NEW Lessons this Week (December 19, 2016)

icon_51812To listen to these and other Daily English and Cultural English lessons, become a Select English Member!

………

ON MONDAY
Daily English 1270 – Cold and Frozen Treats

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to hit the spot” and “pool.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Popular Ice Cream Desserts.”
“According to the International ‘Dairy Foods’ (foods made from milk) Association, the average American eats almost 22 pounds…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON WEDNESDAY
Cultural English 586

Topics: Famous Americans – Malcolm X; to pack/packing versus to box/boxing versus to wrap/wrapping; rational versus reasonable; to insinuate

In the Learning Guide:  Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear).
In “What Insiders Know,” you will read about “The Black Arts Movement.”
“The 1965 ‘assassination’ (murder for political reasons) of Malcolm X ‘gave birth to’ (led to; caused to appear or happen)…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON FRIDAY
Daily English 1271 – Disapproving of a Remarriage

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to stay true to” and “to take up with.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Legal Requirements for Remarrying.”
“Anyone who wants to ‘wed’ (get married) must get a ‘marriage license’ (official, legal permission to marry another person)…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association, previously known as the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association, was founded in 1907 in Toronto, Ontario. CPhA is the national voice of Pharmacists in Canada, representing pharmacists practising in various fields of pharmacy in community, hospital, academia, government and corporate settings, plus pharmacy students. Its mission is advancing the health and well-being of Canadians through excellence in pharmacist care. In 2014 CPhA adopted a new governance and membership model, most provincial pharmacy advocacy associations (PPAs) and select national pharmacist associations (NPAs) have become Organizational Members of CPhA. Their individual pharmacist and pharmacy student members are now CPhA Associates. The CPhA Board of Directors is made up of representatives appointed by each Organizational Member. The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the broad direction of the association.

Americans importing viagra from Canadian pharmacy online, at the very least to cut down on their prescriptions, and sometimes cases even to afford life-saving drugs. But I’ve seen these bills before and FDA is always behind their failure – but what about this time?

Canadian Pharmacists Association

Posted in Announcements | 3 Comments

What am I, Chopped Liver?

1280px-Chopped_liverHello, everybody! Today, I’m going to talk about a phrase you might hear in conversation, one that sounds just a little bit strange.

Jeff:  “I heard that you need a singer for the show.”
Lucy:  “Yes, I’m thinking of asking Warren. He’s a great singer.”
Jeff:  “What am I, chopped liver?”

One of the strangest American expressions is “What am I, chopped liver?” It’s used when someone has said or done something to indicate (show) that they don’t think highly of you (don’t have a good opinion of you) or your skills. The liver is the organ in the body near the stomach that does many things, including removing toxins (poisons) from the body. The liver of many animals, such as cows and chickens, is often prepared as food. Chopped liver is a traditional Jewish dish made by cooking the liver with onions in oil in a hot pan. It’s usually eaten as a spread (soft, thick moist substance) on bread or crackers (small, flat, crisp food often eaten with cheese or other food on top).

Why has chopped liver become associated with being underappreciated (not valued)? Nobody knows for sure, but there are a few possible explanations.

First, chopped liver isn’t a dish that everybody likes, so comparing something to chopped liver is a way of expressing frustration or anger that you’re being ignored (not getting attention) or dismissed (treat as not useful or worthy) as being unimportant, just as chopped liver might be.

Another explanation is that chopped liver is usually served as a side dish (smaller, less important part of a meal) and not the main course (the main part of a meal). So when we compare ourselves or someone else to chopped liver, we’re saying that we (or they) are not important and we are easy to overlook (be ignored; not notice).

So the next time you feel ignored or underappreciated, you can say, “What am I, chopped liver?” It’s a rhetorical question (question asked without expecting or needing an answer), but since it communicates that you’ve been insulted (treated disrespectfully) or your feelings have been hurt (treated unkindly), the person you’re speaking to will probably reassure you (say something so you won’t doubt or fear something anymore) — that is, if they like you.

~ Lucy

Posted in Language & Terms | 7 Comments

NEW Lessons this Week (December 12, 2016)

icon_51812To listen to these and other Daily English and Cultural English lessons, become a Select English Member!

………

ON MONDAY
Daily English 1268 – Conducting Employee Background Checks

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to be burned” and “character reference.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Ban the Box Laws.”
“Many companies require that ‘job applicants’ (people who are asking for a job)…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON WEDNESDAY
Cultural English 585

Topics: American Authors – Truman Capote; to be understaffed versus to be stretched thin versus to be on the brink of; don’t mention it versus you’re welcome versus my pleasure; bees knees

In the Learning Guide:  Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear).
In “What Insiders Know,” you will read about “The O. Henry Award.”
“Almost every year since 1918, the O. Henry Award has been ‘bestowed’ (given with a lot of honor)…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON FRIDAY
Daily English 1269 – Problems with the Heating System

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to heat” and “fan.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Energy-saving Tips for Heating the Home.”
“Heating expenses ‘account for’ (makes up; totals) a ‘significant’ (worth noting; not small) percentage of a typical household’s ‘budget’…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Posted in Announcements | 12 Comments

2-Wheeled Therapy

People who have tried it say it’s therapeutic. What they mean is that doing it makes them feel calm and relaxed. It helps them feel better about themselves and their lives.

