Monday, December 29, 2014

USCIS: Join Our New Year's Video Project!



USCIS: Join Our New Year's Video Project!

Calling all naturalized citizens! Help us wish the world a happy new year. It’s simple: record a short video clip of yourself saying "Happy new year from an American from X, " replacing X with your native country. For example, if your native country is Canada, say "Happy new year from an American from Canada."

Post that video to YouTube by December 29 and leave a comment below with the URL for your video.

We’ll post a video on December 31 with as many responses as possible.

Have fun, smile in your video, and share your good cheer!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Executive Actions on Immigration


USCIS: Executive Actions on Immigration

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. (read more)

Friday, December 26, 2014

West Wing Week: 12/26/14 or, "The Jazzy, Snazzy Holiday Special"



wh.gov: West Wing Week: 12/26/14 or, "The Jazzy, Snazzy Holiday Special"

Welcome to this special, Holiday Season edition of West Wing Week. While we certainly hope you all are taking some time off to reflect on the meaning of the holidays, and spend time with your loved ones, we also want to offer up some of our favorite White House holiday moments from this festive time of year.

Also watch these videos from wh.gov:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a very, merry VOA Christmas!



VOA Learning English: VOA Staff Presents 'A Visit From St. Nicholas'

​The American idea of Santa Claus largely comes from a poem called "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem in 1822, but he did not put his name on it. Some call it the most famous poem ever written by an American. The poem is often called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas. (read) Great scenes of Washington DC and the VOA staff! We love you, VOA!

VOA Learning English: The History of Christmas in America

In the first half of the 19th century, Christmas was a very different kind of holiday than it is today. People did not have a set way of celebrating. Christmas was not even an official holiday yet.
(read) (listen)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Toys for Tots

USCIS 100:55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?



VOAVideo: TOTs

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

For more info, go to www.toysfortots.org

Also watch, VOAVideo: US Federal Employees Donate to Their Favorite Charities Through CFC

USCIS 100:55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?

▪ vote
▪ join a political party
▪ help with a campaign
▪ join a civic group
▪ join a community group
▪ give an elected official your opinion on an issue
▪ call Senators and Representatives
▪ publicly support or oppose an issue or policy
▪ run for office
▪ write to a newspaper

Sunday, December 21, 2014

West Wing Week: 12/19/14 or, "Todos Somos Americanos"



uscitizenpod: West Wing Week: 12/19/14 or, "Todos Somos Americanos"

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President traveled to Fort Dix to thank our troops, took action to protect Alaska's Bristol Bay, and announced historic changes to America's relationship with Cuba. That's December 12th to December 18th or, "Todos Somos Americanos."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

West Wing Week: 12/12/14 or, "Zeros & Ones"



wh.gov: West Wing Week: 12/12/14 or, "Zeros and Ones"

This week, the President nominated a Secretary of Defense, coded with a group of budding computer scientists, took over as host of The Colbert Report, pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, hosted a summit on high quality early education, and welcomed this year's Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House. That's December 5th to December 11th or, "Zeros & Ones."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

San Francisco Field Office Dec 11, 2014

Due to a strong storm system expected to hit the Bay Area on Thursday, December 11th , the San Francisco Field Office will have aliberal reschedule policy for customers unable to attend a scheduled interview on December 11, 2014 .  

Customers who cannot attend their interview due to weather should call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800- 375-5283 to request a rescheduled appointment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

151st Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address/ Naturalization Ceremony



USCIS: 151st Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address/ Naturalization Ceremony

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, USCIS naturalized 16 new citizens during a special ceremony commemorating the 151st anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Author Kent Masterson Brown will deliver the keynote address during the ceremony at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg,

Monday, December 8, 2014

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

USCIS 100:10. What is freedom of religion?



The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception located in Washington, D.C., honors Mary, the mother of Jesus, as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States and celebrates the diversity of the American Catholicism. (take a virtual tour)

As a Roman Catholic, I am proud to share my religious and cultural heritage that informs my work as an ESL/Citizenship teacher. 

