Anna is feeling homesick. Marsha helps her by listening to her talk about her family.
In this video, learn to say the new words. Learn to ask a friend to talk about a problem. You can also download the Activity Sheet and practice talking about your family.
In this video, you learn about how Americans pronounce the word "aunt" in different parts of the country.
Anna: Hello! Washington, D.C. has many beautiful parks. In fact, this park reminds me of my home very far away.
Marsha: Anna, here's your coffee.
Anna: Thanks, Marsha.
Marsha: What's wrong?
Anna: I'm thinking about my family. I'm feeling homesick.
Marsha: Do you want to talk about it?
Anna: Sure! I have some photos.
Marsha: Yes. Yes, you do!
Anna: Photos really help.
Anna: This is my mother and this is my father. They are rodeo clowns.
Marsha: What do rodeo clowns do?
Anna: They make jokes at a rodeo. They make people laugh.
Marsha: That-That';s very different.
Marsha: Who is that woman in the picture?
Anna: That is my Aunt Lavender. She is my mom's sister. She loves gardening and makes spoons.
Marsha: She makes spoons?
Anna: Of course.
Marsha: That, too, is very different.
Anna: Oh! This is my Uncle John. He is my father's brother.
Marsha: What does Uncle John do?
Anna: He's a chicken farmer. And makes guitars. He's awesome, and I'm his favorite niece.
Marsha: Who are they?
Anna: They are my cousins. They are my Uncle John's daughter and son.
Marsha: What do they do?
Anna: They raise sheep and make sweaters.
Marsha: Yeah, that's not a surprise.
Marsha: Thanks for showing me your family photos. Your family is very different.
Anna: I do feel better. Thanks for listening. I have many more photos!
Marsha: Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Anna: Washington, DC is my new home. But I like remembering my old home, too.
Anna's Family Tree
This is a family tree. Anna tells Marsha about her parents.
Her mother and father are rodeo clowns.
Her father's parents are from Italy. These grandparents speak Italian.
Anna's mother's parents live in California. These grandparents have a farm and raise horses.
Anna's mother's sister is Aunt Lavender. She loves gardening.
Anna's father has a brother. His name is John. Uncle John makes guitars.
Uncle John has a daughter and a son. They are Anna's cousins. They raise sheep.
Anna's brother has two children. They are Anna's niece and nephew.
Are you from a big family or a small family? Write to us to tell us about two people in your family. What do they do? What do they make? Send us an email or write about them in the Comments section. Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet and practice with a friend.
Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.
The learning strategy for this lesson is Find Patterns. Learning is easier when you can find and apply patterns. Here is an example.
Carlos is learning the names of family members in English. He sees a pattern. Some words change when you talk about the next generation. "Father" changes to "grandfather." When someone is related by marriage, the word "in-law" is used. "Sister" changes to "sister-in-law." Carlos thinks he can use this pattern to help remember the new words in English.
How do you find and use patterns in studying English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.
See how well you learned the lesson by taking this listening quiz. Play the short video and choose the best answer.
clown - n. someone who often does funny things to make people laugh
different - adj. not ordinary or common; unusual
feel - v. used to describe or ask about someone's physical or mental state
garden – v. to work in a garden; to take care of the plants in a garden
guitar - n. a musical instrument that is held against the front of your body and that has usually six strings which are played with your fingers or with a pick
homesick - adj. sad because you are away from your family and home
joke - n. something said or done to cause laughter
laugh - v. to show that you are happy or that you think something is funny by smiling and making a sound from your throat
make - v. to build, create, or produce (something) by work or effort
park - n. piece of public land in or near a city that is kept free of houses and other buildings and can be used for pleasure and exercise
photo (photograph) - n. a picture made by a camera
raise - v. to keep and take care of (animals or crops)
remind - v. to cause (someone) to remember something
rodeo - n. an event in which people compete at riding horses and bulls, catching animals with ropes, etc.
sheep - n. an animal with a thick woolly coat that is often raised for meat or for its wool and skin
spoon - n. an eating or cooking tool that has a small shallow bowl attached to a handle
sweater - n. a warm usually knitted piece of clothing for the upper part of your body
aunt - n. the sister of your father or mother or the wife of your uncle
brother - n. a boy or man who has one or both of the same parents as you
cousin - n. a child of your uncle or aunt
daughter - n. a female child
family - n. a group of people who are related to each other
father - n. a male parent
mother - n. a female parent
nephew - n. the son of your brother or sister
niece - n. a daughter of your brother or sister
sister - n. a girl or woman who has one or both of the same parents as you
son - n. a male child
uncle - n. the brother of your father or mother or the husband of your aunt
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 talking about family members.
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 focus: Auxiliary do and the verb make
Topics: Family members; family relationships
Learning Strategy: Find and Apply Patterns
Speaking & Pronunciation Focus: Ask about a problem; varied ways to pronounce "aunt"
Now it's your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.