Episode 64: Steve Jobs and Apple

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 64: Steve Jobs and Apple

Before we begin, here are three important items:

  1. I hope that all of you are healthy and safe during this world crisis pandemic. It is the most unusual thing I have ever seen. But you know what to do, so please take every step necessary to stay safe. During your isolation, you can listen to all of the Slow American English podcasts again to reinforce your learning. They are all online at SlowAmericanEnglish.net. Subscribe to the podcast there, find free transcripts and links to become a patron and to buy workbooks.
  2. To help with your English learning, you can buy Slow American English workbooks on Amazon in almost every country. You can use the workbooks either with or without the podcast. Teachers can use the pre-planned lessons for listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students can use each lesson for self-study. Get yours in print or Kindle version now!
  3. Thank you to my Patreon patrons for pledging a little money every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not help English learners all over the world. If you are not yet a patron, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become one today!

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 in San Francisco, CA. He was adopted as a baby and grew up near San Francisco. He would one day help the area to become Silicon Valley.

Jobs was extremely intelligent and much smarter than most people. He went to college in Oregon, but he dropped out after only six months. However, he then audited creative classes where his love for design grew. While in Oregon, he lived and worked at an apple orchard.

When he was nineteen, he worked as a video game designer for Atari. When Steve Jobs was 21 years old, he and his good friend Steve Wozniak (“Woz”) founded Apple Computer in 1976. It was one year after Bill Gates had founded Microsoft. Jobs and Wozniak worked in Jobs’ garage, the same place where Jobs’ father taught him electronics as a hobby when he was younger.

At that time, computers were very large and very expensive. Only big companies and governments had computers. Apple Computer made them smaller, cheaper and more user-friendly. Anyone now could buy one. Apple’s first product was the Apple I, and the electronics were designed by Woz. Jobs was responsible for marketing. The computer was sold as a kit that people had to put together.

Apple introduced the Apple II computer in 1977. It was ready to use and was the first highly successful individual computer. The Apple II started a boom in personal computer sales. It also opened the market for software companies to sell directly to consumers.

Three years later, Apple had sales of over $139 million and became a publicly traded company on the stock market. At the end of the first day of trading, the company was worth almost $2 billion.

Apple has almost always been on the leading edge of technology. They were the first to produce computers that anyone could buy. And even if they did not introduce a product, they have always improved it. Their design and marketing abilities have always been on the top level mainly because of Steve Jobs.

Jobs was forced to leave Apple in 1985 because executives thought he was hurting the company. He then started NeXT computer company, which was bought by Apple in 1996. In 1986, Steve Jobs bought an animation company from George Lucas that would become Pixar. Pixar produced the first entirely computer-animated movie, Toy Story, in 1995.

Jobs came back to Apple in 1997. The company had not been doing well, but he led the company to great success once again. Among the revolutionary Apple products produced were the iMac desktop, Macbook Air laptop, iPod, iPhone and iPad. In 2008, Apple became the second-largest music seller in the US because of iTunes. It was normal that other companies scrambled to produce comparable products every time Apple introduced something new.

Steve Jobs died in 2011 after fighting cancer for almost ten years. He was only 56 years old. He is considered one of the geniuses of electronics, marketing, design and business. If you want to know more about him, I recommend the book, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, published a few months after Jobs died.

Language note: Apple started as what we call a garage business in American English. Garage businesses are small start-ups, and the term implies the products are the owner’s inventions. We can also say selling out of your garage. For example, “Jobs started selling computers out of his garage.” Microsoft, Google and Amazon also started as garage businesses.

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That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe to the podcast recordings anywhere you get podcasts.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 63: National Register of Historic Places

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 63: National Register of Historic Places

Before we begin, I want to give a big thank-you to my Patreon patrons for pledging a little money every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not help English learners all over the world. If you are not yet a patron, would you please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become one today?

Buy Slow American English workbooks on Amazon. You can use all the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. Teachers can use the pre-planned lessons for listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students can use each lesson for self-study. Get yours in print or Kindle versions now!

Visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish for FREE bonus material. Download a pdf file containing the National Register of Historic Places listing for the Statue of Liberty, including pictures. Please enjoy!

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of historic things in the USA believed to be so important that they should be preserved, based on national standards. The list contains not only buildings but also sites like battlefields, structures like bridges, objects like artworks, and districts such as neighborhoods.

The National Register is similar to the idea of UNESCO’s World Heritage List, except the National Register contains only items within the United States. In fact, there are 24 UNESCO sites within the US, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Both of these are on the National Register, too.

