Monthly Archives: February 2013

Website Spotlight: USA Learns

From time to time we call your attention to some good websites you can use to practice your English. Today we’d like to show you USA Learns. It’s a fun, interactive website that has videos and listening, reading, vocabulary, and grammar activities. Try it out! Click here or on the picture below:

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Remember to visit the “For Students” page for more great websites!

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New Classes at Houston Street Center

Here is information about some great new low-cost classes at the Houston Street Center. Below are flyers in English, Chinese, and Spanish. Click on them to read more:

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February 2013 Student of the Month

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The University Settlement Adult Literacy Program Student of the Month for February 2013 is Class 3C student Ma May. Here is a short autobiography she wrote:

I was born in Yangon, Myanmar. Yangon is the capital city. There are a lot of pagodas and monasteries. People are friendly and kind. Myanmar has three seasons. It doesn’t have snow. When I arrived in New York, I felt the weather was colder than in my country.

When I was in second grade, my family moved to a small town. Then I got a degree. I was a teacher in my town. I used to ride a bicycle to school. My school principal was very nice and students paid attention to me. I was very happy to live there.

When I got married, I moved to the city. I worked in a jewelry shop with my husband. I learned new things. I had a lot of experiences in the jewelry field. I loved it.

I immigrated to New York in 2008 with my family because we wanted to get a better life and education. Now I’m learning English at University Settlement so I can speak and write better. The United States has more opportunities than Myanmar, so my children and I can get a good education and jobs.

I like New York, but I want to go back to my country.

Now watch a short conversation between Ma May and her teacher Michelle. Afterwards, take a quiz to test your reading and listening comprehension.

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Advocate!

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This past week we had students call their City Council Member to advocate for after-school  and and child- care programs.

Below you can watch a video of students calling. Also you can follow this link to learn who your City Council Member is and the phone number of their District Office so you can call them and advocate. This is a great opportunity to put your English skills to good use!

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US Adult Literacy

Presidents Day is a United States federal holiday that celebrates the birth of George Washington. The holiday is on the third Monday in February. This also celebrates Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which is February 12.

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the first President of the United States, from 1789 to 1797. He was also the commander in chief of all American forces during the American Revolutionary War. For his central role in the beginning of the United States, he is often called the father of his country.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809  – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States. He served as president from 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Lincoln is remembered as the “Great Emancipator” because he worked to end slavery in the United States.

To take a quiz about Abraham Lincoln, click here.

For more…

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International Center of Photography

Looking for something to do during the vacation? Here’s a blog entry brought to you by Brian, the computer class teacher:

Most of us have many interests and hobbies that we like to explore in our free time. Whether it is trying new foods, going to live music concerts or visiting the movie theater to enjoy the newest films, there are plenty of things that keep us curious.

One of my interests is photography. Growing up I was always curious about the process of developing film, drawing with light and traveling with a camera in hand, capturing the world around me. In fact, while in college my major was photography, but then I changed it to English to become a teacher. And although I might not attend school for photography, it is still something that I love learning about.

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A favorite museum of mine that is rich in history and pictures is called the International Center of Photography (ICP). It is located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036, which is close to Bryant Park.

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There is also a school at ICP where people can study photography professionally or recreationally. What I love most about this museum is that they always have new photography exhibits, and they often show photos from 30, 40 and 50 years ago. The museum displays photographs from international photographers, which is great because you are able to see different cultures and countries through the eyes of the people who live there. It is a very fun mixture of new, old, and creative pictures.

Also, the founder of the museum, his name was Cornell Capa, had a brother named Robert Capa, who is my favorite photographer; they are both from Hungary like my family. Robert Capa was a photojournalist, someone who wrote stories with pictures, and often went into war to take photos for newspapers. He died at age 40 after stepping on a landmine in Vietnam during the first Indochina War. His photographs of the Spanish Civil War and of World War II are some of the best and only images the world has.

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The museum sometimes shows Robert Capa’s original photographs from war, and they are very interesting to see. It is a great place for learning the history of photography, and there is always something new for visitors to enjoy. You can also take a tour of the school where you can see all the different classrooms and photography labs where students study.

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If you’re interested in visiting the museum or finding out more information, check out their website at www.icp.org and then take a trip to the International Center of Photography and enjoy what this wonderful museum has to offer.

Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

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Staff Spotlight: Leanne

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Staff Spotlight returns! This time we’re going to talk to Program Assistant Leanne. Maybe you’ve talked to her before. She’s the very nice, helpful person who works full-time in the office during the daytime.

As always, before we talk to her, we need your questions. Think of some good questions to ask Leanne and leave them in the comments section. Click here to leave a question for Leanne.

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