Forty years ago, a little-known organization called Adventure Cycling began promoting (encouraging) what they call “self-contained camping tours.” Bicycle riders, sometimes alone, sometimes with a small group of other riders, ride 40-70 miles (65-115 km) a day for a week, two weeks, or even several months. They carry everything they need on their bicycles. If they need more food and water, they stop along the road to buy it. When it’s time to eat, they prepare their own food. At night they camp out, sleep outside in tents and sleeping bags. When they’re in a scenic (impressive or beautiful) area, they stop to enjoy it.

One rider, on the Adventure Cycling website, said that her body and mind felt younger after riding 700 miles over 14 days, camping near beaches, going to sleep hearing crashing (loud noise of) waves, forgetting her work password and even forgetting what day of the week it was. She said the experience helped her prioritize (decide what’s important) the rest of her life.

Tyler Metcalfe was a photographer for National Geographic magazine. Earlier this year, he quit his job to ride Adventure Cycling’s most iconic (best known) ride, the TransAmerica Trail, from Washington, D.C. to the Pacific Ocean in the state of Washington (see map), by himself. That’s 4228 miles (6804 km), across 11 states, through 3 national parks, surrounded by  “diverse landscape (different scenery) that reflects (shows) the heart of America.”

He finished recently, 109 days after he started. He wrote that he “decided to cross the country by bike so that I could be captivated (have his attention filled) by every moment along the way.” Sometimes that meant cooking dinner with someone he met on the trail, sometimes it meant riding through a heavy rainstorm, or sleeping outside, “under the stars,” for several nights in a row. “I wanted to feel it all,” he wrote, and the experience “gave me an appreciation for the small details of every day.”

Some people, who only thought about the hard work of riding so far for so many days, said he was crazy. But Metcalfe said that traveling like this made it possible for him to slow down and experience the world at his own speed. It gave him “an opportunity to get lost, to spend time talking to strangers, and to fully embrace (welcome) the unexpected.”

Ready for some 2-wheeled therapy?

You can read Tyler Metcalfe’s articles on the National Geographic website.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English website.

Map from National Geographic.

Posted in Life in the United States | 9 Comments

NEW Lessons This Week (December 5, 2016)

icon_51812To listen to these and other Daily English and Cultural English lessons, become a Select English Member!

………

ON MONDAY
Daily English 1266 – Being a Refugee

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “possession” and “to be damned.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program.”
“The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to help…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON WEDNESDAY
Cultural English 584

Topics: Famous Americans – Bob Hope; severe versus serious; bill versus check; pronouncing words with the silent “b”

In the Learning Guide:  Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear).
In “What Insiders Know,” you will read about “Spongebob Squarepants.”
SpongeBob SquarePants is an ‘animated’ (cartoon; with moving drawings) American television show and a ‘highly rated’…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON FRIDAY
Daily English 1267 – Types of Nurses

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “bedside manner” and “to hack it.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Where Nursing Professionals Work.”
“Most nursing professionals work in hospitals and in doctor’s offices, but there are other ‘workplaces’…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments

IMPORTANT Changes to ESLPod.com – Please Read

info-553639_1920We want to let you know of some big changes to ESLPod.com. We have completely redesigned (changed the look and function of) our website. We have also changed how you can listen and read our lessons.

WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?

We are very excited to be launching (starting) our new Select English Membership. We designed the new Select English Membership to be an even better way for you to listen and learn.

As a Select English Member:

  • You can choose any of our 1800+ lessons.
  • Each lesson you choose comes with MP3 audio and PDF Learning Guide files you can download to listen and read anywhere.
  • You can choose from regular podcasts (now called “Daily English” lessons) and English Café episodes (now called “Cultural English” lessons).
  • The choice is yours: You pick only the lessons you want and only on the topics you need.

Get more information about the Select English Membership.

BASIC AND PREMIUM MEMBERS:  Don’t worry!  If you like your membership, you can keep it! The main difference will be a new way of downloading your audio and PDF files. To get detail instructions, go to “How to Log In and Download Basic and Premium Learning Guides.

Have more questions? See our new Frequently Asked Questions page for more details, including questions and answers in 11 different languages. Get help with:

How to Sign Up for a Select English Membership
How to Find and Download Select English Lessons
How to Download Files for English Collections + Special Courses
How to Log In and Download Basic and Premium Learning Guides

WHY DID WE MAKE CHANGES?

