simple reads

This is for more advanced students.  These things are from Voice of America Learning English and The Smithsonian.  The words in these stories will not be very difficult.   These are basic but not easy things to read.

You can find some history, American culture, and literature here.

Cover of book Between Two Worlds by Stephen Rabley

It is a short and simple story about kind and professional people who live in Australia. Australia is a huge land. There is a plenty of places that are difficult to get to. When somebody needs help in those places, the doctors use the planes. These doctors are called Flying Doctors. Bob Mills is one of them. Joanna Jimbuku is a nurse. She works together with Bob Mills. Once they got a call from Woomara – homeland of Joanna. An eighteen-month girl was very ill. Five minutes later the doctor and his nurse were flying to Woomara – a very small place between the trees and a river. After the examination Flying Doctor had to take the baby to Sydney. The little patient had serious problems with her heart. But her mother couldn't go with the child. She had to look after six children. The kind nurse Joanna left her job for two weeks to take care of the sick baby in Sydney. Will the girl be able to recover?

Total words: 902
Unique words: 295

Words, you might not know:bluebird, goodbye, eighteen, grind, ill, breakfast, boss, hello, reply, sad, hat, noise, beside, holiday, tired, everywhere, nurse, airport, expensive, thanks, works, weather, lunch, reading, quiet, shop, river, quick.

Download or read online now!

Thu, Mar 29, 2018, Continue reading at the source
​Today we tell a traditional American story called a “tall tale.” A tall tale is a story about a person who is larger than life. The descriptions in the story are exaggerated – much greater than in real life. This makes the story funny. Long ago, the people who settled in undeveloped areas in America first told tall tales. After a hard day's work, people gathered to tell each other funny stories. Each group of workers had its own tall tale hero. Paul Bunyan was a hero of North America's lumberjacks, the workers who cut down trees. He was known for his strength, speed and skill. Tradition says he cleared forests from the northeastern United States to the Pacific Ocean. Some people say Paul Bunyan was the creation of storytellers from the middle western Great Lakes area of the United States. Other people say the stories about him came from French Canada. Early in the twentieth century, a writer prepared a collection of Paul Bunyan stories. They were included in a publication from the Red River Lumber Company in Minnesota. It is not known if the stories helped the company's sales, but they became extremely popular. Here is Shep O'Neal with our story about Paul Bunyan. Many years ago, Paul Bunyan was born in the northeastern American state of Maine. His mother and father were shocked when they first saw the boy. Paul was so large at birth that five large birds had to carry him to his parents. When the boy was only a few weeks old, he weighed more than 45 kilograms. As a child, Paul was always hungry. His parents needed 10 cows to supply milk for his meals. Before long, he ate 50 eggs and 10 containers of potatoes every day. ​ Young Paul grew so big that [...]
Fri, Mar 23, 2018, Continue reading at the source
We present the first of three parts of the short story "Benito Cereno." It was written by Herman Melville. Here is Shep O'Neal with the story. Captain Benito Cereno hurried aboard his ship. It was ready to sail. A bright sun and a soft breeze promised good weather ahead. The ship's anchor was raised. And the San Dominick -- old but still seaworthy - moved slowly out of the harbor of Valparaiso, on the west coast of Chile. It was carrying valuable products and slaves up the Pacific coast to Callao, another Spanish colonial port near Lima, Peru. The slaves, both male and female, slept on deck. They were not chained, because their owner, Don Alexandro, said they were peaceful. The San Dominick moved steadily forward under a clear sky. The weather showed no sign of change. Day after day, the soft breeze kept the ship on course toward Peru. Slave traffic between Spain's colonial ports in this year of seventeen ninety-nine had been steady. But there were few outbreaks of violence. What happened, therefore, on board the San Dominick could not have been expected. On the seventh day out, before daybreak, the slaves rose up in rebellion. They swept through the ship with handspikes and hatchets moving with the fury of desperate men. The attack was a complete surprise. Few of the crew were awake. All hands, except the two officers on the watch, lay in a deep untroubled sleep. The rebels sprang upon the two officers and left them half dead. Then, one by one, they killed eighteen of the sleeping crew. They threw some overboard, alive. A few hid and escaped death. The rebels tied up seven others, but left them alive to navigate the ship. As the day began to break, Captain Cereno came slowly, carefully up the steps toward the chief [...]
Fri, Dec 01, 2017, Continue reading at the source

This is the video for lesson eight of my Everyday English for ESL course, which is available on Udemy. In this lesson a couple order a meal at a restaurant. You can see the course description below, and find the previous seven videos on my Animated English YouTube channel.

Do you already have a basic knowledge of English, but want to improve your ability to communicate in real-life situations? And do so in a fun, enjoyable way? Then Everyday English for ESL is just the course for you!

Each lesson begins with a fully-animated dialogue, which presents the vocabulary, grammar, and expressions you need to know in order to communicate successfully in English in a wide range of everyday situations.

The situations include:

• ordering food in a fast food restaurant
• checking-in at the airport
• making an appointment on the phone
• returning goods to a shop

The dialogue is presented with and without speech bubbles, and is followed by:

• a listen and repeat activity to help you improve your pronunciation and intonation
• a listening comprehension passage related to the topic of the lesson
• a series of questions for you to answer about the lesson topic

All the audio material has been recorded by professional voice actors with British or American accents, and each lesson comes with a ten-page downloadable PDF, which contains:

• a full transcript of the lesson
• language notes, explaining key grammar and vocabulary points
• a word list
• a series of language exercises
• a crossword,
• a word search puzzle

Several of these activities can also be done online, and the extra resources include Quizlet flashcard sets featuring the vocabulary used in each lesson.

At the end of the course, there's a Final Quiz, to test what you have learnt.

Related articles Everyday English for [...]
Fri, Dec 01, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Times in plain english

The Times in Plain English is a free online newspaper that features stories based on articles from the New York Times and other top American newspapers. 'Plain' here means 'easy to understand', and the stories are freshly written to reflect the original article as opposed to being an edited version. You can find articles in categories such as Health and Education, Money and Work, Immigration, and Law. The archives go back to February 2011, so there's a wealth of reading material here. A couple of additional features that should be of interest to learners are Translate This Page, and Hear This Page, where you click on highlighted text to hear it read aloud (text-to-speech not real voices, obviously).

A very useful site for learners who find it difficult to read 'real' newspapers and would like something a bit more accessible. The About Us page on the site says that the content "may be reproduced and distributed by all", which is good news for teachers worried about copyright issues (some are!).

Wed, Nov 29, 2017, Continue reading at the source