Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Day Special!

Thanksgiving!


Today we will review the 96Qs (50, 53, 68, 69, 70) and the new 100Q (10, 58, 59, 87, 100) related to Thanksgiving.
Handouts:

  1. Thanksgiving mp3
  2. Q50 and 53 Class Handout
  3. Q68-70 Class Handout
  4. Thanksgiving Quiz: USCIS 96Qs & new 100Qs
  5. Thanksgiving Quiz Answers (Qs with answers--perfect for practice)
  6. Thanksgiving Cloze Essay

Dictation:

  1. All people want to be free.
  2. Many people come to America for freedom.

There are many links listed on the handouts. Of special interest are

  • ELCivics.com: Thanksgiving
  • ELCivics.com: The 13 Original Colonies
  • ELCivics.com: American Indian Tribes
  • ESLPodcast 91 – Thanksgiving
  • HeadsUp English: Thanksgiving
  • TimePage: 13 Original Colonies Time Line
  • VOANews: Thanksgiving Day: Filled With Family Traditions and, Oh Yes, Food
  • VOANews: American History Series: A Clash of Cultures in the New World
  • Not on the handouts, but still good practice:

    1. Thanksgiving Quiz 1 - Thanksgiving in the USA (Charles Kelly) 35 medium to difficult multiple-choice questions
    2. Thanksgiving Quiz 2 - The First Thanksgiving in America (Charles Kelly) 30 medium to difficult multiple-choice questions
    3. Thanksgiving Quiz 3 - How Thanksgiving Becomes a National Holiday in the USA (Charles Kelly) 10 medium to difficult multiple-choice questions

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    VOANews: 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Wall

    Last night, I listened to the VOA's Names Are Read to Mark 25th Anniversary of Vietnam Veterans Wall. All of a sudden I thought, "I wonder what happened to my POW/MIA?".

    When I was freshman in high school, the Viet Nam war was coming to the end. A classmate, Molly Olds, who was an "army brat", convinced me, a Catholic "peacenik", to wear a POW/MIA memorial bracelet. The name on my bracelet: Richard R. Perricone.

    I never knew what happened to this POW, so I "googled" Perricone. There he was on the POW Network--free and alive--living in New York with his wife. Wow! I hope he is in Washington DC this weekend with his fellow vets. I hope he knows peace.

    The VOA story also brings to mind one of my students, Nguyen Kiem Long, formerly of the South Viet Nam Air Force and the Milpitas Adult School Senior ESL Class. He is currently in New York attending to family business, and I and his classmates miss him so much. He is a living example of a free and prosperous Viet Nam.

    I also honor Do Ngoc Xuan, a farmer forced to flee the South and join the army. After working the night shift, he comes to the Senior ESL class every day in preparation for US Citizenship--the ticket to freedom for his relatives still in Viet Nam. His goal is shared not only by the Vietnamese students at our school, but by the immigrant communty at large.

    On Veterans Day, let us remember the US service men and women, and our allied commrade-in-arms, fighting for the freedom of their own country.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Veterans Day and USCitizenPod N-400 Military Wikispace

    My church, St Joseph's Cathedral, is located in the heart of downtown San Jose. As I was coming out of church this morning, I looked down the street towards the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. There were two fire trucks on either side of the street with their ladders fully extended skyward. Strung between the ladders was the largest American flag I have ever seen! Wow, it was amazing! Volunteers, city workers, and police were busily preparing the streets for the Veterans Day parade scheduled for later in the day.

    I have assembled some podcasts and audio clips related to the N-400 Section 10 Part F (Military) and G (Selective Service) at US CitizenPod N-400 Military Wikispace. The mp3s are appropriate for Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The audio stories from NPR.org focus on the immigrant contributions to the US Military.

    When you say "veteran" or "soldier," the words "grandmother, reservist, and anniversary" usually don't come to mind. Here is a story and video from the SJ Mercury News that shows a different veteran's face:
    Capt. Susan Max comes home from Iraq to celebrate her 35th wedding anniversary
    [Video].

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Angela Tirado sings a Star-Spangled Welcome to Citizenship

    Star-spangled Welcome to Citizenship: Volunteer Leads Anthem At Campbell Ceremonies
    By L.A. Chung, Mercury News 11/10/2007 [Video]

    Angela Tirado has been singing the National Anthem for naturalization ceremonies since March 2006 at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, Calif.