The National Register was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. It is managed by the National Park Service, which is part of the Department of the Interior. Today, the list contains over 95,000 items. Almost every county in the country has at least one item on the list.

Here is the process for getting something on the National Register:

Someone must nominate the item to be listed. This could be a local city government, a Native American tribe or a private owner of the item. They would probably contact their State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for research information, forms to fill out and so on.

The SHPO and others evaluate the nomination based on several characteristics. One is age, and, generally, the item should be at least 50 years old. In addition, the item should still look much like it did in the past and be associated with important historical events or be an important example of engineering, architecture, archaeology or other categories.

The SHPO also asks for public comments. If the owner doesn’t want the item to be listed, the item cannot be listed. But the SHPO can send the nomination to the National Park Service for further evaluation.

If the item passes the first evaluation, it is recommended to the National Park Service in Washington, DC. Then the National Park Service makes a final decision. If the item passes, it’s placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

After being put on the National Register, the item’s owners or caretakers can now apply for tax cuts and grants from federal and private organizations. That money is then used to help preserve the item. Listing on the National Register does not prohibit changes to the item, but getting tax cuts and grants might.

Many items on the National Register have plaques displayed about them. Plaques are not required, but many owners and caretakers get one because they are so proud. In addition, if the item receives tax credits and grants that prevent it from being changed, the National Register listing qualifies it for alternative fire and safety equipment codes. For example, if an old building cannot be changed to have modern fire and safety equipment, different rules are allowed.

The National Park Service maintains a free, public online database with all the information about all the items on the National Register. This month’s free bonus material at Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish is a copy of the listing for the Statue of Liberty from the database.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 62: Impeachment Process

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 62: Impeachment Process

Before we begin, here are three important items:

  1. Buy the fifth Slow American English workbook now! It’s available on Amazon, just like the first four workbooks. You can use all the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. Teachers can use the pre-planned lessons for listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students can use each lesson for self-study. Get yours in print or Kindle version now!
  2. I want to give a big thank-you to my Patreon patrons for pledging a little money every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not help English learners all over the world. If you are not yet a patron, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become one today!
  3. Become a website subscriber at SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks. Follow me on social media from the website, too.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

If you have been following US news for the past few months (2019 and 2020), you might know that the US president was impeached. However, you might not know what that actually means.

It is important to understand that impeachment is not a criminal process. It is a political one. Article II of the Constitution states:

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Impeachment is a two-step process. Congress is responsible for the actions. First, the House of Representatives brings impeachment charges against a federal official. Then, the Senate has a trial and votes whether to convict.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Members of the House of Representatives must either introduce an impeachment resolution just like they would a regular bill, or they can pass a resolution to start an inquiry. During the inquiry, evidence is gathered and charges are stated. After a few weeks or months of investigation, the representatives vote. If a majority of representatives votes to impeach, there is a trial in the Senate. This should be conducted like a normal trial in a court of law.
  2. Members of the House are appointed to manage the Senate trial, which means they act as prosecutors. The impeached official gathers a legal defense team. Senators act as the jury. After the prosecution and defense teams present their sides of the case, the Senators vote. If two-thirds or more of the senators present vote for conviction, the impeached official is removed from office and possibly prohibited from holding office in the future. There is no other punishment, such as fines or prison time.

Further charges can be brought against the removed official in regular courts, if anyone wants to do that. Additional legal procedures would then follow, including negotiations and even trials, but they aren’t guaranteed, and they don’t involve Congress.

More information about impeachment in the US:

  • The Constitution does not specify what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are. Therefore, the House of Representatives can decide.
  • If the president is convicted by the Senate and removed from office, the Vice President becomes president.
  • Other federal officials besides the president can be impeached by the House.
  • The House has begun 62 impeachment investigations throughout history.
  • Only 20 of those 62 investigations resulted in impeachment: 30 judges, three presidents, one Cabinet secretary and one US senator.
  • The impeached presidents were Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. None were convicted or removed from office.
  • Andrew Johnson was Abraham Lincoln‘s vice president; he became president when Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. He was impeached in 1868.
  • Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998.
  • Donald Trump was impeached in 2020.
  • Impeachment proceedings were started against President Richard Nixon in 1973, but he resigned before he could be tried in the Senate.
  • All states except Oregon can impeach state officials. The procedures are basically the same as federal ones.

### End of Transcript ### 

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 61: Prohibition

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 61: Prohibition

Before we begin, I want to wish you happy new year with health, wealth and love in 2020.

This is a very special episode for me because it is the five-year anniversary of the podcast! I published the first episode of the podcast five years ago this month! I want to thank all my listeners that have made the podcast so popular.

