Dear Bo$$
In thi$ life, we all need $ome thing mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ . worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company.
I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.
Your$ $incerely,
Marian $hih


Dear Marian
I kNOw you have been working very hard.NOwadays,NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet.
NOw the newspaper are saying the world`s leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. After the NOvember presidential elections things may turn bad.
I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean.

Yours truly,



第一个:Listen and Write



Listen-and-Write-example可以看到,有两个播放按钮,第一个(Click play to listen all audio at once下面的)用来听全文。第二个(Click play to start dictation…下面的)用来做听写练习。操作其实非常简单,需要注意以下几点:

  • 开始听写后,你只需在下面的小方框里输入你听到的句子就可以了,不需要输入标点符号(有点不好的是像I’m都只需要输入im,我觉得不利于培养初学者正确的英文输入习惯)
  • 它会自动逐个字母地进行检查,如果输入错了它会自动删掉,如果正确的话会一个单词一个单词地显示在上面的大方框里
  • 在当前听的句子全听写完之前,音频会自动循环播放
  • 听写完成后,会在播放完当前这一句之后再播放一遍当前句,之后自动进入下一句
  • 以上说的是在默认情况下。你也可以更改一下如Auto Repeat和Auto Complete之类的选项,让它更符合你的需求。







选这篇文章也有我自己的个人喜好的因素,这是VOA Special English的新闻播报节目In The News里当时对Michael Jackson的报道。这篇文章也希望同学们仔细听每个细节,尤其是开始不久那里有一段电话录音,那是最真实的英语。我们一般学习英语的过程中是很难接触到真正的现实生活中的英语的。比如我们大多是从一些英语教学的录音里、电影、电视、收音机等等地方听到的模拟场景的声音,而我们在生活中遇到英语国家的人的时候,他们给我们说话时经常会不由自主地放慢语速,尽量吐字清楚并且使用简单的词汇及句型。所以这篇文章中的那段电话录音是个很好的材料。在那段录音中有这么一句"OK, OK. How old is he?",而实际上我们听到的是"OK, OK. How’di?"这是个很严重的略读现象,并且把is给全省没了,我们要说他发音错了都不为过。而实际上呢,电话另一头的人一点都没有迟疑,立刻回答"He’s uh, he’s 50 years old, sir."。所以各位同学,请放心大胆地把该省的音省掉,该连的音连起来,该弱读的音就弱读。咱们中国人可能听不明白,但只要你不是乱说的,英语为母语的国家的人们反而会感觉到听你的英语很亲切!


This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
Fans around the world are remembering the man who called himself the King of Pop. Michael Jackson died Thursday in Los Angeles. This was the emergency call from the house where he was living.
CALLER: "We have a gentleman here that needs help and he’s not breathing. He’s not breathing and we’re trying to pump him but he’s not –”
OPERATOR: "OK, OK. How old is he?"
CALLER: "He’s fifty years old, sir."
OPERATOR: "Fifty, OK."
A personal doctor was with him at the house. 
Michael Jackson would have celebrated his fifty-first birthday in August. He was just days from launching what he hoped would be a comeback — a series of fifty concerts in London.
More than seven hundred fifty thousand tickets sold out within hours of going on sale in March. The shows were set to begin July thirteenth. There were questions, though, about whether his health could handle the extended tour.
And after he died there were more questions — this time about his use of painkillers. Medical examiners did an autopsy on Friday, but tests for drugs in the body normally take weeks.
Around the world, fans like this one reacted to news of his death.
WOMAN: "Somebody like Michael Jackson who’s done so much for the world and stuff, you think almost like he’s invincible."
"Thriller," his nineteen eighty-two album, earned a place in Guinness World Records as the best selling album of all time. It produced hits like "Beat It" and "Billie Jean."
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. He was five years old when he and his brothers began performing in the Jackson 5.
He was eleven when they had their first album — "Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5" — in nineteen sixty-nine. Their album "ABC" followed less than a year later.
In nineteen seventy-one, Michael Jackson began his solo career. He went on to sell an estimated seven hundred fifty million albums. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — twice.
But as talented and successful as he was, he was also deeply troubled. His behavior and appearance grew increasingly strange. He was heavily in debt.
He was childlike. But in nineteen ninety-three, a thirteen-year-old boy accused him of child molestation. The case was settled out of court. Later, another accusation led to a criminal trial. But four years ago this month a jury cleared him of all charges.
Michael Jackson left his mark on popular culture. His music, his videos, his dance moves and moonwalking, the hand in a sequined white glove, the father of three was even married for a time to Elvis Presley’s daughter. Now, he leaves behind family, friends and fans to mourn his death. In a sad way he did make a comeback. His death has pushed sales of his music back to the top of the charts again.
And that’s IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by June Simms. I’m Steve Ember.


