This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Maybe at the beginning, it could be a bit difficult for you the fact that you are so far away from your country, but don’t worry. Soon you will get used to this new situation that will get you in touch with new friends and lots of new experiences that will enrich your knowledge, so it would be If great if you could take advantage of this helps you somehow here is my E-mail opportunity and enjoy your trip. this email@example.com, so don’t doubt in sending me one, anytime you need to resolve some difficulties. And if you need someone to talk to, here is my msn: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you will like this book, that has been written especially for you and fulfills the program you require , so when you come back you will be up to date with your classmates. You will reinforce and learn English through literature, do not worry if you do not understand everything, the important thing is to enjoy the story. Always remember: “READING GOOD BOOKS FEEDS THE SOUL”
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Things to be remembered
• About the exams: This book consists on four main stories, one per term; and the exams will be about them, therefore you have to read the stories carefully, so that you can answer everything about them , and know how to use the new words. Don’t forget to read the instructions carefully! DO THE EXERCISES IN THIS BOOK, BEFORE DOING THE EXAMS ! • About the reading......... Throughout the text, you will find many parenthesis in which you will see : Elements of Literature Cultural Connections each of them is well explained according to each situation. Besides, you will find at the bottom of some pages the meanings of the words written in black to make the stories easier to be read. • How to read....... Each time you find the word “STOP”, you have to answer the question written there before going on reading, so that you can make predictions…. don’t cheat! • More things about the stories...... You may find some grammatical or spelling mistakes in the stories, and this happens when the characters of a low social level talk, like in Spanish: Pedro dijo: “ Ya pé, uté ya sabe como jue, el río llevar pal fondo.”
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Remember..... Always try to be the best son/daughter, the best brother/sister, the best friend, the best student; and you will please GOD! “Kindliness is the oil that avoids frictions in life.” “Nobody needs a smile more, than the person who doesn’t have any left to give!”
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FIRST TERM: Unit 1 • Introduction: explaining different kinds of narrating • Short biography of the writer • Reading skills and strategies: context clues
Story: “The All-American Slurp” by Lensey Namioka
• Questionnaire • Reading check (episodes chart) • Vocabulary in context + context clues • Time to write
Short story: “Coming to America”
• Connecting across texts • Grammar/language: subjects and verbs + exercises
Essay: “Lessons” by Bill Cosby
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The comical short story you are going to read was written by Lensey Namioka. It is very easy for her to write about young people trying to cope with the strange ways of a new culture because she spent much of her own life adjusting to new people and places.
“No matter how far or where you go, the important thing is to be kind to everyone, and you will be paid back only with love, although they have a different culture than yours.” “Never forget that before our Lord’s eyes we are all equal”.
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In English as in Spanish, there are different kinds of narratives, such as autobiographies, biographies, myths, fictions, historical fictions, novels, fantasies, short stories, etc. Fables: A very brief story in prose or verse that teaches a moral or a practical lesson about how to succeed in life. The characters of most fables are animals that behave and speak like human beings; Folk tales: A story with no known author, originally passed on from one generation to another by word or mouth. Folk tales generally differ from myth in that they are not about gods and they were never connected with religion or beliefs; Essays: A short piece of nonfiction prose. An essay usually examines a subject from a personal point of view. In the different ways of writing, the writer wants to inform, teach (objective writing, this means that they concentrate on facts and statistics), show something different, show his/her feelings, thoughts or opinions (subjective writing), or just simply entertain us. I have chosen four short stories especially for you, full of human feelings that will make you think about life, its complication and happiness. All of them are fiction, but who knows, perhaps they are happening right now or will happen in the future. The four stories have themes, that are the ideas the writer wishes to reveal about a specific subject. It has to be expressed in a full sentence, and it is not stated directly in the story. Instead the reader has to think about all the elements of the story and then make an inference, or an educated guess, about what they all mean. For instance, one of the themes of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” can be: People are often afraid to speak the truth for fear that others will think they are stupid. To make it easier for you to understand what a short story is, I will give you a clear explanation about it. It is a fictional prose narrative that is from about five to twenty book pages long. Short stories are usually built on a plot that consists of these elements: introduction (tells who the characters are and what their conflict, or problem is.) , conflict (that is a struggle or clash between opposing characters or opposing forces. An external conflict is a struggle between a character and some other outside force, and on the other hand an internal conflict is a struggle between opposing desires or emotions within a person.), complications (they arise as the characters take steps to resolve the conflict), climax (the most exciting moment in the story) , and resolution (the final part of the story, when the characters’ problems are solved and the story ends). Short stories are more limited than novels. They usually have only one or two major characters and one setting.
