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E-classes are a good way to practice your English. 
I send a new lesson every Wednesday. 
Students have to send in their homework by the next Tuesday. 
I check the homework and make comments.

Below are just a few samples of the many different types of lessons.

JOKE --FILL IN THE BLANK

I want you to use your imagination and fill in the blanks 
to finish this joke.  Maybe you need a noun, maybe a verb, 
maybe a number, maybe you need more than one word, etc. 
There may be more than one answer possible. 

Here's a sample (just a part of a joke): 
John took his new (  a-Porsche  ) out for a drive ( b-in the country ). 
He had the top down and he felt great!  He wanted to see how 
( c-fast      )  he could go, so he stepped on the gas. Just as he hit 
(       d-90       ) mph, he saw flashing lights and heard a siren. 
"Maybe I  can (    e-outrun    )  him!'' he thought and went even faster! ......
 

Note:  For a, instead of 'Porsche' you could say 'Corvette' or 'sports car' or..
           For b, instead of 'in the country' you could say 'one evening' or 
                       'in the middle of the afternoon' or 'in the mountains' or... 

-----OK Now it's your turn. Good luck! ----

After (  a-                            ) I took some classes at the university in 
my hometown, but I wasn't doing very well and I couldn't really 
decide what I wanted to major in, so I dropped out after only 
( b-                  )  and a half.  I thought it was best to work for a year 
or so until I could ( c-                           ) what I wanted to do with my life. 
Getting my first job, however, was much harder than I had 
( d-                            ) .  I sent out dozens of applications.  I applied 
to places like airlines, shipping companies, ad agencies, 
(   e-                           )  travel agencies, and ( f-                             ) , 
but I was rejected again and again. Finally I was getting 
( g-                           ) and I decided that I needed to change my 
resume.  I wanted to make myself look ( h-                             ) , 
but I didn't want to lie, so I needed to get creative.  Finally I got 
a job answering phones and taking orders for a catalogue that 
sells ( i-                             ) .  I think the thing that finally helped me 
get this job was this line, "Special training:  Three semesters of 
computer training classes".  It's not really a lie. I did take three 
semesters, but that's because I failed twice before finally ( j-                             ) !


WRITE A SHORT CONVERSATION

I want you to write a conversation.  Just a short one. You can model 
it after a real conversation you had with your friend or a member of 
your family, or you can make one up.  It doesn't have to be exciting 
or tell a great story.  I'll give you an example:

It's Friday afternoon and Yuko and Jen are on the phone making plans for the night.

Yuko:   You going out tonight? 
Jen:      I haven't decided.  Why?
Yuko:    I was thinking of going to Gary's.
Jen:      That sounds like fun. But I can't go out until late.
Yuko:    What time does your last class end?
Jen:       It ends at 9:00, so I could meet you there at about 9:15 or 9:20.
Yuko:     That's fine.  I'll probably finish work at 7:30 or so and then I'll kill time
             shopping.  I'll probably get to Gary's a little after 9:00 myself. 
Jen:       Sounds perfect!  So I'll see you there!
Yuko:    See you there!  Have fun teaching!
Jen:    Have fun shopping!  Bye!

It sounds easy, but I think it's really rather hard to make a natural conversation. 
Don't worry.  Just do the best you can and I'll tell you 1) whether the 
conversation would be understood by natives and 2)  how to make it more natural.

If you need ideas, here are a few situations:

A & B are planning a party
A & B planning a vacation
A is complaining to B about his boss
A is telling B about his/her new boyfriend/girlfriend
A & B are negotiating a business deal
A & B have just met for the first time
A is.......


FIND THE INFORMATION

This is an exercise to test your information finding skills.  It's a short  article. 
I just want you to use this newspaper article to answer the questions. 
Note:  The questions are not exactly in order of the story! 

1.  What is the name of the controversial doll? (controversial(adj.)=causing people to argue)
2.  How is she different from Barbie?
3.  Is she sold with her husband and other child, or is she sold alone?
4.  What does she come with?
5.  Who wanted the doll taken off the shelves?
6.  What is one possible reason that they didn't like the doll?
7.  Why did the maker of the doll think it was good for children?
8.  What did one shopper think about the store's policy?
9.  Do you think it's a good idea to sell a doll like this or not?  Explain why or why not.
 

Wal-Mart Yanks (yank=pull) Pregnant Barbie Pal (pal=friend) from Shelves

Barbie having babies? Stick to playing nurse and Rapunzel (Rapunzel is a 
famous storybook character), say Wal-Mart shoppers.

Barbie's long-time pal, Midge -- now married and pregnant -- was yanked 
from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shelves earlier this month after customers 
complained about the doll, a company spokeswoman said.