如题。语音课第二次的综合练习是选自VOA Special English的Words And Their Stories节目。在教材里只是那篇文章的片断。这里我把全文及其音频发出来,供各位同学学习:



Words and Their Stories: Pulling a Fast One

Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.


Today I will tell about expressions using numbers. Let us start with the number one. Numbers can be tricky. On the one hand, they are simply numbers. On the other hand, they have meanings. I for one use these expressions a lot.

Many people consider themselves number one, the most important person. They are always looking out for number one and taking care of number one. It is as if they are the one and only person on Earth. Some people however, are not so self-centered. My brother is such a person. It is true – no joke. I am not trying to pull a fast one on you.

First, you have to understand that my brother is one in a million. He is such a nice person. All his friends like him. They consider him one of the boys. Recently, my brother had a bad day at the office. It was just one of those days. Nothing went right. So he stopped at a local bar — a drinking place — after leaving work. My brother planned to have a glass of beer with his friends — a quick one – before he went home. But a quick one turned into one or two, and soon those became one too many.

As my brother was leaving, he ordered a last drink — one for the road. His friends became concerned. One by one, they asked him if he was able to drive home safely.

Now my brother is a wise and calm person. He is at one with himself. He recognizes when he has had too much alcohol to drink. So he accepted an offer for a ride home from a female friend.

At one time in the past, my brother had been in love with this woman. She is a great person — kind, thoughtful and intelligent — all good qualities rolled up into one. But sadly their relationship did not work. He always used to say "One of these days, I am going to marry this girl." But that never happened.

For one thing, she did not love him as much as he loved her. It was just one of those things. The situation was regrettable and my brother had to accept it. But even now, he considers her the one that got away.

However, they are still friends. And because my brother had been kind to her, she felt that one good turn deserves another. He was good to her and she wanted to help him in return. So she drove him home.

If my brother had driven home from the bar that night, his number would have been up. Something bad would have happened. Thankfully he made it home safely. And, he and the woman are back to square one. They are back to where they started – being friends.


This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Jill Moss. I’m Faith Lapidus.






‘Hair’ – More Than a Rock Musical

02 May 2009

Now, the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

A listener named Rita wants to learn about expressions with the word "hair." So we will tell a story.

Yesterday when I woke up, I looked in a mirror.  I looked very neat and organized.  Not a hair was out of place.  But today when I woke up, I knew I was going to have a bad hair day.  My hair was standing up in all the wrong places.  I thought I would be unhappy all day and things would not go well. I work at home so I just hoped that my computer would work right and not have a bad hair day also.      

An advertisement for the musical "Hair"
An advertisement for the musical "Hair"

I was very tired because I did not sleep well last night. I made the mistake of watching a horror movie on television.  The movie really made my hair stand on end.  It was about a house possessed by evil spirits. The thought of having to live alone in a house like that was so frightening it was enough to curl your hair. I will say it another way: watching that movie was a hair-raising experience.

I prepared a meal for my children but they were behaving badly. I turned on the television so they would be quiet. I did not want them to be difficult or to get in my hair while I was working on the computer.