Also, you can now buy the fifth Slow American English workbook! It’s available on Amazon, just like previous workbooks. You can use all the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. Teachers can use them for listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students can use them for self-study. For links to buy all the workbooks, visit SlowAmericanEnglish.net.

NOTE: As a special five-year anniversary sale, you can buy any of the workbooks for a 25% discount from now until 15 February 2020. Click here to buy your workbooks!

Become a website subscriber at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks.

Follow the podcast on social media. Click the icons on SlowAmericanEnglish.net. Get information about American English idioms, podcast episode information and more.

Huge thanks to my Patreon patrons for pledging a small amount every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not produce this podcast every month. Thank you! If you are not yet a patron, please consider it. To become a patron, visit www.Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish.

Now for the podcast:

Prohibition

From 1920 to 1933, it was illegal to make, sell or transport alcoholic beverages in the United States. This ban was known as Prohibition, with a capital P. It is also sometimes called ‘the noble experiment’.

The ban was made official by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Because the amendment did not specifically restrict people from having or drinking alcohol, a law called the Volstead Act was passed with additional regulations.

There are several complicated reasons that Prohibition was possible in the USA.

First, because of the industrial revolution, cities became more crowded, which made life more stressful. People tried to relieve stress with alcoholic drinks. More bars and saloons opened, and more people, especially men, drank more alcohol.

Religious movements in the 1800s, such as abolitionist and other campaigns that wanted people to act better, called for temperance. Temperance means to drink less alcohol and be more responsible to your family. Temperance leagues were formed, mostly by women. Religious organizations and temperance leagues said that bars and saloons were bad places. Factory owners wanted temperance so that their workers would be more responsible and less likely to get hurt on the job.

Also, in the early 1900s, World War I caused a worldwide grain shortage. Therefore, grain was restricted from being used to make alcohol in the USA.

Although people had good intentions for passing Prohibition, the results were terrible. People were unwilling to stop drinking alcohol, so they found ways to make their own alcohol and hide it from the government.

There are several words that entered English directly because of Prohibition:

  • bathtub gin – homemade illegal alcohol made in someone’s bathtub

  • bootlegging – transporting illegal alcohol; people hid bottles in their boots under their trousers!

  • dry – place with no legal alcohol; for example, a dry county means you cannot buy alcohol there

  • moonshine – homemade, illegal alcohol; so-named because people made it at night by the light of the moon

  • speakeasy – an illegal bar

  • still – short for distillery; a device for making alcohol

Of course, Prohibition was very unpopular, and the government did not have enough money to enforce the law. There was no longer any tax money from alcohol sales. Also, the stress of the Great Depression in the 1930s made people feel more like drinking alcohol.

Organized-crime gangs grew strong from the manufacture, transport and sale of illegal alcohol. Al Capone, a powerful gang leader in Chicago, made about $60 million during Prohibition. The word ‘gangster’ comes directly from this period in American history.

Because of these and other political reasons, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution was passed that repealed, or cancelled, Prohibition in 1933. However, states and local communities can still prohibit alcohol.

In addition to vocabulary, there are other modern effects of Prohibition. For example, some states and counties are still dry. NASCAR racing developed because bootleggers modified their cars to be faster than police cars. In addition, when Prohibition was becoming less popular just before it was repealed, the Volstead Act was amended to permit the manufacture and sale of low-alcohol beer and wine with only 3.2 percent alcohol. That is why traditional American beers such as Budweiser are so weak.

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 60: The Great Smoky Mountains

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 60: The Great Smoky Mountains

Before we begin, I have two announcements:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, please answer the podcast survey. Your answers help make the podcast stronger. Visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net and click the link to the survey questions. You can read some of the survey results so far at www.Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish.
  2. Please become a patron to make your podcast experience better. Choose from four levels, each with valuable monthly rewards. I recommend Level 2 as the best level for the money, which is $10 a month. But for only $5.00 per month, you can join Level 1 for English Learners. You get
  • a pdf file with three exercises you can use with the recording or the transcript to improve listening and reading comprehension,

  • a free Slow American English workbook,

  • a chance to win private English lessons with me, including a personal learning plan,

  • and a monthly live discussion of each podcast episode via Skype. Practice your English in a real-world conversation! This month’s discussion date: Monday, 23 December, 2019, at 09:00am US Mountain Time (GMT-7). Patrons, you MUST notify me via email (info@slowamericanenglish.net) by Sunday, 22 December, 2019, at 5:00pm US Mountain Time (GMT-7) to let me know you will attend the live discussion. If you cannot attend because of your time zone, I can schedule an additional session if there are enough participants.