Midge is sold as part of the "Happy Family" set, wearing a tiny wedding 
ring and a detachable (detachable=removable) stomach with a curled-up 
baby inside. Her husband, Alan, and 3-year-old child Ryan are sold 
separately.

Melissa Berryhill, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, declined (decline=not accept) 
to comment on whether shoppers objected specifically to (object to ~ = be 
against ~) the doll being sold alone, which may suggest teenage pregnancy, 
rather than being sold with the rest of the family.

"We make every decision on which items to carry based on customer 
demand, and that was the reason for this. Customers were unhappy 
with the offering," Berryhill said.

Mattel, the maker of Barbie, on its Barbie.com Web site, said the Happy 
Family preganancy-themed dolls "can help parents discuss pregnancy 
without having to resort to (resort to ~ =try ~ as a last option) graphic 
descriptions  of the reproductive process (reproductive process=how 
babies are made)." It said the dolls can help children aged 5 to 8 to 
act out their feelings before the arrival of a new sibling(sibling= 
a brother or a sister) .

Some shoppers said they were not convinced (be convinced that ~ 
= believe that ~) Wal-Mart's priorities were on target (on target = 
correct, right).

"Wal-Mart pulling (pull=take off the shelves, stop selling) Barbie because 
she's pregnant, but they still sell guns and ammo (ammo= ammunition, 
bullets for guns) ?" said Laura Jamieson of San Francisco.



 
WRITE A SUMMARY

I want you to make a very short summary (4-6 sentences) of the news story below. 
This is the standard pattern for news stories:

First line--eye catching introduction to topic
Middle lines --what happened, in chronological (time) order
last line--conclusion (what finally happened?  what will happen now?)

Here's a sample:

A woman was kicked out of a pub for putting her pet iguana, Igwig, on 
other customersí heads.  When the doorman asked her to leave, she 
threw the iguana at him.  She kicked him and also broke a window, 
so he called the police.  At the police station, the drunk ěLizard Ladyî 
got angry and unwrapped the iguana from around her neck and threw 
it at the officers.  She was convicted (found guilty) of 2 counts of animal cruelty. 

--------- OK , are you ready?  Her'e s the news story. Vocabulary hints are in (blue) ----------

It's art to some, yes, but apparently (apparently=it seems) not to the 
custodian (custodian=janitor, cleaning person) who threw away the 
newest exhibit (exhibit=art on display) at the Boulder Public Library. 

After being pulled out of the garbage (garbage=trash, rubbish)
"My Favorite Place to Walk in Boulder: Or Found Trash Objects" 
officially opened Friday at the downtown library. The display features 
common trash found by University of Colorado art students in 
otherwise scenic spots* citywide. 
    *(otherwise scenic spots = the places are beautiful except for 
the art work that is made of garbage that was put there on purpose)

"This is a slightly different kind of art," said Karen Ripley, director 
of cultural programs. "It's not meant to be beautiful." 

One of the comments our maintenance guy (maintenance guy= 
person who takes care of the building) made was that it smells," 
said Ripley, who saved the artwork. 

She said the odor (smell) could have been coming from a soggy (wet)
brown leather clog found in a drinking fountain. 

When the janitor(cleaning person)  dumped the display, there were 
no signs or barriers (barriers= walls, fences, guardrails, etc.)  to 
indicate (show) it was anything but what it looked like: a pile of 
rubbish(trash, garbage), Ripley said. 

Intended as a social commentary on ecology (ecology=the study 
of the effects of humans on nature and the environment around us)
the exhibit includes a green Frisbee, a plastic cookie cutter, a 
cigarette package and a drink coaster. 


SPEAK YOUR MIND

I want you to tell me about YOU!  I'll ask some questions to help 
you get some ideas.  First answer the questions, then make the 
answers into a well written paragraph.

Here's an example of changing the answers into a report:

ANSWERS
1.  Did you take a vacation?
 Yes, I went to Fiji.
2.  Who did you go with?
 I went with my husband.
3.  How long did you stay there?
 We stayed 7 days. 
4.  Where did you stay?
 We stayed in a cabin on the beach.
5.  What did you do while you were there?
 We went scuba diving.
 We relaxed on the beach. 
 We ate delicious seafood every night. 
6.   ......
7.   .....

REPORT

My husband and I took a trip to Fiji for our anniversary.  We stayed in 
a cabin on the beach.  It was a wonderful week!  We went scuba 
diving and relaxed by the water every day, and every night night we 
ate the best seafood.   .....
 


 
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Kathryn A. Craft 
Publisher/editor of ET PEOPLE!

Tel/Fax: 052-732-1776         E-mail:   etpinfo@ybb.ne.jp