Ms. Hillary Clinton’s Speech in Perfect American English at FEDR on Human Rights in the US and the World

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Ladies and Gentlemen!
As the saying goes - it doesn’t get any better than this.
Ms. Hillary Clinton’s speeches are always a real treat and music for my ears.  They are always very well thought through, organized and timed.  Thanks to the US Secretary of States’ experience in dealing with foreigners in general and English as a Foreign Language or EFL speakers in particular, the First Lady of the US Foreign Affairs is especially sensitive to the issues of international and multicultural communications.
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Celebrating New Years’ Eve in the USA

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Just like in the most of the World January 1st marks the beginning of a new year in the USA.  The New Year’s Eve’s celebration is the biggest and a truly world-wide party with its climax at the NewYear’s midnight, which like a web interconnects party goers all over the planet and moves around the globe following the time zones.

Majority of people get together with friends and families to celebrate the event.  They either stay home and have private parties or go out to bars, restaurant, theaters or places where they will be able to welcome the New Year in spectacular and scenic surroundings and where they can watch the traditional fireworks shows.Read more »

The Word Eve in American English

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Do you know what the word eve means?  Have you speculated about it?  Did you check into it?

We all know about Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  Some of us know that Halloween is the eve of All Saints’ Day.  But what does the word stand for exactly?  Does it carry the meaning “the day before” as it may imply?   Or maybe it denotes something else?Read more »

One Two Eight or Twelve Days of Christmas in the USA

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In most countries Christmas is celebrated as a two-day holiday.  The second day of Christmas is sometimes called the Boxing Day.  No, it has nothing to do with fighting or the sport of boxing.  The name comes from an old tradition of giving gifts in boxes to servants by their lords.

In the USA Christmas is a one day festivity.  I still remember my first Christmas in America.  For me it so obvious that it is a 2-day celebration that it didn’t even come to my mind that I should go to work on the Second Day of Christmas.Read more »

Christmas Carols in the USA and the “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

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Who doesn’t like Christmas Carols and Christmas in general?  Well … you might be surprised.  But that’s a different story.

What are Christmas Carols, anyway?  When did the carols tradition start?  Why are these songs called carols and what does the word carol itself mean?  Where are Christmas carols performednowadays?  Should we still talk about Christmas carols or rather Christmas songs?
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Christmas Is Coming to Town! The Holiday Shopping Season in the USA

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Ho, ho, ho!  Coca Cola’s Santa Clause is coming to town!  Shopping malls are full.  It takes forever to get in to go shopping there and even more time to get out from there.  That’s American Christmas time.

Fortunately and lucky for us - shoppers - we have an alternative now.  We can just sit down at the computer or, better yet, take it to bed and go shopping on line at the comfort and convenience of our own home and even our favorite couch or sofa.
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Coca Cola Christmas 2011 in USA

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It’s all about Christmas for commerce, for both the traditional brick and mortar outlets and virtual Internet stores.

Majority of retailers and wholesalers or whole sellers alike make most of their profits at this time of the year called the Holiday Shopping Season.  Its official start falls on Black Friday, which is the Friday following Thanksgiving.

Now, there is also a digital or electronic commerce or e-commerce equivalent - the Cyber Monday, which is the Monday right after the Thanksgiving weekend. Not really surprisingly, considering the nature and character of the American entrepreneurial spirit and business environment and law, Internet stores started capitalizing on Thanksgiving itself with the very recent addition of Cyber Thanksgiving. 

Christmas commercials are very lavish and impatiently participated by viewers and listeners, too.  They are the cream of the cream of advertising and the world of trade promotions. One company took it to the extreme.  I’m talking Coca Cola here. Read more »

Christmas in Washington, DC, USA

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December is traditionally the month of Christmas celebrations including the annual “Christmas in Washington” show, which this year (2011- two thousand eleven) will air on TNT on Friday December 16th, a week before Christmas Eve. 

In the tradition of so American-like charitable giving by the rich and famous to the poor and needy this show first appeared in 1981 and this year it celebrates its 30th  (thirtieth) anniversary. 
Of course, it is also a huge promotional event for the participating celebrities and the television network itself. 
It is tremendously popular and you will be able to see the re-runs number of times during the year that follows. 

Merry Christmas! (the Christmas Song video and lyrics)

How to Cram for Midterms Learning American English

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Let’s start with this.  Cramming or learning a lot in a very short time to pass a test or an exam is for some students a way of learning not just a catch up technique.  The word cram itself usually has a negative connotation.  It’s associated with not doing homework on time and consequently being forced to work extra hard at the last minute just to stay in the game.  It’s not necessarily so. 

Some people simply have good short memory and no intention to retain the information needed for this particular test or exam.  They simply do not want to waste the long memory and intuitively choose the most efficient and the most energy effective learning method not to fail but to pass and to get a “good enough” grade. 
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Tora! Tora! Tora! Did the Pearl Harbor Attack Have to Happen?

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Who hasn't heard the Tora! Tora! Tora! phrase popularized by the movie carrying (or under) the same title or has not seen the film itself is rather a rhetoric question.