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Lensey Namioka was born in China, in 1929 where her family moved around a lot when she was young, and when she was a teenager, her family immigrated to the United States, where they continued to move from place to place. Perhaps, this story which is divided into six parts or episodes is one of her own experiences and she has just changed characters and places...... who knows...... Lensey Namioka is not only a writer, she has taught mathematics, monitored broadcasting for Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and has done translations for the American Mathematical Society. She enjoys music and lives with her husband and two daughters, Aki and Michi, in Seattle, Washington. Reading Skills and Strategies Using Context Clues Reading this story will give you a chance to try the strategies for figuring out new words. Remember to search around an unfamiliar word to find clues to its meaning. Don’t worry if you don’t know the exact meaning. The main thing is to understand and enjoy the story. How to own a word: CONTEXT CLUES Guessing isn’t so bad Guessing isn’t so bad We all give clues In China we never ate celery , or any other kind of vegetable raw. We always had to disinfect the vegetables in boiling water first. In case you don’t know the meaning of raw, you have to use context clues like the one above. You have find all the clues You have toto find all the clues you can in order to you can in order to understand the word you understand the word you don’t know, like don’t know, like “disinfect “disinfect the vegetables the vegetables in boiling in boiling water”, so you water”, so you know that if know vegetables in you put that if you put boiling vegetables in boiling water they won’t be raw water they won’t be are anymore because theyraw anymore cooked. going to bebecause they are going to are reading, When yoube cooked. you When you are reading, can sometimes guess the you can sometimes guess meaning of a word from two the meaning sources: (1) of a word from two sources: (1) Your own knowledge and Your own knowledge and experience and (2) experience and (2) context, or all the context, or all the information surrounding the information surrounding word. the word. If you can’t figure it out If the context doesn’t tell you the meaning of a word in this book, do this: See if the word is written in dark type. If so, a definition appears at the bottom of the page. See if the word is written in dark and also underlined. This indicates a footnote will appear at the bottom of the page, explaining the idiom.
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by Lensey Namioka
he first time our family was invited out to dinner in America, we disgraced ourselves while eating celery. We had immigrated to this country from China, and during our early days here we had a hard time with American table manners. In China we never ate celery raw, or any other kind of vegetable raw. We always had to disinfect the vegetables in boiling water first. When we were presented with our first relish tray, the raw celery caught us unprepared. We had been invited to dinner by our neighbors, the Gleasons. After arriving at the house, we shook hands with our hosts and packed ourselves into a sofa. As our family of four sat stiffly in a row, my younger brother and I stole glances at our parents for a clue as to what to do next. Mrs. Gleason offered the relish tray to Mother. The tray looked pretty, with its tiny red radishes, curly sticks of carrots, and long, slender stalks of pale-green celery. "Do try some of the celery, Mrs. Lin," she said. "It's from a local farmer, and it's sweet."
Mother picked up one of the green stalks, and Father followed suit. Then I picked up a stalk, and my brother did too. So there we sat, each with a stalk of celery in our right hand. Mrs. Gleason kept smiling. "Would you like to try some of the dip, Mrs. Lin? It's my own recipe: sour cream and onion flakes, with a dash of Tabasco sauce."
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Stiffly, adv. To be in a hard position, without moving Followed suit, idiom. To copy an action; to do something that someone else has done. Most Chinese don't care for dairy products, (Cultural Connections: Many people throughout the world have a lactose intolerance: they cannot digest milk products completely. Lactose intolerance is especially common among Asian and African people, and can be found in people of European ancestry as well.) and in those days I wasn't even ready to drink fresh milk. Sour cream sounded perfectly revolting. Our family shook our heads in unison. Mrs. Gleason went off with the relish tray to the other guests, and we carefully watched to see what they did. Everyone seemed to eat the raw vegetables quite happily. Mother took a bite of her celery. Crunch. "It's not bad!" she whispered. Father took a bite of his celery. Crunch. "Yes, it is good," he said, looking surprised. I took a bite, and then my brother. Crunch, crunch. It was more than good; it was delicious. Raw celery has a slight sparkle, a zingy taste that you don't get in cooked celery. When Mrs. Gleason came around with the relish tray, we each took another stalk of celery, except my brother. He took two. There was only one problem: Long strings ran through the length of the stalk, and they got caught in my teeth. When I help my mother in the kitchen, I always pull the strings out before slicing celery. I pulled the strings out of my stalk. Z-z-zip, z-z-zip. My brother followed suit. Z-zzip, z-z-zip, z-z-zip. To my left, my parents were taking care of their own stalks. Z-zzip, z-z-zip, z-z-zip. Suddenly I realized that there was dead silence except for our zipping. Looking up, I saw that the eyes of everyone in the room were on our family. Mr. and Mrs. Gleason, their daughter Meg, who was my friend, and their neighbors the Badels—they were all staring at us as we busily pulled the strings of our celery. That wasn't the end of it. Mrs. Gleason announced that dinner was served and invited us to the dining table. It was lavishly covered with platters of food, but we couldn't see any chairs around the table. So we helpfully carried over some dining chairs and sat down. All the other guests just stood there. Mrs. Gleason bent down and whispered to us, "This is a buffet dinner. You help yourselves to some food and eat it in the living room." Our family beat a retreat back to the sofa as if chased by enemy soldiers.(Elements of Literature: Here the writer uses a “simile”, this means that he compares the family action to that of soldiers retreating from enemies) For the rest of the evening, too mortified to go back to the dining table, I nursed a bit of potato salad on my plate. Next day, Meg and I got on the school bus together. I wasn't sure how she would feel about me after the spectacle our family made at the party. But she was just the same as usual, and the only reference she made to the party was, "Hope you and your folks got enough to eat last night. You certainly didn't take very much. Mom never tries to figure out how much food to prepare. She just puts everything on the table and hopes for the best." I began to relax. The Gleasons' dinner party wasn't so different from a Chinese meal after all. My mother also puts everything on the table and hopes for the best. (Elements of Literature: Here the narrator states one of the “themes” of the story. No matter how great are the cultural differences between us, there are similarities as well.)
