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As The World Learns Season 3: The Wedding

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The end of last season last left the characters of our English lesson soap opera series in bad shape. Jason and Devan had broken up and called off their wedding. Dale was gaining weight and his life was out of control.

The most recent cycle of episodes resumes the excitement of the first season in which Devan and Jason got engaged, and takes it to the next level. Each episode, which teaches a particular slang term or idiom, saw things slowly improve for the characters and move toward the wedding finale.

We had a lot of fun with this season–about half the episodes feature musical sequences. We hope you enjoy learning from them or sharing them with your students. As always, these videos are semi-scripted in order to show authentic English dialog.

Watch all 10 videos here and see the guide below for links to the full lessons.

3.01 – Misery Loves Company: Devan and Mason watch a sad movie together.
3.02 – Man Up: Marni gives Jason advice about how to fix things with Devan.
3.03 – Face the Music: Ella (and music by Workout) helps Dale with his weight problem.
3.04 – Take Someone Back: Jason asks for Devan’s forgiveness…in song.
3.05 – Hottie: Mason tells everyone at the office that he has a girlfriend.
3.06 – Get Over Someone: Ella considers that maybe Mason has gotten over her.
3.07 – Heartbroken: Ella has a strange feeling. What could it be?
3.08 – Bro Down: Jason holds his bachelor party at an arcade (music by Spamtron).
3.09 – Held Up: A robbery makes Devan late to the wedding.
3.10 – Without a Hitch: After she arrives, Devan and Jason’s wedding goes perfectly.

International LPGA Stars Teach Golf Vocabulary

Friday, September 16th, 2011

With our Celebrity English Lesson series, the philosophy is, you might as well learn from the best. While we’ve had guest teachers from all sorts of sports and entertainment fields, it’s rare that we get someone who is actually the very best at what they do (gold medalists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo and Girl Talk come to mind). So we’re thrilled to have defending LPGA Champion and number female 1 golfer in the world, Taiwanese superstar Yani Tseng.

Yani shares some basic golf terms and talks about learning English. At 22, she’s the youngest golfer ever to win 5 majors, so the fact that she acquired excellent English skills along the way is no small accomplishment!

We spoke with Yani at the LPGA Safeway Classic in North Plains, Oregon. Our friend John Canzano even mentioned us in his coverage of the event for The Oregonian. It was the Pro-Am day, and a couple of other well-known players were available to help us teach English as well. Korean star IK Kim was practicing on the putting green when we found her and chatted about the phrase “hole in one”.

Beatriz Recari was actually checking out some sunglasses from a vendor on the fairway (Spaniards love them some shades), but was happy to share her favorite golf term, “stinger”, with us and talk about her mission to learn exotic languages.

After we talked to Beatriz, she headed off to lunch. Food came up in our interview with Yani as well, so we put together this bonus clip just for the blog.

The LPGA Tour is heading to Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and Mexico this fall, as well as other places. Say hi for us if you see any of these athletes!

Tackling Challenges with Aurelien Collin

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Aurelien Collin is one of those people you meet and instantly wish was your good friend. He is so fun and energetic and you don’t even have to talk to him to see it–you can tell by the way he plays.

Even at training, Collin is a physical player, making plays for the ball, shouting and waving his arms. When he’s on the pitch representing Sporting Kansas City, he’s an animal–no one can miss this French star.

Naturally, we asked him to teach some fairly active terms when he agreed to be our latest celebrity English teacher. We started off with challenge because I had heard that Collin only had a couple of weeks to get ready for the season after joining his new team in KC. That sounded like a challenge to me. Of course, Collin said it wasn’t a challenge at all, but we talked about other types of challenges.

Next, we asked Collin to explain tackle.

Watching Collin speak English is kind of like watching him stop a striker. He has to get creative and he tackles the problem with confidence. MLS and Sporting KC are lucky to have this guy and so are we!

Learning English with True Blood Star Lindsay Pulsipher

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

This Sunday, the fourth season of True Blood on HBO begins. This show has a lot of fans in the US and around the world, and it also has its own set of vocabulary that its international fans might have some trouble with.

