Sunday, January 31, 2010

US Churches Collecting Aid for Haiti

USCIS 100:51. What are two rights of everyone
living in the United States?



VOAVideo: US Churches Collecting Aid for Haiti

Churches in the United States are collecting relief aid for Haiti. Many of them waited until the aid could be brought into the country. VOA's Deborah Block went to one church outside of Washington that is taking donations of food, water and medical supplies.

51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of speech
  • freedom of assembly
  • freedom to petition the government
  • freedom of worship
  • the right to bear arms

Saturday, January 30, 2010

For Buddhists, San Francisco Offers Many Places to Worship

USCIS 100:10. What is freedom of religion?



VOAVideo: For Buddhists, San Francisco Offers Many Places to Worship

Situated on the West Coast of the United States, the city of San Francisco has long been home to many generations of Asians who immigrated to the United States. In a lot of cases, they are Buddhists, but since they are from a variety of cultures and countries, the way they practice Buddhism also varies. VOA Mandarin reporter Suli Yi filed this story of the many different forms of Buddhism in San Francisco. It is narrated by Ruth Reader.


10. What is freedom of religion?

  • You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

Friday, January 29, 2010

State of the Union: Building Infrastructure and Creating Jobs at Home

This is a 3 minute exerpt from the recent State of the Union speech.
WH.gov: State of the Union: Building Infrastructure and Creating Jobs at Home

President Obama details how the Recovery Act and other funding is providing needed repairs and upgrades to the nations infrastructure, encouraging clean energy alternatives and creating new jobs across the country. January 27, 2010 (Public Domain)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Museum Better Known as the US Capitol


VOANews: A Museum Better Known as the US Capitol

On EXPLORATIONS: The building's art and sculpture collections tell a story about the country's history.

Works of Art in the Capitol Complex
The works of art in the Capitol Complex reflect the development of the United States and the Congress.

U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > Explore the Senate's Art
The art in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol and the Senate office buildings has been acquired principally for its public, patriotic, and commemorative

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DREAM TV - The Story of the Undocumented Students

DREAM TV - The Story of the Undocumented Students

The DREAM Act is a bipartisan proposal, which would create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of young students who were brought to the United States years ago as children. If Congress fails to act this year, another entire class of outstanding, law-abiding high school students will graduate without being able to plan for the future, and some will be removed from their homes to countries they barely know. This tragedy will cause America to lose a vital asset: an educated class of promising immigrant students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our society. For more info, see DREAM TV on YouTube or DREAMActivist.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Guam Braces for Military Buildup in Plan to Cut Troops in Japan

91. Name one U.S. territory.

VOAVideo: Guam Braces for Military Buildup in Plan to Cut Troops in Japan

Four years from now, thousands of US Marines are expected to move to the US territory of Guam from Japan's southern island of Okinawa. The move will sharply increase the Pacific island's population and strain its infrastructure. Akiko Fujita reports from Guam.

91. Name one U.S. territory.

  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Clinton Urges Global Internet Freedom



VOAVideo: Clinton Urges Global Internet Freedom

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a policy speech Thursday, said the United States supports an uncensored global Internet to which all people have an assured "freedom to connect." She warned that Internet freedom is threatened by governments trying to build electronic barriers to the World Wide Web. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

Friday, January 22, 2010

US Immigration Service Grants Reprieve to Haitian Immigrants



VOAVideo: US Immigration Service Grants Reprieve to Haitian Immigrants

Thousands of Haitians in the New York area, reeling from the devastation of last week's earthquake to family back home, found some help Wednesday at a briefing by U.S. immigration officials. VOA's Bernard Shusman explains.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weighing the First Year of Obama as President


VOANews: Weighing the First Year of Obama as President

On IN THE NEWS: He angered conservatives, yet some liberals saw him as too willing to compromise. Many Americans think his push on health care takes his attention from the economy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama's First Year Gets Mixed Reviews

USCIS 100:28. What is the name of
the President of the United States now?*



VOANews: Obama's First Year Gets Mixed Reviews

Barack Obama entered the presidency one year ago amid sky-high public approval ratings and great expectations for change, in both domestic and foreign policy. But Mr. Obama's first year in office has proven to be politically challenging. The president's push for health care reform stoked fierce grassroots opposition on the right while some of his most loyal liberal supporters expressed disappointment that he has not been able to achieve more in his first year in office. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has more on Mr. Obama's political impact as he begins his second year in office.