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Lavishly, adj; abundantly; plentifully Meg was the first friend I had made after we came to America. I eventually got acquainted with a few other kids in school, but Meg was still the only real friend I had. My brother didn't have any problems making friends. He spent all his time with some boys who were teaching him baseball, and in no time he could speak English much faster than I could—not better, but faster. I worried more about making mistakes, and I spoke carefully, making sure I could say everything right before opening my mouth. At least I had a better accent than my parents, who never really got rid of their Chinese accent, even years later. My parents had both studied English in school before coming to America, but what they had studied was mostly written English, not spoken. (Cultural Connections: When people learn a second language in adulthood, it is very hard for them to lose the accent of their first language. It is much easier when the second language is learned in childhood.) Father's approach to English was a scientific one. Since Chinese verbs have no tense, he was fascinated by the way English verbs changed form according to whether they were in the present, past, perfect, pluperfect, future, or future perfect tense. He was always making diagrams of verbs and their inflections, and he looked for opportunities to show off his mastery of the pluperfect and future perfect tenses, his two favorites. "I shall have finished my project by Monday," he would say smugly. Mother's approach was to memorize lists of polite phrases that would cover all possible social situations. She was constantly muttering things like "I'm fine, thank you. And you?" Once she accidentally stepped on someone's foot and hurriedly blurted, "Oh, that's quite all right!" Embarrassed by her slip, she resolved to do better next time. So when someone stepped on her foot, she cried, "You're welcome!" In our own different ways, we made progress in learning English. But I had another worry, and that was my appearance. My brother didn't have to worry, since Mother bought him bluejeans for school, and he dressed like all the other boys. But she insisted that girls had to wear skirts. By the time she saw that Meg and the other girls were wearing jeans, it was too late. My school clothes were bought already, and we didn't have money left to buy new outfits for me. We had too many other things to buy first, like furniture, pots, and pans. The first time I visited Meg's house, she took me upstairs to her room, and I wound up trying on her clothes. We were pretty much the same size since Meg was shorter and thinner than average. Maybe that's how we became friends in the first place. Wearing Meg's jeans and T-shirt, I looked at myself in the mirror. I could almost pass for an American —from the back, anyway. At least the kids in school wouldn't stop and stare at me in the hallways, which was what they did when they saw me in my white blouse and navy-blue skirt that went a couple of inches below the knees. When Meg came to my house, I invited her to try on my Chinese dresses, the ones with a high collar and slits up the sides. Meg's eyes were bright as she looked at herself in the mirror. She struck several sultry poses, and we nearly fell over laughing.
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Smugly, adj. self-satisfied. Blurted, v. told something suddenly, often thoughtlessly. Sultry, adj. Sexy. It also means “hot and humid” (said of weather). 3 The dinner party at the Gleasons' didn't stop my growing friendship with Meg. Things were getting better for me in other ways too. Mother finally bought me some jeans at the end of the month, when Father got his pay-check. She wasn't in any hurry about buying them at first, until I worked on her. This is what I did. Since we didn't have a car in those days, I often ran down to the neighborhood store to pick up things for her. The groceries cost less at a big supermarket, but the closest one was many blocks away. One day, when she ran out of flour, I offered to borrow a bike from our neighbor's son and buy a ten-pound bag of flour at the big supermarket. I mounted the boy's bike and waved to Mother. "I'll be back in five minutes!" Before I started pedaling, I heard her voice behind me. "You can't go out in public like that! People can see all the way up to your thighs!" "I'm sorry," I said innocently. "I thought you were in a hurry to get the flour." For dinner we were going to have pot stickers (fried Chinese dumplings), and we needed a lot of flour. "Couldn't you borrow a girl's bicycle?" complained Mother. "That way your skirt won't be pushed up." "There aren't too many of those around," I said. "Almost all the girls wear jeans while riding a bike, so they don't see any point buying a girl’s bike.” We didn’t eat pot stickers that evening, and mother was thoughtful. Next day we took the bus downtown and she bought me a pair of jeans. In the same week, my brother made the baseball team of his junior high school, Father started taking driving lessons, and Mother discovered rummage sales. We soon got all the furniture we needed, plus a dartboard and a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.(Fourteen hours later, we discovered that it was a 999-piece jigsaw puzzle.) There was hope that the Lins might become a normal American family after all. STOP! Making Predictions: What do you think will happen at the restaurant?
