KA VOICECAST for Sunday, February 15 (2015)

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KA NEWS

KA TOP PICKS with Olwen Bartlett—The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

LISTENING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE—KA Wordcast Listen Up!

L/C Questions and Answers

 

 

KA NEWS for Sunday, February 15 (2015)

The Kikokushijo Academy website has recently had a facelift and is now live for you to view.  Kikokushijoacademy.com can now be accessed on your smartphone as well as on all other devices that allow Internet access.    News, class updates, schedules, and other information will be updated frequently on the website so make sure you check in often to be up to date. 

Following the success of KA Winter School, KA will be offering KA Spring Day School courses from Tuesday, March 31 through Friday, April 3rd.  Students will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of fun and exciting subjects, including science, English language, and art.  For more information, enrollment, pricing, and scheduling, please contact your KA school and speak to one of the staff.

KAIS International School and Kikokushijo Academy will be opening new facilities in Toritsu Daigaku offering a daytime international school for students grade 1-8 that will be called KAIS Elementary and Middle School (KAIS EMS). As the new building will not be available until 2015, KAIS will on a limited basis offer its grades 3-6 program at Kikokushijo Academy’s facilities in Jiyugaoka.  The facilities are adequate, with a fine library, functional classrooms, and an overall warm atmosphere. The program will be high-quality and individualized, utilizing a combination of traditional, proven teaching methods, including Kikokushijo Academy’s highly successful English program, as well as progressive and holistic educational practices focused on encouraging creativity, curiosity, self-confidence, and a general positive outlook on life. Small group homework tutoring for all subjects, including Japanese language, will be a key feature of the school, as will dynamic theme-based modules that synthesize literature, history, music, art, and other disciplines. For more information and questions to frequently asked questions, please follow the link below.

KA’s famed essay-writing course for students in grade 4 of elementary school and above is available as a correspondence course for students who live abroad or outside of the Kanto area. This is a serious, results-oriented program for students who wish to pass essay exams for junior high, senior high, university or the EIKEN, TOEFL, or SAT exams. Distance Learning students will write and revise weekly essays, complete grammar assignments, and build vocabulary to raise the register and effectiveness of their writing. Each student will correspond with a Personal Writing Tutor, who will guide the student through the course by email.

Students wishing to participate in the Distance Learning course must have:

• Access to the internet

• A computer with Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader

• A strong desire to improve their writing.

For more information about this exciting new program, please contact Kikokushijo Academy or follow the link.

The KA Kids International Preschool in Tama Plaza is still accepting applications for children aged 3-6. Children who sign up for the KAIP program will be introduced to the fast-paced, advanced reading and writing program with teachers trained in the Read Write Inc. Phonics method, currently exclusive to Kikokushijo Academy. For general information and answers to frequently asked questions, please follow the link to the KA Kids International Preschool Page.

NEW PROGRAM: KA Wordcast is pleased to announce that a new program is coming soon!

KA Wordcast: Listen and Learn will focus on improving your listening and comprehension skills and help students preparing for entrance and other exams with challenging listening passages, questions, and key vocabulary words.  Listen and Learn will begin airing every Tuesday from the 3rd of March.

KA Wordcast: Idioms and Phrasal Verbs airs on the 10th and 25th of every month.  The next airdate is Wednesday, February 25th.  Idioms and Phrasal Verbs Lesson 36 is entitled What a Character! and we will be looking at 22 common and useful expressions that describe people, so be sure to tune in!

 

KA TOP PICKS

With Olwen Bartlett

The Secret Garden, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911, is considered a classic of English children’s literature. This is a tale which has stood the test of time, and although the language and lifestyle described may sound old-fashioned, you can easily relate to the characters and the story.

Mary Lennox is a 10-year-old girl who lives with her wealthy parents in India.  Mary is raised almost entirely by servants, as her parents are too busy and disinterested to take much notice of their young daughter.  As a result of this neglect, Mary is a difficult child—rude, selfish, and bad-tempered.  Tragedy strikes when her parents and all the servants are killed in a cholera epidemic leaving Mary as the lone survivor.  She is taken in temporarily by the local pastor and his family, and then sent to live at Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire with her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met.  True to her disagreeable nature, Mary is unimpressed with the harsh landscape and climate of the Yorkshire moors in winter, and is equally unimpressed by Misselthwaite Manor itself, with its large imposing rooms.  Mary’s uncle is away travelling and so she is given her own two rooms and told to keep to them.  She must amuse herself and keep out of the way of everyone else.  Her only companion is a kind-hearted young maid called Martha Sowerby, who puts up with Mary’s rudeness and hostility because she feels sorry for Mary for having lost both of her parents.  Martha tells Mary about her uncle’s wife—Mary’s aunt—who had been creating a beautiful secret garden before her untimely death, which was caused by a tragic accident in the garden.  Heartbroken by the death of his young wife, Mary’s uncle sealed up the garden and threw away the key, before leaving Misselthwaite Manor to travel the world.

When Mary first arrived in Yorkshire, she was a sickly child—pale and lethargic. But with her curiosity piqued by the tales told by Martha, she begins to explore the gardens and moor around the manor.  Spending her days roaming around in the fresh air increases her appetite and soon Mary grows stronger and healthier.  In spite of herself, her mood begins to lift and she begins to warm to her maidservant and her manners soften.  Whilst wandering around the gardens and moors, Mary occasionally hears the sound of someone crying or moaning, but she is never able to locate the source of the cries she hears.  One day, however, a robin she has befriended draws her attention to some disturbed soil. Investigating the soil, she finds a key.  Instantly, she knows that it must be the key to the secret garden.  But where is the garden itself?

