Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stories from Class

Congratulations for your friendly, hard work this semester. You all learned a lot of English, and it was great to spend time with you.

Here are some of your stories that your wrote in the computer lab. You wrote some interesting comments, so please read about your classmates.

I hope to see you next semester! Come say hello to me. I'll be here at 8:15 in Room 202 and 10:15 in Room 205, too. Happy New Year!

When I was twelve years old, I lived in Shanghai, China. Our home was a big apartment. It had two bedrooms and a living room. Our home was a big apartment. It had two bedrooms and a living room. Our home was sunnier than my new home. We had seven people in our home. In the winter, our home was the warmest in town. My home was the closest to my school. I walked to school in five minutes. There was a large park near my home. In the summer, my parents needed to work. Our children didn't go to school. First, we did homework. After dinner we did fun. I missed my childhood's home a lot.
By Wei Lan

I keep my job at Frascati because I feel good with my co- workers. I have been working there 10 years. But sometimes I feel worried about myself. I can't write anything. This is a secret .But one thing is very important for me ''Life''. And about money always came and go. I know, we need to make a future, But it is not easy. A friend said to me be stronger and think positive.
By Federico Chan B.
The best gift I ever received was a cassette walkman. My parents gave it to me for my 15 year old birthday. I had one before but it was older and had less functions. It only applied play and forward and it was not convenient for studying English. It was the best gift because I really needed it to practice my listening in English. And I liked music at that time. I could enjoy it with the new cassette because it had a high quality sound system. I liked it very much. Even though I had CD later. I will always keep it.
By Zhao Hui Chen

One of the best gifts I even received was a birthday card. My dear daughter gave me when I was 31 years old birthday. On it, there were many drawing, such as flowers, trees, glasses and me. It said:"Happy Birthday! Mom. I love you forever!"I knew it was very cheap, it cost no money. But it was made my daughter by herself. For this reason, I felt it was so expensive. I kept it all the time.

Hi! my name is Patty. The birthday celebration in my Country Mexico is almost the same like here in SF. Nov.10,2009, that is only two days ago, my son Daniel had a birthday party. I made some special food. Hot chocolate, chicken tamales and sweet tamales too. I also made barbecue ribs, and apple desert. And of course I bought a 3 milk cake. Later on, I gave him a present. He enjoyed a lot. Now my Danny is 6 years old. Happy Birthday, dear Danny!

The best thing I ever received was an English dictionary. About several years ago my good friend gave me it was very small computer. It can translate Chinese and it still can pronounce English. I very like it. Because it was convenient for me to learn English. So it is the best present I ever received.

By Jenny Xu

When I got married, it was a beautiful day for a wedding. All friends were invited, and all the family assisted. I was so happy, and nervous. I was happy because it was the most important day in my life.My husband and I fell in love when we were fourteen. And we are still together and we love each other. We have three children, on girl and two boys. They are good children. They are ten, twelve, and fourteen. I am so proud of them. 


Hi, my name is Mohamed. I am going to talk a little about my life. One year ago before I came in here, my mother and father  told me to get married. They amazed me, but I said no. I want to finish studying. My mother told me that because when I get married my wif is going to help her. But I told them sorry I can't. I want to go to USA for 2 reasons. For one thing I love the USA very much. Finally I want to finish studying in USA. Then I came in USA in 2008. I was very happy when I came. But when I had been here 5 months, I started to miss my family. And I talked to myself. Why said no when my parents told me get married? But I said in my opinion I have to do it. But I am going to Yemen next year maybe I will get married. 

My name is Krishna. I got married on Deember 25, 2007 in India. M family and my friends were very happy. They enjoyed my wedding. After my husband came to San Francisco. My husband and I felt so nervous. Then one year later, I came to San Francisco. Then my husband and I went to Hawaii.

The first I came here to San Francisco, I was sixteen years old. My life changed from teenager to adult because I had to look for two jobs. That way I could pay for everything, food, rent and send money to Mexico. I was homesick for a year. Today I feel so much different about San Francisco. It is a lovely city. For the first time, I feel strong and confident. I don't think I have been doing a lot for life but it is never too late to start. 
By Janet Salinas

My life was still really happy until three years ago. I had a cheery childhood. My parents and my brother loved me deeply. Then, I graduated in Guang Zhou University and go a good job. Later on, I got married and had a cute daughter.I was happy every day. But my father died suddenly in 2006. He was just 66 years old. I cried for a long time. I was never sad so much. That was my first time. He was the best father in the world for me, but I can't see him forever. Now, I sometimes cry yet when I miss him. He will live in my heart!
By Cui Ping Li

I got married in 2000. I remember my wife and I weren't nervous, but I was a little sad because my brothers weren't at the wedding. We go so many gifts. Even though my brothers weren't there, I had a really wonderful time. All people drank, and ate much. After that, everybody danced. Next day, I felt very tired, but I had to go in my honeymoon. It was great. 
By Federico

My name is Svetlana. I'm from Russia. I live in this city only one year. I got married in 1991. It was a long time ago. I remember this day. I was very nervous because on this day I had allergic rash on my face. I took much make up so much on my face. I felt discomfort from a big make up. Many guests and friends were there. No on saw my allergy. In the evening it was gone. Finally I was happy. 

