. I could see that I was able to speak with her without big problems. My sentences were simple and short, but I was able to speak. I didn’t translate in my head from Italian to English.
After the meeting with the girl from Australia, I started to use thinking aloud more. This technique helped me a lot with my speaking. I still use it every day. It is really a very effective technique.”
When you want to speak English fluently, think aloud.