Then came our dinner at the Lakeview restaurant. The Lakeview was an expensive restaurant, one of those places where a headwaiter dressed in tails conducted you to your seat, and the only light came from candles and flaming desserts. In one corner of the room a lady harpist played tinkling melodies. Father wanted to celebrate because he had just been promoted. He worked for an electronics company, and after his English started improving, his superiors decided to appoint him to a position more suited to his training. The promotion not only brought a higher salary but was also a tremendous boost to his pride Up to then we had eaten only in Chinese restaurants. Although my brother and I were becoming fond of hamburgers, my parents didn't care much for Western food, other than chow mein. (Cultural Connection: While most American consider chow mein to be Chinese food, it is actually a dish invented by Chinese immigrant chefs for their non-Chinese customers, the same happens in other countries, Chinese chefs change their recipe according to the likes of their customers, this means that you won’t find
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these dishes in China. Incredible, isn’t it?) Dumplings, small round mass of dough steamed or boiled with meat and vegetables. But this was a special occasion, and Father asked his co-workers to recommend a really elegant restaurant. So there we were at the Lakeview, stumbling after the headwaiter in the murky dining room. At our table we were handed our menus, and they were so big that to read mine, I almost had to stand up again. But why bother? It was mostly in French, anyway. Father, being an engineer, was always systematic. He took out a pocket French dictionary. "They told me that most of the items would be in French, so I came prepared." He even had a pocket flashlight the size of a marking pen. While Mother held the flashlight over the menu, he looked up the items that were in French. "Pate en croute,” he muttered. "Let's see ... pate is paste ... croute is crust... hmmm ... a paste in crust." The waiter stood looking patient. I squirmed and died at least fifty times. At long last Father gave up. "Why don't we just order four complete dinners at random?" he suggested. "Isn't that risky?" asked Mother. "The French eat some rather peculiar things, I've heard." "A Chinese can eat anything a Frenchman can eat," Father declared.
The soup arrived in a plate. How do you get soup up from a plate? I glanced at the other diners, but the ones at the nearby tables were not on their soup course, while the more distant ones were invisible in the darkness.
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Murky, adj. dark Crust, hard-baked surface. Squirmed, not to be able to sit down or stand still, be impatient/hardly wait Fortunately my parents had studied books on Western etiquette before they came to America. "Tilt your plate," whispered my mother. "It's easier to spoon the soup up that way." She was right. Tilting the plate did the trick. But the etiquette book didn't say anything about what you did after the soup reached your lips. As any respectable Chinese knows, the correct way to eat your soup is to slurp. This helps to cool the liquid and prevent you from burning your lips. It also shows your appreciation. We showed our appreciation. Shloop, went my father. Shloop, went my mother. Shloop, shloop, went my brother, who was the hungriest. The lady harpist stopped playing to take a rest. And in the silence, our family's consumption of soup suddenly seemed unnaturally loud. You know how it sounds on a rocky beach when the tide goes out and the water drains from all those little pools? They go shloop, shloop, shloop. That was the Lin family eating soup. At the next table a waiter was pouring wine. When a large shloop reached him, he froze. The bottle continued to pour, and red wine flooded the table top and into the lap of a customer. Even the customer didn't notice anything at first, being also hypnotized by the shloop, shloop, shloop. It was too much. "I need to go to the toilet," I mumbled, jumping to my feet. A waiter, sensing my urgency, quickly directed me to the ladies' room. I splashed cold water on my burning face, and as I dried myself with a paper towel, I stared into the mirror. In this perfumed ladies' room, with its pink-and-silver wallpaper and marbled sinks, I looked completely out of place. What was I doing here? What was our family doing in the Lakeview .restaurant? In America? The door to the ladies' room opened. A woman came in and glanced curiously at me. I retreated into one of the toilet cubicles and latched the door. Time passed—maybe half an hour, maybe an hour. Then I heard the door open again, and my mother's voice. "Are you in there? You're not sick, are you?" There was real concern in her voice. A girl can't leave her family just because they slurp their soup. Besides, the toilet cubicle had few drawbacks as a permanent residence. "I'm all right," I said, undoing the latch. Mother didn't tell me how the rest of the dinner went, and I didn't want to know. In the weeks following, I managed to push the whole thing into the back of my mind, where it jumped out at me only a few times a day. Even now, I turn hot all over when I think of the Lakeview restaurant. But by the time we had been in this country for three months, our family was definitely making progress toward becoming Americanized. I remember my parents' first PTA meeting. Father wore a neat suit and tie, and Mother put on her first pair of high heels. She stumbled only once. They met my homeroom teacher and beamed as she told them that I would make honor roll soon at the rate I was going. Of course Chinese etiquette forced Father to say that I was a very stupid girl and Mother to protest that the teacher was showing favoritism toward me. But I could tell they were both very proud.(Cultural Connections: Traditional Chinese etiquette requires that people respond to compliments by showing modesty, as Mr. and Mrs. Lin do here.)
