By William M. Balsamo



Welcome to my On-Line Internet Reading Lab. Below are the reading passages from the textbook “America- Today and Tomorrow.EClick on a topic and you will access the essay and quiz on that topic.  When the page appears, first click on "Start Reading" and the essay with a five-minute timer will appear on the right.You will be given five minutes to read each essay. When the five minutes are over,the text will disappear. Then answer the ten questions on the left side of the screen which pertain to the essay.

If you want to read the essay again click on the reading and the text will reappear. After you have answered a question, go on to the next question. You score will be registered above the questions.


CHAPTER I - Society and History

1.     Hurricanes and Tornadoes

2.     The American Jury System

3.     Firearms and Gun Controls

4.     The President's Privacy

5.     Ethnic Americans and Hyphenated Ones

6.     Melting Pot or Salad Bowl

7.     A Nation of Nicknames

8.     The American Dream

9.     Self-Service and Self Reliance

10. School Rings and Senior Privileges

11. Volunteers and Charitable Collections

12. Indians:the Native Americans

13. Cowboys and the Wild Frontiers

14. Banjos,Harmonicas and Guitars

15. Saluting the Flag

16. Black Culture in America

17. “Old GloryE- The American Flag

18. Faces Carved in Stone

19. Blue Monday and "Thank God it's Friday"

20. Sending Cards for All Occasions

21. Saying "God Bless You"

22. Euphemisms: Nice Ways to Say Unpleasant Things


CHAPTER II - Sightseeing and Daily Life

1.     Poisonous Rattlesnakes

2.     Disneyland and Theme Parks

3.     The Devil's Tower:Wyoming

4.     Las Vegas and Atlantic City

5.     Hollywood and Broadway

6.     The American Buffalo

7.     Greyhound Buses

8.     Tipping

9.     Sunday:A Day of Rest

10. Health Warnings

11. Happy Hours

12. The Rose is a Special Flower

13. Stickball on the City Streets  

14. Signing a Cast for a Broken Arm

15. Day Nurseries and Old Age Homes

16. The Birth of a New Child

17. Heads and Tails:Odds and Evens

18. The American Funeral: Wakes and Embalming

19. Part-time Jobs for Teenagers and Young Adults  

20. Bar-Hopping and Teetotalers

21. Honeymoons for the Newlyweds

22. Flea Markets, Garage Sales and Used Book Stores


CHAPTER III - Culture and Food

1.     Ladies First

2.     Feminists and Women’s Liberation

3.     America's Great Exports

4.     Hitchhiking on the Open Road

5.     Football Games

6.     Free Concerts in Museums, Parks and Public Places

7.     Grand Tour of An American Home

8.     Shopping Malls and Mail Orders

9.     Bridal Showers, Stag Parties and Other Rituals of Marriage

10. Jazz and Country-Western

11. Doggie Bags and Brown Bag Restaurants

12. Americans and their Cars

13. Abortions and the Death Penalty

14. Beauty Pageants

15. Fruit Pies and Yogurt

16. The Apple as a Special Fruit

17. Champagne Toasts

18. Fast Foods and TV Dinners

19. Sandwiches:BLTs and Submarines  

20. Summer Barbecues and Vegetarian Diets

21. Home Remedies

22. Popcorn and Potato Chips

23. Birthday and Pot Luck Parties

24. Twenty-Four Hour Diners

25. Hearty Breakfasts



At the link below you will find a sentence from the readings above whihc have been fragmented and mixed up. Test your ability at word order to restructure the sentences into a legible entity. After you have finished an exercise the computer will grade your effort!
Mixed Sentences


At the link below you will find crossword puzzles divided into three categories and a variety of topics. These crossword puzzles are intended to help the ESL student to review vocabulary associated with various topics !
Crossword Puzzles

Disappearing Into Clouds

At the link below you will find a collection of four fables based upon scriptural meditations. Each fable is supplemented by comprehension quizzes,activities and language games.
Four Fables


At the link below you will find a wealth of exercises for ESL Students which are both creative and imaginative. The exercises range from easy to difficult and are a challenge for anyone who is interested in improving his/her language skills!
Activities for ESL Students


"A Room Without Books is Like a House without Windows"

The links below will bring you on-line libraries for extended and extensive readings. At these sites you will find the works of great literature and information about their authors.I have also included my own short stories which do not belong in the category of literature but which I hope you may enjoy nevertheless.

On-Line Library of Literature

Great Books Index

Great Writers

Short Story Classics

Jack London's Writings

Short Stories by Yamataro

The Complete Works of Shakespeare

The Complete Works of Anton Chekhov

Ghost Stories from Around the World


The World's Great Speeches

The link below will bring you to a comprehensive list of some of the world's greatest speeches. They are spoken by the great men and women who delivered them. Some are serious, others humorous. Some are very important, others less so. They cover a wide range of history from politics to sports, music and entertainment.Some are actual speeches while others are fragments of moments in history which have changed our lives. You will need Real Play to listen to these speeches but you can download Real Play from the main page.

Great Speeches by History's Great Men and Women!

The World's Great Quotations

The link below will bring you to a comprehensive list of some of the world's greatest quotations of famous writers. There are over 22,000 quotations from over 2,600 authors. The quotes come from writers, religious leaders, philosophers and men and women for all walks of life. They are arranged by both author and sibject.

Great Quotations of History's Great Men and Women!

More of the World's Great Quotations

Here is another site of great quotations.Search 50,000 quotations (and bio info) for more than 3,000 famous people. This is a great research tool for students, teachers and quote lovers. Creative quotations also inspire Creative Thinking! - the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. Please browse creatively!

More Great Quotations of History's Famous People!


Dr. John Paul Loucky's Websites for ESL Learners

The link below will bring you on-line dictionaries and valuable resources to enhance you study of English. This link will lead you to further links which will be of greater value to improving your reading and comprehension skills.

On-Line Dictionaries and much more!!

Comprehensive List of On-Line Dictionaries

The link below will bring you more on-line dictionaries.Think of this web site as a search engine for words and phrases: If you have a word for which you'd like a definition or translation, OneLook will quickly shuttle you to the web-based dictionaries that define or translate that word. If you don't know how to spell the word, OneLook help you do that too. No word is too obscure: More than 5 million words in more than 900 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook® search engine.

Onelook Dictionary Search!

Reader's Digest

The link below will bring you to the Reader's Digest webpage. This is an excellent site for popular reading on a vast catalog of topics. One of the special features of this website is the "Word Power" link which will provide hours of fun with quizzes which will challenge your skills and strengthen your vocabulary. You will have to register once you get to this site, but it is free and easy to do!

Word Power!


Film scripts for film buffs and ESL Learners

The link below will bring you complete on-line film sciripts of hundreds of you favorite movies. Some are quite recent while others are classics. Perfect for studying the text of a film after viewing while the visual images are still clear in one's mind.


Movie trailers for film fanatics and ESL Learners

The link below will bring you to an exciting ESL website for film fans who want to study English by analyzing movie trailers.It's interactive and lots of fun.



Fun With Words!

The link below will bring you into a world of games and activites for the ESL Student. Scroll through this site to find information on anagrams,tongue twisters, palindromes and more oddities of the English language.

Fun With Words!


NOTE TO THE STUDENTS OF MR. BALSAMO'S CLASSES: Please send the scores of your quizzes to us by way of the email below:
Any questions concerning these quizzes should be addressed to me directly:

Mr. Balsamo's E mail: balsamo@kenmei.ac.jp


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