    A beautiful, inspiring story! This is the woman who leads my students in the Star Spangled Banner at their Oath Ceremony.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Spanish 100 Questions: El nuevo examen de ciudadanía: 100 preguntas (espanol)

    QR for PDF
    QR for Page
    USCIS en Espanol

    Examen de Ciudadania Americana

    Información sobre el proceso de naturalización para convertirse en ciudadano.

    Recursos de la Ciudadanía en la Biblioteca

    • ·         SCCL: Recursos de Ciudadanía en Español
    • ·         Inglés en 100 días para laciudadanía 428.3461 INGLES CD
      • o   An intro to English for Spanish which offers one hundred brief lessons.
    • ·         Ciudadanía americana ¡hecho fácil! SPANISH 323.62 ROQUE
      • o   Preguntas típicas de historia y de la aplicacíon N-400.
    • ·         Inglés sin barreras. 12, El curso de ciudadanía 428.3461 INGLES DVD 12
      • o   El curso de ciudadanía [el video-maestro de inglés conversacional]
    • ·         Su guía para ser ciudadano de los EE. UU SPANISH 342.7308 BIASE con CD-ROM
      • o   Examen de ciudadanía estadounidense
    • ·         LearningExpress Recursos para Hispanohablantes
      • o   Resources for citizenship preparation, GED, and English as a Second Language study, in Spanish. Check if your library has a subscription to Learning Express. Note: First time users will need to create an account.


    (updated 06/15/2016)

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    Sobrato CET Citizenship Day 11/10/07

    CET (Center for Employment Training) has helped many Mexican immigrants acqire permanent residence and citizenship.

    Besides having job training, ESL, and Citizenship classes, CET hosts a huge Citizenship Fair in March

    CET will have Fall free Citizenship workship on Saturday, November 10 9am-3pm. Lawyers, paralegals, and translators in nearly twenty languages will be available to guide people through the naturalization process.

    For further information, contact Sobrato CET Center701 Vine StreetSan Jose, CA 95110 408-287-7924.

    Good job, CET!

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    SJ Mercury News: 70% of California's Mexican population are U.S. citizens

    My hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, just published an interesting article (with accompanying video) about the high rate of citizenship among California's Mexican population. See:

    Census figures show 70 percent of California's Mexican population are U.S. citizens 11/04/2007
    Summary: For the first time in the most current wave of immigration, U.S. Census figures show that 70 percent of California's Mexican population are U.S. citizens, blunting widespread belief the state is overrun by illegal immigrants.

    [VIDEO] A ceremony for 450 new U.S. citizens at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, Calif., on Wed., October 24, 2007.

    Saturday, November 3, 2007

    USCitizenPod Goes Wiki!

    USCitzenPod has a new wikipage dedicated to keeping track of all the links mentioned in the blog and class handouts. Check out: http://uscitizenpod.wikispaces.com/

    Students who want to bridge the gap between Citizenship preparation and "real life" can listen to podcasts that "talk" about N-400 topics: personal information, addresses, jobs, marital status, etc. Each N-400 section has a link to podcasts from:


    ESLPod

    Randall's ESL-Lab

    SimpleEnglishNews

    BreakingEnglishNews

    VOANews Special English

    NPR

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    VOA News: New Civics Questions for US Citizenship Test

    I really appreciate the work of Voice of America and I have used the print and audio stories from the Special English Broadcasts. Here is VOA's report on the new Citizenship Test.


    New Civics Questions for US Citizenship Test
    Officials announce the 100 questions (and answers) about history and government. The newly redesigned naturalization test will be given starting next October.

    1. Article
    2. Print the Article
    3. MP3 - Download Audio
    4. Listen to MP3
    5. Listen in RealAudio

    Spend some time exploring the exciting features of VOA's Special English site. Of particular interest to a Citizenship student is the Making of a Nation, a fifteen-minute program in a series about American history broadcasted every Thursday. Good Job, VOA!

    For even more information concerning the development of VOA Special English Broadcast, see Voice of America : a history by Alan L. Heil, Jr. and Oracle bones : a journey between China's past and present by Peter Hessler.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Q38-39: USCIS 96 Questions 38-39: Speaker of the House, Chief Justice

    USCIS 96 Questions 38-39


    Today we will listen to Questions 38-39 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 38-39 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for 38-39:

    1. Speaker of the House
    2. Chief Justice

    Dictation Sentences

    1. The House and Senate are parts of Congress.
    2. The people have a voice in government.

    You can get more info about the Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice from

    1. ELCivics: The Capitol Building
    2. EL Civics: The Supreme Court
    3. Simple Wiki: Speaker of the House
    4. Simple Wiki: Supreme Court


    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Q36-37: USCIS 96 Questions 36-37: Capital, Governor

    USCIS 96 Questions 36-37


    Today we will listen to Questions 36-37 plus M-638 comments. You can download individual State Handouts 36-37 (see below) to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q36-37:

    1. Capitol
    2. Governor

    Dictation Sentences

    1. The United States of America has fifty states.
    2. There are fifty states in the Union.

    You can get more info about State Capitals and Governors from

    1. ELCivics.com: 50 States
    2. State Maps: 50 states
    3. Wikipedia: List of US Governors
    4. Wikipedia: State Capitals (detailed!)
    5. Simple Wiki: State Capitals

    Individual State Handouts for Q36-37:

    1. Alabama
    2. Alaska
    3. Arizona
    4. Arkansas
    5. California
    6. Washington

    Check back for more states. If you need a state handout quickly, email uscitizenpod@gmail.com. Thanks!


    Friday, September 28, 2007

    More info on the Redesigned Naturalization Test (New USCIS 100Qs)


    New USCIS 100Qs Bulletin

    Who takes what test when?

    1. A legal permanent resident who is (1) eligible for Naturalization; (2) applies BEFORE October 1, 2008; and (3) is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview BEFORE October 1, 2008, will take the current test.

    2. A legal permanent resident who is (1) eligible for Naturalization; (2) applies BEFORE October 1, 2008; and (3) is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview AFTER October 1, 2008, he or she can choose to take the current test or the redesigned version.

    3. A legal permanent resident who is (1) eligible for Naturalization; (2) applies AFTER October 1, 2008 will take the redesigned version.

    3. A legal permanent resident who is (1) eligible for Naturalization; and (2) scheduled for his or her naturalization interview AFTER October 1, 2009, (regardless of when he or she applied), will take the redesigned version.

    Here is a list of the documents supporting the newly Redesigned Naturalization Test (New USCIS 100Qs).

    Redisigned Naturalization Test: Main Page

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
    The Redesigned Naturalization Test

    Redesigned Naturalization Test Informational Brochure
    A brochure outlining the content and guidelines for the redesigned naturalization test.

    Redesigned Naturalization Test: Civics (History and Government)
    Items List of 100 history and government items for the redesigned naturalization test.

    Redesigned Naturalization Test: Vocabulary List for the Reading Test
    Vocabulary list for the reading portion of the redesigned naturalization test.

    Redesigned Naturalization Test: Vocabulary List for the Writing Test
    Vocabulary list for the writing portion of the redesigned naturalization test.

    Content Comparison: Current vs. Redesigned Naturalization Test
    Side-by-side comparison of the current questions and the redesigned questions.

    Honestly, I shouted for joy when I saw that the writers standardized the questions with the 5Ws. I deeply appreciate the re-organization of the questions, because it is easier to teach and learn material in right-relation. I feel that the infomation is much more reflective of what a US citizen "needs to know" about US History, Politics, and civic culture. And I swooned when I saw the Comparison pdf between the old 96 Qs and the new 100Qs.

    Thanks to the USCIS for the extreme care and effort taken during the revision of the of the new USCIS 100 US History and Government Questions. Thanks to the examiners and interviewees who tested the Pilot Questions. A special thanks to writers, document designers, and webfolk who prepared the documents that support the newly Designed Test. The process of the Redesigned Naturalization Test is a great example of "democracy in action". Congratulations USCIS!

    The New USCIS 100 Questions!


    New USCIS 100Qs Bulletin


    Get the new 100 Questions here! More info coming soon!

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Q34-35: USCIS 96 Questions 34-35: Constitution, Bill of Rights

    USCIS 96 Questions 34-35


    Today we will listen to Questions 34-35 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 34-35 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for 34-35:

    1. The Constitution
    2. Bill of Rights

    Dictation Sentences

    1. The Constitution is the supreme law of our land.

    2. He knows how to a ride a bike.

    You can get more info about the the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from

    EL Civics: The US Constitution
    NCC: Explore the Constitution
    Simple Wiki: The US Constitution

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Q32-33: USCIS 96 Questions 32-33: Judicial Branch, Supreme Court, Law

    USCIS 96 Questions 32-33


    Today we will listen to Questions 32-33 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 32-33 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for 32-33:

    1. Judicial Branch
    2. Supreme Court
    3. Law

    Dictation Sentences

    1. There are three branches of government.
    2. He has a very big dog.

    You can get more info about the Executive Branch from

    1. EL Civics: The Supreme Court
    2. Simple Wiki: The Supreme Court
    3. VOA The Supreme Court

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Q30-31: USCIS 96 Questions 30-31: Excutive Branch, President

    USCIS 96 Questions 30-31


    Today we will listen to Questions 30-31 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 30-31 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for 30-31:

    1. Executive Branch

    2. President


    Dictation Sentences


    1. The President is elected every four years.

    2. He came to live with his brother.

    You can get more info about the Executive Branch from

    1. EL Civics: The White House

    2. VOA: The Road to the 2008 US Elections

    3. The White House: Presidents

    4. Simple Wiki: US Executive Branch

    5. Wikipedia: US Presidential Elections


    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Reminder: New Fees Begin July 30, 2007!


    New Fees

    Today we will listen to a reminder about the new USCIS fees starting July 30, 2007.

    Here's a Class Handout: Summary of the New Fees.


    Here is another Class Handout: "Sending Your N-400 to USCIS".


    Please note that there are four pages: one page for each USCIS Service Center in California, Texas, Nebraska, and Vermont.


    Please confirm that you are using the correct page for your state.


    Originally, I put the information for all four USCIS Service Centers and their assigned states on a single sheet of paper.


    When I gave the single sheet of paper to my students, they became confused.


    The print was too tiny and there was too much information.


    I re-formatted the information and printed the Summary of the New Fees on the first side and Sending Your N-400 to USCIS on the second side.


    I printed the information on color paper so they can find this paper quickly and easily.  Many students took extra copies home for their family and friends.


    Also, please check out the new online video from USCIS "Promise of Freedom"--a twelve minute video presentation on American civics and history. Watch the video online or get the direct download of Promise of Freedom.


    Finally, The Pilot Questions have been revised!  There are now 142 questions.  Questions have been marked for Senior Citizens older that 65 and have been legal permanent residents for more than 20 years.

    You can get the reformated USCIS 142 here.

    You can get the reformated USCIS 142 for Senior Citizens here.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Interview-09: Advanced Citizenship Interview—David Bian (Tianjin, China)


    Interview-09

    Today we will listen to our ninth practice interview David Bian (Tianjin, China). These are questions are based on the N-400. You can get a pdf. of the Advanced Citizenship Interview here.

    10/26/08--the audio file as been updated. Thanks!

    Monday, July 9, 2007

    Sunday, July 8, 2007

    New USCIS Video and Online Resources for ESL/Citizeship Students

    New USCIS Resources:

    ***A Promise of Freedom***
    A twelve minute video presentation on American civics and history. Watch the video online or get the direct download of Promise of Freedom.

    USCIS Questions and Answers for New Pilot Naturalization Test

    USCIS Pilot Naturalization Test: Vocabulary List for the Reading Test

    Pilot Naturalization Test: Vocabulary List for the Writing Test


    Online Resources for ESL/Citizenship Students (mostly Audio)

    a4esl: English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcasts
    These are the 20 newest podcasts for ESL learners.

    Dave's ESL Cafe: Today in History (text only)

    ELCivics.com: California (more states--soon!) (text only)

    EnglishBaby's Daily English Page

    English Club: Basic Question Types (text only)

    English Club: WH Question Words (text only)

    ESL-Lab: Culture Shock

    ESL-Lab: Dates

    ESL-Lab: Greetings and Introductions

    ESL-Lab: Where are you from?

    ESL Podcast 246 – Understanding Addresses

    Manythings: Daily English Page

    Multi-Cultural Educational Services: LaRue Listening Quizzes
    Multiple choice tests of answers to common questions. (variety of accents)

    Train Your Accent: Job Hunting

    VOANews: How America Works
    This series explains the role of civil society at the local level, using Montgomery County, Maryland as an example. Each segment in the How America Works series highlights an aspect of civil society and how it contributes to the collective good of the community.

