Music Teacher Offers Free Classes

July 14, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. lay off (idiom) [ley] [awf, of] – to end the employment of someone (sometimes by force)
Example: A lot of people got laid off during the recession in the US.

2. disadvantaged (adj.) [dis-uhd-van-tijd, -vahn-] – deprived of something that is necessary (e.g., housing, medical care, education)
Example: The disadvantaged students were not provided with enough chance to improve their skills. 
3. abandon (v.) [uh-ban-duhn] – to leave or give up something completely
Example: He had no choice but to abandon his class because he was laid off.

4. call off (v.) [kawl] [awf, of] – to cancel an event
Example: It was raining hard, so they called off the game.

5. struggle (v.) [struhg-uhl] – to exert extra effort, usually with difficulty
Example: Our team struggled to make sure the project will be a success.

Read the text below..

A music teacher from New Jersey continues to teach his students even after he got laid off from work.

Nathan Thomas, a music teacher from Patterson Public School No. 7, drives for an hour from his home to a church where he organized free weekend lessons in order to teach violin to disadvantaged students.

Thomas says that he could not afford to leave the students, even after school administrators called off the music program. He believes that adults, especially teachers like him, play an important role in the lives of children.

Abandoning his students broke Thomas’ heart, so despite being jobless, Thomas found a way to teach the students and organize a Christmas concert with them.

One of his students, Jesus Rolon, shares how music helped him become an honor student. He said that he used to struggle with his grades. But after learning violin from his teacher, people started believing in him. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Did/do you have music classes in school? How were/are they?
·         Do you think students need to take music classes? Why or why not?

Discussion B 

·         What are the things you wish to achieve?
·         How do you plan on achieving these things?

July 14, 2011