In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed
on April first. It was celebrated in much the same way as it is
today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night.
Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the
Christian world, and the new year fell on January first. There were
some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change
in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April
first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools."
They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe
that something false was true. In France today, April first is
called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by
taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool"
discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April
Today Americans play small tricks on friends and strangers alike on
the first of April. One common trick on April Fool's Day, or All
Fool's Day, is pointing down to a friend's shoe and saying, "Your
shoelace is untied." Teachers in the nineteenth century used to say
to pupils, "Look! A flock of geese!" and point up. School children
might tell a classmate that school has been canceled. Whatever the
trick, if the innocent victim falls for the joke the prankster
yells, "April Fool! "
The "fools' errands" we play on people are practical jokes. Putting
salt in the sugar bowl for the next person is not a nice trick to
play on a stranger. College students set their clocks an hour
behind, so their roommates show up to the wrong class - or not at
all. Some practical jokes are kept up the whole day before the
victim realizes what day it is. Most April Fool jokes are in good
fun and not meant to harm anyone. The most clever April Fool's joke is
the one where everyone laughs, especially the person upon whom the
joke is played.
"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364
days of the year. "
- American humorist Mark Twain
YOUR Teacher: April Fool's Day
April Fool's Day was always a favorite holiday for me
and my friends when we were kids. Playing jokes on each
other was really fun.
April Fool's Day
the information above. In the test questions
below choose which is the best answer for each
question. There are 5 questions. Good luck.
1. In sixteenth-century
France, the New Year was observed on which date?
a. January 1
b. March 1
c. April 1
d. August 1
2. Pope Gregory
introduced a new calendar in what year?
3. What does "Poisson d'Avril" mean?
a. position in April
b. pushing in April
c. April fish
d. April pastries
4. Based on the
reading, what is a common trick on April Fool's Day?
a. saying a friend's shoelace is untied
b. eating someone's cake at night
c. hiding the calendar for a month
d. changing your socks to different colors
5. Based on the
reading, what is the most clever April Fool's joke?
a. where everyone eats
b. hiding school papers
c. throwing out garbage
d. where everyone laughs
The following classroom lessons are great for students
who want additional conversation, listening, and reading
Conversation Lesson -
Beginner Level. Dialogs for everyday use.
Short situational dialogs for students of English as
a Foreign (EFL) or Second (ESL) Language with a
written conversation and a conversation notes
Dialogs for everyday use. Short situational dialogs for
students of English as a Foreign (EFL) or Second (ESL)
Patty: How old are you?
Susan:Nine... but I’ll be ten on May
Patty: I’m older than you!
I’ll be ten on May fourteenth.
Susan: Are you going to have a
Patty:Maybe. I’ll have to ask my mother.
A short form equivalent to I’m nine years old.
Notice that the strongest stress in this word is on the
second syllable. (The stress pattern, as well as the final /n/,
differentiates sixTEEN from SIXty.) Some
speakers insert the between the month and the numeral: May the sixteenth, May
I’ll be ten on May fourteenth
The contrastive stress on the first syllable of FOURteenth. Normally, the stronger stress falls on the second
syllable of this word: fourTEENTH (like sixTEENTH in the line above). However,
to bring out the contrast, the speaker emphasizes the contrasting element,
The rhythm pattern of English requires that this weak stressed,
potentially threesyllable, element be reduced in length. In the process of
reduction some of the consonants are lost or modified and the vowels changed to
more centralized, lax forms.
Notice that the normal stress for a
compound noun falls on the first element of the compound.
Notice that the intonation falls only
slightly—indicating doubt, indecision, or lack of completion. Have to. See
English conversation lessons. 30
lessons focusing mostly on communication and
lessons are for intermediate students.
(Beginner - Listening)
Avoid Ineffective Study Methods. An audio lesson to help
you study English more effectively. The English is
spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great English study tips.
Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this