American English-American Life

Improve Your Conversational Skills and Listening Comprehension While Learning Fun Facts About American Culture
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29 students enrolled
Instructed by C.J. Shane Language / English
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  • Lectures 55
  • Length 4.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2015 English

Course Description

This is an ESL (English as a Second Language Course) with a difference. You'll improve your English while learning about American people, society and culture. This course is very helpful to those planning on studying, traveling, or doing business in the U.S. Here's what you'll get from this course:

55 lectures, most of which have additional downloadable content that will be accessible now and in the future

improved conversational skills including greetings, introductions, and invitations; making suggestions, making small talk, and leaving conversations.

improved listening comprehension and improved pronunciation including understanding contractions, word reductions, word stress in sentences, and pronunciation of minimal pair words

improved American English grammar and usage including contractions, interrogatives, nouns, verbs (including verbs like “to get"), phrasal verbs, idioms, adverbs, compound words, prepositions, adjective position and order, gerunds, collocations

improved use of advanced vocabularies including geography, American people and society, computer and internet terms, environmental terms

learn about American people, races, ethnicities, generations, love and friendship customs, naming customs, family life customs, music, sports, government, and more

learn about American holidays: New Year's, Valentine's, Independence Day, Halloween and Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah

meet some interesting Americans including: musician Wynton Marsalis, Native American surgeon Lori Alvord, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, athlete Apolo Ohno, Google co-founder Larry Page

enjoy some American folklore and scary ghost stories

You'll enjoy improving your English in a fun way!

Feedback from C.J. Shane's former ESL students:

~~~I am happy to be in this class, and I feel lucky to know our teacher. She taught me much knowledge which I didn't know. She is warm-hearted.

~~~We have learned a lot about American culture, American geography, and teaching methods. I like this class. It's really interesting.

~~~Thank you for giving us so much happiness. I feel so lucky to be one of your students. Thank you again for your vivid lessons.

~~~I feel I am so lucky. I have a lovely and friendly teacher. She taught us many interesting things. She taught us many things American. The most important thing I learned is that my oral English is improving and I can express my opinion freely.

What are the requirements?

  • Students will be willing to learn a comprehensive amount of material about American English language usage, conversational skills, listening comprehension skills, and knowledge of American society and culture.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • converse more easily with native English speakers in the U.S., pronounce American English more accurately, comprehend more easily the language used in daily life in the U.S., and know more about American people, society, and culture.

What is the target audience?

  • American English-American Life is especially useful for those planning on traveling in the U.S., doing business in the U.S., studying in the U.S., and/or those just curious about American English and culture. The class is also very useful for English teachers. This class is for high intermediate and advanced speakers. This class is not for beginning English learners.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Start Here
04:30

In this lecture, you will meet your teacher, and we will review topics to be covered in this course. I also provide some tips to help you learn more effectively. You'll meet Oscar the Owl for the first time. Remember that Oscar will always have some good tips for you about American English and American culture.

Download for this Lecture:

Word Cluster

Section 2: Self-Expression and Social Interaction
07:46

In this lecture, we review how to ask questions using interrogatives. We review verb contractions commonly used in daily English. We review the use of the verb “to be” used to ask and answer questions.We learn about how to greet people, and how introduce ourselves and introduce others.Finally we learn about American naming customs including family names, personal names, nicknames, names after marriage, and names for children.

Two downloads included.

04:32

In this lecture, we learn how to learn how to start a conversation with a stranger. We learn what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to say to strangers. We learn about small talk and how to engage in small talk. We learn how to ask for clarification in a conversation, and we learn how to leave a conversation.

One download for this lesson.

05:54
In this lecture, we'll learn about “reductions” in spoken English. Reductions are a form of relaxed pronunciation. Hearing reductions is a key to better listening comprehension. Speaking reductions is a key to being understood better by native speakers.
06:20

In this class, we review nouns in English. We review and learn about count and noncount nouns, abstract nouns, and proper nouns. We review and learn about using definite and indefinite articles with nouns. Also we cover singular and plural forms of nouns.

Two downloads for this lesson.

08:06

In this lesson, we'll learn all about American geography. We'll learn the names for landforms, we'll learn a little history about how the U.S. grew, and we'll learn the nicknames for several American cities.


There are three downloads for this lesson.

04:04

In this lesion, we'll review verb tenses commonly used to answer questions about oneself, and to ask descriptive questions of another person.

There is one download for this lesson.

