66 American Life
Yoko talks a little about her stay in the United States and why she went there.
Todd: We're going to talk about your trip to America.
Yoko: Trip to America. OK.
Todd: OK. When did you go to the U.S.?
Yoko: It's about 4 years ago.
Todd: And what did you do?
Yoko: Actually, I went to Michigan and I worked as a volunteer teacher in public school.
Todd: OK. What was the public school like?
Yoko: It was not big, and so it was not big. I don't know how to say that, so what should I say....
Todd: It was just a small school?
Yoko: Yeah. Small school. So only maybe 200 students I think.
Todd: Oh, really!
Yoko: Yeah, it was really small.
Todd: Wow, that is small.
Yoko: Yeah, yeah.
Todd: Did you know all the students?
Yoko: I don't think so. I just visited some classes. Yes.
Todd: So what did you think of America?
Yoko: I think it is a great country for many people who wants to try new things.
Yoko: You know, so for example I did not have any special skills to teach, but they let me to work there as a volunteer, and they gave me a great oppurtunity to meet a lot of students, who are really nice I think.
Todd: Ah, OK. I agree. What were your students like?
Yoko: They were really motivated to learn Japanese, but they didn't learn a lot. They just, they just wanted to play with me, from other countries. Who is from, sorry!
Todd: OK. Do you have any special memories from your trip?
Yoko: Yes, I visited lots of places by myself and I was really afraid of speaking English to people there but they tried to understand me, and they helped me a lot and I really think OK, they are lots of people who are nice all over the world.
I went to Michigan and worked as a volunteer teacher.
A 'volunteer teacher' teaches lessons, but does not get paid to teach. People volunteer to do many things to help people and to gain experience. Notice the following:
- She worked as a volunteer teacher in the Peace Corps for two years.
- The clinic is looking for volunteer nurses.
I worked in a public school.
A 'public school' gets money from the government for teachers and supplies. Notice the following:
- The public school system in this area is really good.
- You get paid more if you teach in a public school.
I think America is a great country.
A 'great country' is a country that is very good in at least one area. We can put 'great' in front of any noun to show that it is good or remarkable. Notice the following:
- They make great pizza here.
- The Beatles made a lot of great songs.
I did not have special skills to teach, but they let me work as a volunteer.
'Special skills' are unique abilities that you need to perform a task. Anything that you know how to do that is not something everyone knows is a special skill. Notice the following:
- What kind of special skills do you have?
- He learned a lot of special skills while he was a volunteer.
I visited lots of places by myself.
When you do something 'by yourself' it means that you do it alone or without someone that you know. Notice the following:
- I would never go to a party by myself.
- I prefer to go for walks by myself or with my dog.
Below are some more great lessons!
special skills • by himself