Friday, July 31, 2009


VOANews: California Gets a Budget
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs a spending plan with billions in cuts, but concerns remain about the state's financial future. 30 July 2009

VOANews: Recession Slows 'Californization' of the West By Ted Landphair, Washington, D.C.27 July 2009

In the 1980s and '90s in thriving western, techno-savvy cities like Seattle, Washington; and Denver, Colorado, you'd see signs all over town. Hand-made, most of them, but a few printed ones and even a billboard or two. The signs read: "Californians, Go Home."

Read more of Ted Landphair's personal reflections and stories from the road on his blog, Ted Landphair's America.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

USCIS 100:36 The Cabinet

100:36 What are two Cabinet-level positions?

Deputy Secretary Lute teaches a citizenship class in New York City
for immigrants preparing for the naturalization exam on June 22, 2009.

Click the picture to see a Slide Show featuring the Cabinet Secretaries
and Senior Administration Officials volunteering with United We Serve.

The Cabinet advises the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office. The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments:

In order of succession to the Presidency:

The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two-Part Answers

Good Luck, Mr. Yang!

This afternoon, I met Mr. Yang at the new Milpitas Library. We practiced the N-400 section of Citizenship Interview twice. We concentrated on the US History and Government questions which require two or more answers. Here are the questions:
  • 9:100. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
  • 17:100. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?*
  • 36:100. What are two Cabinet-level positions?
  • 45:100. What are the two major political parties in the United States?*
  • 51:100. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
  • 55:100. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
  • 64:100. There were 13 original states. Name three.
  • 100:100. Name two national U.S. holidays.
Remember: If you can only remember the first part of the answer, and not the second part, say the first part--maybe you will remember the second part later. The USCIS examiner will appreciate your effort to answer the question and may give you a new question.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Immigrant Provisions Get Attention--Domestic Abuse

VOAVideo: Immigrant Provisions Get Attention--Domestic Abuse

One out of every three people in the United States has been a victim of domestic violence, according to Department of Justice Statistics. In 1994, the United States passed the Violence Against Women Act to protect women against domestic abuse. Since then, more women are reporting these crimes. But now lawmakers are planning to re-examine the law in several areas, particularly as it deals with millions of immigrants in the United States. But not everyone is happy about that. VOA's Carolyn Presutti explains.

Monday, July 27, 2009


To prepare for the Citizenship Interview, many students like to listen to extra English lessons. Sean Banville writes free ESL for several sites, and has a new site NEW ENGLISH LESSONS. Here are some of Sean's lessons on the topic of birthdays, a common questions asked during the Citizenship Interview.

SEAN BANVILLE'S NEW SITE: NEW ENGLISH LESSONS (News Lessons in SIMPLE English) Woman with 99 wrong birthdays

More ESL Lessons from Sean Banville!

Breaking News (current events)

ESL (12,880 conversation questions)

ESL Holiday (Lesson packs on world holidays)

Famous People (Handouts based on biographies)

Thanks to Sean Banville for all his great work!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

San Jose's Founders Day Fandango!

  1. What is the capital of California?Align Center
  2. What was the first capital of California?

answer 1. Sacramento; 2. San Jose

San Jose's was founded on November 29, 1777. On July 1778, the land was granted to the settlers by King of Spain. The people of San Jose celebrate two birthdays: a city government ceremony in Novenmber, and an outdoor fiesta in July.

This year, San Jose's Founders Day Fandango is on July 26, 12 noon to 6pm at the Peralta Pueblo and Fallon House. San Jose citizens will have a fun time with Mexican dancing, music and crafts, all for free.

Peralta Adobe
The Peralta Adobe is San José’s oldest address. Built in 1797, the Peralta Adobe is the last remaining structure from El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. See the Adobe’s horno, an outside working oven or venture inside the home and see two rooms furnished as they might have been when they were occupied by the Gonzales and Peralta families.