00:39

This lesson has a downloadable reading All About American People. Learn about American immigrant society, ethnic and racial groups of American people. Learn about American citizenship. Learn about the origins of Americans, their religious preferences, work habits, and recreational habits. Learn new vocabulary.

One download

07:29

In this class, we'll begin learning about phrasal verbs. We'll look first at the verbs to check and to turn. Then we'll read a passage that has several phrasal verbs in it.

One download for this lesson.

05:09

In this lesson, we'll read about the legend of Johnny Appleseed. We'll learn new vocabulary related to horticulture and the life of Johnny Appleseed.

One download for this lesson.

08:56

In this lesson we will:learn differences between adjectives and adverbs, learn about adjectives and comparisons; learn about adjectives as determiners; learn about adjectives as quantifiers; and learn how to learn to avoid common mistakes with adjectives.

One download for this lesson.

05:28

In this lesson, we will learn about time adverbs and place adverbs, learn about sequence adverbs and frequency adverbs, learn about manner adverbs and degree adverbs, learn about focus, quantity and attitude adverbs

One download for this lesson.

04:44

In this lesson, we'll be interested to meet American musician Wynton Marsalis. We'll learn about jazz music and why it is important in American cultural life.

Two downloads for this lesson.

07:28

In this lesson, we'll learn what an idiom is. Then we'll learn several idioms that describe human traits and emotions.We'll read a passage and try to identify the idioms.

Two downloads for this lesson.

04:21

In this lesson, we'll learn how New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is celebrated in the United States.

We'll learn the difference between a resolution and a prediction, and we'll learn how to make resolutions. We'll make some resolutions, and we'll learn what are the most common resolutions made by Americans.

Section 2 Self-Expression-Social Interaction Quiz
15 questions
Section 3: Love and Friendship
05:01

In this lesson, we'll look at verbs that help us in conversation.We'll review simple past, simple present, and simple future verbs.We'll review perfect tenses, including past perfect, present perfect, and future perfect verb tenses. Also we'll look at already and yet which are often used with perfect tenses.

One download for this lesson.

03:07

In this lesson, we learn ways to making invitations, accepting invitations, and declining invitations. We also learn about “rain checks.”

Two downloads for this lesson.

04:19

In this lesson we learn about American customs and traditions associated with friendship and love. This includes dating, and marriage. Friendship includes “best friends” and “going Dutch” with friends. Also we look at American attitudes toward personal space, privacy, and friendship.

One download for this lesson.

04:48

In this lesson, we learn more phrasal verbs including “blow up” and “drop out.”

One download for this lesson.

05:23

In this lesson, we learn about a Native American woman from the Shoshone tribe named Sacagawea.She assisted Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition to explore the American West in 1804-1806.

Two downloads for this lesson
06:05

In this lesson, we learn about stress. Stress is the emphasis we put on words within sentences and on parts of sentences. We'll look at word stress in sentences, and stress within words with one or more syllables. We'll also discuss how stress affects word meaning.

Two downloads for this lesson.

03:00

In this lesson, we review compound words. We explain how a compound word is formed, why it is different from a collocation or a adjective-noun combination, and which syllable of a compound word is stressed. Examples are included.

One download for this lesson.

Interesting Americans: Dr. Lori Alvord
06:46
05:52

In this lesson, we learn idioms related to love, conflict in love relationships and marriage, as well as idioms with the word “heart” in them.

One download for this lesson.

05:01

In this lesson, we look at prepositions and how they work. Prepositions are like links in a chain because they link parts of sentences together. We learn about prepositions of place, movement, time, and prepositions of cause and effect. We also consider cases in which we do not need a preposition in a sentence.

One download for this lesson.

04:33
In this lecture, we'll learn about the Valentine's holiday, including the origins of Valentine's, symbols of Valentine's, cards, poems, and chocolates for Valentine's.
Section 3 Love and Friendship Quiz
13 questions
Section 4: Family Life
06:52

In this lesson, we learn how to make requests using modal verbs. We learn about can and could, will and would, and may and might.

One download for this lesson.

05:19

In this lesson we learn about America's most patriotic holiday, the 4th of July – Independence Day.

One download for this lesson.

00:29

In this lesson we have a reading about the traditional American family, and how the tradition family has changed in the past 25 years. We learn about different kinds of families, and we learn new vocabulary related to families and family life.

One download for this lesson.

05:44

In this lesson, we read a passage about a young American family on Saturday morning. They are doing their chores.We learn new phrasal verbs that are very commonly used in American English. Download the passage with phrasal verbs marked, the glossary of phrasal verbs, and a worksheet.

We have three downloads for this lesson.