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Drawbacks, disadvantages. Beamed, looked or smiled brightly showing happiness. The day came when my parents announced that they wanted to give a dinner party. We had invited Chinese friends to eat with us before, but this dinner was going to be different. In addition to a Chinese American family, we were going to invite the Gleasons. "Gee, I can hardly wait to have dinner at your house," Meg said to me. "I just love Chinese food." STOP! Making Predictions: What do you think will happen when the Gleasons go to dinner at the Lins?
That was a relief. Mother was a good cook, but I wasn't sure if people who ate sour cream would also eat chicken gizzards stewed in soy sauce. Mother decided not to take a chance with chicken gizzards. Since we had Western guests, she set the table with large dinner plates, which, we never used in Chinese meals. In fact we didn't use individual plates at all, but picked up food from the platters in the middle of the table and brought it directly to our rice bowls. Following the practice of Chinese American restaurants, Mother also placed large serving spoons on the platters. (Cultural Connections: The food served in many Chinese restaurants in North America is a hybrid form of Chinese cooking adapted to American tastes and dining customs. Compare the Chinese food from the country you are living with ours) The dinner started well. Mrs. Gleason exclaimed at the beautifully arranged dishes
of food: the colorful candied fruit in the sweet-and-sour pork dish, the noodle-thin shreds of chicken meat stir-fried with tiny peas, and the glistening pink prawns in a ginger sauce.
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At first I was too busy enjoying my food to notice how the guests were doing. But soon I remembered my duties. Sometimes guests were too polite to help themselves and you had to serve them with more food. I glanced at Meg to see if she needed more food, and my eyes nearly popped out at the sight of her plate. It was piled with food: The sweet-and-sour meat pushed right against the chicken shreds, and the chicken sauce ran into the prawns. She had been taking food from a second dish before she finished eating her helping from the first! Horrified, I turned to look at Mrs. Gleason. She was dumping rice out of her bowl and putting it on her dinner plate. Then she ladled prawns and gravy on top of the rice and mixed everything together, the way you mix sand, gravel, and cement to make concrete. I couldn't bear to look any longer, and I turned to Mr. Gleason. He was chasing a pea around his plate. Several times he got it to the edge, but when he tried to pick it up with his chopsticks, it rolled back toward the center of the plate again. Finally he put down his chopsticks and picked up the pea with, his fingers. He really did! A grown man! All of us, our family and the Chinese guests, stopped eating to watch the activities of the Gleasons. I wanted to giggle. Then I caught my mother's eyes on me. She frowned and shook her head slightly, and I understood the message: The Gleasons were not used to Chinese ways, and they were just coping the best they could. For some reason I thought of celery strings. When the main courses were finished, Mother brought out a platter of fruit. "I hope you weren't expecting a sweet dessert," she said. "Since the Chinese don't eat dessert, I didn't think to prepare any." "Oh, I couldn't possibly eat dessert!" cried Mrs. Gleason. "I'm simply stuffed!" Meg had different ideas. When the table was cleared, she announced that she and I were going for a walk. "I don't know about you, but I feel like dessert," she told me, when we were outside. "Come on, there's a Dairy Queen down the street. I could use a big chocolate milkshake!" Although I didn't really want anything more to eat, I insisted on paying for the milkshakes. After all, I was still hostess. Meg got her large chocolate milkshake and I had a small one. Even so, she was finishing hers while I was only half done. Toward the end she pulled hard on her straws and went shloop, shloop. "Do you always slurp when you eat a milk-shake?" I asked, before I could stop myself. Meg grinned. "Sure. All Americans slurp."