The following day, Mary finds the door to the garden and begins to explore the overgrown secret garden.  Not knowing where to start but hoping to improve the state of the secret garden, Mary asks Martha if she could get her some garden tools.  Martha obliges, sending her brother Dickon along with the tools.  Mary and Dickon form a firm friendship and begin to work together to transform the secret garden.

One night, Mary wakes and hears crying.  She follows the sound of the cries, and to her surprise finds a boy living in a hidden room in the manor.  The boy introduces himself as Colin and they find that they are cousins.  Colin suffers from an unspecified illness that keeps him confined to his room. Preoccupied with his troubles and the absence of his father, Archibald Craven, Colin is bad tempered and melancholic.  Mary and Dickon befriend Colin and convince him to join them in the secret garden.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Colin’s grieving father is disturbed by vivid dreams of his late wife in the secret garden and is overwhelmed by the feeling that he should journey home to Misselthwaite Manor.  When he does return, what he discovers is beyond his wildest dreams.

This book illustrates beautifully how the wonder and power of nature can transform lives.  I don’t want to reveal any more about the story of The Secret Garden, so to find out what happens you will have to read the book for yourself.

The story has been classified by the Common Sense Media as suitable for children of 11 years and above.  Parents are advised to read the book first and decide whether the content is acceptable for their younger child.

 

 

 

LISTENING COMPERHENSION PRACTICE

KA WORDCAST: Listen Up!  Lesson THREE

Available on the KA Voicecast website archives

 

Hello! Hello!

The word “hello” is probably used millions of times every day, but did you know that “hello,” spelled with an “e” as a telephone greeting, was another of the great American inventor Thomas Edison’s discoveries?

We’re all familiar with Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish genius behind the invention of the telephone, and the story of how, in March 1876, he “telephoned” his assistant, Thomas Watson, using his new device: “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you,” Bell said into the mouthpiece.  Watson heard the words in another room over the receiver, and then did as he was told, and the world’s first (and perhaps shortest) telephone call was complete.

In 1877, at his New Jersey laboratory, while testing and working on ways to improve Bell’s prototype telephone, Edison, the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” used to shout “Hello!” into the speaker.  He had found that the word “hello” was the most easily heard over the line.  (Bell himself preferred the maritime phrase, “Ahoy, ahoy!”)  Edison even wrote a letter to the president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company of Pittsburgh suggesting that the best way to start a telephone conversation was to say “Hello.”  And evidently, the suggestion was heeded.

“Hello,” with that spelling, had been used in newspapers and magazines from as early as 1833 and, by the 1860s, was found extensively in American works of literature.  (The word itself most likely comes from a German word meaning “to fetch.”) Hunters used a variant of “hello,” “hallo,” spelled with an “a,” to call and warn one another. “Hullo,” on the other hand, spelled with a “u” (and followed by an exclamation point in writing), was used mainly to express surprise.  It was similar in meaning to our “Oh my goodness!” or “Oh dear!”  Charles Dickens used “Hullo!” in this way in his 1839 novel Oliver Twist.   When the London pickpocket the Artful Dodger first notices Oliver, he says to the young orphan, “Hullo, my covey!  What’s the row?”

Edison’s habit of using “hello” when greeting people or speaking into the telephone soon spread to his co-workers, and the word eventually became common usage for telephone exchanges.  Before they began opening calls with “Hello,” telephone operators had used “Are you there?” or “Are you ready to talk?” to connect callers.  By 1889, because of the close link between the popular new greeting and the telephone, central telephone exchange operators had become known as “hello-girls.”

  

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LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

Today’s listening comprehension questions will be SHORT ANSWER and based on FACTUAL CONTENT.  Listen to each question carefully and write your answer.  For the best results, always try to listen to the question without looking at the written questions on the website.  Feel free to pause the recording if you need a moment or two to think about the question.

 

1.         What is the name of the Scottish genius who invented the telephone?

2.         In what year was the world’s first telephone call made?

3.         What were the first words ever spoken over a telephone, and who received the call?

4.         What was Thomas Edison doing in his New Jersey laboratory in 1877?

5.         What important discovery did Edison make about the word “hello”?

6.         What is the most likely origin of the word “hello”?

7.         How was one variant of “hello,” “hallo,” spelled with an “a,” used?

8.         What variant of “hello” was often used to express surprise in much the same way as we might say “Oh my goodness”?

9.         What did telephone operators use as a greeting before they began using “Hello”?

10.       By 1889, what had central telephone exchange operators become known as?

 

 

L/C QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

1.               What is the name of the Scottish genius who invented the telephone?    His name was Alexander Graham Bell.
2.               In what year was the world’s first telephone call made?   It was made in 1876.
3.               What were the first words ever spoken over a telephone, and who received the call?   The first words were, “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.”   Bell’s assistant Thomas Watson received the call.
4.               What was Thomas Edison doing in his New Jersey laboratory in 1877?   He was testing and working on ways to improve Bell’s prototype telephone.
5.               What important discovery did Edison make about the word “hello”?   He discovered that “hello” could be easily heard over the line.
6.               What is the most likely origin of the word “hello”?   It most likely comes from a German word meaning to “fetch.”
7.               How was one variant of “hello,” “hallo,” spelled with an “a,” used?   It was used by hunters to call and warn one another.
8.               What variant of “hello” was often used to express surprise in much the same way as we might say “Oh my goodness”?   “Hullo,” spelled with a “u,” was used in that way.
9.               What did telephone operators use as a greeting before they began using “Hello”?   They used “Are you there?” or “Are you ready to talk?”
10.             By 1889, what had central telephone exchange operators become known as?   They were known as “hello-girls.”

 

PDF DOWNLOAD: KA Voicecast for Sunday, February 15 2015