1st Course U1: Meeting People

Ms. Marquez and the class practice introductions on their first day of English class. We learn one way to respond is to say, “Nice to meet you.”  But English speakers use a variety of expressions.

Before I go on, let me introduce a site I’ll be recommending a lot.

One of my favorite sites for listening to real people speaking English is real-english.com. This site is a treasure trove of short interviews with people on the street. It is natural language, but in the controlled environment of a single topic with lots of repetition–perfect for English learners wanting to improve listening skills. The sense of humor and love of communication of the creator of Real English, Mike Marzio, shines through in all of the videos.

Luckily many of the video topics fit perfectly with USA Learns units such as this one on introductions.

In Lesson 1 – Hi! from the Real English site, various people introduce themselves to the interviewer with a more authentic variety of responses than we hear in USAL.  Exercises 1 through 4 that follow provide very good listening practice on this topic. (Exercise 5 is a grammar lesson on the verb to be which Ms. Marquez will introduce in the next unit, so have students hold off on that one.)

Nice to meet you!

1st Course U1: Spelling Names

Ms. Marquez asks a new student to spell his name because she is not sure she understands it correctly. Spelling a name is probably the most common use of the alphabet for adults, and there are some great short videos available online for practicing this.

Here is some good listening practice from real-english with real people spelling their names.

But things get even better.

Send your students to Real English Lesson 3: The Alphabet where they can view the video and do exercises. They will get lots of focussed listening practice and will even be able to record themselves.

1st Course U1: The Alphabet

The alphabet is presented in a fun song in the Language Practice section of USAL Unit 1.  And here’s another “funky” alphabet song that your students may really enjoy singing to.

Fun Alphabet Song

However, students just learning the English alphabet may need more practice as they will find in this link.

Alphabet Practice


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