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Coping, managing the best you can; handling a problem reasonably. Stuffed, fill tightly oneself with food, overeat. Vocabulary in Context: In the story you have just read, you have found six underlined words, use them to fill in the blanks. Be careful, the tense of the verbs may change according to the sentences given. • • • • • • My boss is such a hypocrite person that he is always things behind our backs. Many people don’t like fish , because they say not to see what kind of fish they are eating. I came back so tired after running that I myself into a big and comfortable armchair to rest for a while. Sometimes small children a door, and then they don’t know how to open it. New learners of languages usually commit many during the first months. Since she doesn’t like eating vegetables, she a few of them on her plate, but she ate a lot of potato mush.
Now match the words with their correct meaning or synonym. Write the correct number next to each meaning. 1. packed 2. nursed 3. latched 4. muttered 5. slips 6. shreds ( ( ( ( ( ( ) locked with a simple fastening ) whispered ) sat ) served with special care ) pieces ) errors in speaking
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1. What is the name of the narrator’s friend?
2. What two mistakes do the Lins make at the Gleasons?
3. What reasons might Meg have for her friendly comment about the party?
4. Why does the narrator want a pair of jeans?
5. How has the incident with the bicycle affected Mrs. Lin’s attitude toward Americanization?
6. What type of food does the Lakeview restaurant serve?
7. Why does the narrator suddenly leave the table at the restaurant?
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8. What conflict is the narrator facing at the restaurant?
9. Do the Gleasons eat in the proper Chinese way? How can you tell?
10. Meg’s comment that “all Americans slurp”, might make you smile, but it also hints the message of the story. What do you think that message is?
11. How does finding new friends help the narrator?
12. Did Namioka’s story remind you of any of your own customs in a new light? Explain.
13. What do you feel is the most important word, phrase, or passage? Why?
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14. Which scene in the story do you remember the most? Why?
15. Lensey Namioka says she tries to make her writing as entertaining as possible. Did the conflicts in culture in this story make you laugh? Do you think using humor is a good way for people to deal with such conflicts? Give reasons for your opinion.
16. Are you similar to any of the characters in this story? How?
17. Does anyone in the story remind you of someone you know? In what way?
18. How should we act when we are hosts or guests so as not to offend others?
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As you have seen, the story is divided in six episodes, sum up what happens in each of them, and complete the chart below. The first one is already done for you.
The Lins go to dinner at the Gleason’s and are not used to eating raw vegetables.
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Using Context Clues Puzzling Word from “The All-American Slurp” Mrs. Gleason offered the relish tray to Mother. The tray looked pretty, with its tiny red radishes, curly sticks of carrots, and long, slender stalks of pale-green celery. Relish tray? You can tell from the sentence that it is a tray full of vegetables. Besides, you know that hosts usually offer their guests trays with different things like cookies, small potatoes with different kind of dips, peanuts with raisins etc.
Read carefully the chart above, and complete the charts below. Don’t forget to use your own knowledge and experience or all the information surrounding the word to understand the meaning of the words in dark type. Using Context Clues Puzzling Word from “The All-American Slurp” “Would you like to try some of the dip, Mrs. Lin? It’s my own recipe: sour cream and onion flakes, with a dash of Tabasco Sauce.” Dip?
Puzzling Word from “The All-American Slurp” “Tilt your plate,” whispered my mother. “It’s easier to spoon the soup up that way.” She was right. Tilting the plate did the trick. But the etiquette book didn’t say anything about what you did after the soup reached your lips.
Using Context Clues Tilt?
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Using words in context Choose six words from “The All-American Slurp”, the ones written in dark type, which are at the bottom of the pages, and write six sentences. In your sentences, give context clues that will help someone figure out the meanings of the words. (if you know any younger students, try your sentences out on them. Do your context clues get the meaning across?) Here is a good example of context clues from a sentence in the story. What clues tell you what a buffet is? “This is a buffet dinner. You help yourselves to some food and eat it in the living room.” (obviously the words written in dark) 1)
Understanding each other is something marvelous !
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In “The All-American Slurp” the narrator and Meg become friends by doing things together, like trying on each other’s clothes. Think of the time when you made a new friend in the country in which you are living now. What drew the two of you together? What made the friendship grow? Write some notes about your friendship.
Dinnertime around the world. It’s a Chinese custom to eat with chopsticks. It’s an occidental custom to use a fork. In every culture, people have their own special ways of eating. Research the eating utensils, favorite foods, and table manners of the culture of the country you are living now. Then write a paragraph on what you found out. You might draw diagrams or pictures to show certain dishes and table settings.
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Brainstorm some ideas (write them next to each red line) for an autobiographical incident that happened to you during your stay in the country you are living in now, and then write a short paragraph about it, by using the ideas you wrote next to each red line.
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Student to Student In this brief memoir, a young Chinese boy discusses what he left behind when immigrating to America. Later, he comes to realize what he has gained. Read it carefully, and then compare it with “All-American Slurp” and your own experience.