07:43

In this lesson we look at the different ways that prepositions can associate with nouns, verbs and adjectives to create new word meanings.

One download for this lesson.

06:43

In this lesson we look at the different ways that prepositions can associate with nouns, verbs and adjectives to create new word meanings.

One download for this lesson.

04:53

We review the function of adjectives for making comparisons, and as determiners, demonstratives, and quantifiers. We look at some guidelines on how to order adjectives in sentences.

There are two downloads for this lesson.

00:36

The two stories in this lesson are American ghost stories.The Headless Horseman dates back to the American Revolution. The second story, La Llorona or The Weeping Woman, comes from the Hispanic culture of the American Southwest.

You can Download these two stories.

04:40

We learn about gerunds in this lesson. We learn guidelines for using gerunds, and when to use an infinitive instead of a gerund.

One download for this lesson.

04:06

We meet another interesting American in this lesson – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. We learn about her role in the U.S. Senate. We also learn about the structure of the U.S. federal government.

There are two downloads for this lesson, a glossary of terms and a diagram of the federal government.

04:19

In this lesson, we learn about the Thanksgiving holiday, how it originated, and the customs related to Thanksgiving. We also learn about American food preferences.

One download for this lesson.

05:35

In this lesson, we learn idioms that are related to food. Examples are: couch potato, gravy train, and spill the beans.

One download for this lesson.

06:14

In this lesson, we learn about different family customs and traditions that Americans follow.This includes the tooth fairy, backyard barbeques, and garage sales. Let's not forget the family pet!

One download for this lesson.

Section 4 Family Life Quiz
13 questions
Section 5: Community Life
03:30

In lesson 40, we learn more about modal verbs. This time we'll learn the verbs we use to express necessity and to make suggestions. We'll also learn about different levels of strength in modal verbs.

One download for this lecture.

05:45

In this lesson, we'll review the culture values that most Americans consider important. We'll also consider the meaning of the phrase “the good life.” We'll also learn some new vocabulary.

Two downloads for this lesson.

05:54

In this lesson, we learn about collocations. They are important because knowing collocations will increase your listening comprehension and speaking ability.

We also have a reading about the life of Olympic gold medal winter (8 times!) speed skater Apolo Ohno.

Three downloads for this lesson.

04:21

In this lesson, we will learn about different kinds of communities and about neighborhoods. Don't forget to download the glossary of terms for this lesson.

One download for this lesson.

00:27

In this lesson, we will learn about different kinds of communities and about neighborhoods. Don't forget to download the glossary of terms for this lesson.

One download for this lesson.

03:56

In this lesson, we learn about the Lopez family on an outing to the park. We focus on phrasal verbs in their conversation.

Two downloads for this lesson.

04:44

In this class, we'll meet Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google. We'll also learn a lot of new vocabulary related to digital technology.

One download for this lesson.

07:10
In this lesson, we'll learn about two December holidays – Christmas and Hanukkah.
05:47

In this lesson, we'll work on pronunciation.

We'll learn how to pronounce the difference between several minimal pair words, including those that include the sounds “t” and “th,” “th” and “s,” “j” and “y,” and “r” and “l.”

Pronunciation: Minimal Pairs II
06:54
00:34

In lesson 50, we'll download a reading about recreation in the United States.

Two downloads for this lecture.

03:31

In this class, we'll learn common idioms that refer to sports.

There is one download for this lesson.

05:45

In this class, we'll learn several uses of the verb “to get.”We will also learn some phrasal verbs that include the verb “get.” Be sure to download the list of phrasal verbs.

One download for this lesson.

06:04
In this lesson, we continue our learning about pronunciation with more minimal pair words.
08:20

In this final lesson of Section 5, we'll learn many new vocabulary words related to global environmental issues.

One download for this lesson.

Section 5 Community Life Quiz
12 questions
Section 6: Course Conclusion
05:30

We'll review what we learned in this course. You are invited to continue learning!

Final Quiz
13 questions

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Instructor Biography

C.J. Shane, Teacher, Writer, Artist

Bachelor's degree, University of Texas at Austin; Master's degree, University of Kentucky; International TESL certificate, Center for English as a Second Language, University of Arizona

Director, YingwenTeach, 2002-present (ESL teaching experience in Mexico and China training Chinese English teachers and university students)

Author of seven books, including Voices of New China (2013)

Working studio artist and freelance writer; lifelong gardener, nature lover, hiker and environmentalist; world traveler; fan of jazz music, history books (history of just about anything!) and mystery stories. Dog lover.

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