Welcome to Iowa Public Television! If you are seeing this message, you are using a browser that does not support web standards. This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Read more on our technical tips page.

Iowa Public Television

 

Connect with English

Grief/Life Goes On (#116)

Pt. 1- The funeral is held, and the Boston fire department presents Rebecca with her father's helmet. Matt and Sandy both stop by to pay their respects, and Sandy tells Rebecca she's going back to Jack. Kevin and Rebecca speak movingly about their father's hopes and dreams.
Grammar lessons: indirect object nouns and pronouns: affirmative and negative statements; indirect object nouns and pronouns: yes/no questions and short answers; indirect objects and direct objects: wh - questions and answers.
Pt. 2- Uncle Brendan and his wife offer to help Rebecca and Kevin any way they can. Rebecca and Kevin go through financial papers and discover family mementos.
Grammar lessons: present perfect tense, affirmative statements; adverbials with present perfect tense; present perfect tense and simple past tense.
[26 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: Through the story of Rebecca, an aspiring singer, this English language learner (ELL) series touches on life's important issues: leaving home, parenting, education, work, love, success, and loss. All of the characters use meaningful, natural language that students can put to work immediately in their own lives. Each episode features dialogue that is slightly slowed down and subtly simplified. Key lines are repeated, idioms paraphrased, and important events retold. There are constant visual clues to meaning, such as written signs, notes, and documents. Closed captioning may be used as a teaching and literacy resource.

Watch it Online
http: //www.learner.org/resources/series71.html

« Upcoming Episodes

All Episodes

  • Introduction/Rebecca's Dream (#101)

    Viewers meet Rebecca Casey, an aspiring young singer. We also meet her boyfriend Matt, who doesn't think much of her dream, and her brother Kevin, who doesn't think much about the future at all. Rebecca considers applying for music school and pursuing her career full-time, rather than holding down a job and doing her music on the side. We also meet real-life immigrants and students who compare Rebecca's experiences to their own. Grammar lessons: be: present tense, affirmative statements; subject pronouns; imperatives. [26 minutes]

  • Differences/A Visit to the Doctor (#102)

    Pt. 1 finds Rebecca applying to music schools. Her father, a widowed, disabled firefighter, worries that she is choosing a chancy career, and that Kevin may not graduate. Rebecca's best friend at work is Sandy who just wants to settle down and raise a family. Grammar lessons: be: present tense, negative statements; indefinite articles a and an sentences with there is/there are; compound sentences with and. Pt. 2- Rebecca's father ignores his doctor's advice after a worrisome checkup. At a Memorial Day barbecue, Rebecca and Sandy talk about Sandy's boyfriend Jack, who shows up drunk and belligerent. Grammar lessons: be: present tense, yes/no questions; short answers to yes/no questions with be; possessive adjectives and possessive nouns. [26 minutes]

  • Celebrations/Breaking the News (#103)

    Pt. 1- Kevin graduates from high school, and Rebecca is accepted into the San Francisco College of Music. After telling Sandy the good news, she plans to confront her father about his health. Grammar lessons: present continuous tense, affirmative statements; definite article the; noun phrase: article + adjective + noun. Pt. 2- Rebecca's father tells Rebecca that he is against the San Francisco plan but Kevin supports her. Sandy will move in with her difficult boyfriend Jack. Rebecca and Kevin go shopping for a used car but have no luck. Grammar lessons: present continuous tense, negative statements; wh - questions with who and what; compound sentences with but. [26 minutes]

  • Saying Goodbye/Leaving Home (#104)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca gives her final music lesson while her father secretly goes shopping for a car to give her. After her last softball game, the team gives Rebecca a farewell present, and Rebecca and Matt break up. Grammar lessons: present continuous tense, yes/no questions and short answers; wh - questions with when; prepositions to tell when (present time). Pt. 2- Rebecca's father surprises her with the car and gives her a necklace that belonged to her mother. Kevin gives Rebecca a four-leaf clover key ring, and Sandy gives her a diary. Driving out of Boston, Rebecca stops at her mother's grave. Grammar lessons: future with going to; wh - questions with where; adverbs and prepositions to tell where. [26 minutes]

  • The Stranger/The Motel (#105)

    Pt. 1- When Rebecca reaches the Southwest in her cross-country drive, the car breaks down on a deserted road. She worries when a stranger approaches. He turns out to be a photographer, Alberto, who takes her in his own car for help. Grammar lessons: simple present tense, affirmative statements; direct object nouns; direct object pronouns. Pt. 2- Rebecca and Alberto reach a phone, but can only leave a message on a garage's answering machine. They drive to a motel, where Rebecca gets the only room left. Grammar lessons: simple present tense, negative statements; demonstrative adjectives; demonstrative pronouns. [26 minutes]

  • Negotiations/Photos and Farewells (#106)

    Pt. 1- The car repairs will cost $800 so Rebecca sells the car to the garage for $550 and plans to take the bus all the way to San Francisco. Grammar lessons: simple present tense, yes/no questions and short answers; possessive pronouns; can (ability, possibility). Pt. 2- On their way to the bus station, Alberto and Rebecca stop in a beautiful canyon where Alberto takes some photographs of her. As they say goodbye at the bus, they both realize they're interested in each other, but Rebecca doesn't want a boyfriend at this point in her life. Grammar lessons: be: past tense, affirmative and negative statements; be: past tense, yes/no questions and short answers; count and non-count nouns. [26 minutes]

  • A New Home/Meet The Discussion Group (#107)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca arrives in San Francisco, and is surprised to discover that her godmother Nancy keeps other boarders and that she will have to pay rent as well. Grammar lessons: simple past tense, affirmative and negative statements (regular verbs); simple past tense, yes/no questions and short answers; adverbs and prepositions to tell when (past time). Pt. 2- Viewers meet the members of the discussion group. The group members compare their lives and Rebecca's and talk about some of the circumstances within their own native cultures. [26 minutes]

  • Job Hunting/A Bad Day (#108)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca has a difficult time getting used to life with other boarders at Nancy's house. At school, Rebecca learns that her work-study program has been canceled so she goes on a job search. Grammar review be: present tense, affirmative and negative statements; be: present tense, yes/no questions and short answers; be: present tense, wh - questions and answers. Pt. 2- Rebecca finds the job search frustrating and shares her disappointments with another boarder. Alberto shows up and offers to show her around San Francisco. Grammar review be: past tense, affirmative and negative statements; be: past tense, yes/no questions and answers; be: past tense, wh - questions and short answers. [26 minutes]

  • A Night Out/First Day of Class (#109)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca and Alberto meet Alberto's family, the Mendozas, who are now close to retiring from their family restaurant. Alberto has a divorced brother, Ramon, with a young son, Alex. Ramon suggests Rebecca take a job with his son's after-school program. Grammar lessons: can and could (ability, possibility); can you/could you/would you (requests); can, could, and may (permission). Pt. 2- Rebecca finds her first day of classes at the San Francisco College of Music intimidating and expensive. She likes the after-school program a lot and meets Alex and his friend Vincent Wang. Meanwhile, Alberto is working on a deal with some investors who want to buy his parents' restaurant. Grammar review: direct object nouns and pronouns; grammar lessons: direct object infinitives: affirmative and negative statements; direct object infinitives: yes/no questions and short answers. [26 minutes]

  • Casey at the Bat/The Art Gallery (#110)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca gets a full-time job at Alex's after-school program. Alberto sends flowers and asks her to a gallery opening. But his brother, Ramon, is starting to appreciate Rebecca too. Grammar review: present continuous tense, affirmative and negative statements; present continuous tense, yes/no questions and short answers; present continuous tense, w h- questions and answers. Pt. 2- Ramon is worried that his ex-wife may take Alex to Los Angeles with her. Rebecca discovers that a photograph Alberto took of her in the canyon is on display at the gallery. The Mendoza family discusses selling the restaurant but Ramon is against the idea. Grammar review: simple present tense, affirmative and negative statements; simple present tense, yes/n o questions and short answers; simple present tense, wh - questions and answers. [26 minutes]

  • The Picnic/Prejudice (#111)

    Pt. 1- Ramon and Rebecca have a nice chat at a picnic for the after-school program but are interrupted when some racist kids taunt Vincent Wang. Alex tries to defend him, but some of the other children don't take the incident seriously. Vincent's father is so upset he pulls him out of the program. Grammar review: count nouns; non-count nouns; grammar lessons: sentences with there was/there were. Pt. 2- Rebecca and the staff explain to the kids why racist names should not be used, and a police officer talks about hate crimes. The children write cards to Vincent to encourage him to come back to the program. Grammar review: simple past tense, affirmative and negative statements (regular verbs); simple past tense, yes/no questions and short answers (regular verbs); simple past tense, wh - questions and answers (regular verbs). [26 minutes]

  • A Difficult Decision/Guitar Lessons (#112)

    Pt. 1- Vincent's parents stand firm in their decision not to let him return to the program. Rebecca wants to give guitar lessons to Vincent and Alex so the two friends can still see each other. Grammar review: simple past tense, affirmative and negative statements (irregular verbs); simple past tense, yes/no questions and short answers (irregular verbs); simple past tense, wh - questions and short answers (irregular verbs). Pt. 2- The Wangs agree to guitar lessons. Alex encourages his father to date Rebecca, but he also hopes his parents will reconcile. Ramon may have to go to court to prevent his ex-wife from taking Alex to Los Angeles. Grammar lessons: should and must: affirmative and negative statements; yes/no questions and short answers; compound sentences with and, too, and either; tag questions with be, should, and can. [26 minutes]

  • The Retirement Party/The Phone Call (#113)

    Pt. 1- Alex reacts badly to the news that he may have to go to Los Angeles. Alberto brings Rebecca to the retirement party for the Mendozas, and Mrs. Mendoza speculates about which of her sons Rebecca should marry. Grammar lessons: the future with will: affirmative and negative statements; the future with will: yes/no questions and short answers; wh - questions; present continuous tense and simple present tense for future meaning. Pt. 2- Mr. Mendoza announces that they won't sell the restaurant. Rebecca's godmother informs Rebecca that her father has been taken to the hospital in Boston. Grammar lessons: have to: present tense, affirmative and negative statements; yes/no questions and short answers; have to: past tense, affirmative and negative statements; yes/no questions and short answers; compound sentences with or. [26 minutes]

  • Review/The Emergency (#114)

    Pt. 1 offers a review of the storyline so far. Grammar lessons: used to: affirmative and negative statements; drawing conclusions: might and must in affirmative and negative statements; cardinal and ordinal numbers. Pt. 2- Kevin meets Rebecca at the Boston airport and tells her their father's heart attack was serious, and the doctor is not optimistic. Kevin and Rebecca return home where she finds the house a mess and without food. She questions Kevin about it but soon another call takes them back to the hospital. Grammar lessons: past continuous tense, affirmative statements; past continuous tense, negative statements; stative verbs. [26 minutes]

  • Bad News/Brothers (#115)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca and Kevin call a priest and their father's estranged brother, Brendan, who lives in Illinois. Father O'Conner administers the Sacrament of the Sick to Rebecca's father. Sandy arrives at the hospital and tries unsuccessfully to hide the fact that Jack has been hitting her. Grammar lessons: past continuous tense, yes/no questions and short answers; past continuous tense, w h- questions; there is/are and there was/were: yes/no questions and short answers. Pt. 2- Brendan Casey arrives and reconciles with his brother just before he dies. Funeral arrangements are made, and friends and relatives are contacted. Grammar lessons: adverbial phrases and clauses: one action before or after another action; adverbial phrases and clauses: two actions at the same time; past continuous and simple past tense. [26 minutes]

  • A Box of Memories/The Missing Car (#117)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca and Kevin find a key to a safe deposit box containing family treasures and substantial amounts in savings and insurance. Kevin tells Rebecca he resents her mothering him and he wants her to go back to college. Grammar lessons: present perfect tense, negative statements; present perfect tense, yes/no questions and short answers; present perfect tense, wh - questions. Pt. 2- The Casey family goes out for dinner and Rebecca and Kevin give their grandmother's ring to Brendan. Rebecca questions why she ever went to San Francisco in the first place. Brendan and Anne suggest that Rebecca and Kevin stay with them on their Illinois farm for a while. Grammar lessons: present perfect continuous tense, affirmative statements; present perfect continuous tense, negative statements; comparative and superlative adjectives. [26 minutes]

  • A Breakdown/A Call for Help (#118)

    Pt. 1- Kevin and his old girlfriend talk about his plans for the future. When he returns home, Brendan, Anne, and Rebecca reprimand him for taking the car without permission. Grammar lessons: present perfect continuous tense, yes/no questions and short answers; present perfect continuous tense, wh - questions; review: direct object infinitives: affirmative and negative statements; yes/no questions. Pt. 2- Kevin apologizes for taking the car. Sandy calls to say that Jack has hit her again and she's leaving him. Rebecca and Kevin go to her apartment to help her. Grammar lessons: direct object gerunds: affirmative and negative statements; direct object gerunds: yes/no questions and short answers; subject gerunds. [26 minutes]

  • Changes/The Farm (#119)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca and Kevin help Sandy move out. Jack tries to stop them, but the police arrive and arrest him. Kevin decides to go to his uncle's farm, and he and Rebecca pack up their apartment. Sandy decides to take Rebecca up on her offer to stay at their apartment until she gets her life straightened out. Grammar lessons: adverbial phrases and clauses of reason: affirmative and negative statements; adverbial phrases and clauses of reason: yes/no questions and short answers; wh - questions with why; so/such ... that. Pt. 2- Rebecca and Kevin enjoy a tour of Brendan and Anne's farm. Kevin decides that he will stay and help out on the farm and Rebecca decides to return to San Francisco. Grammar lessons: direct speech; present conditional statements; future conditional statements. [26 minutes]

  • Thanksgiving/Starting Over (#120)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca and Kevin enjoy Thanksgiving at Uncle Brendan's. Rebecca finally learns the source of Brendan's feud with her father. During the Korean War, Rebecca's father courted, and married, Brendan's girlfriend, who would be Rebecca's mother Grammar review: past continuous tense, affirmative and negative statements; past continuous tense, yes/no questions and short answers; wh - questions and answers; past continuous tense and simple past tense. Pt. 2- Rebecca returns to San Francisco and learns that she has lost her job in the after-school program. Grammar review: wh - questions with who, what, when, where, why, and how long; grammar lessons: wh - questions: who/what as subjects; who/whom/what as objects; wh - questions with what/which/how much/how many (+ noun). [26 minutes]

  • The Pressure's On/Sharing Feelings (#121)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca meets with her advisor to talk about catching up in her studies. Alberto shows up and invites her to the opera, but she hesitates because she has so much work to do. Grammar review: present perfect tense, affirmative and negative statements; contrast present perfect tense and simple past tense; grammar lessons: irregular simple past tense and past participles. Pt. 2- Rebecca studies for her exams with her schoolmate Bill, who invites her to come to an audition for a rock group. She cancels her opera date with Alberto. Grammar review: present perfect tense, yes/no questions and short answers; present perfect tense, wh - questions; grammar lessons: reflexive pronouns. [26 minutes]

  • Unexpected Offers/The Audition (#122)

    Pt. 1- Ramon sends Alex to Los Angeles for Christmas. Vincent Wang considers a job offer in Taiwan. Ramon visits Rebecca to deliver a gift from Alex. He starts to invite Rebecca to spend Christmas with him, but then hesitates, believing he should first talk with his brother about how they both feel about her. Grammar lessons: past perfect tense, affirmative and negative statements; past perfect tense and simple past tense; past perfect tense: yes/no questions and short answers. Pt. 2- Rebecca goes to the audition with her friend Bill. Grammar lessons: wh - questions with how often; frequency expressions; adverbs of frequency; wh - questions with how and adverbs of manner; w h- questions with whose; possessive adjectives, nouns, and pronouns. [26 minutes]

  • Dreamcatcher/Gifts (#123)

    Pt. 1- When Rebecca returns from her audition, Nancy advises her to clear up the situation with the Mendoza brothers, or the family history of two brothers estranged over a woman will repeat itself. Grammar lessons: adjective clauses: describing people; adjective clauses: describing things; adjective clauses: describing people and things. Pt. 2- Alberto tells Rebecca that he thinks it's better if they remain just friends. Afterwards, he listens to the song his gift inspired her to write. Rebecca and Ramon celebrate Christmas together. Grammar lessons: direct speech; grammar lessons: indirect speech; embedded questions. [26 minutes]

  • True Love/Friendship (#124)

    Pt. 1- Rebecca and Ramon exchange Christmas gifts--and a kiss. Ramon suggests they spend New Year's together. Back in Illinois, Brendan and Anne suggest that Kevin visit his sister for the holiday. Grammar review: direct object gerunds; direct object infinitives; direct object infinitives with subjects. Pt. 2- Kevin arrives in San Francisco just as Rebecca is finishing the new recording of her song. Alex and Vincent conspire to spend New Year's Eve together before Vincent moves to Taiwan. Bill tells Rebecca he is moving to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. Grammar lessons: passive voice: simple present tense, affirmative and negative statements; passive voice: simple present tense, yes/noquestions and short answers; prepositional phrases with by in passive voice statements. [26 minutes]

  • The Lost Boys/A Very Good Year (#125)

    Pt. 1- Alex and Vincent go ice skating on their big night, and Alex falls and hurts his ankle. Meanwhile, their families search everywhere for them. Finally, Mrs. Wang receives a call from the hospital informing her that the boys are safe. Grammar lessons: passive voice: simple past tense, affirmative and negative statements; passive voice: simple past tense, yes/noquestions and short answers; transitive and intransitive verbs. Pt. 2- The Wangs pick up the boys at the hospital and deliver Alex home safely. Everyone celebrates New Year's together at the restaurant and Rebecca and Ramon see that a very good year lies ahead. Grammar review: present conditional statements; future conditional statements; grammar lessons: contrary-to-fact conditional statements. [26 minutes]

« Upcoming Episodes

« Back to Programs A-Z