Below is a video of 0A and 0B teacher, Bob Malenky. We visited Bob in his classroom at 189 Houston Street and he told us about one of his favorite musicians, Woody Guthrie. Bob also sang one of Woody’s songs, “This Land Is Your Land”. Read about Woody, listen to the song and take the quiz below. Let us know in the comments what you think about the song, Woody Guthrie and if you enjoy folk music.
Woody Guthrie was born on July 12th, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. After a turbulent childhood, he moved to Texas and from there traveled to California. Woody played the guitar and harmonica and wrote songs based on his travels and observations, many using melodies from older folk and country songs.
This Land is Your Land was written after Guthrie had traveled to New York from Texas in 1940.
Woody Guthrie’s lyrics sung in his true rural American style gave rise to a generation of followers including Bob Dylan, and Woody’s son, Arlo.
Guthrie died in October of 1967 from a hereditary disease of the nervous system, but his songs such as “This Land is Your Land”, “Pastures of Plenty”, “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You”, and many others continue to be sung around the world.
Click here to hear Woody Guthrie sing “This Land Is Your Land”
This post is from our E4 teacher, Mary Staub. Mary shares some language learning strategies she’s used. We also get to watch a video of her students sharing their favorite tips to improve their English. Read and watch below, then share some of your favorite ways to practice English in the comments section:
Foreign languages have always been part of my life.
I grew up bilingually, speaking Swiss German and English since childhood, and started learning French and Spanish during high school. More recently, I’ve tried to start learning Arabic. Over the years, I’ve used a lot of different language learning strategies to help me improve more quickly.
For example, when I was living in Seville, Spain, for eight months during college, I looked for opportunities to meetSpanish people and took part in all the town festivals. I also joined a Capoeira (Brazilian martial art) group while I was there, where all of the members spoke only Spanish. This forced me to use Spanish all the time and helped me become more fluent. Another thing I did was take dance classes from a teacher who spoke only Spanish. All her instructions were in Spanish so I had to learn to understand.
Another thing I did and continue to do is to read as much as possible in Spanish or French. I read books, newspapers, or anything else that I am interested in. I look up the words that I don’t understand and seem important. Then I write the ones I want to remember in a journal so I can review them. I also sometimes make flashcards, especially at the beginning when I’m learning a new language. That’s what I did when I started learning Arabic.
I also practice using new words and phrases by imagining little conversations where I can use them or I’ll try to start ‘thinking’ in the language. I often do this when I’m taking the subway or riding my bike and have time to let my mind wander.
Watch the video to hear about the language learning strategies that some of my E4 students use. Then add a comment to share some of your own strategies.
The University Settlement Adult Literacy Program is pleased to announce the March 2013 Student of the Month: J.C. Ye. He was nominated by his Class 2B teacher Regina, who said:
I nominated J.C. as Student of the Month because he is a highly motivated and outgoing student. He participates a lot in class, encourages his fellow classmates to speak, and asks a lot of questions. In addition to my class, J.C. also attends the movie class with his fiancée, Debbie, and June Foley’s writing class. He told me his goals are to improve his English and to eventually go to university here in New York City.
Saint Patrick’s Day is the feast day of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and a day of celebration for Irish people. It is celebrated on March 17 all over Ireland and everywhere in the world where Irish people or their descendants live. New York City has one of the biggest parades. It is a very Irish festival and it involves a lot of feasting and celebrations, which includes traditional Irish music, drinking Guinness and eating bacon and cabbage. Another tradition is one has to wear green clothing or they will be pinched. Green is the color for Saint Patrick’s day as it is the national color of Ireland and people often wear green on that day or have some type of shamrock on their clothing.
Our beloved office assistant Leanne already answered most of your questions, but Laptop #3 sat down to talk with her to ask her some more questions. Watch the interview below, then take the quiz to test your understanding: