The Sand Lot

The Sand Lot (1); www.EFLsuccess.com

Story: How do kids spend the summer in America? In this film, you’ll see July 4 fireworks and a local fair (tiny, moving amusement park), but you’ll mainly see the guys play baseball by the hour on a neighborhood sand lot (useless piece of land). Childish pranks and scary stories about a junkyard dog add to the fun, as does the story of a new kid in town who knows nothing about baseball (so don’t feel bad if you don’t either!). You’ll learn from the kids’ mistakes and laugh at their attempts to “fix things,” while learning about summer fun in the USA and the value of friendship worldwide. (1993; 20th Century Fox; family comedy/sports; PG; 101 min) For more information, visit www.imdb.com/title/tt0108037/synopsis. If you enjoy this film, you’ll probably also enjoy Sand Lot 2 and Sand Lot 3.

SettingSummertime in a small town in California, in 1962

Baseball basicsSince baseball plays a big role in this film (and since many English-learners are not familiar with this game), here is a simple introduction to this sport: In baseball, two teams of nine players compete. If a player (batter) is able to hit a thrown (pitched) ball (with his stick/bat) into the field, he runs to first base, then second base, then third and finally “home” (also called “home plate”); teammates who hit the ball can also help you advance. Successfully reaching “home” gives your team a point (run). However, the runner/batter is only “safe” while stopped on a base. If he is off base, a player on the other team can touch/tag him with the baseball (or a glove containing the ball), giving his team an “out”; there are several other ways to get “outs” too, including catching a hit ball before it hits the ground, getting the hit ball to first base before the runner arrives, or “three strikes” against the batter (if he swings at the ball but misses, or fails to hit a well-thrown ball). After three outs, the teams switch places; each team normally has nine chances/innings to bat, after which, whoever has the most points/runs wins. (Also see ”Some baseball terms” below.)

People and proper nouns:

  • Babe Ruth, The Babe: (George Herman Ruth) one of the greatest baseball players of all time; he has lots of “dopey” nicknames, including the Great Bambino (see dialog 2 for more)
  • The Beast: a big, scary, child-eating dog, which is locked up behind Mr. Mertle’s house (next to the sand lot)
  • Benny Rodriguez: The best player on the sand lot team, who becomes a professional ball player as an adult.
  • Erector Set: a popular toy made of metal pieces full of holes, that you connect with nuts and bolts to built things
  • Great Bambino (see Babe Ruth)
  • Ham Porter: a fat kid who plays catcher on the team; his friends call him Ham because he’s overweight
  • Henry Aaron: A player for the Atlanta Braves, who broke Babe Ruth’s 1935 home run record (in 1974; Aaron’s record was finally broken in 2007)
  • Narrator (see Scotty Smalls)
  • Timmy & Tommy: brothers on the team, the younger one repeats exactly what his brother says
  • Scotty Smalls/Narrator: Scotty is the narrator (a sports announcer) who is telling this story about his childhood; in the story, he’s the new kid in town, and his friends call him “Smalls”

Vocabulary:

(underlined words are vocabulary terms; *key terms)
  • blockhead: (negative, said by children) a very stupid person
  • to chuck it: to throw it
  • *clogged=blocked (e.g., a pipe that has so much hair in it that water no longer flows)
  • crap: feces (e.g., what comes out of the back end of an animal; “you stepped in dog crap”); crap is not considered rude or crude, so it is a better term than “shit” (which “good people” never say)
  • dang (see jeez)
  • dopey: stupid or foolish-sounding (“Yes, those are all dopey names.”)
  • dork: (negative, said by children) a stupid person
  • egghead: (negative, said by children) someone who is very smart or who always gets good grades
  • the fair: a tiny amusement park, with food, rides, games and special attractions. (“Fairs like this one travel from city to city all summer.”)
  • *a geek: sb who chooses to devote too much attention to studies or the computer (“Geeks are often considered unpopular in high school because they choose not to be fashionable.” “Be nice to geeks because your future boss will probably be one!” “Somebody call a computer geek to get this PC fixed!”)
  • gonna: oral English, meaning “going to” (you should never write the word “gonna” because it is not really a word)
  • gotta: oral English, meaning “have got to” (you should never write the word “gotta” because it is not really a word)
  • *guts: the body’s internal organs, but often used figuratively to refer to “the inside” of anything (e.g., a ball, an organization) or to indicate courage or a deep conviction about something (“He busted the guts out of a baseball.” i.e., he hit is so hard that the inside material came out.)
  • jeez, dang: oral expressions that can mean surprise, anger, annoyance, etc. (I tell students that using words like “God,” “Jesus” or “Damn”—along with the F-word or S-word—is offensive to many people; expressions like gosh, jeez, dang and crap are inoffensive substitutes.)
  • *a legend: someone who is famous and admired for his/her great skill; an old, well-known story that may not be factual (”Heros are remembered, but legends never die.”)
  • *an omen: a supernatural sign of sth that will happen in the future (“Sailors think that a red sky in the morning is a bad omen.”)
  • pop: another word for cola or a fizzy drink
  • sand lot: a useless piece of land, often behind houses or in some other poor location, in this case used as a baseball playing-area (baseball diamond)
  • *sarcastically: saying things that are the opposite of what you mean, in order to make an unkind joke or to show that you are annoyed
  • a square: (1960s slang) someone who isn’t cool or fashionable; a boring person
  • *suicide: to kill yourself, though sometimes it is also used figuratively to mean “that is really crazy or dangerous”; in  basketball, a “suicide” is a particularly difficult training exercises that requires a lot of running
  • *tolerated: indicates that sth is accepted, endured or “put up with,” without enjoying it (“She tolerated her husband’s smoking habit until their baby developed a bad cough.”)
  • *umpire: the person/official in a sport (baseball, football, etc) who judges whether or not players obey the rules, score points properly, etc.
  • *to underestimate: to guess that sb/sth’s ability, need, skill, price, level of difficulty, etc., is smaller than it really is (“We’ve seriously underestimated The Beast.” “Don’t underestimate my exam; study hard!”)

Some baseball terms:

(to help you understand the story; also see Baseball basics at the top)
  • ball: baseball, but when you are batting a “ball” is a pitch that the judge/umpire says was not a good pitch
  • base: one of the four places that runners must touch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and home) in order to make a point
  • bases loaded: there is a runner on all three bases, and a batter at home plate (i.e., home base)
  • foul ball: a ball hit outside the playing field; this counts as a “strike” unless the batter already has two strikes (you can’t get “out” by hitting a foul ball so a batter could hit many “fouls” without becoming “out”; however, if someone catches your foul ball before it hits the ground, you become “out”)
  • full count: three balls and two strikes; that is, you only get one more pitch—if you hit it you start running; if you swing and miss then you are “out” because of three strikes; if it is a “ball” then you get to “walk” to first base (because the pitcher didn’t give you enough good pitches); (also see “foul ball”)
  • glove/mitt: the equipment, normally made of leather/rawhide, used to catch a baseball (the catcher’s glove is thicker and bigger, and is called a “catcher’s mitt”)
  • *home run: to hit the ball between the foul poles, but over the back wall and thus out of play; this gets your team a point/run, and allow all players on the bases to score as well; also used figuratively to mean “you did a great job”
  • homer: a home run, or to hit a ball over the fence so as to make a home run
  • mitt (see glove)
  • to pitch/pitching: to throw the ball from the center of the infield (in between the four bases) to the batter
  • to steal a base/to steal home: when the runner tries to run to the next base without waiting for a teammate to hit the ball (e.g., if the catcher drops the ball)
  • strike: to either swing at the pitch and miss, or to fail to swing at a pitch that the umpire says was a good pitch (also see “foul ball”); you are “out” after three strikes
  • top/bottom of the ninth: the first/last half of the ninth inning (normally, each team’s last turn to bat); if the score is not tied at after “the bottom of the ninth” then whoever has the most points is the winner

Phrases/sayings:

  • *to be in a pickle: to be in a very difficult situation and not know how to get out
  • beat the crap (or shit) out of: to hit sb so much that they are badly injured, or (in kids games) to win by a great amount
  • to “call it” or “call it off”: to cancel something, esp. a sports match (e.g., because of bad weather)
  • calling his shot: (sports) to say which hole on the pool table your ball will go into (according to legend, Babe Ruth once pointed to the part of the fence he was about to hit the baseball over, and then he did it—but “calling your shot” is supposedly impossible in baseball)
  • *”It’s history”: (AmE slang) gone, or no longer relevant
  • the lights went out: to go blind or be knocked unconscious
  • *my John Hancock: (AmE) my signature (John Hancock’s name is the biggest name on America’s Declaration of Independence)
  • *to pull out all the stops: to do everything possible in a situation (it comes from music; old organs had “stops” to control the air flow to various pipes, so “pulling” or opening the stops produced more types of sound and more volume)
  • [That’s a] good one!: when positive, it means you liked someone’s joke; when negative it is sarcastic, and means you don’t believe what someone is saying
  • to tip our hats: (AmE) to show respect to sb for an accomplishment, act of bravery, etc.
  • your old man: (normally used by children, esp in the 1960s) your father
  • “You’re killing me”: You are making me laugh or making me frustrated

Discussion:

  1. Tell your partner about your favorite childhood game.
  2. Other than playing games, what did you do during the summer when you were a child?
  3. Who was your favorite character in this story? Describe him, and explain why.
  4. Did you learn anything about 1960s America by watching this film? If so, what?
  5. “The Babe” is very famous in America, but internationals might not know who he was. Talk about someone who is very famous in your country, whom people from other countries might not know about.
  6. What does it take to become a “hero” or a “legend”? Which is harder, and why? Smalls said that Benny was destined to become a famous baseball player; do you know anyone who is famous, or who is “destined to become famous”? Explain.
  7. What does this film teach us about friendship?

Sentences/dialogs from the movie:

(some of these dialogs are from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108037/quotes; blue indicates a key dialog or sentence)

Say these dialogs out loud with your friends; it will help you prepare to watch the movie. The underlined words are defined in the vocabulary section above.

  • 1.   Mom: Honey, I want you to make some friends this summer, lots of them.
  •       Smalls: Yeah, I know. But I’m not good at anything, mom. Face it, I’m just an egghead.
  •       Mom: Honey, you’ll always be just an egghead with an attitude like that.
  • 2.   Ham (mimicking Babe Ruth with a cigar in his mouth; the kids can’t understand him): Check this out. I’m the Great Bambino.
  •       Sand lot Kids: What?
  •       Ham (we still can’t understand him): I’m the Great Bambino!
  •       Sand lot Kids: What?
  •       Ham (takes cigar out of mouth): I’m the Great Bambino.
  •       Sand lot Kids: Oh!
  •       Smalls: Who’s that?
  •       Narrator (i.e., Smalls, as an adult): I had no idea what they were talking about.
  •       Ham: What did he say?
  •       Bertram: What? Were you born in a barn, man?
  •       Yeah Yeah: Yeah yeah, what planet are you from?
  •       Narrator (i.e., Smalls): But there was no way I could let them know.
  •       Squints: You’ve never heard of the sultan of swat?
  •       Kenny: The titan of terror.
  •       Timmy: The colossus of clout!
  •       Tommy: The colossus of clout!
  •       Benny: The king of crash, man.
  •       Narrator (i.e., Smalls): So, I lied.
  •       Smalls: Oh! The Great Bambino. Of course. I thought you said the great Bambi.
  •       Ham: That wimpy deer?
  • 3.   Ham: Benny, why’d you bring that kid?
  •       Benny: Because he makes nine of us.
  •       Yeah Yeah: Yeah yeah, so does my sister, but I didn’t bring her along!
  •       (The kids all complain about letting Smalls join the team, but Benny finally has had enough.)
  •       Benny: Man, base up you blockheads!
  • 4.   (Smalls tells Benny that he doesn’t know how to throw a baseball, and tries to quit.)
  •       Benny: Man, you think too much! I bet you get straight A’s and sh-t!
  •       Smalls: No, I got a B once. Well, actually it was an A-minus but it should have been a B.
  •       Benny: Man, this is baseball, you gotta stop thinking! Just have fun. I mean, if you were having fun you would’ve caught that ball. You ever have a [news]paper route?
  •       Smalls: I helped a guy once.
  •       Benny: Okay, well chuck it like you throw a paper. When your arm gets here, just let go. Just let go, it’s that easy. [Benny starts to jog away]
  •       Smalls: How do I catch it?
  •       Benny: Just stand out there and stick your glove out in the air. I’ll take care of it. [Benny jogs toward home plate so he can hit the ball and start the game.]
  •       Squints: It’s about time Benny, my clothes are goin’ out of style.
  • 5.   (After playing all day, they head home. Benny decides to give “the new guy”–Smalls–some advice.)
  •       Benny: Um, Smalls, bring a T-shirt and jeans tomorrow, okay? Oh, [have you] got a fireplace?
  •       Smalls: Yeah, why?
  •       Benny: Throw that hat in there, man.
  •       Smalls: Oh, yeah. You know, it was the only one I had.
  •       Benny: Not any more. Wear my old hat. [See you at] 8:00 tomorrow morning.
  •       Smalls: Thanks Benny. Great! 8 o’clock. [He runs into the house, shouting] Mom! Guess what!?
  • 6.   Ham: You call that pitching? This is baseball! Not tennis!
  •       (Then Ham hits a ball over the fence into The Beast’s yard. Now the guys are upset because, without a ball, they can’t keep playing.)
  •       Smalls (heading to the tall fence until the kids stop him): You were all leaving, so I thought I’d hop over [the fence to get the ball]…
  •       Squints: If you were thinking, you wouldn’t have thought that.
  •       Benny: You can’t go back there, Smalls.
  •       Smalls: Then how do we get the ball back?
  •       Timmy/Tommy: We don’t; it’s history. Kiss it goodbye.
  •       Benny: We’ll never see it again.
  •       Smalls: Why not?
  •       ALL: The Beast!
  • 7.   (The kids have a “camp out” in their tree-house. Two things kids like to do at “camp outs” is to eat s’mores and to tell scary stories.)
  •       Ham: Hey, Smalls, you want a s’more?
  •       Smalls: Some more of what?
  •       Ham: No, do you want a s’more?
  •       Smalls: I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
  •       Ham: You’re killing me, Smalls! These are s’mores stuff! Okay, pay attention. First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallow’s flaming… you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you stuff [it into your mouth]. Kind of messy, but good! Try some!
  •       Squints (starting to tell “the legend of The Beast”): Okay, quiet! You guys, quiet! Are you trying to wake it up? It just went to bed!
  •       Smalls (quite loudly): What just went to bed?
  •       All: SHH! [whispering] The Beast.
  •       Smalls (louder): Oh yeah!
  •       All: SHHHH! Jeez. Dang.
  • 8.   Ham: This pop isn’t workin’, Benny! I’m bakin’ like a toasted cheeser! It’s so hot here!
  •       Squints: It’s 150 degrees out there. You can’t play baseball. You have to “call it” for the day.
  •       Benny: Vote then. Anyone who wants to be a “can’t hack it” pantywaist who wears their mama’s bra, raise your hand. [They all raise their hands.] Fine! Be like that. So what are we gonna do?
  •       (They laugh and decide to go to the pool, mainly to watch the “pool honeys.” They say that the best thing about the pool was the sexy lifeguard, Wendy Peffercorn.)
  •       Narrator: Benny would’ve played ball all day, all night, rain, shine, tidal wave, whatever. Baseball was the only thing he cared about. But of all the things we ever did besides baseball, going to the pool was what he tolerated best…
  •       Squints (watching the beautiful lifeguard rub lotion all over her body): I’ve swum here every summer of my adult life, and every summer there she is: lotioning, oiling, oiling, lotioning… smiling. I can’t take this no more!
  •       Narrator: One day it became too much for Michael “Quints” Palledorous, and he did the most desperate thing any of us had ever seen. [He jumped into “the deep end” of the pool, even though he couldn’t swim. The lifeguard jumped in to save him, but he didn’t seem to be breathing once she got him out of the pool.]
  •       Sand lot Kids: Squints! Come on Squints!
  •       Ham: Come on Squints. Squints!
  •       Timmy: Come on, Squints, come on!
  •       Smalls: Come on, Squints. You can do it! Pull through, bud!
  •       Benny: Come on, man, come on!
  •       Yeah Yeah: Yeah yeah, he looks pretty crappy.
  •       Tommy: Squints! Come on man!
  •       Bertram: Oh G-d, he looks like a dead fish.
  •       (Squints opens his eyes and smiles.)
  •       Sand lot Kids: What?
  •       (Squints then kisses Wendy, the life guard.)
  •       Wendy Peffercorn (muffled scream): Ugh! Little pervert!
  •       Timmy: Oh, man, he’s in deep Shit!
  •       (The kids are forced to leave the pool—forever! As they walk away…)
  •       Ham: Oh, here’s your glasses. Did you plan that?
  •       Squints: Of course I did. [I’ve] been planning it for years.
  •       Narrator: Michael “Squints” Palledorous walked a little taller that day. And we had to tip our hats to him. He was lucky she hadn’t beat the crap out of him. We wouldn’t have blamed her. What he’d done was sneaky, rotten, and low… and cool. Not another one among us would have ever in a million years even for a million dollars had the guts to put the move on the lifeguard. He did. He had kissed a woman. And he had kissed her long and good. We got banned from the pool forever that day. But every time we walked by after that, the lifeguard looked down from her tower, right over at Squints, and smiled.
  • 9.   (The Sand lot Kids and their arch-rivals come face-to-face, and they end up exchanging childish insults, which is common among kids this age.)
  •       Phillips: It’s easy when you play with a bunch of rejects and a fat kid, Rodriguez.
  •       Benny: Shut your mouth, Phillips!
  •       Ham: What’d you say, crap face?
  •       Phillips: I said, you shouldn’t even be allowed to touch a baseball. Except for Rodriguez, you’re all an insult to the game.
  •       Ham: Come on! We’ll take you on, right here! Right now! Come on!
  •       Sand lot Kids: Yeah!
  •       Phillips: We play on a real diamond, Porter. You ain’t good enough to lick the dirt off our cleats.
  •       Ham: Watch it, jerk!
  •       Phillips: Shut up, idiot!
  •       Ham: Moron!
  •       Phillips: Scab eater!
  •       Ham: Butt sniffer!
  •       Phillips: Pus licker!
  •       Ham: Fart smeller!
  •       Phillips: You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!
  •       Ham: You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!
  •       Sand lot Kids: Yeah!
  •       Phillips: You bob for apples in the toilet, and you like it!
