ENG 106L: Lesson 1
*Please note, these reports will be active from 12pm MST on Thursday of each week, until Monday 11:55pm of the next week.
Get to Know Each Other
Bring at least one picture of your family or of you doing something interesting. Your speaking partner will do the same. Your Speaking Partner will show and describe his or her picture. He or she will describe what is happening in their picture, where it is, and who is in the picture. While you are listening, write down two questions for your Speaking Partner about the picture or about him or her. Then, after your Speaking Partner is done describing their picture ask him or her your questions. After your Speaking Partner has answered your questions, you will describe your picture. You will explain what is happening, where it is, and who is in the picture. Your Speaking Partner will write questions and will ask them after you are done describing them.
In this session, your Speaking Partner will ask you questions about yourself and your family. Use the chart below to talk to your Speaking Partner about the members of your family. Tell your Speaking Partner the names of some of your family members, their relationship to you, and something interesting about them.
Your Speaking Partner will ask you questions about your chart. You can use these questions to prepare.
- Tell the Speaking Partner about your family. Tell him/her about your parents or wife/husband. Do you have any brothers or sisters? If so, tell your Speaking Partner something interesting about them.
- Do you have any children? If so, what are their names and ages? What kinds of things do they enjoy doing?
- How well do you know your grandparents? How did you learn these things? How are family stories shared in your family? Tell your Speaking Partner some interesting facts about one or more of your grandparents:
- What is his/her name?
- How old is he/she?
- Where does he/she live?
- What does he/she like to do?
- Why did you choose to talk about this particular grandparent?
- Do you have other family members like uncles, aunts, or cousins who have interesting stories you could share?
Reading Out Loud
If there is time, your Speaking Partner will ask you to read the story "My Grandfather Starts a Dry Farm." Practice reading it out loud until you can read it smoothly. Your Speaking Partner will give you feedback to help you improve your reading and pronunciation.
My Grandfather Starts a Dry Farm
Laron Bates, my grandfather, moved 100 years ago to the place in Arizona where I was born. For me, this is an anniversary year. I want to remember him making that move one hundred years ago. My grandfather got a job from the University of Arizona. That was in 1911. He was going to try and run a "dry farm." A dry farm is a farm where you use only rainwater for your plants. In many parts of the world, this is a common way to farm. But Arizona is a desert and it does not rain very much. This farm was a test, or an experiment. They called it the experimental dry farm. My grandfather planted his crops. The main crop was corn. The first few years of the experiment, the crops grew very well. We have pictures of him standing in the corn where the plants had grown over his head. But later on a dry year came and the crops failed. This was followed by another dry year and the crops failed again. This happened three years in a row. At last, the university decided that they did not want to continue the experiment. They decided it was not a good idea to try and have dry farms in the desert in Arizona. Instead, people had to use water from lakes and rivers for their crops. They had to build ditches, or places for the water to run to the farm land. Although my grandfather still got paid from the university during these last three years when the crops failed, at the end he was out of a job. He had to find a new place to work. He moved to my hometown and began to farm again, but this time he helped build a water system. Then he could farm. He was able to raise his family, start a branch of the Church, and build up a new community. I'm glad my grandfather was willing to try an experiment. Even though the dry farm failed, my grandfather and grandmother made a good life for our family in this new area in Arizona.