Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mind Your Manners

We've been talking about cultural differences.  Here's an interesting short article about food and eating in China, France, India, The Middle East and North Africa, Thailand, Italy and Japan.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Our Second Week was Tough!


We had a really difficult reading this week with so much vocabulary that I had to split it into two different lists on SpellingCity. Click here to see them.   Be sure to check out both VOTP Week 2 Part 1 and Part 2.  If you can't get the premium games or vocabulary list, log in as VOTPstudent.  Your password is 750.  You should be able to do all the games and take the vocabulary test too.  If you have a problem, please tell me or email me at dselleck@ccsf.edu.

Here are some of the idioms we had this week:

  • to have something up your sleeve
  • to be book solid
  • to be not in the picture
  • to be set
  • never mind
We also had the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch."



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's Your Name?

Here's some information about names:

You always use a title with a last name:

·         Mr. Cen
·         Ms. Chau
·         President Ho
·         Dr. Nguyen

If you are a married woman, you can use Mrs. only with your husband’s last name.

You are Mary Smith.
Your husband is Peter Jones.
You are Mrs. Jones or Ms. Smith. Mrs. Smith is your mother.

In general, children take their father’s last name.  For example, Mary Smith and Peter Jones have a daughter, Amy.  Her name would be Amy Jones.  Sometimes, people hyphenate their last names.  Then Amy’s name would be Amy Smith-Jones.  This is called a hyphenated name.

If you are introduced to someone, but you didn’t hear or understand their name:

·         Sorry, I didn’t catch your name. (informal)
·         What was your name again?
·         Please repeat your name.
·         Could you tell me your name again?
·         Please pronounce your name for me.

If you forgot someone’s name:

·         I’m sorry, could you tell me your name again?
·         I’m really bad with names; could you tell me your name again?
·         Please remind me of your name.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Week One VOTP Review!

Hi Everyone!

Did you feel the earthquake this morning? 

We have an idiom "to be shook up."  It means to be scared by something.  I don't know about you, but that shake shook me up!



 Speaking of idioms, here are the ones we studied this week in class:

  • to get the ball rolling
  • to get off on the wrong foot
  • to stay on your toes
  • to be up to something
  • to think on your feet
And we had a LOT of vocabulary this week.  You can practice it by clicking here.
You need to click on Week One Vocabulary.  Then a box comes in saying Premium.  Log in as VOTPstudent.  Your password is 750.  You should be able to do all the games and take the vocabulary test too.  If you have a problem, please tell me or email me at dselleck@ccsf.edu.
And Duy used two good expressions:

Please feel free to help yourself to some coffee.

Mr. Smith is delayed.  In the meantime, I could show you our factory.

Thanks Duy!

We are also practicing pronouncing "S."  Here are some tongue twisters to help you:

  1.   I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.Where she sits she shines and where she shines she sits.
  2.   Seth at Safeway sells thick socks.
  3.   Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.
  4.   Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.
  5.   She saw the Sheriff's shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure she saw the Sheriff's shoes on the sofa?
  6.   She sells sea shells by the seashore.  The shells she sells are seashore shells.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Welcome to Fall 2014!


Hello everyone!  My name is Denise and this semester I am teaching Communication Skills for the Workplace. This class is part of the Vocational Office Training Program (VOTP).   

In this class we will study about cultural diversity and socializing, using a telephone, presentations, meetings and negotiations.  We will concentrate on listening and speaking/pronunciation skills as well as reading, vocabulary and writing.  Every week or more, I will post things here to help you review what we have studied and also other things I think you will be interested in.

If you are taking this class to get the VOTP certificate, you will need to type 45 words per minutes (wpm) by May 2015.  You can take one of our ESL or business non-credit keyboarding classes or you can practice in our 12:15 CALL Lab class.  You can also study on your own time.  Here are a couple of sites:






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bye For Now

So we've come to the end of another semester at City College of San Francisco.  Next semester will start up again August 16.  Check back here from time to time  (an idiom which means occasionally or sometimes) because I may write a post if I find something interesting.  Until then, I hope the resources below will be helpful.

Me:              dselleck@ccsf.edu

Radio Stations:  (These are mostly all talk)
                    KCBS 740 AM, 106.9 FM:
                    KQED 88.5 FM: http://www.kqed.org
                    KALW 91.7 FM: http://kalw.org

Podcasts:     (These are for English speakers so could be challenging.  They are all  people telling true   
                   This American Life:  http://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast
                   Snap Judgment:  http://snapjudgment.org/podcast
                   The Moth:  http://themoth.org/about/programs/the-moth-podcast

                   Storycorps: http://storycorps.org

Other:         Free walking tours of San Francisco: http://www.sfcityguides.org
                   Cheap & free things to do in S.F. http://sf.funcheap.com

Happy Summer!



Friday, May 16, 2014

Getting a Job


This week we've been talking about careers in class.  Here is a fun link where you can find out the right job for your personality as well as learn about different kinds of jobs.

Thursday will be the last day of the semester, so my post next week will have lots of links to keep you busy over the summer.