  •       Ham: You play ball like a girl!  
  •       (At this “terrible insult,” the entire group stands in shocked silence.)
  •       Phillips: What did you say?
  •       Ham: You heard me.
  •       Phillips: Tomorrow. Noon, at our field. Be there, buffalo-butt breath.
  •       Ham: Count on it, pee-drinking crap-face!
  • 10.  Ham: PLAY BALL! Hurry up, batter. It’s gonna be a short game, and I gotta get home for lunch.
  •       (The pitcher pitches and the batter fails to even swing.)
  •       Ham: Ha-ha, that’s one.
  •       Ham (to the batter): You know, if my dog was as ugly as you. I’d shave his butt and tell him to walk backwards.
  •       (We cut to a new pitch.)
  •       Ham: Here it comes, I tell ya. Strike three. [The batter swings and misses.] You’re out! [Ham keeps trying to distract the batter.] Is that your sister out there in left field, naked? She’s naked?
  •       Phillips: [swings and misses again] Shut up, porter!
  •       Ham: Hey, hey, hey, I’m just trying to start a friendly conversation. Come on. [Do you] Think she’ll go out with me?
  • 11.  (The sand lot team “beat the crap out of” the other team—i.e., won by a lot of points—and decided to celebrate by going to the fair that evening.)
  •       Narrator: And we did the stupidest thing any of us had ever done.
  •       (They chewed tobacco before riding the rides, which made them throw up!)
  • 12.  (While playing with his father’s signed baseball, Smalls hits a homer and the ball goes into The Beast’s yard. Instead of going around the bases like he is supposed to, he heads to the back fence, to the surprise of all the kids.)
  •       Bertram: Maybe the shock of his first homer was just too much for him.
  •       Smalls: We’ve got to get that ball back.
  •       Ham (sarcastically): Oh, yeah. Right. Good one, Smalls.
  •       Benny: Forget about it, man. Let’s get another ball.
  •       Smalls: No, you don’t understand… That wasn’t my ball! It was my stepdad’s. I stole it from his trophy room. It was a present or something. Somebody gave it to him. But we gotta get it back. He’s gonna kill me!
  •       Squints: Listen to me Smalls. It’s a matter of life and death. Where did your old man get that ball?
  •       Smalls: I don’t know. Some lady gave it to him. She even signed her name on it… Ruth. Baby Ruth.
  •       All: Babe Ruth?!
  •       Timmy: Smalls, you mean to tell me you went home and swiped a ball that was signed by Babe Ruth, and you brought it out here and actually played with it?
  •       Tommy: Actually played with it?
  •       Smalls: Yeah, but I was gonna bring it back.
  •       Squints: But it was signed by Babe Ruth!
  •       Smalls: Yeah, you keep telling me that! Who is she?
  •       Ham: WHAT? WHAT?
  •       Kenny: The Sultan of Swat!
  •       Bertram: The King of Crash!
  •       Timmy: The Colossus of Clout!
  •       Tommy: The Colossus of Clout!
  •       All: Babe Ruth!
  •       Ham: The Great Bambino!
  •       Smalls: Oh my God! You mean that’s the same guy?
  •       Benny: Smalls, Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player that ever lived. People say he was less than a god but more than a man. You know, like Hercules or something. That ball you just aced (homered) to The Beast is worth, well, more than your whole life, man.
  •       Smalls: I don’t feel so good. [he groans and falls down]
  • 13.  (Benny has a dream; Babe Ruth came to his bedroom to give him some advice.)
  •       The Babe: I’m here ‘cause you’re in some kind of a pickle, right? A baseball with my John Hancock on it went over a fence and you can’t get it back, right? Then just hop over there and get it. [He turns to leave.]
  •       Benny: Wait, wait! I can’t.
  •       The Babe: Can’t what?
  •       Benny: I can’t go into that backyard.
  •       The Babe: Why not?
  •       Benny: There’s a beast back there.
  •       The Babe: What kind?
  •       Benny: A giant gorilla-dog thing that ate one kid already.
  •       The Babe: Is that a fact? Sit down, kid. Let me tell you something, kid. Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes. This is your big chance, and you shouldn’t let it go by. Remember when you busted the guts out of the ball the other day? Someone’s telling you something, kid. If I was you, I’d listen.
  •       Benny: Yeah, but what [are they trying to tell me]?
  •       The Babe: You’re the one with rubber legs [i.e., you can run very fast]. Figure it out. [As he leaves, he picks up a baseball card] Henry Aaron. I don’t know why, but can I have this, kid?
  •       Benny: Yeah, sure… Wait. You’re saying I should hop over that fence and pickle The Beast?
  •       The Babe: Think about that, kid. I’ll see you later. [He disappears into Benny’s closet] Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. Follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.
  • 14.  Toddler: Mommy, mommy, look at the doggie. Oh, that’s a big doggie!

