Fun Easy English Classroom January 17


Learn about
freedom of speech
Freedom of Speech

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you are going to read about Freedom of Speech. This is an interesting topic and hopefully you will take the survey at the end of the lesson and post your thoughts in the comment section.
Hey if you cannot understand something on this page,
then use the Fun Easy English dictionary (opens in a new window)
Quick Links
Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec January
Dates 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31  
Martin Luther King Jr BirthdayVocabulary: Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.

Source: Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech in the United States

Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. The freedom is not absolute; the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are excluded from the freedom of speech, and it has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech.

Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always permitted. There are exceptions to these general protections, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent lawless action, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors and inventors over their works and discoveries (copyright and patent), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander). Distinctions are often made between speech and other acts which may have symbolic significance.

Despite the exceptions, the legal protections of the First Amendment are some of the broadest of any industrialized nation, and remain a critical, and occasionally controversial, component of American jurisprudence.

Source: Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech in the United States

Freedom of Speech in Other Countries

In many nations, particularly those with relatively authoritarian forms of government, overt government censorship is enforced. Censorship has also been claimed to occur in other forms and there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity, and defamation laws even in countries seen as liberal democracies.

Source: Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech by Country
From YOUR Teacher: Freedom of Speech

This is one of the most controversial topics in the world today. Different countries impose different restrictions on freedom of speech. The United States of America has the most liberal policies relating to freedom of speech but is it too liberal? Answer the survey below and then post a comment.
Survey: Do you agree with American citizens total freedom of speech?

Many people believe in America freedom of speech is too liberal.
Decide if freedom of speech is too liberal on the survey below.
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional conversation, listening, and reading practice.
  • Conversation Lesson - Beginner Level. Let's Learn English conversation lesson with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity.
Conversation Lesson 17 - Are You Free on Friday?
(Beginner - Conversation, Listening, Reading)

In this lesson Anna tries to plan to see a movie with a friend. But they are both very busy. Will they find a time to get together? What will they do?
Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: This city is very interesting, I really like my job, and I have some good friends! Speaking of friends … I see one now! Marsha! Hi!
Marsha: Hi, Anna. What’s going on?
Anna: Not much. How about you?
Marsha: Busy as usual. Hey, do you wanna see a movie with me?
Anna: Sure! I never have time to see a movie. When?
Marsha: Are you busy this Thursday at 6pm?
Anna: Let’s see …. I’m busy. I am going to tap dance with my friends Thursday night.
Marsha: Tap dancing? That sounds fun!
Anna: I’m still learning. But it is fun!
Anna: Are you busy on Friday night?
Marsha: Yes. Friday nights are when I visit my parents.
Anna: What do you and your family do together?
Marsha: We always eat dinner together and sometimes we play board games.
Anna: Playing board games is fun, too! The word game Scrabble is my favorite.
Marsha: I like Connect Four!
Anna: I’m not busy Monday night. Are you?
Marsha: I am busy on Monday night. I’m going to jog in the park with my friend. Do you jog?
Anna: Oh! I always jog. Well, sometimes I jog. Okay, I never jog. But I will try because it is good for you.
Marsha: I always feel great after I jog.
Marsha: How about on Wednesday night?
Anna: Wednesday night I am not busy. Oh, no, wait. This Wednesday night I will be busy.
Marsha: What are you doing?
Anna: I’m going to teach children how to play the ukulele.
Anna: Now, children, play “C.” Good. I like your “C.”
Marsha: The world does need more ukulele players.
Anna: Marsha, it looks like we’ll never have time to see a movie.
Anna: Wait a minute. Are you busy now?
Marsha: It’s Saturday afternoon. This is always when I do my errands.
Anna: Okay, but the new Star Wars movie is gonna start in 30 minutes.
Marsha: I’ll do my errands on Sunday. Let’s go!
Anna: Most days of the week, people are really busy. But it’s important to find time to be with your friends!
Anna: Until next time!
* Connect Four is a two-player connection game using colored discs.

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.

English has two ways to show something is happening at a future time. To form the simple future, use will and then the simple form of the verb. You can use will to express a desire to do something. The second form of the simple future is be going to. Use "be + going to" when you already have a plan to do something.

There are also two shortened forms of future verbs. In casual conversation, most Americans will change going to to gonna. English speakers often change we will to we’ll. Another shortened form in this lesson is want to shortened to wanna.
New Words
  • always - adv. at all times; on every occasion; in a way that does not change
  • board games - a game (such as chess) that is played by moving pieces on a special board
  • important - adj. having serious meaning or worth
  • jog - v. to run slowly especially for exercise
  • movie - n. a recording of moving images that tells a story and that people watch on a screen or television
  • night - n. the time of darkness between one day and the next
  • play - v. to do activities for fun or enjoyment
  • Scrabble - trademark. a board game in which players use lettered tiles to create words in a crossword fashion.
  • sing - v. to use your voice to make musical sounds in the form of a song or tune
  • sometimes - adv. at certain times; occasionally
  • Star Wars - n. an epic film series chronicling the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker
  • start - v. to do the first part of something : to begin doing something
  • tap dance - n. a kind of dance in which you wear special shoes with metal plates on the heels and toes and make tapping sounds with your feet
  • teaching - v. to cause or help (someone) to learn about a subject by giving lessons
  • ukulele - n. a musical instrument that is like a small guitar with four strings
  • week - n. a period of seven days - in the U.S., a week is usually considered to start on Sunday and end on Saturday, while in the U.K. a week is usually considered to start on Monday and end on Sunday.
  • will - modal verb. used to say that something is expected to happen in the future
  • Days of the Week:
    In the U.S., the week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.
    Sunday / Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday
  • Note: You can listen to the definitions of these words in the Speaking Practice Video.

What do you like to do with your friends? Is it easy or difficult to find time to be with your friends? Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Tell us two or three things you do with friends using words like always, usually and sometimes. Then practice writing about your schedule. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Conversation Lessons

Study all 52 English conversation lessons. Let's Learn English conversation lessons each with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity. These lessons are for beginners.
Source: Voice of America
Additional Information
Study Tips
(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 audio program.