Monday, October 22, 2007

Long Island Hispanic Business Roundtable

It's Party Time! LIHBR will celebrate with a Happy Hour at Casa Vieja Restaurant This will be a great business networking and social event. Join us to:

*Celebrate the LIHBR's 4th. Year Anniversary.
*Interact with other professionals and business owners
*Catch up with old friends and meet new acquaintances.

Cost (pay at the door at the event):
$10 - LIHBR Members
$15 non-members
Includes Casa Vieja's famous appetizers, your favorite Drink, and a great networking opportunity. (cash bar after first drink) If you are interested in attending please call 631.521.70.13 or e-mail:

It will be so much fun! Don't forget to extend this invitation to other professionals.
Long Island Hispanic Business Roundtable

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Economic Impact of Hispanics on Long Island

According to "Economic Impact of Hispanics on Long Island" (a study published by the Horace Hagedorn Foundation):

Hispanics add $5.7 BILLION to the Long Island economy, in consumer spending.
Hispanic businesses contributed nearly $2 BILLION dollars in sale, in the last year posted (2002).
Hispanic residents contribute $614 more to local government budgets than they receive in benefits.

For more interesting facts about this subject, see the full report at the following link:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ESL Website

Project Wombat, a list-serv for librarians, recently posted the following site in response to suggestions for good esl learning and teaching resources. It's rich and well-organized! Give it a try!

This is a wonderful, prize-winning site.
Adult Literacy Program
Hutchinson Public Library
Hutchinson, KS

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Unbroken Agony: Haiti from Revolution...

Book TV, as always, has something of "multicultural" interest again this week!

An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President
Bookmark Program
Author: Randall Robinson

Saturday, October 13, at 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 14, at 4:30 PM

Randall Robinson talks about the history of Haiti and the Haitian people from the arrival of Columbus in late 1492 to the ouster of President Aristide in 2004. Mr. Robinson spoke at Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem.

About the Author--Randall Robinson, founder and past president of TransAfrica, is the author of several books, including "The Debt" and "Quitting America." For more, visit

Monday, October 8, 2007

Cultural Event

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico At the Staller Center!

Friday, October 12, 2007 at 8:00 pm Main Stage - $37 Sponsored by Times Beacon Record Newspapers

In a quest to keep alive the ancient dances of Mexico, Amalia Hernández founded a magnificent corps de ballet that has garnered international acclaim. Impeccably orchestrated choreography and exquisite costumes create fireworks of rhythm and color on stage. The present fades in a journey through the past where the Lords of Heaven and Earth come back to life. Music, melodies and poetic songs express emotions of vitality, grace, humor, deep sensuality, and the joy of life of the Mexican People.

“…a fast-paced entertaining show that can make viewers want to rush right off to Mexico.” -The New York Times

I saw them years ago, in Mexico City. It was fantastic!

Friday, October 5, 2007

2009 Diversity Visa Lottery

The United States Department of State Web site for the 2009 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2009) is now open. The application submission period for DV-2009 is from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 3, 2007 to 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on December 2, 2007. The application form will only be available for submission during this period and this period only. Applications will not be accepted through the U.S. Postal Service. For further details and instructions click on this link: .

Please Note: There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to "complete" lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and NOT by email. To learn more see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Library Newsletter in Spanish

I know that you are all interested in improving your English. That said, the Brentwood Public Library Newsletter is now available in a Spanish language translation. To check it out go to:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

News from Arizona

Our friend Silvana writes from Arizona that the Chandler Public Library (Basha Branch) has an English Conversation group on Thursday. She is going to visit and report back to us with ideas to improve our group.

Also-----she is the proud recipient of a GREEN CARD! Congratulations Silvana, You Go Girl!

New Group Forming

I've met a volunteer who lives in US from March to November, and the rest of the year in Mexico. She is willing to work help out with conversation groups. The question is, what would be a good day and time for another group? She'd like to start another group. Of course, there would be a break from November to March. Let me know if you are interested by COMMENTING via the link below. TIA (Thanks in advance!)

Friday, September 7, 2007

C-Span Book TV

Those of you who know me, know that I tend to rave about C-Span Book TV. In my opinion, it's the best programming on the tube.

This Saturday, September 8th at 9:00 AM/EST Kim MacQuarrie, author of THE LAST DAYS OF THE INCAS, recounts the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire beginning with the landing of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and his army of 167 men in 1532. The Spanish were outnumbered 200 to 1 yet were able to seize the Inca capital, Cuzco and dispose the Inca ruler within a year of arrival. The Incas were forced into the Amazon and a 36-year guerrilla war with the Spanish ensued. The author relays the last days of the Inca empire and examines the excavation of Inca artifacts. Kim MacQuarrie discusses his book at Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colorado.