Note: with Level 2, which is for Teachers and Serious Self-Study Students, you get everything in Level 1 above PLUS a lot more! So, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron today. Remember: all your contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

The Great Smoky Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains, which is the major mountain range in the eastern United States. You may remember from Episode 44 that the Rocky Mountains in the western US are younger than the Appalachians. In fact, the Appalachians are between 300 and 500 million years old. Some scientists believe they are the oldest mountains in the world. The oldest rocks in the Smokies are over a billion years old.

The Great Smoky Mountains are also called the Smoky Mountains, or just the Smokies. They lie along the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. Their name comes from the fog that lies among the mountains which looks like smoke.

Because of the history and nature of the Smokies, they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best-known and biggest part of the Smokies is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which was founded in 1934 and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. It is the most visited national park in the country.

The highest point in the Smokies is Clingman’s Dome, a mountain whose elevation is 6,643 feet above sea level. It’s the third highest point in the Appalachians.

The Native American Cherokee tribe lived in the area before European settlers arrived in the middle 1700s. The Cherokee took the side of the British in the Revolutionary War, which is why American forces invaded Cherokee territory and eventually took the land.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the logging industry destroyed about 90% of the old-growth, or original, forests in the Smokies. Most of the forests have grown back, at least in the park. About 187,000 acres of old-growth forest remain, which is the largest section of it in the eastern US.

Some well-known plants and animals in the Smokies are:

  • dogwood trees

  • rhododendron and azalea shrubs

  • brook trout

  • wild turkey

  • owls

  • rattlesnakes and copperhead snakes

  • lightning bugs (fireflies)

  • black bears; the Smokies have the densest population of black bears east of the Mississippi River. In fact, the black bear is the symbol of the Smokies.

Tourism is a large part of the economy in and around the Smokies. It is a popular resort area, and visitors enjoy river rafting, tubing, hiking, climbing, zip-lining, fishing, mountain biking, camping, snowshoeing, skiing and many other outdoor activities.

A historical valley called Cade’s Cove is a favorite tourist spot inside the national park. Many people visit Laurel Falls, an 80-foot waterfall near Cade’s Cove. Other popular towns just outside the park are Cherokee, NC, and Gatlinburg, TN. And you may know that country singer Dolly Parton built an amusement park in Pigeon Forge, TN, called Dollywood.

From 1920 to 1933, alcohol was banned in the United States. This was called Prohibition. It was illegal to make, sell or drink alcohol during that time. Of course, people found a way to have alcohol anyway. Many small alcohol-producing operations were hidden in the Smokies. The alcohol they produced was called “moonshine” because they secretly made the alcohol at night by the light of the moon. Today, you can buy legal moonshine at some shops near the Smokies. It is probably better than the illegal stuff available during Prohibition!

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe with any podcast app or feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 59: Los Angeles, CA

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 59: Los Angeles, CA

Before we begin, I have a couple of questions:

  1. Have you answered the podcast survey? Your answers help make the podcast better. Visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net and click the link to the survey questions. You can read some of the survey results so far at www.Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish.
  2. Are you learning as much as you can from the podcast? Become a patron to make your experience better. Choose from four levels, each with valuable monthly rewards. I recommend Level 2 as the best level for the money, which is $10 a month. But for only $5.00 per month, you can join Level 1 for English Learners. You get
  • a pdf file with three exercises you can use with the recording or the transcript to improve listening and reading comprehension,

  • a free Slow American English workbook,

  • a chance to win private English lessons with me, including a personal learning plan,

  • and a monthly live discussion of each podcast episode via Skype. Practice your English in a real-world conversation! This month’s discussion date: Thursday, 21 November, 2019, at 09:00am US Mountain Time (GMT-7). Patrons, you MUST notify me via email (info@slowamericanenglish.net) by Wednesday, 20 November, 2019, at 5:00pm US Mountain Time (GMT-7) to let me know you will attend the live discussion. If you cannot attend because of your time zone, I can schedule an additional session if there are enough participants.

So, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron today. Remember: all your contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

Los Angeles, CA, is often called LA. It is a very large city on the coast of southern California. It is made up of many smaller towns that have become part of it. Some people think that Los Angeles and Hollywood are the same place. That is only partly true. Hollywood was a smaller town that was added to LA in 1910. Naturally, many people and companies who are part of the film industry live in LA. There is a stereotype that most of the waiters in restaurants in LA are people trying to become famous actors.

