Independence Day

July 4th is a major holiday in the United States.

Independence Day
Photo by frank mckenna / Unsplash
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July 4
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The 4th of July, also known as Independence Day, is an annual celebration in the United States that commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced the political separation of 13 North American colonies from Great Britain. It is a day to celebrate the birth of American independence with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Practice Conversation
Sarah: Hey Manuel, do you have any special traditions for the 4th of July?
Manuel: Yeah, my family usually has a big barbecue and we watch the fireworks together. How about you?
Sarah: That sounds like fun! We usually go to the beach and have a picnic.
Manuel: Oh, that’s cool. Do you do anything special for the picnic? Sarah: Yeah, we always make sure to have hot dogs and apple pie. It’s not the 4th of July without them!
Manuel: Haha, I know what you mean. We always have burgers and corn on the cob at our barbecue. Sarah: Nice! Do you do anything else to celebrate?
Manuel: Sometimes we’ll play some games or have a water balloon fight. It’s all about spending time with family and having fun.
Sarah: That sounds like a great way to celebrate. Happy 4th of July!
Manuel: Happy 4th of July to you too!

Independence: freedom from control
Declaration: formal statement
Congress: legislative body
Colonies: territories ruled by another country
Separation: act of dividing
Festivities: celebrations
Fireworks: explosive devices for display
Parades: processions of people
Concerts: musical performances
Barbecues: outdoor cooking events
Annual: happening once a year
Commemorate: honor the memory of
Passage: act of passing or approving
Casual: informal, relaxed
Gatherings: meetings of people

Cloze Exercise Sarah: Hey Manuel, do you have any special *traditions* for the 4th of July? Manuel: Yeah, my *family* usually has a big barbecue and we watch the fireworks together. How about you? Sarah: That sounds like fun! We usually go to the *beach* and have a picnic. Manuel: Oh, that’s cool. Do you do anything special for the picnic? Sarah: Yeah, we always *make sure* to have hot dogs and apple pie. It’s not the 4th of July without them! Manuel: Haha, I know what you mean. We always have *burgers* and corn on the cob at our barbecue. Sarah: Nice! Do you do anything else to celebrate? Manuel: Sometimes we’ll *play* some games or have a water *balloon* fight. It’s all about spending time with family and having fun. Sarah: That sounds like a great way to celebrate. Happy 4th of *July*! Manuel: Happy 4th of July to you too!
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Beginners: My strategy is to first read the translation while listening to the audio. Then I listen to each sentence individually. After that, I practice saying the vocabulary words out loud. Finally, I listen to the whole text again without reading the translation. I don't try to remember or understand everything. I just let the language sink in as I gain more exposure. (Videos about Comprehensible Input)


Intermediate Learners: To gain some speaking practice, try opening the translation in your native language and then translate it back into the language you're learning. If you encounter any difficulties, you can refer to the transcripts.


Although you may use these lessons for short, intense study sessions, it's important for intermediate learners to engage in extensive listening and reading with simple books, TV shows, and podcasts as soon as possible.

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