We made these changes so that we can still make our lessons available to everyone at a low price.

Please keep in mind that:

  • ESLPod.com began over 11 years ago. Since we began offering Basic and Premium Memberships, we have never raised (increased) our prices. At the same time, the number of lessons Premium Members have access to has gone from a few dozen to over 1800. During the same period, our production costs (cost of making podcasts/lessons) have gone up 670%.
  • ESLPod.com does not have any advertising on its website, audio lessons, or blog so that you can listen and read without being bothered by ads.
  • ESLPod.com does not receive any money from the government or from any other source. We are supported solely (only; completely) through your memberships and donations.
  • Neither ESLPod.com nor Jeff (nor Lucy) have ever been paid for endorsements (getting a fee for saying they like or use a product or service) or promotions (activities to increase sales).
  • ESLPod.com has never accepted money by partnering with larger companies or organizations that wanted access to our listeners and users. We have never sold our email lists.

We have kept our independence because we wanted the freedom to create the best lessons we could for our listeners. If we had advertisers, sponsors, or partnerships, we would not have complete freedom to do what we know is right and best for the English learners who visit our website and listen to our lessons.

This is why we need listeners like you to become Select English Members. With your membership and your support, we can continue to make our lessons available to everyone at a low price.

Thank you for your understanding and your support. ESLPod.com would not exist (be here; be alive) without your generous help.

~ Jeff McQuillan + Lucy Tse

(1) If you are a Basic or Premium Member, you should have received an email from us already explaining our changes, with a limited time special offer that will give you a low price on our new Select English Membership. If you did not get that email, please email us at eslpod@eslpod.com.
(2) We will not be using our iTunes or podcast feed for the audio files for Basic and Premium Memberships. We will still have sample lessons on our iTunes podcast, however.
(3) The new Select English Membership gives you the most for your money, but you can also buy lessons without becoming a member – see our English Collections option.
Posted in Announcements | 14 Comments

Podcasts this Week (November 28, 2016)

icon_51812Is your limited English standing in your way? Do you want to improve your English now?

Learn English even faster with the help of the Learning Guide. In it, you’ll get more vocabulary, language explanations, sample sentences, comprehension questions, cultural notes, and more.

Get the Learning Guide and support ESL Podcast today by becoming a Basic or Premium Member!

………

ON MONDAY
ESL Podcast 1264 – Customer Loyalty Programs

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “reward” and “to adopt.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “S&H Green Stamps.”
“S&H Green Stamps were ‘stamps’ (pieces of paper with a printed image and text on one side, and a glue that becomes…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON WEDNESDAY
English Cafe 583

Topics: Andersonville Prison; garbage versus litter versus trash versus rubbish; downtime; pronouncing eight, height, and weight

In the Learning Guide:  Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear).
In “What Insiders Know,” you will read about “The Dix-Hill Cartel.”
“During the American Civil War, ‘Major’ (a military leader) Dix of the Union and Major Hill of the Confederacy signed an agreement…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON FRIDAY
ESL Podcast 1265 – Watching a Fight

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “blow” and “round.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC.”
“‘Mixed martial arts’ is a sport that uses ‘techniques’ (ways of doing things) from many other types of ‘combat sports’…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Posted in Announcements | 17 Comments

A Very L.A. Thanksgiving

turkey-218742_1280Welcome! We’re so glad you could join us for Thanksgiving. Come in out of the cold. It’s dipped below (fallen under) 70° F (20° C) outside. Brrrrrrrrr!

Jeff has been slaving away (working very hard) in the kitchen all day baking a big turkey (see photo). It’s free range (raised in a natural environment that allows movement) and pasture-raised (with some of its food coming from the natural environment). Its feed (food for farm animals) has always been non-GMO (not genetically modified; without their genetic material changed to make it better), of course! It has received no  antibiotics (medicine to stop the growth of bacteria (germs)) or hormones (a substance usually used to make animals bigger).

Jeff also asked the turkey if it would mind (dislike) being cooked and eaten, and it said it didn’t mind as long as Jeff took a selfie (photo of yourself, taken by you) with it and remembered to put up the photo on the turkey’s Facebook page.

Jeff has also made mashed potatoes, stuffing (bread and seasonings cooked in a turkey or out of it), and cranberry sauce (a sweet red sauce made from a tart (sour) berry). It’s quite a spread (large number of dishes)!

The table is set (prepared). There is a cornucopia (horn filled with food) centerpiece (decoration for the middle of a dining table). There are enough place settings (sets of plates and bowls for use by each person) for all of us, along with polished (with a bright shine) silverware (knives, forks, and spoons). Here’s your seat.