USCIS 100:10. What is freedom of religion?

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Remembering Pearl Harbor

USCIS 100:81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?



VOANews: US Remembers Pearl Harbor, 70 Years Later

Hundreds estimated to be gathered at Pearl Harbor, where new visitor's center is to open at scene of attack (plus streaming audio)

VOANews: Pearl Harbor Fact Box

USCIS 100:81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?
  • Japan, Germany, and Italy

Thursday, December 4, 2014

For Native Americans, a Presidential Visit Sparks Hope

USCIS 100:87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.



VOAVideo: For Native Americans, a Presidential Visit Sparks Hope

Earlier this year, Barack Obama became only the fourth sitting U.S. president to visit a Native American reservation -- when he traveled to Standing Rock which stretches across more than 800,000 hectares (two million acres) of North and South Dakota. As the White House prepares to host an annual tribal nation conference on Dec. 3, VOA correspondent Aru Pande traveled to Standing Rock and talked to residents about their hopes for the future. http://www.voanews.com/media/video/native-americans-obama-visit-hope/2541704.html

Also watch: Obama Unveils Initiative to Lift Up Native American Youth

President Barack Obama has unveiled a new initiative aimed at helping Native American youth overcome poverty, substance abuse or other challenges. The announcement at the sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference followed a rare visit by the president to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.

USCIS 100:87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
[USCIS Officers will be supplied with a list of federally recognized American Indian tribes.]
▪ Cherokee
▪ Navajo
▪ Sioux
▪ Chippewa
▪ Choctaw
▪ Pueblo
▪ Apache
▪ Iroquois
▪ Creek
▪ Blackfeet
▪ Seminole
▪ Cheyenne
▪ Arawak
▪ Shawnee
▪ Mohegan
▪ Huron
▪ Oneida
▪ Lakota
▪ Crow
▪ Teton
▪ Hopi
▪ Inuit

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What is a "Lame Duck"?


ESLPod.com Blog:These Ducks Can’t Walk

“This week, the lame ducks are returning to Congress for their last bit of legislating (making laws). But no one seems too excited to see them.” That was the lede (or lead; the first sentence or paragraph) for a news story in the Washington Post last week.

Other newspapers and websites echoed (repeated) those feelings in their headlines (the title of a news story):
  • Lamest Lame Duck (Politico)
  • How Lame Will The Lame Ducks Be? (The Atlantic)
  • Don’t Let Lame Ducks Spend Your Money (American Spectator)
We all probably know what a duck is. But, a lame duck? (read more)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Obama’s Immigration Action Comes Under Attack in Congress



VOANews: Obama’s Immigration Action Comes Under Attack in Congress

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson defended President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration Tuesday before the House Homeland Security Committee. As VOA’s Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill, Republican Party anger over what they see as an "executive power grab" might affect a government funding bill that has to be passed by December 11.
Originally published at -http://www.voanews.com/media/video/obama-executive-action-immigration-congress/2543623.html

Monday, December 1, 2014

US Politicians Busy Planning for 2016 Elections



VOA Learning English: US Politicians Busy Planning for 2016 Elections

The Republican Party is preparing to control both houses of the United States Congress in January. Republican candidates won big victories in the recent U.S. congressional elections. The Democratic Party lost its majority in the Senate. The Democrats must now adjust to being the minority party in both houses. (read more)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What Obama's Immigration Action Really Means (On Assignment)



VOAVideo: What Obama's Immigration Action Really Means (On Assignment): http://youtu.be/TCtQ9YxHSPk via @YouTube

VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone chats with On Assignment’s Alex Villarreal about President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Future Uncertain for Asian Immigrants Facing Deportation in US



VOAVideo: Future Uncertain for Asian Immigrants Facing Deportation in US

In the debate about immigration in the United States, one group often overlooked is the estimated 1.3 million illegal immigrants from Asia. President Barack Obama’s recent executive order can provide a temporary reprieve from deportation to about 400,000 of these people, but for many more, the future is uncertain. VOA's Elizabeth Lee reports.
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/future-uncertain-asian-immigrants-facing-deportation-us/2536351.html

