Anna interviews tourists on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She learns about where they are from and the languages they speak.
In this video, you can learn to say the new words. Learn how to say your country and nationality. You can also download the Activity Sheet and practice talking about countries and nationalities with a friend.
In this video, you learn about how English speakers say, "a couple of."
Anna: Hello! Washington, D.C. has many tourists! People from different countries come here. Today, my job is to interview tourists. I have to learn why they come here. This is very exciting! Excuse me. I’m Anna Matteo from The News. Do you have time for an interview?
Sabrina: Sure, I have time.
Anna: What is your name?
Sabrina: My name is Sabrina.
Anna: What country are you from?
Sabrina: I’m from Bangladesh.
Anna: So, you are Bangladeshi.
Sabrina: That’s right! My nationality is Bangladeshi.
Anna: Do you like Washington, D.C.?
Sabrina: Yes! The city is very beautiful!
Anna: What do you like to do in Washington D.C.?
Sabrina: I like history. So, I like walking around and looking at all the monuments and memorials. They make history come alive!
Anna: Washington has many monuments and memorials. The Washington Monument is behind us! Which is your favorite?
Sabrina: I really like Lincoln Memorial. It is very beautiful. And it feels like Abraham Lincoln is still alive.
Anna: Awesome. Thank you for your time, Sabrina!
Sabrina: You’re welcome.
Anna: Let’s find another tourist.
Anna: Oh! Excuse me. I am Anna Matteo from The News. Do you have time for a couple of questions?
Anna: Are you from Washington, D.C.?
Louis: No, I’m not.
Anna: What is your name and where are you from?
Louis: My name is Louis. And I’m from China.
Anna: What languages do you speak?
Louis: I speak Chinese and English.
Anna: What do you like about Washington DC?
Louis: I like the museums. I really like the art museums.
Anna: Many of the museums are free.
Louis: I like that too!
Anna: Awesome! Thanks for your time, Louis.
Louis: You’re very welcome. Bye!
Anna: Now, let’s find another tourist!
Anna: Hello! I am Anna Matteo from The News. Do you have time to answer a couple of questions?
Anna: What is your name and where’re you from?
Mehrnoush: My name is Mehrnoush. I am from Iran. I’m Iranian.
Anna: What language do they speak in Iran? Is it Persian?
Mehrnoush: They speak Farsi.
Anna: What do you like to do in Washington DC?
Mehrnoush: Well, I like learning about government and politics.
Anna: Washington has many politicians!
Mehrnoush: It does! I want to see the U.S. Capitol.
Anna: Look, you are very near.
Mehrnoush: I am!
Anna: Have fun!
Anna: There you have it. Tourists from all over the world come to Washington, D.C. They all like doing and seeing different things in the city. This is Anna Matteo reporting for The News. Until next time!
Anna: Is that okay? Awesome! Now, I want to do my favorite thing in the city … ride the carousel!
Where are you from? What languages do you speak? What do you like to do when you travel? Write to us by email or in the Comments section. Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet and practice writing and talking about countries and nationalities 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 Monitor. We monitor to check on what we hear and say when we are speaking and listening in English. Here is an example from this lesson's conversation.
Anna asks, "What country are you from?" She monitors to make sure Sabrina understands the question. Sabrina answers, "I’m from Bangladesh." Now, Anna knows that Sabrina understands the question.
Anna thinks she knows how to say Sabrina's nationality. She tries it: "So, you are Bangladeshi." Anna is listening to monitor what Sabrina says. Anna is not sure: is "Bangladeshi" the right way to say Sabrina's nationality? Some people use the word, "Bengali" to say this nationality.
Sabrina answers, "That’s right! My nationality is Bangladeshi." In Anna's mind, she monitors her understanding. She thinks, "I can say Bangladeshi for the nationality of a person from Bangladesh."
How do you monitor when learning 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.
Anna asks the tourists many questions. Can you choose the right question for each person? See how well you understand the lesson by taking this short quiz.
Abraham Lincoln – n. the 16th President of the United States
alive – adj. living; not dead
art – n. something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings
carousel – n. a machine or device with a moving belt or part that carries things around in a circle
country – n. an area of land that is controlled by its own government
couple – n. two (things) or a few (things)
favorite – n. a person or a thing that is liked more than others
free – adj. not costing any money
government – n. the group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc.
history – n. the study of past events
memorial – n. something (such as a monument or ceremony) that honors a person who has died or serves as a reminder of an event in which many people died
monument – n. a building, statue, etc., that honors a person or event
museum – n. a building in which interesting and valuable things (such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects) are collected and shown to the public
nationality – n. the fact or status of being a member or citizen of a particular nation
question – n. a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone's knowledge
politics – n. activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government
ride – v. to sit on and control the movements of (a horse, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.)
tourist – n. a person who travels to a place for pleasure
U.S. Capitol – n. the building in which the U.S. Congress meets in Washington, D.C.
Bangladesh – n. a country in Asia
Bangladeshi – n. a native or inhabitant of Bangladesh. adj. of, relating to, or characteristic of Bangladesh or its people.
China - n. People's Republic of, a country in E Asia.
Chinese - n. the standard language of China, based on the speech of Beijing; Mandarin; a native or descendant of a native of China.
adj. of or relating to China, its inhabitants, or one of their languages
Iran - n. a republic in SW Asia.
Iranian - adj. of or relating to Iran, its inhabitants, or their language; of or relating to the Iranian languages.
n. a subbranch of the Indo-European family of languages, an inhabitant of Iran; Persian.
Farsi - n. the modern Iranian language of Iran and western Afghanistan, written in the Arabic alphabet; modern Persian.
Persian – adj. of or relating to ancient and recent Persia (now Iran), its people, or their language.
n. a member of the native peoples of Iran; the principal language of Iran and western Afghanistan, in its historical and modern forms.
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 nationalities and languages.
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: Nationality and language names used as nouns and adjectives
Topics: Countries and Nationalities; Tourism activities
Learning Strategy: Monitor (comprehension and production)
Speaking & Pronunciation Focus: Talking about countries, languages, and nationalities; Saying "a couple of" quickly
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.