    VOA Special English: The Making of a Nation
    Every Thursday, Special English broadcasts a fifteen-minute program in a series about American history.

    Saturday, July 7, 2007

    Interview-07: Simple Citizenship Interview--Juana Ortega (Las Margaritas, Jalisco, Mexico).


    Interview-07
    Today we will listen to our seventh practice interview from Juana Ortega (Las Margaritas, Jalisco, Mexico). These are simple questions are based on the N-400. You can get a pdf. of the Simple Citizenship Interview here.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2007

    July 4th Special: the new 142Qs and more!


    July 4th Special!
    Today's podcast will feature questions related to the Fourth of July, Independence Day, and the Declaration of Independence. We will compare some of the current USCIS 96qs with the Pilot Questions.

    Big News: The Pilot Questions have been revised!

    1. There are now 142 questions.
    2. Two questions were removed related to the minimum wage and battles of the American Revolution.
    3. Topical Headings have been added to organize the questions.
    4. Some of the questions have been rearranged (i.e. They have different numbers).
    5. Questions have been marked for Senior Citizens older that 65 and have been legal permanent residents for more than 20 years.

    You can get the reformated USCIS 142 here.

    You can get the reformated USCIS 142 for Senior Citizens here.

    You can get the M-638 Quick Civics Lessons in English here.

    You can get the M-638 Quick Civics Lessons in Spanish here.

    Monday, July 2, 2007

    Q28-29: USCIS 96 Questions 28-29: Legislative Branch, Congress, House of Representatives


    USCIS 96 Questions 28-29

    Today we will listen to Questions 28-29 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 28-29 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q28-29:

    Legislative Branch
    Congress
    House of Representatives


    You can get more info about the House of Representatives from

    Simple Wikipedia: House of Representatives
    Wikipedia: 110th Congress
    National Atlas: Congressional Districts
    House of Representatives: Find Your Representative
    USPS Zip Code + 4 Lookup (to help you find your US Rep)
    VOA THIS IS AMERICA #1061 Census of 2000

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    Q25-27: USCIS 96 Questions 25-27: Legislative Branch, Congress, Senate


    USCIS 96 Questions 25-27

    Today we will listen to Questions 25-27 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 25-27 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for 25-27:

    Legislative Branch
    Congress
    Senate


    You can get more info about the US Senate from

    Simple Wikipedia: US Senate
    Wikipedia: US Senate
    US Senate: Historical Minutes (excellent short stories)

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    USCIS Pilot Exam Questions and Answers

    Here is the USCIS link to information about the USCIS Pilot questions.


    Here is the reformatted document of the USCIS Pilot Questions in English from US Citzenship Podcast


    Here is the USCIS Pilot Questions in Spanish from Univison.


    Here is the USCIS Pilot Questions in Chinese from World Journal (Taiwan).

    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    WelcomeToUSA.gov

    "The Task Force on New Americans today introduced four new inter-agency initiatives to help immigrants assimilate. In addition to launching WelcometoUSA.gov, the federal government’s official website for new immigrants, the Task Force announced three major projects to help legal immigrants embrace the common core of American civic culture, learn English, and fully become American."

    --from the USCIS Press Release announcing the new website for immigrants WelcometoUSA.gov.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Q21-24: USCIS 96 Questions 21-24: Legislative Branch, Congress, Senate, House of Representatives


    USCIS 96 Questions 21-24
    Today we will listen to Questions 21-24 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout 21-24 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for 21-24:

    Legislative Branch
    Congress
    Senate
    House of Representatives


    You can get more info about the Congress and Legislative Branch from

    Simple Wikipedia: Congress
    Wikipedia: Congress
    Government Guide: Elected Officials
    Government Guide: Summary of Current Bills
    EL/Civics: Capitol Hill

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    End of the School Year Citizenship CD

    At the end of the year, I made a Cd for my students. I included 5 interviews (without the introductory or concluding remarks), the 96 Questions (in sets of 10 without the explanations), and the Oath of Allegiance and Pledge of Allegiance.

    The first CD copy was ok, so I made 99 more copies. The only problem was the subsequent copies cut 12 seconds of each track. It was not too noticeable during the interviews, but each 96 question set is basically missing 1 question. I was heartbroken!

    So I added 15 seconds to most of the tracks. Please download these tracks for your own CD. Please leave a comment about the copy quality, etc.