Other places you may have heard about that are part of LA include Brentwood, Encino, Watts, Venice Beach, Tarzana, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Van Nuys. Places you may know that are near LA but not officially part of it are Beverly Hills, Burbank, Santa Monica, Compton, Malibu, Long Beach and Pasadena.

LA is a sprawling city, which means that it takes up a lot of space. It covers 469.1 square miles for about four million people, compared to New York City, which takes up only 302.6 square miles for almost nine million people. Because of this urban sprawl, everyone depends heavily on cars. Because of so many cars, large freeways were built to handle the traffic. Unfortunately, the cars multiplied too fast, and now people say the freeways are parking lots!

Because LA lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, it has beaches. But it also has mountains and valleys and very good weather. You may have heard the song that goes, “It never rains in southern California”. Of course that’s not really true, though the weather is usually nice. But long periods of no rain cause droughts, then rain comes and sometimes causes mudslides. In addition, LA lies on the San Andreas Fault, which means there are earthquakes, too. A human-made problem is smog, which is a cloud of air pollution that hangs over the city.

Los Angeles is often called La La Land, partly because of the abbreviation ‘LA’ and partly because the phrase “lala land” means a fantasy place where people who are out of touch with the real world go in their heads. Los Angeles has a reputation for being a place that isn’t quite the same as the real world.

Of course, native tribes such as the Chumash and Tongva lived there before Spanish settlers came in 1769. The Spanish name of the settlement translates as “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula”. “The angels” in Spanish is “los angeles”, which is now pronounced “Los Angeles” in English.

Los Angeles has one of the most diverse populations in the world, which means that there are many different ethnic groups. More than 90 languages besides English are spoken by people who live in LA. One of the biggest groups is the Latino population, and much of this group has Mexican heritage.

Besides the uniqueness of Hollywood, LA has everything you can imagine in a large city. There are cultural places such as museums, theaters and art galleries plus famous universities such as University of Southern California (USC) and University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Professional sports teams and major medical centers are located there, too. And the LA airport, called LAX, is one of the most important airports in the world.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe with any podcast app or feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 58: Higher Education in the USA

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 58: Higher Education in the USA

Before we begin, I have a couple of announcements:

  1. Please take the Slow American English survey. Your answers will help make the podcast better. Visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net and click the link to the survey questions. Every answer is valuable! To read some of the survey results so far, visit www.Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish.
  2. Podcast patrons can learn English faster! If you are not a patron, please consider becoming one. Choose from four levels, each with valuable monthly rewards. I recommend Level 2 as the best level for the money, which is $10 a month. But if that’s too much for your budget, Level 1 for English Learners might be right for you. For $5.00 per month, you get
  • a pdf file with three exercises you can use with the recording or the transcript to improve listening and reading comprehension,

  • a free Slow American English workbook,

  • a chance to win private English lessons with me, including a personal learning plan,

  • and a monthly live discussion of each podcast episode via Skype. Practice your English in a real-world conversation! This month’s discussion date: Tuesday, 22 October, 2019, at 09:00am US Mountain Time (GMT-6). Patrons, you MUST notify me via email (info@slowamericanenglish.net) by Monday, 21 October, 2019, at 5:00pm US Mountain Time (GMT-6) to let me know you will attend the live discussion. If you cannot attend because of your time zone, I can schedule an additional session if there are enough participants.

So, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron today. Remember: all your contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

I’ve already told you about the school system for kids in the US in Episode 28. Today I will describe the optional higher education system, also called post-secondary education system, which comes after high school.

This higher education system in the USA isn’t regulated by the federal government. Because of this, there are many types of schools, such as public, private, small, large, religious, secular, urban, suburban, rural and online.

Most Americans use the word “college” to mean “university”, although there is actually a difference. A university is a collection of smaller colleges. Each college focuses on a specific area of study. There can also be standalone colleges that aren’t part of a university. Universities usually also offer masters and doctorate degrees.

Good schools are usually accredited, or approved by an official association, to make sure they meet a minimum standard. Accreditation also means a student’s degree is recognized as valid by other schools and employers.

More vocabulary:

  • major – main area of study for undergraduates; students can change their major multiple times until the third year
  • minor – second area of study for undergraduates requiring fewer classes
  • campus – the physical area of a college
  • dormitory/dorm – housing for students; if a student lives on campus, he or she lives in a dorm
  • ivy league – informal phrase for a group of prestigious colleges such as Harvard
  • tuition – fees paid to the college for classes; does not include dorm expenses, books or meals
  • freshmen – students in their first year of undergraduate study
  • sophomores – students in their second year of undergraduate study
  • juniors – students in their third year of undergraduate study
  • seniors – students in their fourth year of undergraduate study
  • community college – a smaller, local school offering a two-year associate degree

Many colleges require a student to take a standardized test before starting a four-year program. The most well-known such test is the Scholastic Aptitude Test, usually called the SAT.