My children were making so much noise that I could not work.  I was getting angry.  In fact, I was ready to pull my hair out.  I told them to please be quiet or I would punish them. But they knew I would not harm a hair on their heads.

I decided to make myself some strong coffee so I could work better. But my drink was so strong that it could put hair on your chest. 

Finally, I got back to work. I was writing a proposal for a project. I knew that I was very close to finishing the proposal.  Success was very close – within a hair’s breadth. My supervisor called me to discuss the project.  She wanted to argue about very small differences and unimportant details.  But I told her not to split hairs.

Later, I got a telephone call from a friend whom I had not seen in a long time. In fact, I had not seen hide nor hair of him in months.  So I was glad to know that he was all right.

I worked all day and finished my project. So I decided to celebrate, have some fun and let my hair down.  I played some old recordings, and my children and I danced around the room. The recordings are from my favorite musical, a show called "Hair." It takes place during the nineteen sixties when many young people wore their hair very long.


This VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust.  I’m Faith Lapidus. You can find other WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.

Expressions With the Word “Hair”

Not a hair was out of place:干净利索,一丝不乱

bad hair day: “头发糟糕的日子,暗示一整天都不顺利,心情不好。< o:p>

made one’s hair stand on end: 使人毛骨悚然

curl one’s hair令人惊诧,令人惊恐


get in one’s hair: 激怒某人

pull one’s hair out生气,发怒

harm a hair on one’s heads: 不伤某人一根毫毛

put hair on one’s chest: 使人具有男子气概;(饮料)富含酒精的;(食物)使人健康、强壮的

a hair’s breadth即将来临,指日可待

split hairs:在小事上争论不休,斤斤计较

hide nor hair:踪影,痕迹(hide or hair)

let one’s hair down: 放松







这次不讨论太多的单词记忆的问题,主要是推荐一个挺有意义的网站。在FreeRice上练习单词,只要你回答正确一个问题,这个网站就会捐给联合国粮食计划署(UN World Food Programme)十粒大米。而且练习的模式也比较科学。每次会随机出题,出题的难度是根据你之前回答的正确与否来判断的。并且当你答错了一个之后,过一会儿这道题还会再次出现。这样就会让你加深印象。这样的点子真的很不错,是个一举两得的做法,既帮助人们学习英语,又为解决饥饿问题做了贡献。

American English Intonation

以前做过两天的集训营,给同学们讲语调的时候用了《American Accent Training》这套教材中的一部分内容,后来在给奥运志愿者做外语培训时,我也把其中一部分编进了教材。在很多地方讲课时我都会用这个教材中的方法来给学生讲解语调。语调其实比语音容易掌握,并且掌握了语调可以很快让你说出英语来有那种“洋”味。所以刚开始学习英语的时候我建议多注意一下语调。当然最好的方法还是多听多看(视频),语调的感觉就会自然找到。

下面内容是American Accent Training中的一部分,作者简单介绍了一下美式英语的一些特点。由于版权与网络空间等等的限制,我这里不能全部放上来。有机会的话可以听我来讲解


The American Speech Music

What to Do with Your Mouth to Sound American

One of the main differences between the way an American talks and the way the rest of the world talks is that we don’t really move our lips. (So, when an American says, "Read my lips!" what does he really mean?) We create most of our sounds in the throat, using our tongue very actively. If you hold your fingers over your lips or clench your jaws when you practice speaking American English, you will find yourself much closer to native-sounding speech than if you try to pronounce every … single … sound … very … carefully.

If you can relate American English to music, remember that the indigenous music is jazz. Listen to their speech music, and you will hear that Americans have a melodic, jazzy way of producing sounds. Imagine the sound of a cello when you say, Beddy bada bida bedder budder (Betty bought a bit of better butter) and you’ll be close to the native way of saying it.
如果你能够把美式英语跟音乐联系起来,要记着美国本土的音乐是爵士。听他们语言的韵律,你会发现美国人有一种带有旋律的、爵士味的发音方式。想象一个大提琴的声音,同时说“Beddy bada bida bedder budder (Betty bought a bit of better butter)”,你就会非常接近地道的说法。

Because most Americans came from somewhere else, American English reflects the accent contributions of many lands. The speech music has become much more exaggerated than British English, developing a strong and distinctive intonation. If you use this intonation, not only will you be easier to understand, but you will sound much more confident, dynamic, and persuasive.