    I haven't "podcasted" the 96 Questions, the Oath, nor the Pledge yet. Those will be added to the podcast after I complete the "96 Questions with M-638 Explanation" series.

    1st Interview: Mae Chen (basic)
    2nd Interview: Nam Van Nguyen (advanced)
    3rd Interview: Guadalupe Garcia (simple)
    4th Interview: Gerta Mueller (simple)
    5th Interview: Pari Akibari (basic)

    Q01-10
    Q11-20
    Q21-30
    Q31-40
    Q41-50
    Q51-60
    Q61-70
    Q71-80
    Q81-90
    Q91-5X

    Extras:
    Oath of Allegiance
    Pledge of Allegiance

    Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy end of school! Also I would like to wish my beloved parents a Happy 50th Anniversary (06/16/57) and my dad a Happy Father's Day (I am using his computer & high-speed internet connection to post this entry). As I type this, he is taking pictures of his grandchildren and my mom is advising him him on the photo shoot while passing out another dessert. Back to the family party.

    Thursday, June 7, 2007

    Q20-20: USCIS 96 Questions 20-20: The Branches of Government, Executive, Legislative, Judicial


    USCIS 96 Questions 20
    Today we will listen to Question 20 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout Q20 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q20:

    Branches of Government
    Executive
    Legislative
    Judicial


    You can get more info about the Branches of Government from

    Simple English Wiki: Branches of Government
    Wikitext: The Three Branches: Checks and Balances
    USA.gov: The Executive Branch
    USA.gov: The Legislative Branch
    USA.gov: The Judicial Branch

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    Q17-19: USCIS 96 Questions 17-19: The Constitution and Amendments


    USCIS 96 Questions 17-19

    Today we will listen to Questions 17-19 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout Q17-19 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q17-19:

    Constitution
    Amendments


    You can get more info about the Constitution and Amendments from

    El/Civics: The Constitution
    Simple English Wikipedia: The Constitution
    Wikipedia: The Constitution
    Audio version of US Constitution: free mp3 download
    DoD Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Website (online course)


    Teacher Judy is our special guest. She will read the M-638 explanations. After the questions and explanations, I will interview her about Constitution Day. We hope that you celebrate Constitution Day in your school or home. Constitution Day is also called Citizenship Day.

    The Constitution Center (NCC in Philadelphia, PA)
    NCC Main Page:
    NCC Podcasts & mp3s
    NCC Constitution Day

    Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    Q14-16: USCIS 96 Questions 14-16: Vice-President, Electoral College

    USCIS 96 Questions 14-16

    Today we will listen to Questions 14-16 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout Q14-16 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q14-16:

    Vice-President
    Electoral College


    You can get more info about Vice-Presidents or the Electoral College from

    Wikipedia: Vice-President
    US National Archives: Electoral College
    VOA: How the Electoral College Works (2nd Segment)

    Monday, June 4, 2007

    Q12-13: USCIS 96 Questions 12-13: President, George Washington, George W. Bush


    USCIS 96 Questions 12-13

    Today we will listen to Questions 12-13 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout Q12-13 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q12-13:

    President
    George Washington
    George W. Bush

    You can get more info about Presidents from

    EL/Civics: George Washington
    Wikipedia: President
    The White House: Presidents

    Thursday, May 31, 2007

    USCIS Fee Increase and VOA

    I use Voice of America (VOA) frequently in my Senior (multi-level) ESL class. My advanced students are devoted listeners and always share the latest news with the other students. Here is the VOA story on the USCIS fee increase:

    Advocates Debate Rise in Fees for US Residency, Citizenship
    http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-05-30-voa19.cfm (audio)
    http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-05-30-voa59.cfm (video)

    I plan to keep my eye on the VOA page at ManyThings.org. Hopefully they will follow-up with an activity on this story.

    USCIS Fee Increases and ESL1

    I tried to explain the fee increase to my ESL 1 students. The students are familar with calendar terms: dates, today, tomorrow, etc. I usually give a five term dictation after warming up with the alphabet, number chart, prices, and calendar. I feel that tapping a student's numeric literacy is crucial to developing fluency.

    I drew a T diagram on the whiteboard and labeled it Before 05/31/07 and After 07/30/07 and added the N-400 (US Citizen) $400/$675, I-130 (Bring Family to US) $190/285, and I-485 (Get Green Card in US) ($325/$1010). The classroom began to buzz with translations.

