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Obama Orders Changes to US Immigration Policy

VOA Special English - 4 hours 35 min ago
  President Barack Obama has announced major changes to the United States government’s immigration policies. The changes will affect millions of people who entered the country without permission. The president took the action through an official declaration, known as an “executive order.” Mr. Obama spoke to the American people Thursday night. He said the U.S. immigration system is not working. “It’s been this way for decades. And for decades, we haven’t done much about...


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 9 hours 42 min ago
A recurrent theme in a piece of music or literature, situation, etc.

1,053 - Buying Food at a Concession Stand

English As A Second Language Podcast - 11 hours 14 min ago

Sometimes the food you buy at a movie theater is more expensive than the movie ticket itself. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 17:13

Jim: We only have three minutes before the movie starts. You grab two seats and I’ll hit the concession stand.

Suki: Can I help you?

Jim: Yes, I’d like a large popcorn and a hot dog with the works.

Suki: Anything else?

Jim: Yes, I’ll also take an order of nachos and a pretzel.

Suki: Sorry, we’re out of pretzels right now, but we have cotton candy, snow cones, and pizza.

Jim: All right, then give me a slice of pizza.

Suki: Will that be all?

Jim: No, I’d also like a box of licorice, a package of beef jerky, and an ice cream sandwich.

Suki: Anything to drink?

Jim: Yes, I’ll take two large sodas.

Suki: All right, that’ll be $84.50.

Jim: What?! That’s highway robbery!

Suki: Our prices are posted on the board. You can see them right up there. Do you still want all this?

Jim: Just give me the soda and popcorn.

Suki: Are you sure you’ll make it through the movie with just that?

Jim: I have no choice. I’d have to commit robbery if I wanted anything else!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

bovarism: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 11 hours 15 min ago
bovarism: an exaggerated, especially glamorized, estimate of oneself.


OALD Word Of The Day - 18 hours 15 min ago
coax: to persuade somebody to do something...


Spotlight - 20 hours 59 sec ago
"My cousin used to like punk rock. He even had the spiky hair."

Advertising Christmas

Spotlight - 20 hours 1 min ago

"Christmas ads remind me what the festivities are all about," writes Dagmar Taylor.

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Kerry in Vienna for Iran Nuclear Talks

VOA Special English - 20 November 2014 - 11:54pm
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Vienna Thursday to join talks on Iran’s nuclear program. The talks are taking place four days before a deadline to reach a new agreement. A temporary agreement reached last September ends on Monday. The talks in Vienna include Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China.  Mr. Kerry and other Western officials said Iran still must decide to accept limits on its nuclear program. An unnamed U.S. official told...

The Lady, or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton

VOA Special English - 20 November 2014 - 9:01pm
  Today's story is “The Lady, or the Tiger?” by Frank R. Stockton.  Here is Barbara Klein with the story. Long ago, in the very olden time, there lived a powerful king.  Some of his ideas were progressive.  But others caused people to suffer. One of the king’s ideas was a public arena as an agent of poetic justice.  Crime was punished, or innocence was decided, by the result of chance.  When a person was accused of a crime, his future would be...

Text of President Obama's Speech on Immigration

VOA Special English - 20 November 2014 - 9:01pm
Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Immigration Cross Hall 8:01 P.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, tonight, I’d like to talk with you about immigration. For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities –- people not trapped by our past, but...

Myanmar: No Constitutional Change Before 2015 Election

VOA Special English - 20 November 2014 - 9:00pm
The speaker of parliament in Myanmar says the country’s constitution cannot be changed before elections a year from now. Shwe Mann spoke this week to reporters in Naypyidaw -- the capital of Myanmar, also known as Burma. He said voters will be able to take part in a referendum, or special election, on constitutional changes in May. But he said it would be impossible for any changes to take effect immediately. He says, “Some draft laws will need a referendum. We need the people to...

With Bonerama, Three Trombones Lead the Big Parade

VOA Special English - 20 November 2014 - 9:00pm
New Orleans is a city famous for its food, mix of cultural influences and of course, its music. The city known as the Big Easy is the birthplace of several styles of popular American music including jazz and ragtime. New Orleans has a long history of combining musical art forms to create something different and fun. The band Bonerama is both. The New Orleans-based group brings together funk, rock, blues and jazz, creating a gumbo for the ears. Bonerama has horns like many local...

"The Lady, or the Tiger?"

VOA Special English - 20 November 2014 - 5:00pm

People: Who exactly is... Suzanne Collins?

Spotlight - 20 November 2014 - 11:33am
In our podcast for 20 November 2014, we introduce you to Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games (Die Tribute von Panem).


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 20 November 2014 - 10:02am
A period of war marked by little or no active hostilities.

apocryphal: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 20 November 2014 - 9:00am
apocryphal: of doubtful authorship or authenticity.


OALD Word Of The Day - 20 November 2014 - 2:00am
frank: honest and direct in what you say...


Spotlight - 20 November 2014 - 12:14am
"The asterisk next to his name referred to a lengthy footnote."


Spotlight - 20 November 2014 - 12:14am

In questions, we usually place the first verb before the subject: "Are you still awake?" ("You" is the subject.) 

France to Increase Airstrikes Against IS Militants

VOA Special English - 19 November 2014 - 10:56pm
France says it is sending six military planes to the Middle East as it seeks to increase strikes against the Islamic State militant group. The French Defense Minister told parliament Wednesday that the fighter jets will be based in Jordan. He said they will support French military aircraft already in the area. The United States, Britain and France are carrying out airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq. The U.S. is doing the same in Syria. French officials also said...


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