W hen I first heard that we were coming to America, I felt very happy. I wanted to know how different people lived. Do they have rugs in their houses in America? I wanted to see if they had a lot of nice cars. I asked my father and mother, “How come we have to go to America?” They told me that they had waited for thirteen years and they did not want to lose this opportunity because my mother’s family was in America. My aunt was sponsoring us to come to America. When I was twelve years old, I quit school in the first year. I packed pictures of my friends, cards that my friends had made, and all of my other going-away gifts. My mother packed Taoist (relating to Taoism, a Chinese philosophy and religion.) statues and some clothing. My father packed some police things, like important papers, and took retirement money with him. We cleaned out our apartment and we were ready to leave. When we closed our apartment door for the last time, I thought about the memories I had there, like when I got my report card, my first birthday party, and my first yo-yo. I also felt very sad the day I left Hong Kong, because I had to leave my friends, family, and school. Right at that moment, when I was on the plane, I felt a tear escape from my eye. After two days of flying on the airplane, we finally landed in Boston. My aunt picked us up and took us out to eat in Chinatown. I asked my aunt, “Is this Chinatown?” It was dirty and people were throwing cigarette butts on the sidewalk. Dirty things left over from the Chinese restaurants were thrown into the street and plastic bags were blowing down the street. Homeless people were hanging around the T Station. I thought it was so gross! I had thought Chinatown would be clean! Then we went to my aunt’s house. I was fascinated because she had a big beautiful house. It was decorated and designed really well, and everything matched. She had a black leather sofa and a very nice stereo. We ended up living with my aunt for about a year. Three days after we arrived in America I entered the Josiah Quincy School. On my first day I felt very nervous and uncomfortable. I wondered if the students would like me or not. Was the teacher mean or not? After a few weeks, I didn’t feel so nervous or uncomfortable anymore. My new friends were nice to me and the teacher was not very mean. I was happy because I was one of them now. After a few years we moved to North Quincy, and that’s when we started on our own. We brought furniture, a car, a TV, tables, and telephones from my aunt’s house. I have been living in this house for almost five years now and I like it a lot. When I moved to Quincy, I met new friends such as Man Lok, Alex, Vincent, Sheldon, Jennifer, Jeff, John, and Eric. I had a new school and a new teacher. I feel very
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happy here because I now have what I lost when I moved to America. Connecting with “The All-American Slurp” and your own experience. The narrators of “The All-American Slurp” and “Coming to America” experience some of the same feelings and emotions as they try to fit in the United States. Compare their feelings with your own experience when you arrived in a new country. Fill out the chart to identify when the narrators from each selection and you experienced the feelings and emotions listed. “All-American Slurp” narrator HAPPY SAD SURPRISED “Coming to America” narrator Your own experience
Color the flag of the country you are living in now.
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Identifying subjects of sentences and using verbs that agree. The subject of a sentence is the noun or pronoun that the sentence is about. A simple subject consists of a single noun or pronoun( Henry; I; Restaurants; They ). A compound subject contains more than one word linked by and, or, or nor (Henry and I; Henry or June; Neither Henry nor June). A verb is a word that shows an action or state of being. To make sure that a sentence is grammatically correct, it is helpful to be able to identify the subject and the main verb. = Subject = Verb • • • • • Mr. and Mrs. Lin traveled from China. The narrator felt embarrassed. The narrator’s best friend was Meg. New foods sometimes taste strange at first. I decided not to cook gizzards.
Subject-Verb Agreement and the Search for the Subject: Finding the subject of a sentence can sometimes be tricky. With certain sentences you may have to play detective to be sure you’ve identified the right subject. Once you’ve got the subject, you can decide whether you need a singular or a plural verb. Here are some tips to help you: Tip 1: In a question the subject often comes after the verb. To find the subject, change the question to a statement. Example: What was/were the narrator’s most embarrassing moments? The narrator’s most embarrassing moments were...... Tip 2: The subject of a sentence is never part of a prepositional phrase (noun after a preposition). Cross out any prepositional phrases before looking for the subject. Example: A tray of vegetables was passed to the Lins.
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Try it out! Find the subject of each sentence and underline it, then choose the correct verb and circle it. 1. The strings of celery bothers/bother the Lins. 2. Where does/do Meg and the narrator go after dinner? 3. What does/do Meg say about slurping. 4. The goal of both families is/are to make their guests feel welcome. Whenever you see a question mark in your writing, go back and check that sentence for subject-verb agreement. Remember: The words where and how are never subjects. Grammar Link In the sentences below do the following: • Underline the correct verb • Cross out the prepositional phrases if the sentence is a statement • Circle all the singular subjects • Put a box around the plural subjects to check agreement a) What was/were the flavor of the milkshakes Meg and the narrator bought? b) Mistakes in table manners is/are often made by people learning to live in a new culture. c) Is/are fashionable clothes important for people adjusting to new culture? d) Certain kinds of misunderstanding arises/arise when two cultures come together. e) Is/are your relatives moving to the United States? Rewrite the above sentences, but if the sentence is a question, change it to a statement and if it is a statement change it to a question. a) b) c) d) e)
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Easy, isn’t it?