Intonation, or speech music, is the sound that you hear when a conversation is too far away to be clearly audible but close enough for you to tell the nationality of the speakers. The American intonation dictates liaisons and pronunciation, and it indicates mood and meaning. Without intonation, your speech would be flat, mechanical, and very confusing for your listener. What is the American intonation pattern? How is it different from other languages? Foa egzampuru, eefu you hea ah Jahpahneezu pahsohn speakingu Ingurishu, the sound would be very choppy, mechanical, and unemotional to an American. Za sem vey vis Cheuman pipples, it sounds too stiff. A mahn frohm Paree ohn zee ahzer ahnd, eez intonashon goes up at zee end ov evree sentence, and has such a strong intonation that he sounds romantic and highly emotional, but this may not be appropriate for a lecture or a business meeting in English.



呵呵 先祝贺下完成了著书,继续加油哦
我是个快步入社会的学生,很迫切的想加强下自己的英语能力 不知道老师有没有什么能推荐的书籍? 如果想加大自己的词汇量,应该怎么去做呢?
哈哈 提前先谢谢老师的帮助



  1. 从我自身学习的经历来讲,我是不太喜欢一般人们推荐书的方式的(下面详说);
  2. 就算是我推荐,我也不一定知道有哪些真正的好书,因为毕竟还是才疏学浅。








  1. 不要管作者是谁,不要看别人作的序说这本书有如何好;
  2. 从正文的开头读起。在看完一页之后如果产生了强烈的想要一口气全部看完的感觉,那就买了吧。否则不论是什么人推荐的,什么牛人写的都不要在乎了;
  3. 要克服你自己的成见,不要因为听别人说了,就对一本书产生盲目的喜欢或盲目的厌恶,以自己看到它的内容时的真实感受为准;
  4. 一般我们都认为人无完人,那么人类写的书就更难以有“完书”了,所以读一本书不用强迫自己读完,读到什么时候不想读了那就不要读了;
  5. 虽然你要从书里面学东西,但是千万不要成为书的奴隶。






李敖就是个很好的例子,他被人们称为大师,自己也经常夸赞自己。他在很多言论中体现出他的阅读量之大,并且对英文单词的把握也特别到位。比如他曾讲过proud这个单词,我们可以查到它有“骄傲的”和“感到光荣的”两个意思。英文当中有一种说法是“I’m so proud of you”,有很多人的翻译是“我以你为傲”或者“我为你感到骄傲”。李敖说“骄傲”是个贬义词,而这句话是要表达一种褒义。那这种翻译肯定是有问题的了。




Lucky Guesses Maybe More Than Luck







This is Scientific American 60-Second Science. I’m Cynthia Graber. This’ll just take a minute.

        In the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire, the star answers game show questions correctly based on his life experiences. At least one right answer, however, is a lucky guess. But maybe the guess wasn’t so lucky. Maybe his brain actually knew the answer—even though he didn’t realize it.
        That’s what scientists at Northwestern University are saying about so
called lucky guesses. They published their research online in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
        Study participants were shown brightly colored pictures. They had to memorize half. While viewing the other half, they had to concentrate on remembering a spoken number. So they were distracted. Later, they were quizzed on all the images. Surprisingly, they were more successful at remembering those images that they only paid half a mind to. Not only that, but they were more accurate when they said they were just guessing. The researchers say their visual systems stored memories quite accurately, even when the participants weren’t paying attention. And that what we call intuition, some of those gut feelings we get, may often be based on good information.

Thanks for the minute for Scientific American 60-Second Science. I’m Cynthia Graber.