Saturday, January 31, 2009

VOAVideo: President Obama Signs Equal Pay Bill into Law



President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law on January 29, 2009. It ultimately will provide greater equal pay for workers by making it easier for them to sue employers for unfair pay practices. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and First Lady Michelle Obama were there to mark the occasion. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the legislation was inspired by a 70-year-old Southern woman, Lilly Ledbetter.

Wikipedia: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Thank you, Lilly!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New N-400 Addresses!!!


Help! Where do I send my N-400?

Where to File :
If you currently reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, send your application to the USCIS Lockbox Facility at:

USCIS
P.O. Box 21251
Phoenix, AZ 85036


For express/courier deliveries, use:

USCIS
Attn: N-400
1820 E Skyharbor Cicle S, Floor 1
Phoenix, AZ 85034

If you reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, send your application to the USCIS Lockbox Facility at:

USCIS
P.O. Box 299026
Lewisville, TX 75029


For express/courier deliveries, use:

USCIS
Attn: N-400
2501 S State Hwy 121, Bldg. #4
Lewisville, TX 75067

All naturalization applicants filing under the military provisions, section 328 or 329, should file their application at the Nebraska Service Center regardless of geographic location or jurisdiction. Please send your application to:

Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87426
Lincoln, NE 68501-7426

For express/courier deliveries, use:

Nebraska Service Center
850 S Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

Filing Fee :
$595 plus a biometrics fee of $80; the fee total is $675.
Applicants 75 years of age or older are not charged a biometric fee; their fee total is $595.
No fee is required for military applicants filing under Section 328 and 329 of the INA.

For more info: USCIS Update: USCIS Revises Direct Mail Program for the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

USCIS Flash Cards Update


The USCIS has updated the Naturalization Test questions (old and new) and the Civics Flash Cards posted on its website (e.g. #28, #29, #46 of the new test, #13, #14 of the old test). You may wish to download the January 2009 edition of these materials from the website http://www.uscis.gov/.

Civics Flash Cards for the New Naturalization Test (7523KB PDF)
Civics Flash Cards for the New Naturalization Test (reversed colors) (7084KB PDF)

The hardcopy of the flash cards are not available yet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Milpitas New Year Card!!!


The Senior ESL/Citizenship students of Milpitas Adult School wish everyone--especially President Obama--Health, Happiness, and Good Luck in the Year of the Ox!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcoming a New President

"The Obama Cake" by Hannah & Noah

The United States got a new president this week. President Barack Obama quickly got to work in his first days in office.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ESLPod Blog: President Obama’s Inauguration Speech Explained


Click the far right bottom button, & choose CC for subtitles.

President Obama’s Inauguration Speech Explained
Dr Jeff McQuillan: Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States on Tuesday. All presidents deliver (give, say) a speech after they are sworn in (take an official oath or promise). These speeches are often difficult to understand for non-native speakers, since they usually contain some poetic language and difficult vocabulary. Below is the entire text of President Obama’s inauguration speech, with difficult words explained in parentheses. You can watch the actual speech on YouTube here. I have given the entire speech without explanations at the bottom of the page.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Download the Inaugural Video!


President Barack Obama's Oath and Inaugural Address
On January 20, 2009 President Barack Obama was sworn in as 44th President of the United States and delivered his Inaugural Address. (This video is public domain per White House copyright policy) Click to download

The White House YouTube's Channel

VOANews Inaugural Videos



VOAVideo: Barack Obama Sworn into Office 2:58
President Barack Obama taking the Oath of Office as the 44th president of the United States, January 20, 2009

VOA Special English News: Barack Obama Becomes 44th US President
MP3Download (MP3)
MP3Listen to (MP3)
Print Version

More Videos from Voice of America on YouTube:

Sights and Sounds of the Obama Inauguration - in HD 2:00
Videographers milled with the millions of people in Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration. They captured the spirit of the occasion in high definition (HD) video

President Obama and Wife Attend Inaugural Balls 2:44
Following President Barack Obama's historic inauguration Tuesday, he and wife Michelle had a busy first evening attending inaugural balls. Thousands of people also celebrated Mr. Obama's inauguration, both at the ten official balls the First Couple attended and the many unofficial parties held around the city of Washington, DC. Deborah Block has the story.