USCIS 100:28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*

  • Barack Obama
  • Obama


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DC Children Study, Remember Martin Luther King Jr.



VOAVideo: DC Children Study, Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

This week, America celebrates the life of one of its most revered leaders, the late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each January, his birthday is observed as a national holiday. MacKenzie Babb in Washington has a report on how schoolchildren in the U.S. capital are commemorating Dr. King's work by memorizing his "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered 47 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

. . . I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday a Time for Tributes

100. Name two national U.S. holidays.

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

On January 18th, 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.

100. Name two national U.S. holidays.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

Sunday, January 17, 2010

President Obama on Dr. King's Legacy

85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*

WH.gov: President Obama on Dr. King's Legacy

The President speaks about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the importance of persistence in achieving broader goals in remarks at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. January 17, 2010.

VOANews: Obama Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.

U.S. President Barack Obama is leading the nation in honoring the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.

85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*

  • fought for civil rights
  • worked for equality for all Americans

Saturday, January 16, 2010

MLK Day Special

84. What movement tried to end
racial discrimination?


by Ben Heine (Note : If you wish a print of this image, click "Buy This Print" )

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.
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?

84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?

  • civil rights (movement)

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama Supports Survivors of Earthquake in Haiti

Send a $10 donation by texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999

First Lady Michelle Obama Supports Survivors of Earthquake in Haiti From: AmRedCross

In response to the destruction and devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, First Lady Michelle Obama has joined The Advertising Council and the American Red Cross to launch a series of national public service advertisements (PSAs). The television and radio PSAs are designed to encourage all Americans to support relief efforts for the Haitian citizens impacted by the earthquake.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

President Obama Pledges Support for Haiti

WH.gov: President Obama Pledges Support for Haiti

The President expresses his condolences to the people of Haiti after a devastating earthquake and promises a swift, coordinated effort to aid rescue efforts and provide humanitarian relief. January 13, 2010.



American Red Cross Pledges Initial $1 Million to Haiti Relief


Send a $10 donation by texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

USCIS 100:88-95 Geography Puzzle & Quiz


1. Circle the names of the Countries, States, Territories, Rivers, & Oceans.
2. Write the name of the State next to its 2-letter Postal Code.
3. Answer the USCIS 100:88-95 Geography questions.

Monday, January 11, 2010

USCIS 100:08-09 Quick Civics Lessons and N-400 Practice

USCIS 100:08-09 mp3

Today we continue our series based on the USCIS Quick Civics Lessons (M638). Each episode, we will review two questions plus practice a section from the N-400 related to the USCIS questions. Lets begin!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Words and Their Stories: Nicknames for New York City

USCIS 100:95. Where is the Statue of Liberty?*


VOANews: Words and Their Stories: Nicknames for New York City

A few years ago, some marketing and advertising experts were asked to name the best nickname for an American city. The winner was the nation’s largest city, New York. The top nickname was The Big Apple. You might wonder how New York got this nickname...


USCIS 100:95. Where is the Statue of Liberty?*

  • New York (Harbor)
  • Liberty Island
  • Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).

Monday, January 4, 2010

US Immigration Advocates Cheer End of 'Widow Penalty'

VOAVideo: US Immigration Advocates Cheer End of 'Widow Penalty'

U.S. lawmakers have approved a measure that would end what has become known as the -widow penalty- the government's practice of annulling foreigners' applications for permanent residency when their American spouses die within the first two years of the marriage. Immigrants' rights advocates are cheering the vote. Paige Kollock reports on one woman's struggle to gain legal status in the U.S.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

US Passes Sweeping Food Safety Reform



VOAVideo: US Passes Sweeping Food Safety Reform

Congress has passed sweeping legislation aimed at making the U.S. food supply safer.

The bill gives the government broad new powers to inspect processing plants, order recalls and impose stricter standards for imported foods. And, rather than having to waiting for an outbreak to start before it can order a recall, the Food and Drug Administration will now require producers to draw up detailed food safety plans to reduce contamination risks before food goes to market.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Yes We Can!



Yes We Can

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can.