Levels of post-secondary study:

  1. Undergraduate students work toward a four-year bachelors degree. The first two years are usually general classes like literature, science and history. Each class earns the student course credits. Students can complete these courses at a community college then transfer the credits to a four-year school.
  1. People with bachelors degrees might want to get a masters degree. They need to take the GRE test (Graduate Record Examinations) first. A university usually also has a masters program in addition to the colleges for undergraduate degrees. Masters degrees usually require about two years of courses and a thesis, which is a long research paper.
  1. After a masters, some students want to continue their education and get a doctorate, or Ph.D. This requires three or more years of courses and research, plus a dissertation, which is the doctorate research paper.

College is very expensive. Many students get scholarships, grants or student loans to help pay for it. A scholarship is money from an organization or school given to the student based on academic or sports performance. Grants are government money given based usually on low family income or other factors. Either the government or financial institutions can lend money for education. Scholarships and grants don’t have to be paid back, but student loans do. Many people graduate with heavy student loan debt, which is a big problem.

Some state universities offer free or reduced tuition programs. New York State recently became the first to offer free tuition for a full four-year or two-year program that isn’t based on academic performance. Other states offer similar programs, but they have more requirements.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via any podcast app or feed reader.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 57: Chicago, IL

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 57: Chicago, IL

Before we begin, I have three announcements:

  1. Please take the Slow American English survey. Your answers will help make the podcast better. To answer the questions, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net and click the link to the survey questions. Every answer is valuable! To read some of the survey results so far, visit www.Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish.
  2. Are you a patron of the podcast? If so, you are possibly learning more English faster! If you are not a patron, please consider becoming one. Choose from four levels of patrons, each with valuable monthly rewards. I recommend Level 2 as the best level for the money. For $10.00 USD per month, you get
  • all Level 1 rewards, including exercises, live discussions of each podcast episode, a free Slow American English workbook, and a chance to win private English lessons with me,

  • a FULL Exercise Worksheet with Vocabulary, Multiple-Choice and Discussion exercises plus answer gaps, a line-numbered transcript, any bonus material, and answer keys. Each Exercise Worksheet is a ready-made lesson for students or teachers!

  • an mp3 file of the Natural-Speed Recording of that month’s podcast episode that you can download or listen to via an exclusive RSS Feed

So, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron today. Teachers, these ready-made lessons will save you time and benefit your students. Students, these rewards will help you improve your English faster! All contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

  1. As part of the English Learner Patron Level (and included in all higher levels), I host a live discussion via Skype every month to discuss the podcast topic. It is a good way to practice your English in a real-world conversation. This month’s discussion date: Tuesday, 24 September, 2019, at 09:00am US Mountain Time (GMT -6). Patrons, you MUST notify me via email (info@slowamericanenglish.net) by Monday, 23 September, 2019, at 5:00pm US Mountain Time (GMT-6) to let me know you will attend the live discussion. If you cannot attend because of your time zone, I will schedule an additional session if there are enough participants. If you would like to participate in the live discussions, please become a patron at Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

Chicago is a very large city on the shores of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Chicago River in the Midwest state of Illinois. Of course, before the city grew up there, Native American tribes such as the Miami, Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi lived in that area at different times.

Chicago became an official town in 1833. Before that, there was a settlement and an army fort there. The location has always been important for water transport between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi and other rivers. In addition, the telegraph and railroad stations in Chicago connected the east part of the USA to the west. The city was very important during the western expansion of the country. Because Chicago has always been such a hub of transport, many jobs attracted many people from all over the world. Therefore, labor issues have been very important in Chicago, resulting in strikes and negotiations, and often resulting in violence.

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire occurred. Legend says that a cow belonging to Mrs. O’Leary kicked over a lantern in the barn and that’s what started the fire. Whatever the cause, the fire burned for over two days because of high winds, dry weather and lots of wooden buildings. The fire destroyed about one-third of the city, killed over 200 people and left 100,000 people homeless. However, the railroads and factories did not burn, so the city rebuilt very quickly.

Chicago has several nicknames, including Second City. That’s because it was second only to New York City in population and growth. However, since 1990, Los Angeles has been second to New York in population. Chicago is also called Chi Town, using the first three letters of its name, but pronounced differently. It’s also often called the Windy City because of the strong winds that blow off of Lake Michigan. In winter, that extremely cold wind is called ‘The Hawk’.