Fallon House
The exquisite Fallon House was built in 1855 by one of San José’s earliest mayors. The Victorian mansion showcases 15 fully furnished rooms typical of the Victorian period. Learn about Thomas Fallon, a frontiersman in the John C. Fremont expedition, and Carmel Fallon, the daughter of one of the most prominent Mexican landowners in California.

Peralta Adobe & Fallon House
175 West Saint John Street
San José, CA 95110
Phone: (408) 993-8300Fax: (408) 993-8088

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln's Life, and Death, in Washington

Checkout more of Suzee Que's Vintage Patriotic Ephemera

VOANews: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln's Life, and Death, in Washington

Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C, re-opened its museum last week. The museum not only honors the death of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president. It also celebrates his life. Visitors to the museum can learn about President Lincoln's important role in American history. Also on AMERICAN MOSAIC: A question from Ethiopia about American presidents.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

California Apologizes to Chinese Americans California Apologizes to Chinese Americans

On July 17, the California legislature approved a bill to apologize to the Californian Chinese-American community for racist laws made between the 1850-1950.

These laws limited the number of Chinese immigrants and made it very difficult for the Chinese to petition for their families to join them in America. The laws also prohibited Chinese-Americans marrying, traveling, and working freely. The new bill recognizes the contributions Chinese immigrants have made to the state, particularly their work on the Transcontinental Railroad.

I am particularly grateful to CA Assembly Member, Paul Fong of Cupertino, for sponsoring this bill. I have worked in his district for many years at Shareworld Learning Center 新學友教育學習中心 as an SAT instructor. I behalf of my students in Cupertino and Milpitas, and the citizens and residents of California, thanks Paul Fong!

--Jennifer Gagliardi

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Astronaut Armstrong Remembers Historic Apollo 11 Mission

VOAVideo: Astronaut Armstrong Remembers Historic Apollo 11 Mission

The first man to set foot on the moon has hailed the space race of the 1950s and 60s as an example of peaceful competition between rival superpowers. Legendary U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong spoke at Washington's Air and Space Museum on the eve of the 40th anniversary of his landing on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. VOA's Michael Bowman reports.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moon Landing Remembered On 40th Anniversary

VOAVideo: Moon Landing Remembered On 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago, on July 20, 1969, a man set foot on the moon. The feat captivated an audience of one billion people around the globe and heralded the era of modern space exploration. Apollo 11 was viewed by many as a triumph of American technology in a world dominated by the Cold War. VOA's Jessica Berman reports.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

President Obama at the MLB All-Star Game President Obama at the MLB All-Star Game

Watch highlights and behind-the-scenes footage of the President's visit to the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis. (MLB footage courtesy of

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor; Witnesses Testify

VOAVideo: Judge Sonia Sotomayor; Witnesses Testify

After days of intense questioning, a federal appeals judge of humble origin is poised to become the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sonia Sotomayor endured three days of tough questions. And late on Thursday [July 16th], the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee turned to a group of witnesses to praise and criticize her. There were politicians and activists and in one case, plaintiffs who lost in her court. VOA's Elizabeth Lee reports on the highlights of the day.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Practice: 10 Citizenship Questions--Part C

Practice: 10 Citizenship Questions--Part C

100:94. What is the capital of the United States?*

100:99. When do we celebrate Independence Day?*

100:100. Name two national U.S. holidays.

100:01. What is the supreme law of the land?

100:04. What is an amendment?

100:06. What is one right or freedom from the 1st Amendment?*

100:02. What does the Constitution do?

100:23. Name your U.S. Representative.