Massive Crowds Welcome New US President 2:27
Hundreds of thousands of people clogged the streets of Washington D.C. on Tuesday to see the inauguration of the nation's 44th president, Barack Obama. They came from all across the country to listen to the words of a new president and to witness the spectacle of what many say is a new era of hope and change in America. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.

California Students Share Excitement of Obama Inauguration 1:35
People across the United States, like others around the world, watched the inauguration of President Obama on television. Among them were many students and young people. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan was at California State University in Los Angeles where he taped the reactions of students there.

Howard Univ Marching Band Hits the Big Time - HD 3:59
A record-breaking 1,400 marching bands from around the nation applied to perform at Tuesday's Presidential inaugural parade. Among the more than 80 bands selected is Howard University's "Show Time" marching band. The band, which represents one of the most prestigious African American universities, is known for its theatrical choreography and flashy style. Chung-wei Hsu prepared this report narrated by Bill Rodgers on Show Time's moment in history -- in high definition.

NYC Times Square Reacts to Inauguration Ceremony 2:05
Watching the crowds watching the Inauguration of President Obama can be a rewarding experience. Join the crowd and hear the thoughts of some of the thousands of participants

Obama Sworn-In as US President -- a VOA report 2:30
Barack Obama is now the president of the United States. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports more than a million people -- from all over the country -- gathered on a cold January day to witness his swearing-in.

Inauguration Day - HD Timelapse of the U.S. Capitol 0:52
A YouTube exclusive video -- high definition (HD) video showing the U.S Capitol from sunup to mid-afternoon on Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. -- including the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States

We the People 1:31
People from all over the United States came to Washington's National Mall, enduring the freezing winter cold as they waited for hours to hear and see Barack Obama inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. Reporter Zulima was out on the National Mall talking to people, and produced this report.

DC Subway Strains From Inaugural Crowd 1:42
Washington D.C.'s subway system - called Metro - was pressed to the limit on Inauguration Day. Riders began streaming into the system eight hours before Barack Obama was sworn in as America's 44th president, and subway stations close to the Capitol were near paralysis. After the inauguration, Metro was overwhelmed again as the huge crowds sought to leave the National Mall.

US Inaugural is Tradition-Filled Ceremony 2:29
What we are about to witness is a carefully choreographed ceremony, almost none of it proscribed by law. Every element in the inaugural, except for the actual oath of office, has become tradition after an earlier president first established a precedent. VOA's Jim Fry reports, dating back to George Washington, U.S. presidents had to invent the inaugural ceremony

Over a Million to Witness Inauguration of President Barack Obama 1:55
People from all over the United States are in Washington, DC, to witness the swearing-in of the country's next president. Barack Obama is making history as the first African American to assume the office. But, as VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, people are braving cold and heavy security for many personal reasons.

Aviation Pioneer Attending Obama Inauguration 3:04
When Barack Obama takes the oath of office Tuesday, January 20th to become the first African American U.S. President, an aviation pioneer will be watching. Washington, DC resident Curtis Robinson, one of the nation's first black fighter pilots, will be seated in a place of honor at the event. VOA's David Byrd visited with the Tuskegee Airman at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Udvar Hazy Center.

Obama Speaks at Start of Inaugural Celebrations 2:12
Four days of celebrations and festivities surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama have begun in Washington with an open-air concert at the Lincoln Memorial. VOA's Michael Bowman reports.

From Slavery to Segregation to the Presidency 3:05
For older African-Americans who experienced the dark era of racial segregation in America, the election of Barack Obama represents an achievement that many did not even dare dream of. VOA's Siri Nyrop visited a church here in Washington where parishioners are celebrating the end of a very long journey.

NYC "Steppers" Marching Band in Inaugural Parade 3:24
Tuesday's Inaugural Parade will have a line-up of more than 80 bands, chosen from more than 1400 applicants around the country. Among the first to march down Pennsylvania Avenue will be the Brooklyn "Steppers" Marching Band, made up of young people from New York City. In the weeks since they learned they'd been chosen, the Brooklyn school children and teens have been rehearsing in every free moment, and with their parents, raising money for their trip to Washington. VOA's Carolyn Weaver has more.