Friday, November 28, 2014

West Wing Week: 11/28/14 or, "We Need Turkey



wh.gov: West Wing Week: 11/28/14 or, "We Need Turkey


Welcome to this Turkey Day edition of West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond. This week, the President traveled to Las Vegas and Chicago to highlight the steps he is taking to reform our broken immigration system, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and delivered a statement on the Grand Jury's decision in Ferguson, while the Vice President and Dr. Biden visited Ukraine and Turkey. That's November 21st to November 27th or, "We Need Turkey."

Also watch wh.gov: The First Family Participates in a Service Project

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the First Family continued their annual tradition by participating in a service project. This year's project was at Bread for the City — a Southeast Washington, D.C. charity dedicated to providing Washington's most vulnerable residents with food, clothing, and other services.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade



VOAVideo: US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/us-community-kicks-off-thanksgiving-with-parade/2536148.html</>

also watch:

VOAVideo:
Holiday Shopping Erodes Thanksgiving Tradition, Many Say

Thanksgiving PPTX, Video, and More!



Kahoot.it: Thanksgiving and USCIS Citizenship Question
Questions about the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag inspired USCIS Citizenship questions and answers.


uscitizenpod: Thanksgiving Video
http://youtu.be/_6n3tH9rlvk




uscitizenpod: Thanksgiving pptx  http://goo.gl/Ds42G6

Older resources, but still useful:

Thanksgiving! (posted Nov 2007)

Today we will review the 96Qs (50, 53, 68, 69, 70) and the new 100Q (10, 58, 59, 87, 100) related to Thanksgiving.  Note the difference between the old and new sets of USCIS questions.

Handouts:
  1. Thanksgiving mp3
  2. Q50 and 53 Class Handout
  3. Q68-70 Class Handout
  4. Thanksgiving Quiz: USCIS 96Qs and 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
  1. ELCivics.com: Thanksgiving
  2. ELCivics.com: The 13 Original Colonies
  3. ELCivics.com: American Indian Tribes
  4. TimePage: 13 Original Colonies Time Line
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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

U.S. Citizenship 15: Thanksgiving


LearningChocolate.com: U.S. Citizenship 15: Thanksgiving
http://goo.gl/cqLhz6

The Pilgrims were a small group of Europeans from England.
The Pilgrims left Europe to escape persecution.
The Pilgrims wanted freedom to practice their religion.
The Pilgrims decided to go to America to be colonists.
The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to start a colony.

Before the Pilgrims left the ship, they wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact.
The Mayflower Compact said that the Pilgrims would practice self-government.
The Mayflower Compact said that the Pilgrims would have political liberty and religious freedom..

The Pilgrims landed in the land of the Wampanoag, near present-day Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The Pilgrims were met by the Wampanoag.
The Wampanoag were a Native American tribe.
The Wampanoag were led by Chief Massasoit.
The Pilgrims were led by William Bradford.

The Pilgrims started the Plymouth Colony.
The Wampanoag helped the Pilgrims grow food.
After the fall harvest of 1621, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag celebrated Thanksgiving.

Americans now celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.
We celebrate Thanksgiving with food, family, and friends.
Some people collect food and clothing for the poor.
Others start their Christmas shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Happy Thanksgiving!


  • USCIS 100:58. What is one reason colonists came to America?
  • USCIS 100:59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
  • USCIS 100:100. Name two national U.S. holidays.