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T he best that a parent can do today is be semi-involved in the schoolwork of a child. “Sign this test, Dad,” said my youngest daughter one evening, her left hand casually draped across the top two inches of the front page. “May I see the mark first?” I replied. “It’s not important. You and Mom always say it’s learning, not marks, that counts.” “Right, and I’d like to learn about your mark.” “Trust me, I got one.” “I appreciate you’re sharing that with me. And now I’d like to see it.” “You mean you’ll only sign for a high one? I thought you were an equalopportunity father.” “Is it lower than a D?” “Dad, you have to remember that a mark is merely the teacher’s opinion.” “Is it lower than an F? Have you gotten the world’s first G?” “The thing is, she should have marked this test on a curve.” “I don’t care if she should have marked it on a ramp. If you don’t move your hand, I don’t move mine.” Slowly, she lifted her hand to reveal a bright red D. “But this doesn’t mean what you think,” she said. “Oh,” I said, “it stands for delightful?” “No, it’s a high D.” “Good. You’ll have no trouble getting into a barber college. Tell me, did you study for this test?” “Oh, absolutely. I really did.” “Then how could you have gotten a D?” “Because I study the wrong things. But Dad, isn’t it better to study the wrong things than not to study the right ones?” And one of the wrong things to study is a child, for only a child can make you think that F is her teacher’s initial. And only a child can make you think that the best place for homework is an entertainment complex. Perhaps the basic problem that children have today is not their concentration span, which is roughly as long as the life of a smoke ring, but their stereophonic approach to studying. One afternoon last year, I found one of my daughters doing her homework to the accompaniment of Oprah Winfrey, who was probing a question that had confounded Socrates: Why Do Women Marry Jerks?
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“You’re doing a report on women who marry jerks?” I asked my daughter. “Don’t forget to talk to your aunt.” “No, that’s not my homework,” she replied. “Then what is your homework?” “Biology, I think.” “Well, how can you figure anything out while watching TV?” “Dad, can’t you see I’m not watching TV? I’m trying to do this drawing. Do you happen to know what a leaf looks like?” “I might be able to help you with that because I once passed through Vermont, but first, I want you to tell me: If you’re not watching TV, why is it on?” “Dad, everyone has the TV on. You don’t have to watch it-except your show, of course.” “Neurosurgeons like my show in the background. At least, that’s what Nielsen tells me.” Turning off the set, I said, “Ok, let’s see if we can remember what a leaf looks like.” Staring at me uneasily, she said, “It’s so quiet. How can I work when it’s so quiet?” “I wonder why libraries don’t have rumba bands.” “Libraries are different: You can hang out with your friends. The books are around in case nobody shows up.” “Honey, just listen for a moment: What you’re hearing now is called silence. There used to be a lot in the world until about 1973, when most of it went right out the ozone hole. But if you can find any of the little that’s left, it’s still the best accompaniment for work. Thomas Jefferson had it when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. If he’d been watching Dance Party, he might have written, All men are created awful.”
Nielsen, A.C. Nielsen company, which rates the popularity of television programs. Jerk, foolish person “Can I at least phone someone?” “You think Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address while he was on hold?” “Dad, those were the olden days, when you were a kid. Things are much better now: Lincoln could fax that address to Gettysburg.” Mindlessly, she reached over and flipped on her stereo; and suddenly, she came alive, as if sniffing oxygen. “Yes! Whitney, let’s work!” “When Whitney Houston makes a record,” I said, “is she also listening to a tape of you?” “Dad, are you trying to make some point?” “Yes: It’s best to do one thing at a time. Can’t you see that now ?” She would have seen had she been listening to me, but she was lost in the music. At least I had the comfort of knowing that her homework would be background for it-her homework and perhaps a soccer match. As you have seen, the literature in No Questions Asked give you the chance to read a selection for enjoyment and enrichment without follow-up questions after it. In this personal essay written by the comedian Bill Cosby, he and his children realize they have a lot of learn from each other. With characteristic humor, Cosby
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confronts one daughter’s sub-standard performance on a test and another’s unorthodox study habits with gentle prodding intended to illuminate rather than control. Instead of becoming angry, Cosby recognizes that when addressed with respect, humor, patience, and love, children are more likely to learn from their mistakes. • Do you agree with him? Why?
How and where do you study?
END OF THE FIRST TERM !!!
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