Obama: 'Fit' for Command 1:49
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama enters office with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a troubled U.S. economy and continuing crisis in the Middle East. Despite the heavy workload, Mr. Obama says he intends to keep himself physically fit. From Washington, VOA's Sean Maroney reports Mr. Obama is hoping to keep playing a sport he loves -- basketball.

DC Public Transit Braces For Inauguration Crush 2:51
The inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20th is expected to draw huge numbers of people, perhaps setting a record for a presidential swearing-in. Estimates range as high as three million, but even half that number would be the largest crowd in inauguration history. The Washington, D.C. transit system, called Metro, will be the prime people-mover on Tuesday. But as VOA's Jeffrey Young reports, Metro may be inundated to the breaking point.

Obama, Biden Take Historic Train Tour to Washington 1:51
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his family have arrived in Washington for Tuesday's inauguration. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, Saturday's day-long train trip, stopping in four cities, was the final leg of Mr. Obama's nearly two-year journey to the White House.

A Walking Tour of the Inauguration 4:24
Correspondent Jim Malone walks you through the major locations of Inauguration Day and provides interesting highlights of previous inaugurations. Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and there are traditions to follow on this history-making day.

Inaugural Balls Celebrate New Presidency 2:20
The inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama is expected to draw millions of people to Washington, D.C., not only to see the new president take the oath of office, but also to party. The inaugural balls are an American tradition, but this year one ball will celebrate the new president in a global way. VOA's Catherine Cannon reports.

Biden, Cheney Approach Vice Presidency Differently 3:16
Moments before Barack Obama takes the oath of office as President of the United States next Tuesday, former Senator Joe Biden will be sworn in as Vice President, succeeding Dick Cheney. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, the outgoing and incoming vice presidents are vastly different, personally, politically, and in their approach to the nation's second-highest job.

Bush Delivers His Farewell Address 2:35
U.S. President George Bush has delivered his farewell address to the nation. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports from the White House that Mr. Bush used the occasion to reflect on the past and look to the future.

First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual 4:04
On January 20, when Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States, his wife, Michelle Obama, will become First Lady. It's not an elected office, but the First Lady can play a significant role in the president's administration as VOA's Susan Logue reports.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

VOAVideo: First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual

VOAVideo: First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual

On January 20, when Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States, his wife, Michelle Obama, will become First Lady. It's not an elected office, but the First Lady can play a significant role in the president's administration as VOA's Susan Logue reports.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

VOA Daily Download: The Inauguration Highlights



VOA Daily Download: The Inauguration Highlights

CNN: Barack Obama Inauguration Speech



Starting today,
we must pick ourselves up,
dust ourselves off,
and begin again the work of remaking America.

Read President Barack Obama's Speech

CNN: President Obama's Oath of Office

VOAVideo: A Walking Tour of the Inauguration



VOAVideo: A Walking Tour of the Inauguration
Correspondent Jim Malone walks you through the major locations of Inauguration Day and provides interesting highlights of previous inaugurations. Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and there are traditions to follow on this history-making day.

Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on 20 January 2009.

Listen and Watch the events unfold with LIVE VOA coverage!

  • Live Radio Show: 1600-2100 UTC (11:00A-4:00P EST)
  • Live Video of Swearing In Events: 1630-1800 UTC (11:30A-1:00P EST)
  • Fullscreen Viewing Available!

VOA Inauguration FAQ

Monday, January 19, 2009

VOAVideo: Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday a Time for Tributes

VOAVideo: Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday a Time for Tributes

On January 19th, Americans will pay tribute to the legacy of slain civil rights leader The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the annual national holiday that celebrates his birthday (January 15th). Reverend King would have been 80 years old if he were alive today. More than 50 years ago, Dr. King campaigned across the United States, leading non-violent marches and demonstrations for equal rights for African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins looks back at his life and the impact his work had on the country.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inauguration Countdown: Obama Will be Sworn-In with Lincoln's Bible

VOANews Video: Obama Will be Sworn-In with Lincoln's Bible
President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn-in as 44th president of the United States with the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used when he took the oath of office more than a century ago. The Lincoln Bible is in the collection of the Library of Congress and was shown to the media last week. Producer Zulima Palacio was there and has the story. Jim Bertel narrates.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

NYTimes: What are your hopes for the Obama administration?

