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Lesson 51: A Good Habit


Summary

Anna has a new goal - to run in a marathon. Her friend Ashley knows that training a little every day is a good idea. Will Anna be able to meet her goal?

Speaking

In this video, learn how to say the new words. Then learn about gerunds and infinitives.

Pronunciation

Use this video to learn about how Americans pronounce the reduced form of "to" in sentences with infinitives.

Conversation

Anna: D.C. is a popular city for marathons! A marathon is a long race. Many marathons raise money for charity, you know - good works. A marathon is a good fitness goal too. I want to challenge myself in a marathon and maybe win a medal! Hey, there’s Ashley. Ashley! Wait for me! It’s Anna!
Anna: Ash … ley. Ash … ley.
Ashley: Are you okay, Anna?
Anna: I just ran … from over there.
Ashley: Do you want to sit down, Anna? Do you want some water? (Anna takes the bottle and tries to return it.) No thanks. You keep it.
Anna: Thanks. I didn’t know you like to run.
Ashley: I love running. In fact, this weekend, I will run in my first marathon.
Anna: Me … too.
Ashley: Really? You are running in a marathon?
Anna: Yeah. In a couple of days. Why do you ask … like that?
Ashley: What do you know about running in a marathon?
Anna: I know that there’s a lot of running and sometimes you can win a medal.
Ashley: How long have you been training?
Anna: I started today. I’ve been training for an hour … no, an hour and seven minutes!
Ashley: Anna, training a little every day is a good habit to get into. Not all at once!
Anna: Thanks for the advice, Ashley. But I’m running in a special race.
Ashley: What marathon is it?
Anna: I don’t remember the name. But the website said everyone gets a medal.
Ashley: Okay, well, good luck, Anna!
Anna: Thanks, Ashley. Good luck to you, too.
Ashley: Thank you.
Anna: Bye!
Ashley: Bye, Anna!
Anna: See you!
(At the race: an announcer calls out race information)
Anna: Hello. I am here to enter the race!
Woman: But ma’am you can’t enter the race.
Anna: What? How am I going to meet my goal?
Woman: Ma’am, this race is for children. You can’t run with the children.
Anna: Children? Children. That’s perfect. I just might win!
Woman: No, ma’am. You really can’t run with the children.
Anna: I’m sorry. Of course. I was only thinking of my goal.
Woman: Well, you can help us with our goal, which is to raise money for sick children. Would you like to help us?
Anna: I’ve just found my new goal. And I get to wear a medal. (to child who finished race) Good job!

Writing

In this lesson, Anna helps at a charity event. Have you ever helped with a charity? Tell us about what you did to help. Write to us by email or in the Comments section.

Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet to practice using gerunds and infinitives to talk about sports. Please note, our activity sheets now can be completed on the computer.

Activity Sheet - Lesson 51

Activity Sheet - Lesson 51

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.

The learning strategy for this lesson is Set a Goal. This strategy is what we do when we plan to do something. In learning a language, setting a goal means we have a reason to learn. That helps us focus on our study and practice more often.

In this lesson, Anna has a goal of running in a marathon. Her friend Ashley has the same goal. But Ashley has been training so she can run the long race. She set a goal and is working hard to meet it.

Anna's goal is not easy to meet because she has not been training, or preparing to run well. She learns that she can have a new goal in this week's lesson. That goal is something she will be able to meet.

What is your goal for learning English? Write to us about the goals you have and how you are working to meet them in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.

Quiz

Listen to short videos and test your listening skills with this quiz.

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New Words

challenge - v. to test the ability, skill, or strength of (someone or something)
charity - n. a organization that helps people in need
fitness - n. the condition of being physically fit and healthy
goal - n. something that you are trying to do or achieve
habit - n. something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way
marathon - n. a running race that is about 26 miles (42 kilometers) long
medal - n. a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with designs and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement
race - n. a competition between people, animals or vehicles to see which one is fastest
special - adj. different from what is normal or usual
train - v. to try to make yourself stronger, faster, or better at doing something before competing in an event or competition

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Free Materials

Word Book

Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

Each Let's Learn English lesson has an Activity Sheet for extra practice on your own or in the classroom. In this lesson, you can use it to practice using gerunds and infinitives to talk about sports.

For Teachers

Lesson 51 - Lesson Plan

Lesson 51 - Lesson Plan

See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for ideas and more teaching resources. Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar: Review of Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous; Gerunds; Infinitives (to + verb)

Topics: Habits; Discussing things you dislike doing; Expressing appreciation

Learning Strategy: Set a Goal

Speaking and Pronunciation: Reduced "to" in infinitives

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Let's Learn English is a new course for English learners. Certified American English teachers designed the course for beginners. The course continues for 52 weeks.

Each week, there will be a new lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. The lesson includes instruction in speaking, vocabulary and writing.

There are also printable worksheets, assessments and lesson plans for individual learners and English teachers. We encourage you to follow the weekly lessons and share your progress with us through comments and email.

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