"The Mayflower Compact 1620" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Mayflower_Compact_1620_cph.3g...
"Embarkation of the Pilgrims - Google Art Project" by Robert Walter Weir
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Walter_Weir_-_Embarkation_...
"The First Thanksgiving" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/The_First_Thanksgivin...
**Note: The painting shows common misconceptions about the event that persist to modern times: Pilgrims did not wear such outfits, and the Wampanoag are dressed in the style of Native Americans from the Great Plains.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q86 to Q100 - EZ Civics Lessons



ListenAndReadAlong: US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q86 to Q100 - EZ Civics Lessons http://youtu.be/jzvMccEmeWk

This is a continuation of the US Citizenship Booklet 2014: Learn about the United States.

The Civics Test.
This rovie concludes American History: Part B: 1800s and start of Part C: 1900s.. and includes

INTEGRATED CIVICS

An understanding of America’s geography, symbols, and holidays is important. They provide background and more meaning to historical events and other landmark moments in U.S. history. The following section offers short lessons on our country’s geography, national symbols, and national holidays. The geography of the United States is unusual because of the size of the country and the fact that it is bordered by two oceans that create natural boundaries to the east and west. Through visual symbols such as our flag and the Statue of Liberty, the values and history of the United States are often expressed. Finally, you will also learn about our national holidays and why we celebrate them. Most of our holidays honor people who have contributed to our history and to the development of our nation. By learning this information, you will develop a deeper understanding of
the United States and its geographical boundaries, principles, and freedoms.

Parts A(Geography), B(Symbols) and C(holidays)
This concludes the Civics Portion of the Booklet

Monday, November 24, 2014

The President Speaks on Fixing America's Broken Immigration System



wh.gov: The President Speaks on Fixing America's Broken Immigration System

In an address to the nation, President Obama lays out the executive action he's taking to fix our nation's broken immigration system, November 20, 2014.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q71 to Q85 - EZ Civics Lessons



ListenAndReadAlong: US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q71 to Q85 - EZ Civics Lessons

This is a continuation of the US Citizenship Booklet 2014: Learn about the United States.
The Civics Test.

This part is on American History: Part B: 1800s and start of Part C: 1900s..

For more than 200 years, the United States has strived to become a “more perfect union.” Its history has been one of expansive citizenship for all Americans. By learning about our shared history, you will be able to understand our nation’s traditions, milestones, and common civic values. Our country is independent because of the strength, unity, and determination of our forefathers. It is important for future Americans to know this story.

We are people working toward great ideals and principles guided by equality and fairness. This is important to keep our country free. As Americans, we have been committed to each other and our country throughout our history. The following section will help you understand American history from the colonial period and independence to the Civil War and other important events during the 1800s, 1900s, and today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Constitutional Showdown Looms Over Obama Immigration Order



VOAVideo: Constitutional Showdown Looms Over Obama Immigration Order

President Barack Obama is expected to announce a controversial decision soon to issue an an executive order that would save millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. VOA's Carolyn Presutti shows us who would be affected by the order and how it sets up a showdown with Republican lawmakers.
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2525652.html

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q58 to Q70 - EZ Civics Lessons



ListenAndReadAlong: US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q58 to Q70 - EZ Civics Lessons

This is a continuation of the US Citizenship Booklet 2014: Learn about the United States.
The Civics Test.
This part is on American History: Part A: Colonial Period and Independence.

For more than 200 years, the United States has strived to become a “more perfect union.” Its history has been one of expansive citizenship for all Americans. By learning about our shared history, you will be able to understand our nation’s traditions, milestones, and common civic values. Our country is independent because of the strength, unity, and determination of our forefathers. It is important for future Americans to know this story.

We are people working toward great ideals and principles guided by equality and fairness. This is important to keep our country free. As Americans, we have been committed to each other and our country throughout our history. The following section will help you understand American history from the colonial period and independence to the Civil War and other important events during the 1800s, 1900s, and today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Veterans Day Kahoot and more!


