Telephone Scam Targeting Immigrants


  • Scammers have been calling people on the phone, saying that they are from “U.S. Immigration” or “Homeland Security”
  • The caller ID may say “DHS”
  • They ask for personal information (date of birth, bank numbers, driver’s license number, social security number, etc.) – Don’t give them any personal information!
  • U.S. Customs and Immigration will never ask anyone for this kind of personal information, or for money, on the phone or in email

Here is the warning about this scam from Homeland Security…

    Here are two other places to get information about other scams against immigrants:

Names of Places has many short videos that explain the names of places – such as airport, hotel, park, and train station.  You hear the pronunciation and see pictures to help you remember the word.  Here’s an example:

You can study all of the place names here, and then try to take this test:
Do you know the names of the places in these 8 videos?
(Answers are at the end.)

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Google Images as Your Dictionary

    There are some good, regular dictionaries for English language learners – including the Learner’s Dictionary, which explains 100,000 words and phrases in simple language, with sentence examples, and pronunciation.

However, there are many times when some pictures will help you understand a word better, and more quickly.  Perhaps the easiest way to see a word in pictures is with Google Images.  Here are some examples of words that are easier to understand with a picture, or a set of pictures…

What Does This Mean?

Don’t say: 
– What it means?
– What this means?
– What means this?
– What means [xx]? (such as What means hyperbole? or What means doodle?)

Say this:
– What does it mean?
– What does this mean?
– What does [xx] mean?  such as…
– What does hyperbole mean?
– What does doodle mean?


  • When you don’t understand what something means and you want to ask someone about it, start your question with What does...
  • What does this emoji mean?  
  • What does sibling mean?

100 Blog Postings

   In addition to giving you information on formal classes and conversation groups in MetroWest, and suggestions for places to go, there have been 100 articles posted on this blog – Learning English in MetroWest.  Each posting is intended to be a little lesson – about a way to help you improve your English.  You can go back to review them in many ways including:

We hope you have found these postings helpful.  If you have any suggestions for what kind of information you want to see more of, let us know.

Google Translate Phrasebook

   Google Translate is the most popular way to translate between two languages.  But most people don’t use their “phrasebook” – a place to save words, phrases, and sentences that you want to use or practice another time.

  • In Google Translate, translate a phrase or sentence as usual
  • Then, to save it, press the star to add this to your phrasebook.
  • Once the phrase is saved in your phrasebook, you can go there any time by pressing the star at the bottom of your screen
  • You can practice this phrase and listen to the pronunciation as many times as you like

Google Translate is available on computers, iPhone/iPad, and Android apps.

Vocabulary – Basic to Advanced

     If you are working to improve your basic English vocabulary, you should probably try to learn the mostly commonly used words – such as this list of the 1000 most common English words, or this list of 3000 Core English Words.

But if you are comfortable with most of those, and you enjoy learning new words, take a look at the website called Words in a Sentence.  They have explanations of thousands of more advanced words.  For each word there are many example sentences, and for some there are videos.

For example…. the word HYPERBOLE:

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