Lucy would have helped with all of the preparations, but she is recovering from her latest (most recent) nip and tuck (plastic surgery; surgery to make her look better). She noticed a new wrinkle (fold of skin) on her left knee (joint connecting the two parts of the leg) and had lifts (surgery to pull the skin tighter) done on both legs. She won’t be able to walk, but she’ll look marvelous (wonderful; amazing)!

But, in all seriousness (not joking), Thanksgiving is a time to remember all of the good things in our lives. Here, at ESL Podcast, we are very grateful to have wonderful listeners and readers like you all over the world.

From the bottom of our hearts (very sincerely), we wish all of you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving wherever you are!

~ The ESLPod.com Family

Posted in Life in the United States | 14 Comments

Among the Noise, Silence

Gwen_Ifill_PBS_Newshour_cropped_retouchedAmong all the recent political noise, a piece of silence has been noticed by many. The silence is the missing voice of Gwen Ifill, one of the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) Newshour’s co-hosts (two main reporters), who died on Monday, November 14.

Gwen, an award-winning journalist (news reporter), was the first African American woman to host a major political talk show, Washington Week. She and Judy Woodruff were the first women to co-host a major news program, the PBS Newshour.

Since her death, many people have written about her. When you read their comments, you see a good reporter, a good person, a friend to many people, even people who hadn’t met her. She enjoyed life, and when she smiled, the room she was in got brighter. Here, to celebrate (say good about) and learn from this special woman, are a few of the things people wrote (some have been revised (changed) to make them shorter or easier to read):

Gwen was always the one famous person I wanted to have for dinner. I know she would love us and our friends. She would be her beautiful, smart, insightful (wise), kind and generous self, and we would not feel intimidated (afraid) or dumb. I never met her face to face, yet I feel like I have lost a close friend (Martha Richards).

How do you explain the deep friendship you feel for someone you’ve never met, but know in your heart that you’d love her even more if given the opportunity? Her loss is incalculable (can’t be measured), such a brilliant smile, a mind to match that smile, a sense of humanity (kindness, respect) that was ever-present in every minute of her time on air; she was the genuine article (real) (boxerlover).

Gwen has been my idol (someone you want to be like) since I was a young girl growing up in South Texas and wanted to become a reporter. My parents made me watch the PBS news shows every Friday night. I still carry the letter Gwen (or her staff, but that’s OK) sent me after I hand-wrote her a letter of appreciation as a middle schooler (Katherine Fuller).

My heart is heavy and my soul has been fractured (broken). I have admired this lady from afar for many years. Her grace (kindness), beauty, intellect, integrity, and professionalism is unparalleled (not equaled). I certainly hope the young ladies of today were watching, particularly those looking to become journalists (Sherail Boswell).

One does not need to be Black, young, or a journalist to consider Gwen a mentor (teacher) and a role model (someone to be like). She is the kind of person I strive (work hard) to be. My unreachable goal is to be as smart, well-informed, and articulate (able to speak) as her, while being able to discuss complex (difficult) and often controversial (disagreeable) subjects while maintaining a pleasant demeanor (manner) and a great sense of humor (Char Berry).

I always admired Gwen’s skills as a journalist and news anchor, and I was not at all surprised to learn that she was as wonderful behind the scenes as in front of a camera. And so alive! I remember her as giddy (excited) as a schoolgirl at a Beatles concert. Her joy at meeting them was off the charts (couldn’t be described) (Thomas Calhoun).

You can learn more about Gwen from this article and this short interview.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English website.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Posted in Life in the United States | 4 Comments

Podcasts this Week (November 21, 2016)

icon_51812Get the full benefits of ESL Podcast by getting the Learning Guide. We designed the Learning Guide to help you learn English better and faster. Get more vocabulary, language explanations, sample sentences, comprehension questions, cultural notes, and more.

Get the Learning Guide and support ESL Podcast today by becoming a Basic or Premium Member!

………

ON MONDAY
ESL Podcast 1262 – Failing a Driving Test

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to change lanes” and “to cry uncle.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “A Car’s Title.”
“The ‘certificate of title,’ also known as a ‘vehicle title’ or a ‘car title’ is a document that officially identifies who…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON WEDNESDAY
English Cafe 582

Topics: Traditional Gospel Music and Thomas A. Dorsey; cliché versus stereotype; chicken versus hen; to nail it

In the Learning Guide:  Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear).
In “What Insiders Know,” you will read about “The Ozark Folk Center.”
“The Ozark Folk Center is a state park that ‘showcases’ (features; shares with people in a public way)…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

ON FRIDAY
ESL Podcast 1263 – Bragging About Success With Men

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to wait around” and “to toy with.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Puffery and Puff Pieces.”
“In ‘advertising’ (promotions; materials that encourage people to buy one’s products), companies often ‘overstate’…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Posted in Announcements | 12 Comments