Kahoot.it: A Veterans Day Kahoot! http://goo.gl/buAFBe

More Veterans Day Resources:



Also check one of the best ESL sites on the web: ELCivics.com: Veterans Day http://goo.gl/mcIm2y

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day Video and more!



uscitizenpod: Veterans Day video for Beginning Level ESL/Citizenship Students http://youtu.be/0wz6ctrnvIY

More Veterans Day Resources:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Veterans Day Learning Chocolate



More Veterans Day Resources:



Also check one of the best ESL sites on the web: ELCivics.com: Veterans Day http://goo.gl/mcIm2y

Friday, November 7, 2014

US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q41 to Q57 - EZ Civics Lessons



ListenAndReadAlong: US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q41 to Q57 - EZ Civics Lessons

This is a lesson in United States Civics. This Reading Movie will help you understand the principles of American democracy, the U.S. system of government and the important rights and responsibilities of US citizenship. This the booklet which accompanies the Naturalization Quiz. This contains Question 41-Question 57.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q13 to Q40 - EZ Civics Lessons



listenandreadalong: US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q13 to Q40 - EZ Civics Lessons

This is a lesson in United States Civics. This Reading Movie will help you understand the principles of American democracy, the U.S. system of government and the important rights and responsibilities of US citizenship. This the booklet which accompanies the Naturalization Quiz. This contains Question 13-Question 40.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Republicans Sweep US Midterm Elections



VOAVideo: Republicans Sweep US Midterm Elections

Republicans are celebrating after convincing election victories to recapture control of the U.S. Senate and widen their majority in the House of Representatives for the final two years of President Barack Obama's presidency. VOA's Chris Simkins has more on the midterm election results.
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/republicans-sweep-us-midterm-elections/2509478.html

Monday, October 27, 2014

US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q1 to Q12 - EZ Civics Lessons



Listen and Read Along: US Citizenship Study Booklet - Q1 to Q12 - EZ Civics Lessons

This is a lesson in United States Civics. This Reading Movie will help you understand the principles of American democracy, the U.S. system of government and the important rights and responsibilities of US citizenship. This the booklet which accompanies the Naturalization Quiz.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Miami Woman Is Guardian to Nearly 1,000 Children of Immigrants



VOAVideo: Miami Woman Is Guardian to Nearly 1,000 Children of Immigrants

Last year, the Obama administration deported 240,000 undocumented immigrants who didn’t have a criminal record. That’s up more than 20,000 from 2012, according to Pew Research. Many of those deported left behind children who are U.S. citizens because they were born here. So who takes in these children? VOA's Carolyn Presutti introduces us to one Florida woman who is taking charge of hundreds.
Originally published at -http://www.voanews.com/media/video/miami-woman-is-guardian-to-nearly-1000-children-of-immigrants/2488237.html

NPR: One Woman, 817 Children: Caring For Kids Of Undocumented Parents

The recent increase in the number of unaccompanied, undocumented minors immigrating across the border has left tens of thousands of children waiting in limbo. But thousands of children who are already American citizens also face an uncertain future — because their parents are not in the country legally. If their parents get deported, those minors could end up in foster care, or adopted by strangers. (read more)

Learn more about Nora Sandigo's work organization, American Fraternity / Fraternidad Americana

Our mission is to serve and educate the local and national community of immigrants by helping them integrate and adjust to American society, culture and legal processes.

Nuestra misión es servir y educar a la comunidad inmigrante local y nacional ayudándoles a integrarse a los procesos legales y culturales de la sociedad Americana.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

West Wing Week 10/17/14 or, "The Geography of Hope"



wh.gov: West Wing Week 10/17/14 or, "The Geography of Hope"

This week, the President continued to lead the federal Ebola response, met with members of the international coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL, and designated the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Free Online Test Targets English Learners


VOA Learning English: Free Online Test Targets English Learners

A private company has just launched what it calls “the world’s first free standardized English test.” Anyone with an Internet connection can take the test for free. The test can be found at efset.org.(read more) (listen)

Words in this Story
  • launch – v. to offer or sell (something) for the first time
  • prohibitive – adj. so high that people are prevented from using or buying something
  • pilot – v. done as a test to see if a larger program, study, should be done
  • intriguing – adj. extremely interesting
  • game changer – n. an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.