Friday, September 12, 2014

Calling All Students!

We've had a very tough week dealing with the telephone!  

Before we get to work, here's an old song about a telephone number:  

To practice some of this week's vocabulary click here.  Remember, if you can't get to the premium activities,  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

Remember when you are talking on the phone or leaving a message, it can help to spell things out.  Sometimes, though, that can be confusing too.  In that case it's handy to say, "A as in apple, B as in ball," etc. Here's one I got on the internet, but most words can work.

Finally, here are some of our idioms for this week.  Do you know what they mean?

*take a crack at something
*over my head
*knock it off
*wrap it up

Bye for now! 

 (Hi Marie; hope you had a safe trip!)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pronunciation Practice

Thanks to a great idea from Irina, I'm going to add sound to this blog so you can practice pronunciation.

I leave time after each sentence for you to repeat it.  

Here is the first group of tongue twisters from two weeks ago.  They practice "s:":

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.

Here are 5 more which practice both "s" and "sh."

1.     Shy Sally says she shall sew six sheets for her sister   

2.     "Surely Sylvia swims!" shrieked Sammy surprised.  
        "Someone should show Sylvia some strokes so she 
         shall not sink."

3.       What a shame such a shapely sash should such 
           shabby stitches show.

4.       The sheriff should shoot slowly. 

5.        The sun shines on the shop signs.


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

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.