I was in Mexico talking with my friends and we decided to go at the festival in other town, so I drove my motorcycle, and in the middle of the road I didn't see the bend of the road. I went out of the road. I fell off the motorcycle, everything happened too fast. I don't remember very well. I just remember when I stood up, my hands and face were bleeding. My friends were coming in a car behind of me. They saw the accident and stopped the car next to my. Hopefully they took me to the hospital and a few days after I was at home with my family and mother taking care of me.
By Carlos Poot

I came to San Francisco with my parents when I was a young girl many times. I loved the cable cars, and I loved Chinatown, too. I like going up the hills, but I was very afraid when we went down the hills. When I was a college student, I came to San Francisco by myself. I loved the beautiful city here. I liked to walk for hours. Golden Gate Park and the beaches near Golden Gate Bridge were my favorite places. I didn't have money for restaurants, but I like to go shopping in little stores and cook in my apartment. I loved my first days in San Francisco as an adult. 

By Venette Cook


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our Homes

I hope you have a safe, comfortable home, but I know many people live in a place that is not perfect! This week we read in our book about a woman named Stella who had  problems with her apartment. She needed some help from a plumber to take care of problems in her kitchen. We talked about making requests, and about tenants' rights and responsibilities.

Click and read a true story from a CCSF student in Chinatown about problems with her apartment and her landlord. Maybe you know someone who has problems like this, too.

by ZCL

You can click under her story, and make a comment to her. She will read your comments later.


Click and listen to a young man talk about living in a large city, like Tokyo, and in the country. Take the quiz you can find on the bottom of the page. What about you? Are you from a big city, or a small town? Which do you like more? What is good about life in a big city? What is good about life in the country, a small town?

Song: Downtown

Listen to this old song about the excitement and the loneliness we can find downtown. You can write in the missing words. I'll give you a copy in class.


Click below Post comment and write one more time. Choose one topic.

1. What are some problems you have in your San Francisco home? What do you need to do about these problems?

2. What is your home like in your country?
3. Where do you prefer to live, in a big city, or a small town? Why?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Getting Ready for Testing

This is our last week together in the lab before you take the Level Four tests. Next week will be a short week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

What will help you the most this week? Listening, reading, writing, or speaking? Choose from this list. You can also read from other weeks.

  1. Listening: Click and listen to a discussion about work.  You can listen with no quiz. You can listen and read so you can study the grammar and vocabulary.
  2. Reading: Click and read a student's story about her job goals and dreams. Her story can help you write your own story. You can click and make a comment to her, too.
  3. Writing: Write a paragraph about your work experience, or your goals. Write 6-10 sentences. Click on comment below. Ask for help with grammar and spelling. 
  4. Speaking: Click and practice for the oral interview. Listen and answer questions about work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gifts: What did you give? Who did you give a gift to?

Writing Practice:  Here is my story of the week. After you read it, you can click on comment and write your story about a gift. 

After I got married in 2008, my husband and I wanted our children to get to know each other better. In July, 2008, one of our daughters turned twenty-one, and another daughter turned twenty-five. They asked us to give them a big party to celebrate being new sisters. Also, those birthdays seemed very important to them. So we agreed, and we gave them a big party at our home. We invited our family and friends to an afternoon barbecue and party. We had a big carrot cake with candles and we had home-made ice cream, too. Our daughters wore birthday hats, just like little girls! Everyone laughed a lot, ate good food and had a good time together. It was a fun party and an important day for all of us.

  • What about you? Click on comment, and write your story about a gift that you gave, or write about a gift that someone gave to you. Write 6-10 sentences in past time.

Listening Practice: A Boy's Birthday

We read a chapter about birthday presents. The Railway Children gave some gifts to their friend, Perks. People from the village gave gifts, too.
  1. Today, click and listen to a young boy talk about his birthday. He's very excited.
  2. Click again and practice vocabulary by dragging words to make good sentences
  3. Click here for one more vocabulary exercise.
Grammar Practice
  1. Are you learning your irregular verbs? 
  2. Click here for exercises.
 Speaking Practice
  1. Click here to practice listening and speaking for the Level 4 Speaking test. You need email to sign in and record your answers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get ready for you oral interview in Level 4.