Some facts about Chicago:

  • Migration of African-Americans from the South to Chicago around WWI gave birth to Chicago-style jazz.

  • Chicago-style pizza is deep-dish (thick crust) instead of thin-crusted like New York pizza.

  • Because of the large Irish immigrant population, St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Chicago. The river is turned green for the day.

  • From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, Chicago’s political organization had great power and a reputation for corruption. It was called the Chicago “political machine”.

  • In the 1930s, gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillinger grew famous as organized crime bosses.

  • The world’s first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885. It was 10 stories tall.

  • Two world’s fairs have been held in Chicago, the 1893 Columbian Exposition and the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition.

  • Chicago’s baseball team is the Cubs. They play at Wrigley Field. They are famous for usually losing, but in 2016, they won the championship World Series. It was the first time they’d won in 108 years.

  • Chicago’s Navy Pier is an amusement park on the site of a landmark that is over 100 years old.

  • The Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago has restaurants, shops, hotels, historical landmarks and nightclubs.

  • Chicago has dozens of museums, including art, nature and history museums, as well as hundreds of art galleries, theaters and other cultural institutions.

  • A famous skyscraper, the Willis Tower, is a well-known feature of Chicago’s skyline. It is 110 stories high and was built in 1973. It was called the Sears Tower until 2009. It was the world’s tallest building for almost 25 years until the World Trade Center was built in New York.

  • Route 66 begins in Chicago.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via any podcast app.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 56: NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 56: NOAA – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Before we begin, I have three announcements:

1. Recently I asked website subscribers to answer some questions about themselves and about how they use the podcast. These answers are helping me make the podcast stronger. To read some results of the survey so far, visit www.Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish. To answer the questions yourself, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net and click the link to the survey questions. Every answer is valuable!

2. You could be learning more English faster as a patron of the podcast! Choose from four levels of patrons, each with valuable monthly rewards. I recommend Level 2 as the best level for the money. For $10.00 USD per month, you get

    • all Level 1 rewards, including exercises, live discussions of each podcast episode, a free Slow American English workbook, and a chance to win private English lessons with me,

    • a FULL Exercise Worksheet with Vocabulary, Multiple-Choice and Discussion exercises plus answer gaps, a line-numbered transcript, any bonus material, and answer keys. Each Exercise Worksheet is a ready-made lesson for students or teachers!

    • an mp3 file of the Natural-Speed Recording of that month’s podcast episode that you can download or listen to via an exclusive RSS Feed

So, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron today. Teachers, these ready-made lessons will save you time and benefit your students. Students, these rewards will help you improve your English faster! All patron contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

3. As mentioned above, as part of the English Learners Level (and included in all higher levels), I host a live discussion via Skype every month to discuss the podcast topic. It is a very good way to practice your English in a real-world conversation. This month’s discussion date: Tuesday, 20 August, 2019, at 09:00am US Mountain Time (GMT-6). Patrons, you MUST notify me via email (info@slowamericanenglish.net) by Monday, 19 August, 2019, at 5:00pm US Mountain Time (GMT-6) to let me know you will attend the live discussion. If you cannot attend because of your time zone, I will schedule an additional session if there are enough participants. If you would like to participate in the live discussions, please become a patron at Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

What is the weather like where you live? What is the climate like? Does your country lie on an ocean? How does your country record and measure the weather, climate and oceans? For the USA, all these things and more are studied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most people just call it NOAA. It is one of the most purely scientific organizations in the US government.

NOAA is part of the US Department of Commerce. There is a large administrative staff to share and coordinate information and perform other duties. Besides the staff of leaders, NOAA has six divisions, or line offices. Each line office specializes in a specific area of study. Here is a list of line offices and what they do:

  • National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, or NESDIS, studies global environmental conditions and changes. They operate satellites that study Earth and space. They work with other environmental organizations all over the world. Their information is used for weather and climate forecasting. They make this information available to scientists worldwide.
  • National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, takes care of ocean resources. They make sure we have sustainable fisheries and healthy seafood. They are in charge of protecting natural ocean ecosystems and important species such as whales, sea turtles, coral and salmon.
  • National Ocean Service, or NOS, supports coastal economies on the Atlantic, Pacific and Great Lakes. They help ship transportation by providing navigation charts and water level information. They help predict and prepare coastal communities for big events like hurricanes, flooding and oil spills. They also study and help preserve coastal areas for nature, recreation and tourism.
  • National Weather Service, or NWS, studies and analyzes climate, water and weather data. The result is more accurate weather forecasts and better protection of people, property and the economy.
  • Office of Marine & Aviation Operations, or OMAO, studies conditions and changes in the atmosphere and oceans. They operate a fleet of research and survey ships that gather data about deep oceans and shallow bays. Their airplanes fly all over the world to give us information about storms, to map coastlines, and to do other research.
  • Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research, or OAR, is also called NOAA Research. This line office works with other parts of NOAA to produce better forecasts, earlier warnings for storms and natural disasters, and deeper knowledge of the entire earth. With their objective data about our world, we are able to manage our environment better.