For a complete schedule of this week's programs see:

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Read Along Books & Tapes

The Brentwood Public Library has a collection of READ ALONG BOOKS & TAPES. Each packet contains a paperback book and a cassette tape version of the book. The latter is recorded 10-15% slower than standard audiobooks. In this way, you can SEE, READ, and LISTEN to English. It will help improve your listening skills!

The collection is located on the lower level of the library, with the ESL (Literacy) Books. Come in and see us, we're here to help you find what you need!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Spanish Language Answer Service 24/7

Is Spanish your first language, but you need a break once-in-while? Did you know that we now have a Spanish language online reference service in Suffolk County? I urge you to try it out asap. Here's the direct url:

Have your library card will be asked for the bar code on the back of it.

If you are committed to English (hurray for you!) or want to committ AFTER seeing the main page, try this link at:

Saturday, September 1, 2007

How-To Phrases

The British Broadcasting Corporation LEARNING ENGLISH site is comparable to the Voice of America, featured yesterday. Just keep in mind that there are cultural differences, in addition to pronunciation differences, between British and American English.

That said, the BBC website has a very useful collection of "How-To" phrases, within the grammar and vocabulary section. The direct url is

This week's feature is on "How-To Make an Appointment." It covers the vocabulary and phrases you need to know to book an appointment for a variety of situations.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Voice of America

This afternoon's Friendly English group divided into two subgroups. Carlos and Edana worked on Auralog, and on the Voice of America SPECIAL ENGLISH website. To quote from the website, "On October 19, 1959, the Voice of America broadcast the first Special English program. It was an experiment. The goal was to communicate by radio in clear and simple English with people whose native language was not English. Special English programs quickly became some of the most popular on VOA. They still are. Special English continues to communicate with people who are not fluent in English. Over the years, its role has expanded. It helps people learn American English while they learn about American life and stay informed about world news and developments in science. It provides listeners with information they cannot find elsewhere."

Special English as a core vocabulary of 1500 words, the narrators read at a slower pace, about 2/3 the speed of standard English.

Particulary interesting is the WEEKLY TV FEED, a 30 minute program of news, arts and culture. As the broadcaster reads, captions appear on the screen. You can watch this week's program by going to the VOA Special English page:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Other Citizenship Classes/Otras Clases de Cuidadania

There are a number of places, in or near Brentwood, that offer preparation classes for U.S. citizenship.
Hay varios lugares, en/cerca de Brentwood, que ofrecen clases de cuidadania.
BOCES 631-549-4900
BOCES/GRASP 631-234-3764 (Programa para estudiar en casa)
Brentwood Senior High School 631-434-2204
Suffolk Community College/Exam Prep 631-451-4000
Adelante of Suffolk (youth/jovenes 13-21) 631-434-3481 (Clases privadas para adultos por cita)
...and PRONTO of LI offers free consultation on immigration & citizenship on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
...y PRONTO of LI ofrece consultas (gratis) acerca de inmigración y cuidadanía el primer y tercer miércoles de cada mes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Citizenship Classes @ Brentwood High School

Registration and pretesting for Citizenship Classes (Clases de Cuidadania) will be held at the Sonderling Center, 2nd Ave & 6th Ave, Room 2519, Brentwood NY, from 7:30-9:30 PM on September 18, October 2, November 13, December 11. Students must be 21 years or older. For further information call 631-434-2416. These classes are free.

Classes will be held on Monday & Wednesday from 7:00-10:00 PM, dates to be announced.

Passing the Spanish Regents Does Not Indicate Fluency

Great test grades in a foreign language course do not automatically translate into an ability to actually use that language to communicate in the real world. The "Friendly Conversation Groups" at the Brentwood Public Library were started to fill the gap between knowledge of grammatical norms and the ability to effectively communicate out in public.

Our first group, "Friendly English Conversation," started as a once-per-week meeting to practice English in a relatively stress-free environment. People were encouraged to open their mouths and try to converse, to get beyond the multiple choice test level of competency. This initial venture was a slow go! Participation was very sparse, often only two or three people, and one desperate leader trying to keep it going.

That changed when one of our ESL tutors started to bring her 4-6 students to the group. The slightly larger group created a more fertile environment and we began to style ourselves as "a cocktail party without the alcohol." Word of mouth spread and this one group has spawned two others, with a fourth to be added this autumn.

As library customers became aware of our English practice groups, they began to request that we consider other languages, particularly Spanish. We started a "Friendly Spanish Conversation Group" to address this need. Because the participants were divided between those whose goal was maintaining fluency vs. those who needed a basic introduction, we split the original group into a beginning and an intermediate/advanced level.

We now have participants from all four corners of the globe. With this blog we intend to maintain contact with each other and share our common experiences with a wider audience.

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