    I followed up with a picture of check for $400 going into an envelope going into the mail with a "postmark" of July 29, 2007, 11:59pm (I stamped the picture for emphasis) and added a happy face. I then pointed the picture, pointed at the at the clock and we watched the second hand sweep for 1 minute as I "ticked" and made a circular arm motion like a clock. I then made a loud "Ding!" and then turned around, crossed out July 29, 2007, 11:59pm, with a July 30, 2007 12pm and "Dong!" twelve times as I crossed out the $400 with $675. I added a sad face. I then erased the board.

    Then I followed up with a standard dictation: three price $400, $675, $1010, 1-800-375-5283, and July 29, 2007 11:59pm. When we corrected it, I prompted the class with "How much does it cost?" and "What costs $XXX??" I added the Form number next to the price and "old" or "new". I drew a cell phone next to the USCIS Info number with a Flag & USCIS sign, and I wrote "Before" and donged "After" with three dollar signs and an arrow going up.

    Then I passed out bilingual interview mateial in English/Vietnamese, English/Chinese, and English/Spanish. It was ripped from my hands. Many of my students may be actually elligible to apply for citizenship.

    USCIS News 2007-05-30: New Fees Start July 30, 2007


    New Fees

    Today we will listen to a quick update about the new USCIS fees starting July 30, 2007.

    The fee increase begins July 30, 2007. That means that your forms must be postmarked no later than July 29, 2007 11:59pm to take advantage of the lower fees.

    The N-400 will increase to $675. For all the new fee information, go to www.USCIS.gov.
    1. Building an Immigration Service for the Twenty-First Century (Start Here!).
    2. USCIS Fee Schedule - Effective July 30, 2007 (How Much? New Fees!).
    3. Questions and Answers: USCIS Sets Final Fee Schedule to Build an Immigration Service for the 21st Century.
    4. USCIS Fee Waiver Guidance (For those who have no income).
    5. Class Handout: Summary of the New Fees.
    6. Class Handout: Sending Your N-400 to the USCIS.
      For Class Handout: Sending Your N-400 to USCIS--please note that there are four pages: one page for each USCIS Service Center in California, Texas, Nebraska, and Vermont. Please confirm that you are using the correct page for your state. Originally, I put the information for all four USCIS Service Centers and their assigned states on a single sheet of paper. When I gave the single sheet of paper to my students, they became confused. The print was too tiny and there was too much information.
    I re-formatted the information and printed the Summary of the New Fees on the first side and Sending Your N-400 to USCIS on the second side. I printed the information on color paper so they can find this paper quickly and easily. Many students took extra copies home for their family and friends.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Q09-11: USCIS 96 Questions 09-11: 4th of July, Independence, England, Revolutionary War


    USCIS 96 Questions 09-11

    Today we will listen to Questions 09-11 plus M-638 comments. You can download the Class Handout Q09-11 to deepen your knowledge of US History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms.

    Note the key words--these words will help you remember the questions and answers. The key words for Q09-11:

    1. 4th of July
    2. Independence
    3. England
    4. Revolutionary War

    You can get more info about Independence Day and the Revolutionary War from

    ElCivics.com: Fourth of July
    Wikipedia: Independence Day
    US State Department: July 4 (Check out Additional Resources on the sidebar--Wow!)

    Monday, May 28, 2007

    Q08: USCIS 96 Question 08: States


    USCIS 96 Questions 08

    Today we will listen to Questions 08 plus M-638 comments and the list of US States by Date of Statehood. You can download the Class Handout 08 to deepen your knowledge of US Geography, History and Politics and broaden your English language skills. Look for new vocabulary, grammar structures, and idioms. Note the key words--these words will help you remember questions and answers. The key word for Q08 is:

    1. States

    Because we have only one question today, we have included extra information about the dates the states. Most people memorize the names of the states alphabetically by name, but today we will list the states in the order that they were admitted into the Union. You can use this information two ways: first, practice date information; second, use a map and follow the growth of the United States.

    You can get more info about the US States from

    Wikipedia: List of US States by Date of Statehood
    US Mint State Quarters Program
    50states.com

    On this Memorial Day Weekend, we would like to remember all those who gave their life for their country as combatants and non-combatants. We would also like to remember all those who are graduating this weekend, especially my fellow students in San Jose StateUniversity's MA TESOL Program.