Storycorps: An endless supply of listening/reading material
- Published: 24/07/2013 at 08:37 AM
- Online news:
Storycorps provides an endless supply of short (2-3 minute) stories told by ordinary American people of all ages and from all parts of the country. Best of all, you can see what is being said. Here's an example with a Bangkok connection.
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Notice that little "cc" symbol under the screen. Click on it and you can see what is being said.
This was first published in September, 2012
Listening/reading: Speeding up the learning process
When I was learning to read Thai back in the late 1960's I was impatient To speed things up, I had some of my students use my old tape recorder to record short easy Thai texts. I still remember the beginning of the first one: กาเป็นนกชนิดหนึ่ง เราเรียกมันว่ากาเพราะมันร้อง "กา" "กา".
I used to listen to each story again and again – sometimes 10 times – and before long I could read, and I also could understand much better what people were saying to me.
That is a big reason why I have included sound files with the stories we use on the bangkokpost learning website. It is simply a great way to improveyour understanding of a second language.
With the internet, there is a huge amount of listening/reading material available and today I want to introduce you to an endless supply of short stories told by ordinarypeople from all parts of the United States. There are also transcripts for each story so you can see what is being said.
The organisation that produces the stories is called Storycorps and its website is: http://storycorps.org. Some of the stories have been animatedand that is where we will start. Tomorrow, we'll explorethe website in more detail and I'll show you how to find hundreds more stories.
The animatedstories are found here: http://storycorps.org/animation/. I have chosen one example because it has a Bangkok connection. It is called To RP Salazar, with Love.
You can click on the "cc" symbol to see the text, but I have also transcribed the text below, so you can read through it as well. I have also explained a few words that you might not know.
This love story starts with a typo
In 2007, Rachel Salaar lived in Bangkok, Thailand
Ruben Salazar lived in Waco, Texas
Their email addresses were nearly identical
RUBIN: Get to work, first thing I do is turn on my email, and I discovered this one. I didn’t know who it was from.
RACHEL: My coworker sent you that email by mistake.
RUBIN: And I was like, Here’s another R.P. Salazar. Imagine that. And so I forwarded it, I wrote a little message: “Hi Rachel, it seems as if this message came to me instead of you. I’m in Waco, Texas, U.S.A. Have a great day. P.S. How’s the weather there in Bangkok.
RACHEL: I replied to you, “Weather in Bangkok is lovely. Gracias, Rachel.”
RUBIN: So began a chainof emails.
RACHEL: The first couple of emails you started describing yourself, and that kind of encouragedme to be open about myself, too.
RUBIN: I was excited that this person is halfway around the world. It’s kind of like sending a letter in a bottle. I happened to hovermy mouse over your name on one of those emails and a picture of you popped up. It was like “Wow, she’s really beautiful. How can I make this picture bigger?” I would stay up late at night, which was your morning and we would chat for like four or five hours.
RACHEL: You had started to play an important role in my life, even before I consciouslyrealised it. I knew that I was falling love but there’s still that tiny little bit of doubtthat, this might not work because we’re 8,000 miles away from each other. But at some point, I finalised my plans to visit the U.S.
RUBIN: And you didn’t tell anyone.
RACHEL: Because everyone would tell me “You’re foolishto go halfway across the world to meet some strange guy you have not met. That would be crazy.”
RUBIN: And on my end, every relative, every friend, coworker – everyone knew.
RACHEL: We were together for eight days.
RUBIN: We were dancing one night and you mentioned something to the effect that…
RACHEL: I said you were the sweetest guy I’ve ever met.
RUBIN: I knew right at that momentI need to say or do something so I don’t lose her. And so I got on my knee and asked you to marry me.
RACHEL: Deep in my heart, I knew it was coming and it was the right thing, and it was the best thing.
RUBIN: People didn’t believe me when I told them I proposed to Rachel. Some of them had second thoughts for me followed by five minutes of laughter.
RACHEL: They now all tell us, “You’re perfect for each other. You found the right match!”
Related search: Storycorps
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager