For the student and teacher
American Holidays is a vocabulary development text which focuses on words which are associated with the traditions, customs, and background of the special days we celebrate in the United States. Some of these holidays are also celebrated in Canada and elsewhere. The key vocabulary is presented in twenty readings. The reading passages are written in a redundant style so that you can understand each key word by looking at its context. In other words, you should try to understand the meaning of the word by studying the words and sentences which precede and follow the key word. Of course, you may want to use a dictionary from time to time. Therefore, you can develop both new vocabulary and good reading skills. The lessons are organized according to the following plan:
Each reading selection describes an American holiday. The key vocabulary is in boldface. The first section of each reading explains the traditions and customs of the holiday. The second explores its historical and cultural background.
Several exercises follow each reading selection. The exercises progress from easy to more difficult. In the exercises you will be required to explore the forms and meanings of the key words. The exercises are not tests. They are teaching exercises, and it is expected that you will make some mistakes. You can teach yourself by using the answers in the back of the book. The next-to-last exercise does not have answers in the book because you must create original sentences. You can use this exercise as a test by asking someone who knows English well to check your answers.
Finally, you will see some web sites that have more information about the holiday. If you have access to the internet, check out these sites.
Answers for most of the exercises are at the back of the book.
Each appendix contains materials for activities which supplement the readings and exercises.
Suggestions for the Teacher
Basic techniques for using this book and ideas for supplementing it are described in this section.
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