Our Testing Dates are Nov. 30, Dec. 1,2, and 3. Let's get ready. This week, choose writing practice, or speaking practice. You can divide your time, or do both. You can also practice at home or in a library on any computer. You can also do grammar exercises from our book. Study English!


Watch this short movie. Write a story to tell what happened. Write in past time.

  • You can write your story as a comment.
  • Click down near the bottom of our page to start your story.
  • You can write your story on paper first, if you don't want to type.
  • You can write your story in Word if you know how.
  • Vocabulary: chess game, false teeth

Here is the movie:


  1. Sign up with Voicethread. You need email to record your voice.  
  2. You can get email today if you don't have email now.
  3. I can help you sign up for gmail with Google. 
  4. Listen to each question about shopping.
  5. When you are ready to speak, click "Comment."
  6. Click record, don't type.
  7. Record your answer. You can listen and save if you like your answer. You can cancel and answer again.
  8. Listen to other classmates, too. Listen to grammar, pronunciation, and ideas.
  9. Click here to listen and practice speaking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Important Changes in Our Lives

This week, we have some reading, spelling and writing to study:
  1. Spelling practice: Past Time Irregular Verbs
  2. Read my wedding story.
  3. Read Mei Ling Lee's story about coming to the U.S. She is a student like you. How is her story like your story about coming here? How is her story different?
  4. Talk about the stories with a classmate.
  5. Write a short past time story about one important change in your life.
  • Did you get a job?
  • Did you graduate?
  • Did you become a citizen?
  • Did you get married or have a baby?
  • Write your story. Later, we will get some photos for your story and put your stories on our blog so you can read about each other.

My Wedding Storm
by Venette Cook

I got married in January 2008 at the end of a very terrible rain and wind storm. Maybe you were here in San Francisco then. Some newspapers called the storm, "The Storm of the Century!" There were many floods, and the wind was powerful and dangerous. Many, many trees and fences blew down. The traffic was terrible everywhere. Also, many people lost electricity for days and days. We had no power at my house on my wedding day, so we had to do many things to get ready in the cold and in the dark. Our family and friends had to travel in such terrible weather on dangerous roads. We said, "No one will forget this wedding day!" Some people told us that it is very lucky to get married in the rain. That was good to hear! My husband and I felt so nervous about the weather we forgot to be nervous about getting married. We had a great wedding day!

Living Here
by Mei Ling Lee

Click on her story to read. Then click back to this page!

Write your story. You can write on paper, or on a computer. I will show you two ways to write on a computer. We will check your spelling and grammar today.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Story: When I was younger, I was a teacher in Lisbon, Portugal, for two years. I enjoyed living and working there. I went back to Lisbon in 2004 with my daughter, Xana. She was born there before I came back to San Francisco. I wanted her to see her first home. We had a good time there!

When I first started to live there, I got very lost one time on the bus. I was on my way to teach in the evening. I had to teach in the morning, too, and I was very tired. So, I stopped watching the street signs carefully and I didn't know when to get off the bus. I was very nervous about being lost and late to work. I wasn't sure which way to go. Of course, it was more difficult to speak Portuguese because I was nervous. I remember I felt very hot and I also felt like I could not breathe very well. I remember my confusion very well. I think I found my way to work on time, but I am not sure!

After that, I learned to be more careful about taking the bus. I practiced asking questions about transportation so I would not be so nervous! I began to enjoy going around my new city much more. Lisbon is beautiful, and I really loved to walk around the city in my free time on the weekends. I liked to look for new places up and down the hills near the old city and near the river.

Write: Make a comment this week:
  1. What do you think about Muni?
  2. Do you have a story about getting lost in San Francisco? Did someone help you? Were you late?
  3. What do you think about the Muni website? When can you use this to get around in San Francisco more easily?

Internet Work: When I lived in Lisbon, it was very hard to learn the bus system. There was no easy phone number to call and at that time there was no Internet! We are luckier now in new cities. This week, we are studying about transportation and questions. Look at the SF Muni website, and find some bus directions. You will read this word: itinerary- this means the directions for your trip, which buses to take, and where to walk. Itinerary is an excellent transportation word.

First trip:
  1. You begin at A: 750 Eddy Street
  2. You go to B: SF General Hospital
Second trip:
  1. You begin at 750 Eddy Street
  2. You go to SF International Airport
  3. What is the quickest trip?
  4. What is the most expensive trip?
Third trip: You want to take a friend sightseeing in Golden Gate Park.
  1. You begin at A: type your home address.
  2. You go to B: Type this: California Academy of Science
  3. How long does it take?
  4. How much is the fare?
You can try some other addresses, too.

Did you read Chapter 5, "Saving the Train"? Watch this part of the Railway Children. The children speak quickly, but you can understand the story very well, I think!