ReadOasis

Learn English — with Stories

Sticky Communication
The bell rang. Jim’s things were already in his red book bag, which looked brown under the white lights of the classroom. Zip! Zip! He closed the bag. He stood up and let out a sigh, “Ahhhh.” It was loud enough that other students and the teacher noticed. Jim... Read more
The Beautiful Bird
ReadOasis Step 3 The forest was thick, and the grass was tall. We walked quietly and carefully by the bank of the river. We were in the shade of the trees, but the river danced with the light of the afternoon sun. "Watch out for snakes," my father said... Read more
The Most Famous Not a Protest Song (Step 5)
ReadOasis Step 5 Protest songs speak out against problems in society. We can hear protest songs at pivotal moments of activism in western history, during the civil rights, anti-war, feminist, labor, and environmental movements. Protest singers have also sung about slave emancipation and women's suffrage. Of the many protest... Read more
Grow Your Mindset!
ReadOasis Step 2(Part 1) Mike waited and waited. Was it going to be good news or bad news? Who would be in, and who would be out? Would he make the team or not? Finally, the coach put two lists on the door of the school gym. Mike looked... Read more
Habit Power (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 Will walked into the large office area and looked around. He was carrying a cup of coffee, and he spilled some on his hand. “Ouch!” he said. “That’s hot!” He looked around, but all the other workers were busy. They didn't even notice him. He walked over to... Read more
Be a Starter: Poke the Box
ReadOasis Step 3 I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. Pablo Picasso, Artist. It is a basic secret of success. To get skill, we need to do new things. Depending on the task, doing something new can... Read more
Serious About Humor (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 It's early in the morning. A funny looking man is getting ready for work. He looks up at the clock on the wall. Then his eyes pop wide open. He's running late! He hurries to the kitchen. He opens the coffee jar and fills his spoon... Read more
Making Work Fun: The Levity Effect (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 A manager at a company was interviewing a job candidate. The manager said, “We need a very responsible person for this job. We need someone who can take charge.” The candidate’s eyes lit up, and he responded with great enthusiasm. “Sir, your search ends here! I’m... Read more
Master of Words: Bob Dylan
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) It was January 1961. In the cold north of Minnesota, a young man of 19 years packed his bags. He was going to New York City. By car, the trip would take over 18 hours. And he was travelling by his thumb. In other... Read more
Moving to Think (Step 2)
By Cielo Vera ReadOasis Step 2 Gillian Lynne could not sit still. She was eight years old now. And her teachers worried about her performance at school. Perhaps she had a learning disorder. Gillian’s mother worried, too. She took her daughter to see a doctor. At the doctor’s office,... Read more
Lady Sings the Blues
ReadOasis Step 2(Part 1) Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees These sad words open the song “Strange Fruit.” The song was written by Abel Meeropol, and it... Read more
W.C. Handy: Father of the Blues (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) "Then I saw the beauty of primitive music." W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues W.C. Handy at Age 19 W.C. Handy grew up in a small town in Alabama in the southern part of the US. His father was the pastor of a church,... Read more
The Meaning of Haiku
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) An old man is walking along a rocky river bed. He is a traveller, but he is carrying only a few things. He can hear the songs of birds and the breath of the wind. The sound of the River Fuji is clear in... Read more
El Greco: Genius of Spanish Art
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) El Expolio by El Greco El Greco wanted to be a great artist. (His name means “the Greek.”) Like many Greek artists of his time, El Greco moved to Venice, Italy. Venice was alive with cultural change, achievement, and art during a period of... Read more
Serious About Humor (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) It's early in the morning. A funny looking man is getting ready for work. He casually looks up at the clock on the wall. Then his eyes pop wide open. He's running late! In a rush, he hurries to the kitchen. He opens the... Read more
Drifting Cowboy: Hank Williams (Step 3)
By Maria Sonora ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) By MGM Records via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain) Hank would never make it to his destination. There were too many problems. It was icy cold outside. Covered with a blanket, he sat in the back seat of his light blue Cadillac.... Read more
Painting Like the Bird Sings
ReadOasis Step 2 “I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” ― Claude Monet A painting of flowers hung on the wall. The colors were soft blue, pink, and green. A man stood beside the work of art. He was wearing a black suit and a red... Read more
Two Great Painters
ReadOasis Step 2 Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrell del Caso, 1874 There once was a painter named Zeuxis. He could paint life-like pictures. People often mistook his pictures for the real things which they represented. At one time he painted the picture of some fruit. It seemed so real... Read more
Speak Not Ill of Thine Competitors
By Tom Peters (Creative Commons) ReadOasis Step 4 Does this require more explanation than the Golden Rule (“Do unto others ... ”): Badmouthing competitors diminishes you. Period. “Win” with better product. “Win” with better relationships. “Win” when your industry is prospering and has a good reputation. (Think consultants, ad... Read more
Newspeak and 1984
ReadOasis Step 3 Winston is an editor. Every day he works with words. His hands are soft, and he is not strong. He does not do hard physical labor. But his job is challenging and even dangerous. He works for the government of Oceania. Every day, he rewrites history.... Read more