The Japanese aerial attack on the American naval military base in Pearl Harbor, HI (Hawaii) on December 7th, 1941 woke up “the sleeping giant”and marked the beginning of the official US involvement in WW II (World War Two or "doublew doublew" two).

We all know how it happened.  This, one of the most tragic and most disastrous catastrophes in American history and at the same time one of the most victorious and most glorious Japanese military operations or battles ever, was depicted by some of the most successful and most popular movie hits like “Tora! Tora! Tora!” or “Pearl Harbor”(movie trailer videos). 
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Studying American English for TOEFL- Natural Born Learners or Motivation

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Either you are natural(ly) good with languages or you need to work really, really hard to make any progress it doesn’t really matter.  Either way you can achieve your goal.  The real question here is how you will approach the English language learning process, how much time you will spend preparing yourself and most importantly if you have the motivation or if you have the internal drive to achieve your goal. 

Why are you learning English?  Do you really, and I mean YOU, not somebody else like your parents or other significant others, do you really want to learn English?  Do you know why and how much you will benefit from knowing the English language? 
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TOEFL Exam for the USA and Europe as Well

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TOEFL, as you most likely know it already, is the American English fluency test designed specifically as a college entry verification of your language knowledge and requirement for non-native speakers. 

Recently it has also been approved in Great Britain by the British immigration authority UK Border Agency as a proof of your knowledge of the English language together with other English fluency exams
It is also accepted by British schools at different levels of education including the University of Cambridge
Webster University in Vienna is another example, this time in Austria, among thousands of higher learning institutions requiring and accepting the TOEFL exam. 
Happy learning!  Good luck on your college admission application!

Political Asylum in the USA – the Joseph Stalin’s Daughter’s Case and Homeschooling

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Immigration to the USA is strictly regulated by law, just like in any other or at least most countries in the World. 

The political asylum principle, requirements and proceedings are part of the system.  A person intending to emigrate from a foreign country and immigrate to the United States of America needs to meet certain criteria of eligibility.  Primarily he or she must be considered a refugee and be granted the right of asylum.  The link at the end of this sentence takes you to the outline of the complete rules and history regarding this matter of political asylum in the USA
Sometimes granting a political asylum decision is controversial and counter intuitive.  The Joseph Stalin’s daughter’s case is one of the best known examples.
How widely or loosely it can be interpreted shows the recent instance of German immigrants who were granted political asylum due to the alleged hardship of the lack of possibilities of home schooling there.
See ya …

Cyber Monday and Cyber Thanksgiving in the US – the Electronic Black Fridays

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Now when the craziness of the Black Friday weekend is behind us we can all relax, finally get some rest and in the coziness of our own homes … go shopping online. 

Just like the Black Friday, the Friday right after Thanksgiving, is the beginning of the Holiday shopping season, the Cyber Monday, following the whole Thanksgiving weekend, has become its online equivalent in the e-world and a great start to the year end digital shopping frenzy on the world wide web or net. 
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Black Friday in the USA - the Start to the Holiday Shopping Season

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Happy Thanksgiving!  Now when The American Holiday is over and we are all stuffed like the turkey we can do what Americans do best – we can go shopping.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is really crazy.  Not only is it the day of super promotions and super sales.  It is also one of the most dangerous days of the year for traffic and security.  People not only shop till they drop.  Crooks are coming out of the woods looking for an opportunity to make the extra buck pick pocketing, breaking into cars in shopping malls parking lots, robbing homes and just stealing whatever they can put their hands on.Read more »

Thanksgiving in the USA – The American Holiday of Eating Meeting and Visiting

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Celebrating Thanksgiving is all about eating, meeting and visiting.

Families, relatives, or just friends get together at the proverbial dinner table not really to commemorate the first mutual fest of the Pilgrims or immigrants from Europe and the Native Americans or the original residents but to indulge themselves in great food, relax and have fun in the company of the dearest ones.
People tell jokes, watch football games, have a beer or too, so to speak, or a glass of wine, or rather a bottle … to be closer to reality, stuff themselves with turkey meat or filling and other traditional, or not so conventional Thanksgiving dishes and goodies.
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Thanksgiving in the USA – How the Turkey Day Really Started

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Turkey is on the table!  What could be more American than the Thanksgiving turkey?  Well, maybe the American apple pie or the pumpkin pie?  Maybe?  May be.  The tradition of serving turkey for Thanksgiving dinner is as old as the celebration itself, right?  Maybe not.  Actually … not really.

You may not believe it, but the turkey tradition is relatively new and did not became the Thanksgiving staple food until it was popularized on a massive scale only in the late 1940-ies (nineteen forties) by Mr. Sears and company through mail catalogue sales, which is the predecessor to the current day Internet commerce.

The tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in America we learn in history classes started in 1620-ies (sixteen twenties).  The modern day Thanksgiving is, by popular belief, considered a direct ancestor of the Pilgrims’ celebration.  It, as the research shows however, is not.

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