Tag Archives: movies

Inspirational Speeches

Speeches are a great way to practice listening. Here are 20 of the best inspirational speeches from movies. You can listen to one in the morning to start your day off, maybe one while you are walking through the park and one while you are cooking, cleaning or relaxing in the evening. If you like the speeches you can also check out the movies that they are from. There are some great movies on the list. Have you seen any of them?

Click here for even more inspirational speeches

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Chicken Revisited

Here’s a scene from a famous movie called Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean. In it you will find a nice example of people using our latest Idiom of the Week, “chicken.”

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An Actor In Our Midst

joe final

Nobody got the right answer to last week’s little quiz. The correct answer is that Joe was the little boy in red in the cinematic masterpiece Three Men and a Baby. Here’s a short interview with Joe about his thespianism:

How old were you?

I was 3.

Do you remember doing it?

Not particularly. I have memories of being in Central Park that might get mixed with that.

How did it come about?

My mother was in Bloomingdale’s returning a gift for my newborn sister. She needed money to buy diapers. She was approached by a recruiter because of my sister.  They called us a few times later on, and my sister did some advertisements, and my sister had worked as a stand-in for the baby in the film in a couple scenes, and then they called us about something happening at Central Park. They were going to film a scene in Central Park and they wanted families and kids to be there playing.

Did you get paid for it?

We did. Maybe enough for a haircut and a pair of sneakers.

So you don’t see any royalties?

No, no royalties. Maybe I should ask a lawyer about that.

Did you or your mom meet Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, or Steve Guttenberg?

No, we never got to know them.

If you could meet one of the three, which one would you want to meet?

That’s a tough question. Maybe Tom Selleck.

What do you think of the movie?

Timeless classic comes to mind. I think it’s well-written, it’s well-acted, and I think the extras really give it that extra something special.

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Three Men and an Adult Literacy Program Employee

three men and joe

Somebody who currently works at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program once worked with famous American actors Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg in the immortal cinematic 1987 comedy classic Three Men and a Baby. The little boy in the red shirt on the right is him 27 years ago. Guess who it is in the Comments Section – and the first person to guess correctly will win these:


 If you’re not familiar with the film Three Men and  a Baby, here’s a trailer:



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Best Picture

The Oscars were last night. The Oscars are movie awards. The Oscar for Best Picture (Best Movie) went to 12 Years a Slave. Watch the movie trailer above, then read about the movie below.

From Wikipedia.org:

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 historical drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for twelve years before his release.

Solomon Northup (July 1808 – 1863?)was a free-born African American from New York, the son of a freed slave. A farmer and violinist, he owned a property in Hebron. In 1841 he was kidnapped by slave-traders, having been enticed with a job offer as a violinist. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him as a slave. He was shipped to New Orleans where he was sold to a plantation owner in Louisiana. He was held in the Red River region of Louisiana by several different owners for 12 years, during which time his friends and family had no knowledge of him. He made repeated attempts to escape and get messages out of the plantation. Eventually he got news to his family, who contacted friends and enlisted the Governor of New York, Washington Hunt, to his cause. He regained his freedom in January 1853 and returned to his family in New York. In his first year of freedom Northup published an account of his experiences in the memoir Twelve Years a Slave (1853).

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Below is the short movie ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving‘. It is usually on TV on Thanksgiving. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you do every year? Let us know in the comments section what your traditions are and if you enjoyed the movie.



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Student of the Month

Meet our new student of the month, Li Juan Zou, Winnie. Her teacher is David Moss from class W2 (Saturday & Sunday 9:30AM-12:30PM).

Watch and listen to Winnie comfortably and confidently answers our interview questions . Winnie also reads one of her favorite poems. Below, you can also read the movie review Winnie wrote for one of her favorite films, Groundhog Day (and watch the movie trailer).

Winnie Zou

 Groundhog Day Movie Review

                Groundhog Day’s director is Harold Ramis. The main characters are Phil and Rita. The movie is about Phil, who keeps reliving Groundhog Day. Phil wakes up at 6:00AM every day, he wakes up to the same song and listens to the same news on the radio. At first, he tries to face the same day and tries to end Groundhog Day. He jumps off a building, he gets hit by a car and he electrocutes himself with a toaster in the bathtub, but none of this works. Also he tells his producer, Rita, but she doesn’t believe him. So he tells her about all the people in the town to prove to Rita that he is reliving the same day. Then he tries to enjoy Groundhog Day and falls in love with Rita. He tries to be nice to people he brings breakfast to his co-workers, he learns to play the piano, he does ice sculpting and he catches a kid who falls out of a tree. Finally, Rita and Phil fall in love with each other and Groundhog Day ends. “Today is tomorrow!”

My opinion is that the film’s message is telling us to enjoy our life and bad or good situations don’t really matter. People have a dream, they wonder if they are reliving the same day, there would be no consequences. People could do whatever they wanted. People wouldn’t worry about gaining weight, love handles, cholesterol or eating too much sugar. They wouldn’t worry about accidents because nobody would die. It sounds very funny and beautiful.

I like to watch Phil as he tries to end Groundhog Day and he does some silly things. He tries to enjoy the same day and he is nice with people. I like the song in the movie, “I Got You, Babe”. I would recommend this movie to my friends. I like the film because I also like to daydream.


Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour

This poem was written by William Blake, it is my favorite poem because it resonants with me. I think people should value what they have and find beauty from small things.

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