Sunday, February 1, 2009

Story Corps

Join StoryCorps in the National Day of Listening

There are many ways to practice listening on the internet. One good way is a site called Story Corps.

Story Corps is an "oral history project".

In many cultures, oral histories are an important part of the culture. People sit around and listen to stories, often from the older people in the culture. These stories are passed from one generation to the next.

Story Corps is a project in the United States, to collect stories from a variety of people. But really Story Corps tries to teach people that it is important to listen to one another. They declared the day after Thanksgiving, a "National Day of Listening".

Before You Listen
Discuss the following questions with a partner.
1. In your culture do people hug, or kiss? If so when and where?
2. In your culture, who is responsible for the housework? Who cooks, cleans, washes the dishes, etc.? Do men and women share these chores equally?

Here is some vocabulary you might need to understand this story. Do you know what these words mean? You can check below to find out their meaning.


show affection



Bible class




Now you are ready to listen. This story is a story of a Korean immigrant. Her name is Hee-Sook Lee. Her Korean-American daughter Joyce is interviewing her. Joyce wants to know why her parents' relationship looks different from the parents of her other Korean-American friends.

Here is Joyce's question:
I know that having other friends who have parents who are Korean immigrants, they've never actually seen their parents hug or kiss or show affection and emotion towards each other so I think that's pretty unusual for a first-generation Korean couple, can you tell me where you learned this from?

You can click here to listen to the story. When you are finished, hit your "back" button to return to this page. Listen as many times as you want.

Listen to Hee-Sook and answer these questions.

1. Where did Hee-Sook meet Bob and Pinkston?

2. What did she observe when she saw them together?

3. What did she see her own parents doing?

4. When Hee-Sook got married, what kind of man did she marry?

5. What did her husband do when Hee-Sook said, "I love you"?

6. How did he change? Why?

7. How does Joyce feel about her parents' relationship?

You can click on the "comments" link below and let me know what you thought about this story.


first-generation - the first generation in a family to immigrate (in this case, to the U.S.). For example if the parents come to the U.S., they are the first-generation. When their children are born, they are the second-generation, their children are third-generation, etc.

show affection - a visible display of affection. To show someone by your actions that you love them. This might be hugging, kissing, or some other type of non-verbal behavior.

missionary - people who go to other places to teach people about their religion.

couple - two of something. In this case, a couple means a man and a woman who love each other. Of course, a couple can also be two men or two women.

Bible class - a class where people go to study the Bible - a book that Christians believe is the word of God.

serve - to bring something to someone. In a restaurant, a waiter or waitress serves food.

typical - usual, ordinary, common. What do you do in a typical day?

appreciation - a feeling of thanks. When you "show appreciation" you do something to say thank you.

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