Fortunately, one of the actresses from the show, Lindsay Pulsipher, who plays Crystal starting in season 3, is our latest celebrity English teacher. At a recent showing of her new film, The Oregonian, we asked her to talk about the term “shapeshifter” and, since her character likes to turn into a panther, the phrase “cat got your tongue” in an English lesson.

Lindsay was so kind and very happy to help us teach English. We’re excited to see her in True Blood this season and hopefully in more movies in the future. You can see a trailer for The Oregonian here, and a scene from True Blood with Lindsay in it here. Both are a little too intense to embed on an English education blog, but if you like supernatural and scary stuff, you will probably enjoy them!

Ebaby! Teachers in the NBA Finals

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are competing in the NBA Finals right now, and there are four players involved who have appeared in Celebrity English Lessons on English, baby!

Mavs guard JJ Barea, the smallest guy on either team, has been unstoppable all through the Playoffs. His moves under the basket are incredible, and that was the topic of an English lesson we taped with him last season.

I was happy to see Juwan Howard scoring a couple of points in the first game of the series. As one of the oldest players on the Heat, he is there more for his leadership than his scoring. We talked about team work and his college career for a lesson earlier this season.

The Mavs also have Roddy Beaubois, who is recovering from an injury. We hope he can get healthy in time to show off the alley-oop skills he talked about in his English lesson before the Finals are over. Zydrunas Ilgauskas hasn’t appeared in a Finals game for the Heat so far, but it’s good that he’s getting a second chance to win a championship after losing on his last visit to the Finals with the Cavaliers, since his lesson was on second chances.

What team do you support in the Finals this year? Leave a comment or answer our poll question on Facebook.

Bone Thugs 'n' English, baby!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The latest celebrity English teachers on English, baby! are none other than Layzie Bone and Flesh-n-Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. When I saw the group was fully reunited and coming to Portland, I thought, “How cool would it be to get them to teach a lesson about being at a crossroads?” Thanks to our friend Cool Nutz who introduced us, that dream became a reality.

Unlike most of our English lesson interviews with famous musicians, which take place before the show, this interview occurred at about 1am, after a Bone Thugs concert. It was fun. The guys were loose and happy to chat. They liked the concept of English, baby! and didn’t want to stop at one lesson, so here is some bonus footage in which they teach some very high-level slang. This was an English lesson for me as well!

It is so cool that these guys spoke so slowly. They seemed really aware of the fact that they were helping people in other countries learn English with this interview. They were such nice people–and to think, the crossroads in the both of their lives involved going to prison! I hope Bone Thugs has lots of success with their new album.

Visit Bone Thugs’ website here.

Olympic English Lessons in the Media

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If English, baby! were a country and English lessons made at the Olympics were medals, with 14 different English lessons from this year’s winter Olympics in Vancouver, we would be in 7th place in the medal count, right between Korea and China.

Among our gold medal victories, you could count the two lessons we created with gold medalist figure skaters Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue, who helped us teach “lift” and “head over heels.” The Willamette Week newspaper took note of these lessons. But China is completely head over heels for them. One of these got more than 60,000 views on 56.com in the first week, and the other was just posted on the learning homepage at china.org.cn!

Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue are Olympic legends. But we also had the pleasure of meeting some young athletes at their first games. Half pipe snowboarder Liu Jiayu taught our members what it means to ride “goofy” and along with her teammates Sun Zhifeng and Cai Xuetong, what it means to “drop in.” I’d say these count as gold medals as well if only because CCTV (Chinese state television) was there for the lessons as well and did a story about the athletes testing their English skills upon arriving in Canada.

Without a doubt, our funniest lesson of the Games was “cold as ice” which we filmed at the men’s luge competition. “Pass the torch” was also a standout because we got to interview someone who carried the Olympic torch. These must be worth silver.

So in the bronze category are all the lessons we created without the help of a competition or athlete, but on our own with the people we met in Vancouver. These Olympics were such an incredible party–the streets were always packed with people from all over the world. We met a lot of them in our lesson on “break the ice,” when we went shopping for ice skates in “cheapskate,” and when we raced them on the ice at Robson Square to illustrate what it means to “fly by.”

Our local NBC affiliate even did a story about our Olympic victories. It’s a great clip, and it was so cool to see our logo in the center of the NBC Olympic Zone!

Of course, there were times when we took some spills, had to smooth over problems, and got distracted with our heads in the clouds. But in the end, I succeeded in saving my friends, which was the goal all along! It’s cool that everyone from NBC to CCTV and EducationNews.org to our local paper took note!

And we can’t forget, that like any good Olympic team, we had a great sponsor. Thanks ETS! TOEFL – go anywhere from here.

Gold Medal English Lessons with Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Olympic gold medalists Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue on English, baby!

Just when we thought interviewing the Chinese snowboarding team was as good as it could get for us during our visit to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to help our members learn English, we got an incredible opportunity. A few days after winning the gold medal in pairs figure skating, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo met with English, baby! outside the skating practice facility in Vancouver.

This couple is one of the best stories of the Olympics. After skating together for more than 17 years, Zhao Hongbo proposed to Shen Xue on the ice in 2007. This year, the pair came out of retirement to try for Olympic gold, the only championship they had not yet claimed, and in Vancouver, their dreams came true.

Our dreams came true when Honbgo agreed to lift Xue for us in this lesson on the term “lift.”

After we got to know each other a bit, we asked Hongbo and Xue to do another lesson on the phrase “head over heels.” You can really see how warm these athletes are in this rare look at their personal side. This video was an immediate hit in China. It got more than 50,000 views in the first weekend on this Chinese video site without us promoting it at all!

As far as we know, this was the only English interview Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue gave while in Canada. We are so honored to have been able to participate in a little bit of their gold medal moment.

申雪 赵宏博 甜蜜拥抱, 并用英文表示他们有多相爱!

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

申雪和赵宏博是人人稱羨的情侶,赵宏博在東京世錦賽比賽結束後向申雪的求婚,是個大家都知道的浪漫故事。訪問前可以看見申雪用手幫赵宏博梳理頭髮, 夫妻關懷之情自然流露。

先問他們怎麼學英文的,赵宏博先說 “在學校學的“,然後一時語塞,申雪馬上替赵宏博接口用英文說 “但是不夠“ 。他們的感情也在他們時時甜蜜微笑相擁時展露。

因為希望可以請申雪和赵宏博教大家什麼是 “Head over Heels”,我們也問了他們何時知道他們深陷爱河的,申雪和赵宏博異口同聲的說“2007年”。再問是突然有一刻感受到他們深陷愛河呢,還是慢慢體會到的,申雪回答,他们在一起多年了,愛情是慢慢产生的。

这是他们身为一对已婚夫后首次参加奥运,还获得了奥运金牌。赵宏博說 “我们知道,即使我们没有拿到冠军,我们也会开开心心的体验这次奥运会”。
赵宏博解释说,夺得金牌并不比与妻子一起比最后一次比赛重要。很明显的,他们互相深爱。English, baby! 覺得申雪和赵宏博把 “Head over Heels”教的很好。


Thursday, February 25th, 2010

English, baby! 的网站访客来自世界各国。我们经常访问名人、运动员、和演艺人员,并请他们教英文,帮助世界各地的人学习英语。这次我们很高兴有机会访问中国冬奥会金牌赢家赵宏博和申雪。我们知道他们在中国及世界滑冰界里大有名气,他们能够在十五年的专业运动生涯结束前拿到冬奥金牌,划下完美句点,全世界都为之感动。

在访问中,赵宏博、申雪展现了他们优秀的英文能力及绝佳的亲和力,问到他们知不知道什么是一个“Lift”,赵宏博轻松回答并表示是他们滑冰节目里三项之一。申雪的话比较少,但是可以看出她和赵宏博之间深深的默契,当问他们可不可以亲身示范一下什么是 “Lift“,申雪将双手交给赵宏博,我们眼前的下一幕就是赵宏博轻而易举的将申雪举在半空中!看过这英文视频后,我们相信English, baby!各国的会员都学会了一个新英文单字!在这里看赵宏博和申雪示范 “Lift”!