100:20. Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?*

100:18. How many U.S. Senators are there?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Third Day of Hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor

VOAVideo: Third Day of Hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Another long day of questioning on Capitol Hill for Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Analysts believe Sotomayor, who has been a lower court judge for 17 years, is virtually sure to be confirmed when the entire Senate votes on her nomination. But that hasn't stopped senators on the judiciary committee from making her defend statements she's made in the past. VOA's Carolyn Presutti brings us the Q & A.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 2 in Supreme Court Confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor

VOAVideo: Day 2 in Supreme Court Confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor faced tough questions from Republicans and friendly queries from Democrats in the second day of her confirmation hearings. The federal appellate judge is President Obama's choice to fill an opening on the high court. While even Republican senator say she is likely to win confirmation from lawmakers, the New York native faced questions early Tuesday [July 14th] about whether the approaches cases with any racial or ethnic bias. VOA's Carolyn Presutti brings us the highlights.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Senate Judiciary Committee Hears From Judge Sonia Sotomayor

VOAVideo: Senate Judiciary Committee Hears From Judge Sonia Sotomayor

The U.S. Senate began its weeklong confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor with opening statements. If confirmed, Judge Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, and the third woman to sit on the high court. VOA's Carolyn Presutti brings us the highlights of Monday's hearing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Supreme Court Nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, is a Role Model in the Bronx

VOAVideo: Supreme Court Nominee is a Role Model in the Bronx

Confirmation hearings are set to begin July 13 for President Obama's first nominee to the US Supreme Court: Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York City. Sotomayor would be the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic descent and the first to come from the South Bronx, a poor neighborhood in northern New York City. VOA's Carolyn Weaver has a profile.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Practice: 10 Citizenship Questions--Part B

Practice: 10 Citizenship Questions--Part B

100:72. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.

100:75. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?

100:77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?

100:69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”?

100:68. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?

100:86. What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?

100:84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?

100:85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*

100:97. Why does the flag have 50 stars?*

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

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Practice: 10 Citizenship Questions--Part A

Practice: 10 Citizenship Questions (Part A)

100:03. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

100:05. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

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

100:44. What is the capital of your state?*

100:42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

100:64. There were 13 original states. Name three.

100:59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?

100:65. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

100:80. Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?

100:79. Who was President during World War I?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Celebrating July 4th in America

VOAVideo: Celebrating July 4th in America

Americans observe their Independence Day on July fourth. People across the country will celebrate in many different ways. Jim Bertel takes a look.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day in Milpitas!

If you want to go to the fireworks show, meet Teacher Jennifer under the OCEAN MARKET sign (corner of Calaveras & Park Victoria) at 8pm. Because it will be chilly, wear a light jacket and bring a lawn chair or something to sit on.
4th of July Events
Milpitas Sports Center
1325 E. Calaveras Blvd.

Milpitas celebrates our country’s Independence Day with a day of water fun at the Milpitas Sports Center Pools and an evening of music & ground fireworks on the Sports Center’s Football field.

Pool Party - 1:00-5:00 pm Milpitas Sports Center Pool
Music, games, fun and much more! BBQ lunch available for purchase from the Milpitas Firefighters Local 1699 (proceeds benefit the R.A.P. program) Please Note: Space may be limited at times due to pool capacity.

Concert & Fireworks - 8:00 pm-10:00 pm (Gates Open at 7:30 pm)
Milpitas Sports Center Football Field Come enjoy an evening of music by JamFunkShus and exciting fireworks. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the celebration! Fireworks will be at approximately 9:30 pm.

Please Note: No alcohol, glass containers or dogs/animals are allowed at these events. No BBQing/Tailgating in the parking lot. Personal fireworks are not allowed at this event. Fireworks are illegal in the City of Milpitas.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Philadelphia, Home of American Independence

VOAVideo: Philadelphia, Home of American Independence

Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of the United States, the nation's cradle of liberty. It began back in 1776 when the 13 American colonies announced their independence from the British Empire with their Declaration of Independence. And Philadelphians, along with other Americans, mark this day of freedom every July 4th. As the nation prepares for its 231st birthday, Stasia DeMarco visited Philadelphia's historic Independence Mall.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

US Celebrates Independence Day

VOAVideo: US Celebrates Independence Day

Here is a video montage of some of the symbols, sights and sounds of Independence Day in the United States.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gung Hei New Citizen Ly Nu To!

Ly Nu To passed her citizenship test on July 1, and cook a HUGE DINNER for her friends and family on July 2. Gung Hei!