If you don’t want to know the end of the movie, stop reading here.  

 

  • 15.  (Once they get the chewed-up ball back, the fence falls down, and they have to bring the dog to Mr. Mertle. They explain what happened, and Mr. Mertle suggests a solution.)
  •       Mr. Mertle: I’ll trade you. [That is, I’ll give you this ball and you give me that one.]
  •       Benny: That’s really nice of you, but that ball really is signed by Babe Ruth.
  •       Mr. Mertle: So’s this one, with the rest of the 1927 Yankees. [the famous team called “Murderers’ Row”]
  • 16.  Narrator: We all lived in the neighborhood for a couple of more years–mostly through junior high school–and every summer was great. But none of them ever came close to that first one. When one guy would move away, we never replaced him on the team with anyone else. We just kept the game going like he was still there.

 


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Monthly English Corner & Weekly Quote

  • August English Corner

    This month we will look at two practical ways to improve your English. First, pick a video (i.e., movie) with a lot of action and call a friend who also wants to improve listening and speaking skills. Have one person face the TV and the other face away. Show a portion of the video but turn off the volume. The person facing the TV describes the scene to the person facing away. Then the person facing away describes what he heard. Finally, watch the video together with the sound to see how accurate you were. Than trade places, and do it again for other clips. Secondly, build up your vocabulary schema by making labels for the various objects, appliances, furniture, etc., around your home or apartment–each month, label many things you don’t know how to say in English. Every time you walk around your home you will see these labels and it will help to reinforce the vocabulary. It is also helpful to be able to associate the real object with the name in your memory. Visit again next month!  © Mark Peter, M.A. Used with permission.


    Mr. Peter was Michael’s colleague at the Agape English Language Institute of Limestone College (Columbia, SC). Throughout his career, Mark has taught English at many schools and universities, in the US and in China.
  • Aug 15

    The world seldom notices who the teachers are, but civilization depends on what they do and what they say.

    –unknown (probably some unknown teacher or a grateful student!)


    Note: A quote’s original source is not always known, and authenticity has not been verified. To find out about an author, type the name into a search engine (like Google or Baidu). One of my favorite quotations websites is: www.quotationspage.com. 51

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