The US government had scientific research agencies long before NOAA was founded. In 1807, the US Coast and Geodetic Survey was formed to create nautical charts for ports. In 1870, the Weather Bureau was founded. One year later, the Commission of Fish and Fisheries came along. These organizations and other departments were combined into NOAA in 1970. Today, it’s one of the largest scientific research organizations in the world, and it works with many other groups worldwide to benefit people all over the world.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to the podcast episode recordings wherever you get your podcasts.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast website, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There you can find links to follow me on social media and to buy Slow American English workbooks on Amazon.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 55: The Liberty Bell

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 55: The Liberty Bell

Before we begin, I have some announcements:

  1. I hope you acted on the previous podcast, which describes how to become a patron of the podcast. Please visit the podcast website and click on the top menu bar where it says “Patron Level Details”. The link is www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net/PatronLevels. Your contributions will help me continue to bring this important podcast to the world.

  1. The next live discussion for Level 1 patrons and above will be on Thursday, 18 July, at 10:00am US Mountain Time. You must email me at info@slowamericanenglish.net to let me know you will attend. I realize that, if you are in certain time zones, it might prevent you from participating. If so, please email me and let me know. I will schedule a different time for groups in other time zones.

  1. Don’t forget to buy the fourth Slow American English workbook. It’s available on Amazon, along with the first three workbooks. You can use the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. They are full of ready-made lessons for teachers and students.

  1. Become a website subscriber at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

It’s hard to think of a more famous symbol of the United States than the Liberty Bell. In addition to the bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, American flag and Uncle Sam, the Liberty Bell stands for freedom – it’s even in the name!

It stands now in Philadelphia, PA, which used to be the capital city of the USA before Washington, DC. You can visit it at Liberty Bell Center near Independence Hall, where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The Liberty Bell has a large crack. Legend says that ringing the bell on the day the Declaration of Independence was signed caused it to crack. Unfortunately that is not true. A magazine writer invented this story.

The bell was made by Philly (short for Philadelphia) metalworkers John Pass and John Stow. They melted down a defective bell to make this one in the early 1750s. It was installed in the State House (capitol) in Philadelphia. It was rung to call legislators and citizens to meetings.

An inscription is written on the bell, which says, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof.” A second inscription says, “By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada.” (‘Philada’ was a short form of ‘Philadelphia’.) A third inscription reads, “Pass and Stow/MDCCLIII.” The last part is the year 1753 in Roman numerals.

Although specific details are unknown, the bell developed a small crack probably around the 1840s. To repair it, a larger crack was created, but the repair failed. A second crack also appeared shortly after that, ruining the bell forever. It could never be rung again.

The bell was called the State House Bell until the mid-1800s. But even before it was called the Liberty Bell, abolitionists, women’s suffragists and Civil Rights leaders were inspired by the first inscription on the bell. In fact, it is said that people fighting for the end of slavery came up with the name ‘Liberty Bell’.

More Liberty Bell facts:

  • It weighs about 2,080 pounds.

  • It is made of bronze.

  • The original musical note of the bell was E-flat.

  • The bell rang to mark the signing of the Constitution.

  • During the Revolutionary War, the bell was taken from Philadelphia and hidden in a church in Allentown, PA. It was moved to prevent the British from finding it and melting it down for weapons.

  • It was rung to mark the deaths of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers.

  • It was last rung on Washington’s birthday in 1846.

  • Every Fourth of July, descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence gently tap the Liberty Bell 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states.

  • Every Martin Luther King Day, the bell is gently tapped in honor of this great Civil Rights leader.

  • Every state capitol received a copy of the Liberty Bell in 1950 as part of a fundraiser by the US Treasury Department. These copies don’t have cracks.

  • Normandy, France, also has a copy of the bell. It was created in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of D-Day in WWII, which was in 1944. It was the day Allied forces landed in Normandy to eventually end the war.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via any podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.