I have a dream . . .

What are your hopes for the Obama administration?

The New York Times asked more than 200 people in 14 states (half red, half blue) to identify their greatest hopes for what Barack Obama might accomplish during his time as president. Their answers do not represent any kind of scientific sample—they come from people who shared their thoughts outside supermarkets, at parks, in restaurants. We grouped their responses into the 29 "hopes" below. Click on each speech bubble to hear their voices, and then choose the hopes you agree with by clicking on "I Hope So Too." Use the tabs to see which hopes are the most popular. If your hope is not represented below, include it in the comments section.

Friday, January 16, 2009

MLK Day Lesson Plans from Sean Banville

Tom Toles, Washington Post, 06/08/08

Sean Banville is a busy, busy man. He writes free ESL lessons for his four ESL websites: Breaking News English, ESL Discussions, Famous People Lessons, and his new website: ESL Holiday Lessons.

ESLHolidayLessons.com for Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a U.S. holiday that celebrates the birth date of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders.
Word Doc PDF MP3 Listening Online Exercise

Famous People Lessons.com English Lesson Plan on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important leader of the American civil rights movement.
Word Doc PDF MP3 Listening Online Exercise

ESL Discussions.com Conversation Questions on Racism
What kind of world would it be if there was no racism?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

MLK Day Special

A mural of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Obama Barack
by an artist at the CNN Democratic Debates.
From the interview with the artist (MP3 download)

USCitizenpod's MLK Day Special!

Today we will review the 96Qs (45) and the new 100Q (48, 84, 85, 100) related to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can get the MLK Day handout here. Also check out the following links.

  1. MLK Center
  2. Simple Wikipedia: MLK
  3. VOA News: MLK Remembered (many stories)
  4. Enchanted Learning: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome to Congress, YouTube



The leaders of both the Senate and the House announce that Congress is now in session, on YouTube. You can now find your Representatives and Senators' YouTube channels on two new special platforms:

This is your backstage pass to your government - so connect with your elected leaders on YouTube today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

ESLPod: Introduction to the United States


Special Announcement: Introduction to the United States Course Now Available (updated 01/15/09)
ESLPod.com's newest course, Introduction to the United States, is now available in the ESL Podcast Store! Download Sample Podcast

ESLPod: “Introduction to the United States” is a new, 4-part course that answers your questions about the United States in a new and exciting way. This course uses some of the 100 questions from U.S. naturalization test, the test that people take to become a citizen of the United States. It focuses on how the U.S. was formed and how it works, who the important people are in its history and in the current government, and the different parts of this very big and diverse country. Each part contains:


1. MP3 Audio Files for 25 Questions
2. Learning Guide: This is a written guide with
  • A full transcript of every word from every question, answer, and explanation
  • Glossaries with definitions
  • Sample sentences

For more information, go to:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ESLDiscussions.com and the N-400


Citizenship classrooms are multi-level English language environments. Teachers are adept in addressing N-400 vocabulary and grammar needs for beginning and intermediate ESL students, assuming that advanced students have fully mastered these language tasks. Advanced students want to fully participate in classroom activities, but they are sometimes bored by the deceptively simple N-400.

One possible solution is group the advanced students together for a timed discussion based on topics from ESLDiscussions.com. Match the appropriate topic to the N-400 Part, and ask the advanced students summarize their discussion for their classsmates. The advanced students will polish their speaking skills, while the intermediate and beginning students will benefit from explicit language instruction from the teacher. After the advanced students' "report-back," the intermediate and beginning students often continue the discussion.

There are currently 644 discussion topics available at ESLDiscussions.com. Each topic is divided into 20 questions, and further divided into paired set of 10 questions. Group the students and use as many questions as needed. Here is an example of ESLDiscussions.com question topics matched with the N-400:

Before the Interview: Identity Cards, Passports
Part 1: Names
Part 2: Immigration, Refugees
Part 3: Birthdays, Nationality
Part 4: House and Home
Part 5: Racial Profiling
Part 6: Jobs, Retirement
Part 7: Travel
Part 8: Marriage
Part 9: Children
Part 10: Have you ever . . . ?