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Vocabulary Quiz
volunteer • public • great
special skills • by himself
  1. I have a lot of that would help me in this job.
  2. Although he has a real job now he still works as a fireman once a month.
  3. steaks are what this restaurant is known for.
  4. He drove across the country to see her.
  5. They are building a new library in town.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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66 American Life
Yoko talks a little about her stay in the United States and why she went there.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

volunteer teacher

I went to Michigan and worked as a volunteer teacher.

A 'volunteer teacher' teaches lessons, but does not get paid to teach.  People volunteer to do many things to help people and to gain experience.  Notice the following:

  1. She worked as a volunteer teacher in the Peace Corps for two years.
  2. The clinic is looking for volunteer nurses.

public school

I worked in a public school.

A 'public school' gets money from the government for teachers and supplies. Notice the following:

  1. The public school system in this area is really good.
  2. You get paid more if you teach in a public school.

great country

I think America is a great country.

A 'great country' is a country that is very good in at least one area.  We can put 'great' in front of any noun to show that it is good or remarkable. Notice the following:

  1. They make great pizza here.
  2. The Beatles made a lot of great songs.

special skills

I did not have special skills to teach, but they let me work as a volunteer.

'Special skills' are unique abilities that you need to perform a task.  Anything that you know how to do that is not something everyone knows is a special skill.  Notice the following:

  1. What kind of special skills do you have?
  2. He learned a lot of special skills while he was a volunteer.

by myself

I visited lots of places by myself.

When you do something 'by yourself' it means that you do it alone or without someone that you know.  Notice the following:

  1. I would never go to a party by myself.
  2. I prefer to go for walks by myself or with my dog.