Once upon a time, there was a young man named John. John was always interested in learning new things. He wanted to improve his English skills to travel to America and have a better life. John recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He dreamed of moving to America and getting a good-paying job as an engineer. His dream came true when he applied, won the Green Card Lottery, and moved to the United States for a better life.
He found a free online course called “English Grammar” at the Khan Academy and decided to take it. He worked hard, completed the course, and got an A+. John was very proud of his accomplishments and knew this was the first step to success. However, he also felt that one thing was missing from his vocabulary: the word “yet.” So, he returned to the Khan Academy and asked about this issue. The teacher gave him some helpful information and sent him on his way.
He also wanted to find a job to help support his family. John started his search for a job at his local library, hoping to meet some of the many people who worked there. John went to every job fair the library held and even volunteered his services at the local office to see if they would hire him.
And then, one day, he got a call from the head librarian telling him she had found him a job at the library. He was thrilled that he had found his first job in America and thought it was a great opportunity. He got up the next morning and showed up for work. Unfortunately, he was let go from his job the very next day. The reason was that the library was in financial trouble and needed to make some cutbacks. The library was now looking for a part-time custodian who could help clean the building. John had applied for the job, and then, just like that, he was hired as a part-time custodian!
However, after three months at the library, John began to feel a bit sad and lonely. He missed his friends back home and wanted to talk to them about their experiences with dating and relationships. He also felt that he needed to go to school to learn more about business and how it worked. After thinking about it for a few days, John decided that maybe he should take some online classes to improve his English skills, learn about business, and keep busy.
And then, one day, John met someone he liked working at the library. Her name was Katie. He decided to ask her out for dinner. They went to the local Italian restaurant and ate pizza and drank wine. John had a wonderful time and enjoyed himself so much that he asked her to go on a second date. After they finished their meal, they both went outside to sit in the park and talk. John told her he loved his family and wanted to change his life to help him feel more fulfilled.
John and Katie talked for a while and became really good friends. At the end of the evening, John asked Katie again if she would like to go on a second date with him. She said she’d love to but had to return to her home country first because her mother was sick. She told him she was unsure she’d return to the USA. After she left, John went over to the table where his friend Jill was waiting for him. He invited her to have dinner with him the following evening.
John and Jill had dinner and returned to John’s apartment to watch a movie. It was the first time that they had been together alone. They talked about their favorite movies and movies they had seen. As they watched the movie, they began to feel more comfortable with each other. And then, one day, John and Jill started to talk about how they could make their relationship work. They both agreed that they wanted to get married, and they wanted to rush things. They decided to go to a local courthouse to see if they could find a judge who would marry them.
After the wedding, John got a call from the head librarian at the library telling him that he had a job interview for an administrative assistant job at the library. He was thrilled and decided to drive to the library early in the morning to apply. He was interviewed and hired for the job, and now he can help support his family and pay off his student loans. He has found good-paying full-time work and is finally on his way to being successful in America.
English Learners, what did you think of this story? What did you like, and what did you want to be different? How would you continue this story? Add your insights in the comments section below.
Activity: Multiple-Choice Questions
Directions: Please take out a sheet of paper or use your notebook to write your answers. Once you write your answers on your paper, please review the answer key below.
- According to the passage, why did John want to improve his English skills?
a) To get a job in America
b) To travel to America
c) To support his family
d) To have a better life
- How did John feel after completing the “English Grammar” course at Khan Academy?
a) Proud of his accomplishments
b) Disappointed in his progress
c) Confused about his future plans
d) Frustrated with his language skills
- Why did John volunteer at the local office?
a) To gain work experience
b) To meet new people
c) To support his family financially
d) To improve his English skills
- Why was John let go from his job at the library?
a) The library had financial troubles
b) John didn’t show up for work
c) The library was closing down
d) John didn’t get along with his coworkers
- What position did John eventually get at the library?
a) Part-time custodian
b) Head librarian
c) Administrative assistant
d) Volunteer coordinator
- Why did John decide to take online classes?
a) To improve his English skills
b) To learn more about business
c) To keep busy
d) All of the above
- What did John and Katie do on their first date?
a) Went to the local Italian restaurant
b) Went to a movie theater
c) Went for a walk in the park
d) Went to a museum
- Why did Katie have to return to her home country?
a) Her mother was sick
b) She didn’t like living in the USA
c) She found a job opportunity abroad
d) She wanted to visit her friends
- Who did John invite to have dinner with him after Katie left?
b) His family
c) His friends back home
d) His colleagues from work
- What did John and Jill talk about during their dinner?
a) Their favorite movies
b) Their favorite books
c) Their future plans
d) Their past relationships
- Why did John and Jill decide to get married?
a) They wanted to rush things
b) They wanted to start a family
c) They wanted to live together
d) They wanted to please their parents
- What job opportunity did John get after his wedding?
a) Administrative assistant at the library
b) Head librarian at the library
c) Part-time custodian at the library
d) Volunteer coordinator at the library
- How did John feel after getting the job at the library?
- What can be inferred about John’s financial situation after getting the job?
a) He can support his family
b) He is in debt
c) He needs to find a second job
d) He is struggling to pay off his student loans
- What is the main theme of the passage?
a) Pursuit of the American Dream
b) Importance of language skills
c) Challenges of finding a job
d) Benefits of online education
- a) To get a job in America
- a) Proud of his accomplishments
- b) To meet new people
- a) The library had financial troubles
- a) Part-time custodian
- d) All of the above
- a) Went to the local Italian restaurant
- a) Her mother was sick
- a) Jill
- a) Their favorite movies
- a) They wanted to rush things
- a) Administrative assistant at the library
- a) Thrilled
- a) He can support his family
- a) Pursuit of the American Dream