"ace a test" = get a perfect score

"Amber is going to ace tomorrow's quiz because she studies so hard, and she has a very good private tutor to help her."

"hit the books" = study hard

"When are you going to hit the books for the test? You've been playing video games all afternoon."

Private Language Tutor

1. Pre-Listening Exercises  

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking private lessons, small group lessons (3-10 students), or language classes of 20 or more students?

HELPFUL TIP : Not all teachers are the same. If you need private lessons, find a teacher that has special skills and experience in the area that interests you.

2. Listening Exercises
Listen to the telephone message by pressing the "Play Audio" button and answer the questions.

1. What is the man's name?
A. His name is Mike.
B. He goes by Nick.
C. His friends call him Nate.

2. Where is the man from?
A. He's from Brownston.
B. His hometown is Brownsburg.
C. He's originally from Brownsville.

3. How old is the man?
A. He's in his early twenties.
B. He's in his mid twenties.
C. He's in his late twenties.

4. Where did the man meet Sarah?
A. He met her on a bus.
B. They were introduced at a party.
C. He saw her in a language class.

5. Sarah's older sister is worried that Nick _____________.
A. is a terrible language teacher
B. is going to be a negative influence on her
C. charges too much money for lessons


1. He goes by Nick.
2. He`s originally from Brownsville.
3. He`s in his early twenties.
4. He saw her in a language class.
5. is going to be a negative influence on her


Nick: Hi. Uh, are you Sarah?

The Big Sister: No, I'm not. I'm her older sister.

Nick: Well, I'm here to talk to her . . .

The Big Sister: I know why you here.

Nick: Good. Uh, Is Sarah here?

The Big Sister: Um, I first have a couple of questions, and you [had] better answer them. First of all, what is your name?

Nick: Uh, my name? I'm Nick . . .

The Big Sister: I thought so. Where are you from?

Nick: Um. I'm from Brownsville. Why are you asking me . . .

The Big Sister: Okay. How old are you?

Nick: What!?

The Big Sister: How old are you?

NickDoes that matter?

The Big Sister: Of course, it matters. I wouldn't be asking otherwise.

Nick: Really?

The Big Sister: Really. Yeah. Sarah's only 19.

Nick: Okay, I'm 22. Now, is Sarah here?

The Big Sister: Where did you first meet Sarah and why do you like her so much?

Nick: Like her? What do you mean? I've only met her once in . . .

The Big Sister: Don't lie to me, Nick.

Nick: Are you sure you have the right guy? Listen. Are you sure? [I'm sure, I'm sure.] Listen. I'm leaving. I don't need the money THAT much.

The Big Sister: Money? Wait! What do you mean?

Nick: Listen. I'm a teaching assistant at the university, and I met Sarah in the Spanish class last week. She asked me if I could teach her, you know, help her with her class.

The Big Sister: So, you're not Nick Roberts, that guy that drives that crazy motorcycle? [No!] The one with the large tattoo of a large snake across his back?

Nick: No! What? You've got the wrong guy. I'm leaving. This whole thing is crazy.

3. Post-Listening Exercises
Discuss your past experiences in learning English. Did you learn in both in your home country and overseas? What different methods do teachers use to teach grammar, spelling, reading, writing, listening, and speaking? What percent of the time do teachers use English in the class? In your opinion, what is the secret of learning English faster?

4. Online Investigations
Use the Internet to find two online esl tutoring services. Compare the following points:

  • the cost of lessons
  • types of lessons (writing, grammar, listening, speaking, etc.)
  • meeting times and days of the week
  • experience and background of tutors
  • hardware and software requirements
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