English Through Media

Family Ties TV Sitcom


1. Little Man on Campus (10/04/84): Alex is thrilled to be taking a college course taught by one of his personal heroes, Professor Ephraim Bronski, but in his eagerness to impress the teacher he gets off to a bad start and is humiliated by his idol when he fails the first class assignment. Alex cannot believe that the brilliant paper he turned in received an "F" and turns to his sister Mallory for advice on how to cope with failure.

2. Hotline Fever (11/01/84): Alex is teamed with long-time rival James Jarrett and assigned to work at a "hotline" crisis center to fulfill a course requirement, and the two end up in a crisis of their own when they get a call from a suicidal student. As an economics student, Alex finds it demeaning to be forced into a public service position, but his experiences at the crisis center gives him a new outlook on life. (Script)

3. Don't Kiss Me, I'm Only the Messenger (11/29/84): Alex tries to help his friend Skippy by setting him up with a girl named Jane, but Skippy feels betrayed when he catches Alex and Jane kissing. (Script)

4. The Philadelphia Story (01/17/85): While working on a term paper, Alex falls asleep and dreams it's July 3, 1776 and he's at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.


NPR (National Public Radio, USA) programs:

1. All Things Considered

News and human interest stories.

1A. Japanese Fortunetelling (April 27, 2003)    Click here

This is story by an American woman who is living in Japan. She talks about her friend Junko, who takes her to a fortuneteller because they've both been having a lot of bad luck recently.  

Answer Sheet 1A

1B. Small Talk (July 14, 2003)

This is a report about how people, specifically young college age people, in the United States make small talk in different parts of the country. 

Answer Sheet1B

2. Talk of the Nation

This is a talk radio program in which people call in to discuss various issues and topics.

2A. Ichiro vs Matsui (April 29, 2003)

Interview: Takao Nakajima discusses Japanese interest in tonight's Yankees-Mariners baseball game, which features two of Japan's most popular stars playing each other for the first time in the US. 

Answer Sheet2A

2B. Juveniles in the Adult Court System (Jan 14, 2003)

This is a small part of a discussion about if it is appropriate to try juveniles in adult courts. Youth crime has become a big topic. Sometimes, young people commit very serious crimes, and it seems that some young people act like adults. Therefore, American courts for adults sometimes have trials for young people under age 18, or juveniles. A professor talks about the age at which people become "adult."

Answer Sheet2B

3. National Story Project

These are real stories written by real people and read by Paul Auster on the air. Click on a story to hear it. Click on the icon to see the transcript of the story.

3A. The Mysteries of Tortellini  

This is a story of a woman who had a chef for a boyfriend. She wanted to impress him by cooking a dinner for him. She decided to make tortellini. The results were not what she had hoped.

Answer Sheet3A

3B. Brooklyn Roberts    

This is the story of an interesting person that the writer observed. It's a touching story of the talent and goodness that you can find in ordinary people who are not famous.

Answer Sheet3B

4. Morning Edition

National Public Radio program with news and in depth stories on contemporary topics.

4A. The Home Run (Sept 11, 2003)

An amusing story told about an older man who hit a home run while playing a baseball game. 

Answer Sheet4A

4B. Party Motivator Ensures Good Fun (November 3, 2003)

Suzy Choy loves to have a good time, and she's found a way to get paid for it. Choy is a "party motivator." Her job is to make sure guests have fun at the weddings, bar mitzvahs and corporate events she's hired to attend. 

Answer Sheet4B



Chapter 3 (Animal Behavior)

Part 2 Social Language

Page 88 A & B @

Part 4 Broadcast English

Page 99-100 A & B Section 1

Page 100 C & D Section 2

Part 5 Academic English

Page 105-106 Section 1

Page 106 Section 2

Page 107 Section 3

Page 107 Section 4

Chapter 4 (Nutrition)

Part 2 Social Language

Page 116 & 117 A & B

Page 117 C

Part 4 Broadcast English

Page 127 A

Page 128 D

Page 128 E

Page 128 F

Page 128 G

Page 141 Vocabulary Workshop


Chapter 6 (U.S. History Through Film)

Part 2 Social Language

Page 183

Part 3 Broadcast English

Page 190 & 191 A & C

Page 190 B & D