Read an Excerpt
A Letter from the Authors
Hi there! Thanks for choosing our book. We think it shows just how
smart you are.
We had a lot of fun writing this book, and we hope that you’ll have
a lot of fun reading it. Well, have fun, but also learn a lot about the
English language and American culture.
We’ve always loved English—the sound of the words, the fun of
the idioms, and the interesting way the words work together. We
also know that learning all this stuff can be a challenge to English
language learners. And that’s where our book comes in!
English the American Way: A Fun ESL Guide to Language and
Culture in the U.S. is your very own ... well, guide, to... yes, American
language and culture. You’ll find tons (a lot!) of vocabulary, all of it
used in real-life ways. We’ve included tons of informal language—the
stuff you really hear every day. And we take a look at American customs—
birth to death, and everything in-between!
We hope this book will be a help in your adventure learning English.
How This Book Works
This book has 21 units packed with language and culture!
Each unit has a main topic divided into two or three cultural readings. In these readings
and the dialogues that follow, you’ll find real English, not the simplified language
you find in most ESL books. The units are full of vocabulary and informal language—
tons of idioms, phrasal verbs and slang—bold within the text, then listed at the end of
each section with a simple explanation. Listen to the CD for native speaker pronunciation
of the dialogues, then pause and repeat to practice!
Look for grammar reminders, idiomatic expressions, culture tips, and fun facts.
Oh, and don’t forget to check your understanding (and memory) with the special
review sections. You’ll find them after every three units.
Good luck, and have fun!
Unit 1 - New Friends
New country? New friends!
But how do you meet them?
Making new friends is an exciting part of moving to a new place, but sometimes it’s hard to know just how formal to be with new people. Americans are usually very casual. They’re also very friendly. This is a good thing, but it can be tricky. Everyone knows that good old basic English phrase, “Hello. It’s nice to meet you.” Oh, yeah, we bet you were ready for that. Well, you may be ready, but then you may be surprised to learn that you won’t hear that phrase very often. “Hello. It’s nice to meet you” is okay for first-time introductions, but when friends meet socially, the conversation will probably sound more like this:
ALAN: Hey, Lia! It’s good to see you.
LIA: You, too. I haven’t seen you in a few days. How are you? How’s it going?
ALAN: Not bad. I’m so busy with the classes I’m taking. How about you?
LIA: I’m okay. I know you’re busy with classes. My job’s really hectic this time of year, too. What’s new with you?
ALAN: Nothing much. I’m on my way to the mall. I need some time off! Do you remember Lana? She’s there. Ha! She’s always at the mall! I think a lot of our friends plan to just hang out at the mall tonight.
LIA: Who? Oh yeah. I remember Lana. She’s the one with the scary-looking dog. I don’t want to hang out with that dog!
ALAN: Ha! You aren’t afraid of that little tiny dog, are you? Well, I’m sure Rover isn’t at the mall.
LIA: Actually, I’m headed to the mall later, anyway. There’s a huge sale going on. I think they’re open extra late.
ALAN: Great! Maybe I’ll see you there.
LIA: Sounds good. We’re both good shoppers! If I get there before you leave, maybe I’ll see you. After all, we aren’t leaving until we see all the sales. And I’m not leaving until I have some cute new shoes!