Archive for the 'American Culture' Category

TRAFFICKED – my first novel

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, but I’m back! I’ve been busy taking care of my kids and writing a novel, which is being published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin, and is coming out in February, 2011. It’s called TRAFFICKED and it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl who comes to LA from [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson #37 – For Women ESL Learners ONLY!

Okay, men, if you really want to watch, you can, but be warned, you may get grossed out (feel disgusted, feel sick in your stomach). This blog post is about when a woman gets her period (menstruates) in America. Partial Transcript Today we’re going to talk about “getting your period” (time of menstruation/bleeding). Yes. I’m [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson #35: Post Offices in America and Making a Request

In the ten years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, I’ve always been amazed at people who work in the post offices. The people tend to be quite (very) rude (impolite, not nice) and paranoid (worried that someone’s going to hurt them), so don’t take it personally (don’t think the person is rude because of you [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson #34 – Japanese Town in LA and American Grocery Stores

I wanted to bring you to one of my favorite areas in LA – the second Little Tokyo – not in downtown, but close to UCLA. I went to the Nijiya Market there today and bought some delicious salmon sashimi (raw fish), which I ate for dinner. At this Japanese grocery store, they were fast [...]

The Body of the TOEFL Essay

In my last post about writing a TOEFL essay, I talked about your introductory paragraph. Usually, people don’t have time for more than their thesis and two main points or reasons. Today, I want to talk about the body of the essay – the main information section of the essay. In the body of the [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson 32: Going to Yoga and Practicing Conversation

Going to yoga is a great way to make friends and meet Americans … especially if you live in a big city in America like Los Angeles. People who do yoga are learning to be more open and accepting with all kinds of people, so they also tend to be very warm (kind, welcoming) toward [...]

The Opening Paragraph of the TOEFL Essay and Gay Marriage

Okay, so, you may or may not agree that gay marriage is a good thing. Even here in California, which is a hippie (person from the 60′s or who follows the 60′s way of thinking – free love, sandals, long hair…) liberal-land (a place where many people have liberal/socialist/left-leaning beliefs), only around 50 percent of [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson 29 – Gay Marriage and If Clauses

In this blog post, I talk about gay marriage being allowed in California. I use quite a few IF clauses to give you some more examples. One thing I want you to remember is that after IF, you need a subject and a present verb, usually simple present, but sometimes it can be present progressive [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson 28 – Present Real Conditional

The IF Clauses or Conditional clauses are really tough (hard, difficult). So, we’re going to start out with the basics. First, I’ll talk to you about the present real conditional. This is when you are talking about a real situation in the present that is not necessarily going to happen, but it might happen. So, [...]

Real ESL Video Lesson 27 – Having a Shitty Day??

Have you ever had a shitty (terrible, bad) day when nothing really bad happened, but you were in a bad mood (you are not happy, not feeling joyful)? Sometimes you’re just having a bad day. That’s life. I hope today is not one of those days for you. I hope it’s a fabulous day. However, [...]